Cranberry Sorbet Recipe (2024)

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by Michelle
November 18, 2013 (updated Jan 22, 2019)

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Cranberry Sorbet Recipe (1)

There is a local frozen custard stand that people in our area have been flocking to since I was a little kid. For the longest time, they only had one location, but opened a second one a handful of years ago. The custard is phenomenal, but what I really love is that they don’t close up shop after Labor Day; they stay open until Thanksgiving, which means I can continue to get my frozen custard fix right up until the holidays. Last year, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I stopped for a little dessert right before Thanksgiving and they were out of his beloved orange sherbet, but they did have a cranberry sherbet, which he tried and absolutely loved. He talked about that sherbet for months, so once cranberries were in the stores again, I snatched some up so I could make a frozen cranberry treat perfect for this time of year.

Cranberry Sorbet Recipe (2)

I chose to go with a sorbet instead of a sherbet for this recipe, as I find sorbets to be much lighter. While a sherbet isn’t as heavy as ice cream, it’s certainly more on the creamy side. Thanksgiving dinner is basically the king of all meals, right? I feel like no matter how little I take of any one thing, I walk away from the table totally stuffed. However, I absolutely, positively cannot turn down Thanksgiving dessert. With that in mind, I made this cranberry sorbet as a light and refreshing option to cap off Thanksgiving dinner, in case guests find the traditional pies to be a bit too much after already loosening the good ol’ belt buckle.

The combination of fresh cranberries and orange juice give this sorbet a slightly tart and incredibly refreshing flavor. My tongue did a little jig when I tasted my first spoonful. It’s definitely a perfect light alternative for dessert; the cranberries feel right at home next to the pumpkin, apple and pecan pies!

Cranberry Sorbet Recipe (3)

Two year ago:Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes and Sweet Potato Gratin with Gruyère
Three years ago: Fresh Green Bean Casserole
Four years ago: Thick and Hearty Chili

Cranberry Sorbet Recipe (4)

Cranberry Sorbet

Yield: 1 quart

Prep Time: 30 minutes mins

Cook Time: 10 minutes mins

Chilling time: 11 hours hrs 20 minutes mins

Total Time: 40 minutes mins

A bright and refreshing cranberry sorbet is the perfect end to a heavy meal.

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  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (125 ml) water
  • 12 ounces (340.2 g) fresh cranberries
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup (124 ml) orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau or Grand Marnier liquor, optional, this keeps the sorbet from getting icy


  • Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.

  • Add the cranberries and salt, and bring to a low boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 minutes (the cranberries should be completely soft at this point). Remove the pan from heat (leaving the lid on) and cool the cranberry mixture to room temperature.

  • Once cool, using a blender or food processor, puree together the cranberry mixture (including any juices), orange juice and Cointreau until completely smooth. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours (or overnight) to chill completely.

  • Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.


Nutritional values are based on one quart

Calories: 645kcal, Carbohydrates: 159g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 45mg, Potassium: 537mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 128g, Vitamin A: 450IU, Vitamin C: 107.3mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 1.1mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

Author: Michelle

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Originally published November 18, 2013 — (last updated January 22, 2019)

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52 Comments on “Cranberry Sorbet”

  1. Charlotte Reply

    Much yum! I added a dash of orange flower water. Rosewater would probably be nice, too.

  2. raina Reply

    Recipe is very simple and thanks for sharing.It looks amazing.Surely I will try. midnight cake delivery in pune

  3. Mary Reply

    I want to know if I can use cranberry juice to make this sorbet? Fresh cranberries are not available and could not find frozen cranberries. What do you think?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Mary, I would not recommend using juice for this recipe. It’s hard for me to find cranberries (fresh or frozen) here unless it’s during the fall, too.

  4. Hayley Reply

    Oh my gosh, this looks absolutely fantastic! My two favourite things, sorbet & cranberries :)

  5. Rhona Reply

    Sounds and looks delicious, I have dried cranberries which should work but would like to know how long I can keep frozen (in freezer container) before it is spoilt please. Just been given an ice cream maker machine (Cuisinart) and need to start somewhere! Love the look of your ice cream recipes too…watch out waistline!!

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Rhona, If you use dried cranberries, you will need to reconstitute them (plump them up) in a liquid. I would soak them in warm water overnight. I do recommend fresh cranberries if you can get them, though. This should keep well in the freezer for 1-2 months.

  6. Shannon F Reply

    Cranberries are one of my most favorite fruit so I tried this recipe as soon as I could. It is definitely tart, which I like, and it has a fantastic flavor. This is my second favorite cranberry recipe from your site. Thanks!

  7. Offira Reply

    Can I use fresh squeezed oranges or do you think it has to be orange juice? I know that orange juice has more tang than just plain squeezed oranges so I wanted to check! Thanks.

    • Michelle Reply

      You could use store-bought orange juice or fresh-squeezed, both would work.

  8. Tom Reply

    I just made the sorbet this evening. Not sure if I did something wrong.

    It was very smooth and initially, had a nice tart flavor. After a few seconds, I got a really bad bitter taste. Maybe it was the cranberries?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Tom, It definitely has a tart flavor, but if it tastes bitter, it might be the cranberries.

  9. Laura Dembowski Reply

    This sorbet looks wonderfully smooth and creamy! I bet the flavor is super refreshing too. Perfect for Thanksgiving!

  10. Suzie Reply

    I made this last night and just put it through my ice cream maker. It is soooo yummy. I’m freezing small scoops in little shot glasses and serving it as intermezzo at my Thanksgiving dinner.

  11. Renee @ Awesome on $20 Reply

    I think this sounds great. The tart flavor of cranberry seems like a great compliment to a frozen dessert. I can’t wait to try this.

  12. Carinne Reply

    Is there a good non-alcoholic substitute for the liquor? I know you said it was optional, but I’d love to be able to put something in that would help with keeping it less icy. Any suggestions?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Carinne, I am not aware of a substitute that has the same properties as the alcohol when it comes to keeping the sorbet less icy.

  13. Kacy Reply

    Can you use frozen cranberries, perhaps letting them thaw first? Would this affect the liquid ratios?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Kacy, You could use frozen and thawed cranberries, but I would drain them first.

  14. Tracy | Pale Yellow Reply

    I’m flying for Thanksgiving and have been eye-ing the cranberries at the grocery store wondering what to do with them since I doubt TSA would allow homemade cranberry sauce through! This sorbet sounds perfect!

  15. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron Reply

    I love cranberry and this sorbet sounds amazing. I love that bright vibrant color!

  16. Dana Reply

    Mmmm this looks so refreshing. I adore cranberry anything and sorbet. YUM.

  17. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts Reply

    This is so pretty! Pretty food always tastes better :)

  18. Cate @ Chez CateyLou Reply

    This is the prettiest sorbet I have ever seen! What a gorgeous color!

  19. Rochelle @ Oh So Sweet Baker Reply

    The colour of this is so beautiful. Such a strong natural colour. Unfortunately fresh cranberries are hind to find in the UK, so I’m just going to have t use cranberry juice.

  20. Laurie Reply

    Could you leave the bits of cranberry in the sorbet?

    • Cat Reply

      Laurie, I have been making cranberry sorbet for years as an autumn intermezzo. I poach them gently in red wine, either cab or a light Bordeaux, before incorporating them in the product. Answer is yes, you could put some very finely minced pieces of cranberry back in, but take care that you taste a few of them first, as the skins can become rather tough after being simmered. Also, pieces that are too big might freeze too hard and become an icy distraction. Keeping the pieces small and fine should take care of both of those possibilities.

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Laurie, Yes, you could, although as Cat mentioned, I’ve found pieces of fruit that are too big in ice cream can become icy bits.

  21. Laura @ Laura's Baking Talent Reply

    What a fun flavor of sherbert! Love! Thanks for sharing :)

  22. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction Reply

    Beautiful addition to Thanksgiving dessert!

  23. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate Reply

    I love how this is a relatively healthy and light dessert option for this time of year. You don’t find to much of that!

  24. Libby Reply

    Oh, thank you, thank you for this! Perfect dessert.

  25. Melanie @ Carmel Moments Reply

    This looks beautiful and smooth. Perfection!

  26. Nancy Long Reply

    oh shoot, need to figure out how to make room in the freezer for the ice cream insert! This sounds wonderful!

  27. Elizabeth Reply

    Great idea :)
    We decided to do a series of unconventional recipes with traditional ingredients so this will make a nice addition.

  28. Valerie L. Reply

    Michelle, your recipe here for Cranberry Sorbet looks refreshingly delicious. By the way, being a Pittsburgher, I am all too familiar with the local custard stand that you are referring to, and I couldn’t agree with you more — Glen’s is the best!

  29. Marie @ Little Kitchie Reply

    Oh so pretty!

  30. Kiran @ Reply

    LOVE the color! So festive :)

  31. Kathy Reply

    This was a traditional Christmas appetizer course in my husband’s family. Guests would come to the table and find a crystal dish of sorbet sitting in a bit of pineapple juice at their place. It has become a tradition in my family and our children’s family for years to come.

  32. Meg Reply

    Wow, what an incredible colour! I love this idea, have been starting to think of non-traditional dessert ideas, this is perfect. Would definitely add the cointreau, for sure!!

  33. Becca @ Crumbs Reply

    Such a good idea for a light but delicious desert for after a huge meal! I think this will go on my Christmas desserts list because I’m always so stuffed by the main.

  34. Ellen Reply

    Hot diggity I need to get an ice cream maker!!

  35. Laura (Tutti Dolci) Reply

    Gorgeous, I love the color!

  36. Averie @ Averie Cooks Reply

    What a stunning color! Who needs food coloring when you’ve got Mother Nature! Pinned! :)

  37. sandy Reply

    The color is just beautiful. Sorbet is perfect for a California Christmas.

  38. Hari Chandana Reply

    Looks so gorgeous.. love it!!

  39. Marla Reply

    So do you have to have an ice cream maker to make this and if so, which do you recommend?

    • Kathy Reply

      I do not use an ice cream maker for this. I use my hand mixer on it a few times as it starts to freeze until it gets too hard. Sometimes it has gotten away from me and I have to let it melt a bit before I can beat it again. The mixing adds a lot of air and makes for a creamier texture.

      • Nancy

        Kathy – I have never made ice cream or sorbet before and you sound like an experienced ice cream maker – is this difficult to do with a hand mixer only?

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Marla, I do, I have the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

      • Christine

        I also have the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream attachment and LOVE, LOVE IT!! Best investment ever, except for my diet! I will be making this Sorbet!

Cranberry Sorbet Recipe (2024)
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