Recipe: Classic Cranberry Sauce (With Printable Gift Label!)

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Susan Brown
Where you’re based: Menomonie, WI
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2011
My favorite thing about the holidays is… having our son and his fiancé home for a few days.
This year, I’m thankful for… good friends, good books, and gold foil!
Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving unless… my family fights over the dark meat.
Stuffing—love it or loathe it? Love it (especially mine!).

There is little that signals the approaching holidays better than the bright red cranberry bogs along Wisconsin’s highways. Since Wisconsin is the biggest producer of this versatile berry, it seemed only natural to share this simple Thanksgiving recipe for fresh cranberry sauce with you. And if you’ve never made this tasty, tart sauce before, I hope it will become a tradition in your family, too.I like to make an extra-large batch of cranberry sauce and spoon it into small canning jars to give as a parting gift. That way, when I’m passing out Thanksgiving leftovers for guests to take home, I include a jar so everyone can enjoy turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce the next day.  —Susan

Keep reading for Susan’s easy-to-make cranberry sauce recipe…

Classic Fresh Cranberry Sauce

• 1 pound fresh cranberries (about 4 cups; preferably Wisconsin-grown, if you can find them!)
• 1 to 1 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 cup water
• Optional ingredients (to taste): orange or lemon zest, chopped pecans, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, allspice
• Cranberry Sauce Printable Label: brown kraft paper or white

Wash cranberries and toss out any soft or wrinkled ones. Combine sugar and water in a 2-quart saucepan; bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to boil, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until most of the berries burst and release their juices. Remove from heat and add any optional ingredients. Let the sauce cool for 10 minutes and then spoon into canning jars. Recipe makes two 8-oz. jars or easily doubles to make four 8-oz. jars. Store in the refrigerator until ready to share with friends.

To give the cranberry sauce as a gift, download and print the jar label printable (in brown kraft paper or white) onto copy paper or adhesive label paper. Cut them out and affix the labels (use glue if you’re not using label paper) to the lids (use the two-part-style mason jar lid for it to fit correctly). The labels will also work for smaller 4 oz. jars (which are adorable!).

Photos: Karen Melvin Photography

More Thanksgiving Ideas:
• Pumpkin Loaf Cake recipe
• Thanksgiving Leftovers printable labels
• DIY Thanksgiving Turkey Macarons


  1. Kristin Tweed

    Sounds Wonderful!

    Beautifully presented too.

    Thank You!

  2. Awesome job, Susan! Love the labels and the little jars. 🙂

  3. Kim Dietrich Elam

    Great post and labels, Susan!