Cranberry Spice Jam ~ Easy homemade cranberry jam with a whisper of spices made refrigerator style. No pectin needed as the pectin in cranberries does the thickening. It tastes like Christmas!

Cranberry Spice Jam {fridge style}

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 1½ cups.


Inspired by our family’s cranberry sauce recipe, this jam is ruby-red gorgeous. The perfect amount of fresh orange juice or apple cider is added for adequate tartness while balanced with just the right amount of sweetness. With the added spices, it tastes just like Christmas!


  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh whole cranberries, about 3 cups or 300 grams, sorted, rinsed & dried
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (270 ml) fresh squeezed orange juice or apple cider
  • 1½ to 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest, from 1 medium orange
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Splash of orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier®, optional


  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, combine cranberries, sugar, juice or cider, zest and spices. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and cook over a soft boil, stirring occasionally, to prevent scorching.
  2. Cook until the cranberries burst, the mixture thickens to a consistency of a loose jam coating the back of a spoon and turns deep ruby-red in color, about 15 minutes.
  3. While cooking, skim away and discard any foam that may rise to the top and stir often during the last 5 minutes to prevent scorching. The hot jam will thicken even more upon cooling to room temperature. Do not cook for more than 15 minutes as the naturally occurring pectin in the cranberries will begin to break down and the jam will not set up well.
  4. When done, remove from heat. If desired, add a small splash of orange liqueur and stir until combined. Cool to room temperature.
  5. Then, carefully spoon into sterilized jars and place lids on jars.
  6. Store jam up to 5 to 7 days covered in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes


To keep the jam longer, preserve by following manufacturer’s preparation instructions to pack and seal canning jars.

If giving jam as a gift, just be sure to let your gift recipients know it is a refrigerator jam and should be kept in the fridge up to one week and not placed in the pantry.

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