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  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Nut Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Easy Homemade Cranberry Jam

This homemade cranberry jam is one I like to make for Thanksgiving and Christmas family meals. I especially like serving it with brunch, along with toast and English muffins.


Cranberry jam is super easy to make, especially when the holiday season rolls around! Cranberries are in grocery stores everywhere. This tart berry helps to improve blood pressure, protects against liver disease, and even supports heart health.

The summer fruits bring us delicious homemade jam and jellies, as well as fresh fruit salads and other cold treats. But when the winter months roll around, you might feel lost in the fruit portion of the menu. Of course, this one classic Thanksgiving side dish keeps us supplied with sweetness: homemade cranberry sauce!

Home food preservation is actually easy to do. Canning pickles, jams, and jellies is a fun activity to do on the occasional free Saturday or Sunday.

This classic cranberry jam recipe is not far from the table in the cold season.

Making perfectly balanced cranberry jam from fresh cranberries is a staple in my home during the cold season. Forget the grocery store: you can make it at home with familiar ingredients and on-hand ingredients!

Compared to store-bought jams, this one has ingredients that you can recognize, and a short list of them, too.

Anyone can open a can of cranberry jam or jelly from the grocery store. But this recipe is a gourmet yet simple alternative. This small batch recipe has no additional pectin! Just four simple ingredients that make a sweet and tart fresh cranberry jam.

Here’s some equipment you’ll be needing for this sweet jam recipe

  • half-pint jars (glass jars)
  • lids
  • medium sized pot
  • a wooden spoon

When preparing the small jars, I like to boil my jars and the lids so that they’re fully clean before I use them. For that, I use a separate pot with water.

I bring it to a full boil, place jars in, boil for a minute, then take them out. After that, I place the lids into the pot and boil them for a minute as well. Be sure to let the hot jars dry and cool.

Once you’ve prepared the easy cranberry jam recipe and filled the jars, don’t forget to wipe jar rims. This way, you can put on a clean lid and have no spillage from your clean jar.

A glass jar with jam on the outside attracts ants. You can store them in the refrigerator. If you’d like to save leftover cranberry sauce, you can freeze them. Be sure to freeze cranberry jam only in plastic containers to prevent glass jars from cracking.

Key Ingredients

cranberry jam ingredients-cranberries, lemon juice, water, and sugar.

Water: As the liquid base

Sugar: For the sweetness.

Cranberry: I use fresh cranberries, but you can also use frozen cranberries. I usually measure out one bag of cranberries and measure the rest of the ingredients around it.

Lemon juice: Makes the perfect flavor addition.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

How to make Cranberry Jam

Step 1: Make the sweet water

Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a medium size pot.

water with sugar in a saucepan.

Step 2: Add the cranberry

Add 4 cups of cranberries, bring it all to a boil once again.

cranberries in water and sugar in a saucepan.

Step 3: And the lemon

Squeeze juice out of 1 lemon (make sure no seeds fall out), cook for 7 minutes. The cranberries will be popping. By 7 minutes, most of them should have popped.

half of lemon water squeezed into cranberries and water in a saucepan.

Step 4: Serve

Put in jars to enjoy.


Expert Tips

  • Before using the cranberries, rinse them thoroughly and remove any stems or debris.
  • Taste the jam before jarring. If it’s too tart, add more sugar to reach your desired sweetness.
  • Ensure your jars and lids are clean and properly sterilized before filling them with the cranberry jam to prolong shelf life.
  • Add a cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon to the cranberries as they’re cooking for extra flavor. Orange juice or orange zest are also great flavor additions.

Recipe FAQs

How to make cranberry jam with dried cranberries?

Dried cranberries don’t have the juice in them to make cranberry jam. Only fresh or frozen cranberries can make this cranberry jam. Dried cranberries have many other uses, including being a great addition to salads!

Where can I buy cranberry jam?

Cranberry jam or sauce is most commonly found in grocery stores during the fall, around Thanksgiving. Canned cranberry jelly is in the stores year-round.

How much pectin for cranberry jam?

This cranberry jam recipe needs no pectin. Pectin is more commonly used in fruit jelly so that it sticks together to form that jelly consistency. This jam does not need the pectin.


I hope you enjoy this recipe and its health benefits! Here are some more recipes that are minimal effort:

More Jam Recipes to Make

If you tried this Easy Homemade Cranberry Jam or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you enjoyed it in the📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!


Easy Homemade Cranberry Jam

Just four simple ingredients, that make a sweet and tart homemade cranberry jam. It's perfect to serve for brunch along with toast and muffins.
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Course: Desserts, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Jam
Allergy: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Total Time: 45 minutes
Calories: 123kcal
Author: Marina Rizhkov


  • Pot
  • citrus squeezer
  • Wooden spoon


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  • Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a medium size pot.
    1 cup water, 1 cup sugar
  • Add 4 cups of cranberries, bring it all to a boil once again.
    4 cups fresh cranberries
  • Squeeze juice out of 1 lemon (make sure no seeds fall out), cook for 7 minutes. The cranberries will be popping, most should be popped.
    1 lemon,
  • Done. Put in jars to enjoy.


Add sugar to your taste. 


Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 33IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
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