Thanksgiving Cranberry Dessert Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Thanksgiving cranberry dessert recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Cranberry-Almond Granola Bars

There are plenty of granola bar options at the grocery store, but they're also easy (and often healthier) to make at home. Feel free to vary the add-ins to your taste, swapping 2 cups of any combination of small (or chopped) dried fruit, nuts, seeds and/or chocolate chips for the dried cranberries and nuts in this version. We tested several sticky sweeteners, including maple syrup and honey, but found brown rice syrup held the bars together the best.

Cranberry Crumble Bars

Rating: 3 stars
1
These cranberry-orange bars freeze well. Make a batch on a free afternoon and pop them in the freezer so you'll always have a healthy dessert on hand when company calls.

Cranberry-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Rating: 3.33 stars
1
This cranberry-pecan cinnamon roll recipe is a cinch to put together--there's no kneading and no rolling of any dough. These rolls are baked in a muffin tin and are already perfectly portioned, making them great for a morning treat or as part of a brunch menu.

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Rating: 4.91 stars
1
The basic recipe for this cake is very versatile and can be made with apples, pears, peaches or any full-flavored, slightly acidic fruit. The cake is best served warm. (Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.)

Apple Crisp with Cranberries

Rating: 5 stars
1
Sticking to its food-waste mission, L.A. Kitchen created this dessert to work with almost any fruit you have on hand. We've done it here with pears and apples, but you can use berries or even tropical fruits instead. The addition of dried fruit adds a concentrated hit of flavor you won't get from fresh alone.

Cranberry-Apple Coffee Cake

Rating: 4.89 stars
5
This coffee cake calls for a tart apple, such as a Granny Smith or a Pippin, combined with cranberries and spices to make a beautiful topping for a delicious treat festive enough for any brunch. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Pear, Apple & Cranberry Tarte Tatin

Rating: 4 stars
4
This ultimate fall and winter tart showcases the best fruits of the season: pears, apples and cranberries. Unlike other tarts, the tarte tatin is made upside down in a skillet. You start by cooking the fruit, then top it with the dough, carefully tuck in the edges and let it cook. When it's ready you invert the whole tart onto a plate. It comes out looking beautiful and is actually much easier than you might imagine.

Cranberry-Orange-Nut Cookies

Rating: 4.18 stars
5
Crisp, moist and chewy, this cookie created by Georgene Egri of Walnut Creek, California, has the essential ingredients for the holidays: citrus, nuts and cranberries. These cookies travel well for gift-giving and lunchboxes.

Cranberry-Orange Fruit Bars

Rating: 3.86 stars
3
These sweet-tart cranberry-orange bars are a great addition to a holiday cookie tray or cool weather grab-and-go treat.

Cranberry Meringue Pie

Rating: 3.82 stars
2
If you're a fan of lemon meringue pie, you'll love this festive cranberry meringue pie recipe. For the fluffiest meringue, set your eggs out at room temperature for about 15 minutes or submerge (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes before beating--egg whites at room temperature will gain more volume than cold whites.

Cranberry-Raspberry Jellies

Deliciously addictive, these simple fruit candies have an intense cranberry-raspberry flavor and a consistency vaguely reminiscent of soft gumdrops. The individual candies are normally rolled in granulated sugar, but for a different, frosted look and smooth consistency, you can roll them in sifted powdered sugar instead. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Cranberry Bundt Cake

Rating: 3 stars
3
In this healthy cranberry-walnut Bundt cake recipe, Greek yogurt and shredded apple or pear keep the cake moist and are a healthy substitute for extra butter. If you want to use something other than allspice, try pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon in the filling. For a nut-free variation, omit the walnuts in the cake or use chopped dried cranberries in their place.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Cranberry-Lime Cheesecake

Rating: Unrated
3
One bite of this light and airy cranberry-lime cheesecake recipe and it will become your go-to recipe for dessert. Part-skim ricotta cheese adds a delicate texture and stands in for some of the higher-fat cream cheese. Be sure to use a large, wide piece of heavy-duty foil to wrap the pan--the foil helps prevent water from seeping into the cake as it bakes.

Pumpkin Cake with Dried Cranberries

Rating: Unrated
1
This pretty pumpkin-cranberry Bundt cake is a delicious alternative to holiday pumpkin pie.

Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Cranberry-Raisin Sauce

Pungent and aromatic cinnamon perfumes this bread pudding and sweet-tart sauce. The sauce, made with cranberries and golden raisins, gets a toasty flavor from mustard seeds and a touch of heat from chile peppers.