Crock Pot Cranberry Butter is an impossibly silky, tangy fruit butter that is made right in the crock pot ~ you’ll want to slather it on toast, scones, biscuits, muffins, turkey sandwiches ~ and so much more!

This zingy cranberry butter has the most amazing crimson color and silky texture.  While normally fruit butters are a time consuming project with a lot of stove side babysitting involved, in this recipe I’ve let the crock pot do all the work of cooking and reducing fresh cranberries down into a very potent thick spread.  All you need to do is puree and strain.  The result is truly unique.


As an added bonus you’ll get an all day holiday scent filling your kitchen.  If you want to try other fruit butters, my Cranberry Apple Butter is a little less tart than this one.  My Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter is a great choice too.

Crockpot Cranberry Butter

Yield: makes about 2 cups


  • 2 12-oz bags of cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup apple cider


  1. Put all the ingredients in a crockpot and stir to combine well. Turn on high. Let it cook for about 2 hours or until the cranberries are soft.
  2. Remove the cinnamon stick and puree the mixture in a food processor. Do this in two batches. Be careful as the mixture is hot, I cover the top opening of the machine with a dish cloth. Let the machine run for a full minute to puree the cranberries very finely.
  3. Force the cranberry puree through a mesh sieve or strainer. Push forcefully with the back of a spoon to get as much cranberry puree as you can. Discard the solids.
  4. Pour the puree back into the crockpot. Turn the crockpot to high, and leave the lid ajar. Cook until thickened, approximately another 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Put the cranberry butter into clean jars with tight fitting lids and let cool. Store in the refrigerator and consume within a month.


Be sure to remove the cinnamon stick before pureeing the cooked cranberries...I learned the hard way!


This recipe makes 2 cups of cranberry butter, but what it lacks in volume it more than makes up for in silky texture and powerful flavor.  A little goes a long way, and a cup of this stuff would be a fine gift.  Use it on biscuits, scones, or add it to a cheese plate.  Use it as a glaze for grilled chicken or pork,or on sandwiches.  You can make creative holiday cocktails with a dab of this, too.


don’t forget to pin it!

Crock Pot Cranberry Butter is a silky, tangy fruit spread that goes on everything from biscuits to turkey sandwiches! ~


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85 Responses to Minimal Monday: Crock Pot Cranberry Butter

  1. William Shoemaker says:

    Hi Sue,

    This stuff is great! So great that I’ve made it two years in a row without changing a thing. In other words, it’s perfect. It is worth it to get every bit of peel out. It makes a great sandwich spread for chicken or turkey sandwiches all year long.


    • Sue says:

      Thanks Bill ~ and you’re so right about straining it, it makes all the difference. I appreciate you coming back to let me know how you liked it :)

  2. Christina says:

    I made this during my days off and it tasted amazing. The onky thing that I had a question a out was that mine didn’t really thicken as much as I would have liked. Is there a way to thicken it and make it more spreadable and less watery?

    • Sue says:

      Keep cooking it, Christina, the longer you cook it the more it will thicken as the liquid evaporates. You can put yours back into a pan and cook it down. Enjoy!

  3. Amber says:

    I just made a 1.5 batch of this for Thanksgiving tomorrow. It’s wonderful! I used an immersion blender – it worked perfectly. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe! This is a new holiday favorite. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Denise says:

    Can you use dried cranberries?

    • Sue says:

      No, sorry, Denise, you need the fresh ones for this. My grocery store always carries them in the freezer section if you can’t find them in your produce aisle.

      • Carla says:

        How long do you cook thiis? I must have missed this in the post.

        • Sue says:

          It’s in the recipe section, Carla. The first part is about 2 hours, then you will puree the fruit, and then it goes back into the crock pot for approximately another 2 hours. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  5. Cassi says:

    Do you think you can water bath process this to make it shelf stable?

  6. Laura says:

    Just wondering if I can use regular cinnamon as I do not have sticks – if so, how much would you suggest?

  7. Amy says:

    This sounds terrific! How many jars (and what size?) does this recipe make?

    • Sue says:

      Honestly Amy this doesn’t make a lot, because the puree is reduced down so much to make a butter. As I recall it just makes one small jar, maybe a cup. But it’s worth it, and a little goes a long way!

  8. Mimi says:

    Cranberries in crockpot! Made the NewYork cheesecake from Pintrest, will serve this on top……can’t wait !

  9. I absolutely love this cranberry butter – I could eat it with everything! Thanks for the awesome recipe :)

  10. meagan says:

    Is there another way to appropriately puree this without a food processor? Would a handheld mixer or magic bullet work?

    • Sue says:

      The bullet, probably, the hand held mixer, no. If you have an immersion blender that would work, and they are very inexpensive.

  11. Tania says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe … it sounds delicious, and my favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal is the leftover sandwich later in the day, I throw a bit of everything on that bread and I bet this cranberry butter will make a yummy addition.

    • Sue says:

      It’s perfect for that, Tania – enjoy :)

    • Katie Short says:

      Yes! Also, if you happen to add some bacon, it becomes amazing! I’m not on the current bacon bandwagon, but it works so well in that application and with the cranberry. I’m hoping I can can this!

  12. Mary says:

    I have a bunch of jelled cranberry. Thinking about trying this wit that just add sugar and cider cook till thick. What do yo think?9

  13. Jenny says:

    So very yummy. Just took it out of the crockpot and had to try it on some toast. I was wondering if u ever try canning it? Thanks for the recipe.

    • Sue says:

      I haven’t tried, Jenny, and I’m not an expert canner so I can’t advise you. I find that it lasts pretty long in the refrigerator, and you could certainly freeze it.

    • Katie Short says:

      It looks like there is no reason it can’t be safely canned. I’m going to add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to increase the acid, just to make up for the cider. But the difference between this and cranberry sauce is method, not ingredient, and that’s cannable. You can safely can fruit spreads, so I don’t worry about density (as with pumpkin). Adding spices doesn’t affect acidity, so the cinnamon doesn’t bug me. I’m gong to water-bath it according to the directions for whole-berry sauce. As an extra precaution, you could test the acidity with litmus paper. But cranberries are not usually questionable.

      • Sue says:

        Thanks for weighing in, Katie!

      • Kim says:

        It depends how thick it is. If too thick, won’t get even heating all the way through. It will be acidic enough as the acid will become more concentrated as it cook down. litmus paper does not safely test food as it needs to be checked in different places in the jar and at different times, eg. month after, two months later, etc. Safe canning is a science.

  14. Karla Curry says:

    I love using my crock pot and I love cranberries! I think my bags were slightly bigger, but I used the same proportion of other ingredients, using coconut sugar. I pureed everything (minus the cinnamon sticks!) in my blender so I didn’t have to bother with straining. Added just a bit of liquid stevia since I decided it could use a little extra sweetness, and canning it right now. Thanks!

    • Sarah says:

      did you find the skins to add too much texture to the end result?

      • Sue says:

        I strained the butter to remove the skins, Sarah, and I really liked the silkiness of it, but you don’t have to, it’s up to you.

        • Sarah says:

          I made a big batch of this (4 12oz bags of cranberries). I changed the recipe some (less sugar as I am hypoglycemic) and I added ground cloves, nutmeg, and a couple of apples (for sweetness). I used a Foley food mill to process it, and am getting rave reviews! This is now in my permanent rotation for fall cooking!! Yum!!

  15. michelle says:

    How would I do this on the stove? I don’t own a crock pot unfortunately. I also don’t have a food processor or blender but I’m sure one of my neighbors would have one I could use.

    • Sue says:

      You can definitely do it on the stove, you’ll just have to watch it closely as it gets toward the end of cooking so it doesn’t scorch. Just cook it until it is thick. You will need that food processor, though, to get it smooth.

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  19. Rose says:

    Hi! I was about I make this and realized I forgot to buy cider! Any thing else I can use in a pitch? I have OJ and white grape juice on hand…

  20. Domna says:

    Can this be made with honey instead of brown sugar?

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  23. Pat says:

    I loved this! So did my friends. Their reaction, “Oh wow”. Served with apple scones, cheese and crackers, and a glaze for poultry. Would be good on pork as well. I cooked it a bit longer as I was also assembling other things. I also pulsed it in food processor for a bit longer and avoided the straining step. Result was beautiful, smooth and tastey. Thanks so much for sharing. This will be my Christmas gift. and donation to autism auction.

    • Sue says:

      I love your friends’ reaction…that was mine, too! I’m honored that you’ll be donating this to the autism auction, and have a happy holiday season, Pat!

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  25. Annmarie says:

    Can this be canned?

  26. Kim says:

    I have this in the second round with the crock pot right now and am stirring it occasionally to keep a skin from forming. OMG, I could eat it all now! VERY good, slightly tangy, and easy to play with…like adding apples and other spices. I’m also glad that cranberry butter actually has ZERO butter in it. I’m happy I can bring something else cranberry-ish to my sisters on T-day, since her sister in law said she would bring cranberry sauce and I am worried….she does NOT cook well! : /

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  29. Jessica says:

    Is this thick enough to use for thanksgiving cranberry sauce?
    From the pictures it looks wonderful!

    • Sue says:

      Hey Jessica — it’s thicker than cranberry sauce, but I wouldn’t use it that way — this butter is very intense, if you want to use it at Thanksgiving it would be better used as a spread with biscuits or cornbread! I have lots of great cranberry sauce recipes on the blog if you are looking for one, just type in cranberry sauce in the search bar!

  30. Madeleine says:

    Can you use a food mill instead of the mesh sieve? I see a strainer works too, but thought I would ask.

  31. Kim capps says:

    i even put it on my peanut butter toast!

  32. jr says:

    i love the jars in the picture! where could i buy these please?

  33. Janet says:

    Going to try this recipe in the morning. I might throw in orange peels. Can you can these in water bath? I’d like to give them out as gifts during the holidays. Thanks!

  34. Phyllis says:

    Am half way through my third batch. I love this stuff, could take a bath in it if it lasted that long. I’m going to try a water bath so I can keep it longer. Sue never stop with these great recipes.

  35. Mike says:

    My girlfriend and I made up a batch last weekend, and thought it was great. This weekend, we brought it back out with flatbreads, brie and bleu cheese, just to see which it might go better with for putting out at a party. We were floored! With the brie, and it’s subtle flavors, it came across tart and brought a load of flavor along. With the bleu’s tartness, it came across as sweet and subdued, perfect accompaniment for either. Ultimately, we decided that for the party, we’re just putting both cheeses on the plate, so we can watch people’s faces as they try it either way!

    • Sue says:

      Thanks for your comment, Mike. I so glad you liked it, and I can imagine it must have been great with the Brie. I almost hesitated to post the recipe because I was afraid people would find it too tart and intense. I think it is such an unusual flavor experience, especially with cheese. Let me know how the party goes :)

  36. Such a wonderful color, this would be delicious with muffins or scones!

  37. How clever of you – such a time saver.

  38. val says:

    Cranberry Butter – my life is complete now. I love them both and together must be magical. I will be making this soon.

  39. charj says:

    Can the cranberry butter be frozen?

  40. Sherry Libby says:

    I must try this. I make a Cranberry Amaretto Chutney but this sounds divine. I will definitely double it as I like to give things like this as little thank you gifts. Thank you.

  41. Wow Sue – another beautiful jar of awesomeness! You know this might be good added to a little buttercream icing tucked in between two macaron cookies – and what a gorgeous color. It certainly does look silky :) Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  42. Kate says:

    I’ve got a bag of cranberries in my fridge that I’ve not known what to do with! Do you think halving this recipe would work? I was thinking could cause burning/drying out. This looks so delicious, I can’t wait to try it out.

    • Sue says:

      Hi Kate— I originally made it with a little more than a bag, and it worked, but you won’t need as long for the final crockpot reducing. You might even be better to do that in a small saucepan on the stove for such a small amount.

      • Kate says:

        Thanks- I did reduce it in a pot, turned out just wonderful! I’m thinking cornbread needs to be made to use this on tonight. I imagine this will be the perfect spread for leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches! Thanks for the recipe!

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