Five-Spice Cranberry Sauce

The recipe that started my blog! Five-Spice Cranberries are everything that you're looking for in a holiday cranberry sauce: sweet and tart with toasty warm spices. A cinch to throw together and less than 15 minutes, start to finish. These are bonkers delicious served with gooey cheese and toasted baguette or with your Thanksgiving turkey or smeared on a leftover sandwich. Enjoy! xo
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Think of this Five-Spice Cranberry Sauce as regular cranberry sauce but with mega jazz hands! It has all of the notes your looking for in cranberry sauce: classic sweet and tart flavors, with everything amped up with a bit of Chinese Five-Spice powder to keep things interesting.

A jar of cranberry sauce with a white background.

Origin of The Recipe

This is the recipe that started it all! I’ve been making this recipe since we lived in Beijing (back in 2006).

We would spend most of our Thanksgiving holidays there with our awesome group of friends. IT WAS A HOOT. That year I was making my cranberries and added a little five-spice…

Fast forward to 2014 and my mom suggested I submit my five-spice cranberry appetizer to Sunset Magazine. It’s basically these cranberries + bread + goat cheese and they bought it! You can find the recipe here!

This recipe has been tweaked over the years… And I’ve been known to throw spoonfuls into vodka sodas and call it a cocktail….ditto with Negronis. If you’re looking for suggestions…

All of the cranberry sauce ingredients.
Finish cranberries on a wooden spoon.

About Chinese Five-Spice Powder

Chinese five-spice is sooooo good in baked treats and is one of my favorite spice blends to use around the holidays. It’s got everything you need for Jingle Bells jazz hands (it’s a thing, look it up). 

If you’re new to Chinese Five-Spice Powder, it’s typically some combination of these spices: star anise, cloves, Cinnamomum cassia (Chinese cinnamon), Szechuan peppercorns, ginger, and fennel seeds. 

I love it so much, I wrote this feature for Bake From Scratch magazine about it. They link off to several of the recipes I created for this piece as well — go look!

Five-Spice Cranberries Tools & Equipment

Light-colored saucepan (this is the one in the photos)

Heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon

Canning jars for storing you five-spice cranberries

My favorite Scale 

Love this microplane!

More Five-Spice Recipes

I love love love the combination of five-spice and holiday flavors! Here are some my favorite five-spice recipes: Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake, Five-Spice Snickerdoodles, Five-Spice Fig Jam and these yummy Five-Spice Plum Bars.

Adding five spice to cranberries.

More Holiday Recipes

Here is the collection of my favorite, make-every-year holiday recipes that are on the blog: Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake, Easy Cheesy Dinner Rolls and this Salted Honey-Caramel Pear Crostata.

I also created these Five-Spice Cranberries for my friends at Mariani that are similar. I also created this delicious Toasted Brie with Five-Spice Cranberries appetizer. I love both recipes!! I love the photos I did for them!! Go peep them out!

If you’re looking for any particular holiday recipes, drop me a note below and I’ll queue them up for next year!

Five spice cranberries going into a jar.

Cranberry Recipe Update

This recipe was originally posted in November 2014! I have made some tweaks to the recipe that was originally posted. As this is a recipe that I make year-after-year, it was bound to get some upgrades and edits.

However, if for any reason, you love the older version, please don’t hesitate to reach out and I will email it to you. You can email me by clicking the mail icon on the upper right-hand side of this page. Thank you!

Let’s make some five-spice cranberry sauce!

A jar of five-spice cranberry sauce.

Five-Spice Cranberry Sauce

The recipe that started my blog! Five-Spice Cranberries are everything that you're looking for in a holiday cranberry sauce: sweet and tart with toasty warm spices. A cinch to throw together and less than 15 minutes, start to finish. These are bonkers delicious served with gooey cheese and toasted baguette or with your Thanksgiving turkey or smeared on a leftover sandwich. Enjoy! xo
5 from 1 review
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cranberry Sauce, Chinese Five-Spice Powder, Cranberries, Thanksgiving, Holiday, Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (224 g) water
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup (149 g) Ruby Port
  • 2/3 cup (85 g) dried tart cherries
  • 12 ounces (340 g) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) fresh-squeezed orange juice (or tangerine)
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) five-spice powder

Instructions

  • In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the water, brown sugar, port and dried cherries over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is melted. Should take several minutes
  • Turn up to high and add in the fresh cranberries. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes. I like it when some of the cranberries have popped, the liquid has reduced but most of the cranberries are whole. Reduce heat if it’s a rolling boil. Add in the orange juice, vinegar and five spice.
  • Pour into a heat-safe bowl to cool completely before storing in the fridge until ready to use.

Notes

The texture will be more textured if you cook it the minimal amount of time. If you’d like a more jammy cranberry sauce continue to cook the cranberries on low for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
Thanks for baking with me! Please rate + comment this recipe and tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

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