RecipesSauces - Condiments - Dressings

Apple Cranberry Sauce (Vegan + GF)

posted by Melissa Huggins October 18, 2016 5 Comments
Apple Cranberry Sauce

This Apple Cranberry Sauce is bursting with mouth-watering flavors and has the perfect balance of sweet & tart. Your taste buds won’t even know what hit ’em. You’ll also skip out on a ton of unnecessary sugar and processed ingredients.

Apple Cranberry SauceAll those years of seeing that can-shaped jelly stuff on the holiday table, who would’ve known it was the easiest thing to make homemade. This Apple Cranberry Sauce takes less than 20 minutes to make and calls for very few ingredients. Not to mention, it’s much tastier and healthier than the store-bought stuff.

So, if you have a last-minute holiday potluck to join, and you don’t have a lot of time to prepare something, choose this Apple Cranberry Sauce to bring to the celebration. It’s quick, easy & delicious! I’m sure you’ll hear some compliments on it too, which almost never happens with this holiday condiment.

Many homemade cranberry sauce recipes require dumping a bunch of sugar into the mix. Sweetness is required to balance out the tartness of the cranberries, but definitely not that much. The sweetness from the apple will help break things up, along with adding a different texture. I also add a small amount of brown sugar and pure maple syrup. Feel free to add more or less, depending on your taste buds.

Apple Cranberry Sauce

I’ve also added some fresh orange juice, for a little zing in every bite. It also adds some extra sweetness and some vitamin C. Now we’re talkin’! If you want extra zing, you can add a teaspoon of fresh orange zest to the popping cranberries. You can definitely swap the OJ out with apple cider or water. It will still be fabulous!

So, let’s talk about how easy this Apple Cranberry Sauce is to make:

You just heat up the orange juice & brown sugar, until the sugar has dissolved. Then you pour in the ruby-red cranberries and watch the magic happen. They will start to pop open and smell heavenly.

While this is happening, add the crisp apple pieces and let the sweetness marry with the tartness of the cranberries. With a few dashes of cinnamon & pure maple syrup, this holiday delight will be complete. Transfer into your favorite serving dish and keep chilled until it’s chow down time. Voila!

If you are expecting holiday guests this year, pop this deliciousness on the table. They’ll love the sweet, tart, cinnamon-y flavors of this popular table ornament. It will compliment all the flavors of your harvest feast. Usually, cranberry sauce is the most neglected at the table and merely just eye candy, but not anymore. It will make a statement this year, with is vibrant color and deep, rich flavor.

Apple Cranberry Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Apple Cranberry Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
This Apple Cranberry Sauce is bursting with mouth-watering flavors and has the perfect balance of sweet & tart. Your taste buds won't even know what hit 'em. This recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make and is worlds healthier & tastier than store-bought varieties.
Course: Condiment
Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Holiday, Oil-free, Vegan
Servings: 8
Calories: 105 kcal
Author: Melissa | Vegan Huggs
  • 1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
  • 1 large apple , peeled & diced
  • 3/4 cup orange juice (fresh or packaged)
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add orange juice, water & brown sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add cranberries and bring to a low boil. Stir occasionally.
  3. Cranberries will start to pop open. When most of them have popped, add the apples, maple syrup & cinnamon. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until sauce has thickened up. Taste for sweetness & add more as needed.
  4. Remove from heat & let cool. Transfer to serving bowl & keep chilled in fridge. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

* Feel free to add more or less sweetness to the recipe. If you need more sweetness, add a teaspoon at a time until desired taste is achieved. If you prefer, you can swap out the brown sugar for all maple syrup.


*If you don't want the extra zing in this recipe, you can use apple cider or filtered water instead of orange juice. If you'd like extra zing, add a teaspoon of fresh orange zest to the popping cranberries.



Nutrition Facts
Apple Cranberry Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 105
% Daily Value*
Sodium 5mg 0%
Potassium 144mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 21g
Vitamin A 1.7%
Vitamin C 22.8%
Calcium 2.6%
Iron 1.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me, Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs.

                                                                                                       *Pin for later ???? 

If you’d like to see more holiday classics, you might be interested in this Vegan Sourdough Bread Stuffing. It tastes just like a classic stuffing recipe, but with a little twist. The sourdough bread puts a subtle hint of zing in every bite and will keep you coming back for more.

Vegan Sourdough Bread Stuffing


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Gloria November 18, 2017 at 8:15 am

Delicious!! I was so excited to find your recipe…I knew it would be the right balance I’ve been searching! Thank you for sharing!

Melissa Huggins November 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Hi, Gloria! Thank you for making it and sharing your feedback. I’m so happy you liked it! Have a great weekend! 🙂

Kerry November 20, 2017 at 10:18 am

Hi. What kind of apple did you use?

Melissa Huggins November 20, 2017 at 10:36 am

I used a macintosh apple, but any variety will work. A granny smith is nice too. 🙂


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