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The Best Dried Cranberry Recipes
I love dried cranberries for their perfect combination of sweet and tart, but also for their incredible versatility. Seriously, they make just about anything better! I think this epic list of my favorite dried cranberry recipes will prove that. Enjoy!
This recipe is one of my favorite ones to make, especially around the holidays. The dried cranberries soften up well with the muffin and the orange flavor adds a great color combination. I like to make these around the holidays and they never seem to last long! They're good for a few days so you can make them ahead of time for breakfast or brunch.
Although many quick breads tend to be higher in fat, this is a great lower-fat option that's easy to make and fun to eat as well. Instead of using oil, this recipe uses mashed banana as an easy substitute. This recipe also only has a few ingredients and bakes quickly so it's an easy one to whip up when you need a sweet treat. This also makes a great gift so consider bringing it along for a hostess gift.
This recipe is a unique one which is why it's a great choice to make when you're tired of your standard cookie recipes. Although dried cranberries are in the cookies, they also have toffee bits and chocolate chips. The cranberries add a fun flavor to the cookie and lighten it up well. This is a good one to make throughout the year when you need something sweet.
If you like to make your own cranberry sauce but don't have fresh cranberries on hand, then this recipe is right for you. It uses both dried cranberries and cranberry juice to make a great sauce that you can pair with meats, especially around the holidays.
I like that this recipe uses cornstarch to thicken it and you can make it as thick or as thin as you like. It only takes about half an hour to make the sauce so I've used this recipe when I'm short on time but want a sauce to go with my meal.
I love making bars for fundraisers at school or an easy treat to have. This recipe is one of my go-tos when I don't know what else to make. The sour cream helps to lighten out the tartness of the cranberries so it's an easy choice when you want something fruity and fun.
This is a hardy bar that has a shortbread-like crust and is always a crowd pleaser. It also looks nice and the flavor tends to improve over time. I usually try to make these a day before serving them to allow the flavor to melt into the rest of the bar. Make sure to store them in an airtight container as they will become stale over time.
When I'm preparing for brunch or want to have a lighter dessert option, this coffee cake using dried cranberries is one of my favorites. It's easy to make ahead of time although I like it warm and will often serve it slightly warm with coffee after dinner.
It's a fairly simple recipe although packed full of flavor. You can make it as-is although I've made some substitutions over time. When I want to serve it as a dessert, I'll often make up a simple orange glaze and pour it over the cake. I've also substituted lemon for orange in the recipe although then I have to add a little more sugar to get the flavor right. Make it according to the recipe when you get started but don't be afraid to be creative over time.
Although some of these recipes are healthy, none of them are quite as healthy as this one. I uses whole grains such as rolled oats and wheat flour to add some heart-healthy flour. Although pleasantly sweet, this recipe also contains a banana instead of using a lot of butter. It does contain some oil but the grape seed oil is high in unsaturated fats so this is a great choice for a guilt-free cookie. Sometimes I'll even have cookies for breakfast as they're healthier than some of my breakfast cereals!
When you read through this recipe, you'll notice that the chocolate chips are optional. Since they're usually only adding a small amount, I like them in general. However, you can cut down on the sugar a little if you'd rather avoid them.
You should know that you can actually use any type of berry in these scones. Sometimes, I'll use a mix of cranberries and other dried berries if I don't have enough of one. I quickly found that while this is a great recipe, it's also easy to overmix. When you do this, you'll end up with dry and tough scones which no one wants! Now, I'm always careful to be gentle with my ingredients and mix without overmixing. And trust me, having to be a little more cautious is well worth it to get these soft tender scones.
This quick bread uses craisins or any dried cranberries that are lightly sweetened. What I like about this recipe from a local bed and breakfast is that it's easy to make and the cranberries are rehydrated before using. They'll have you soak the berries while making the rest of the dough. The end result is a bread with plump berries that are soft and taste great.
Cranberries are a great addition to this salad. The tartness of the berry pairs well with the feta cheese in the salad. I've also substituted blue cheese and other nuts in the salad. This is a great one to whip up and it looks like a fancy choice without having any complicated ingredients or difficult preparation methods. Also, if I don't have all the ingredients on hand, I can usually make a few substitutions and still end up with a great dish.
When it comes to using recipes with dried cranberries, you can be as complicated or as simple as you like. This recipe isn't a fussy one but it's tasty and also easy to put together. I'm often short on time in the morning so this is a stand-by for me when time is tight. If you're tired of not having a good breakfast in the morning, then try this recipe.
The combination of cranberry with pistachios is what makes this biscotti a success. If you end up using salted nuts, be sure to cut back on the salt in the recipe. In addition to being tasty, the color combination makes for a baked good that is both tasty and also has a great presentation. I always enjoy making this for tea and coffee with friends.
Granola is readily available, but who doesn't like making their own? This recipe gives granola a great spin. It includes almonds, maple flavor, dried cranberries, and cinnamon spice. It's fairly easy to make this granola and it will keep for a while as well so you can make a big batch. This is one of my favorite breakfast choices when the weather starts to turn cold. I also often will have it as a snack as it's full of protein.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should dried cranberries be soaked before baking?
Although it’s not required, it’s a good idea to soak them before cooking. Dried fruit can lose more moisture over time so soaking them in hot water will plump them slightly before you add them to recipes.
If you’re tired of soaking them in plain water, you can make them more interesting by soaking them in bourbon, rum, or even a fruit juice. This will be a good flavor additive.
Even if you don’t have dried fruit that’s overly dry, then it’s still nice to plump them before adding them to dishes that aren’t cooked. If you plan to cook with them, soaking the cranberries first will keep them plump and also prevent the fruit from absorbing extra liquid from the recipe.
Can you substitute dried cranberries for fresh in recipes?
Yes, dried fruit can almost always be substituted for the fresh fruit. Sweetened dried cranberries can be used in place of fresh ones although there is a 1/4 cup difference in measurement. If the recipe calls for a cup of fresh or frozen berries, substitute 3/4 of a cup of sweetened dried cranberries instead.
Are dried cranberries healthy?
Yes, as long as you eat them in moderation. With most of the moisture taken out, their nutrients – and sugar – are concentrated. I go into more detail about that in this post on the benefits of dried cranberries.
Can you make your own dried cranberries?
Yes! That’s one of the reasons I love my dehydrator. It makes everything so easy. I have a complete tutorial you can read here – How to Dry Cranberries.
I’m a foodie that’s slightly obsessed with drying fruits, veggies, beans, and more – especially from my own garden! It started as a hobby but became a “must” when my family fell on hard times, and my dried food stash sustained us. Now I’m always experimenting with different techniques and recipes and sharing them here!