I just came across this recipe that calls for 1 1/4 cups of fresh cranberries. I was wondering if it was possible to substitute frozen cranberries instead. I am assuming that I have to

  1. thaw the cranberries
  2. pour off any excess water
  3. measure out the required amount (1 1/4 cups)

Is this correct? Will there be any major differences?

3 Answers 3


As long as your frozen cranberries aren't in a syrup, this should be just fine. The most noticeable difference would be the texture. The flavor will also be slightly concentrated due to the water loss that Michael points out.


I wouldn't bother thawing them, unless they're going to be in a huge block otherwise. For pies with frozen berries, you really just need to cook them a little longer to make sure everything is done...If the top crust browns too fast, throw a piece of foil over it until the whole thing gets bubbly.

I do this with blueberries and blackberries and...Well, I do it with all frozen berries really. It's less effort and the final product is just as good as if you let them thaw. In my tiny brain, I also have the suspicion that thawing allows some of the better juices a chance to escape.

  • I make a similar dish often, and I have never noticed a significant difference between the fresh and the frozen cranberries.
    – Martha F.
    Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 3:15

I'd use slightly less than the required amount by volume, since the berries will have deflated somewhat due to water loss.

  • 2
    I wouldn't use less in a pie. You'll want that missing volume or you'll have a flat sad looking pie.
    – hobodave
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 22:52
  • 2
    that's going to be the name of my new band. flat sad pie.
    – daniel
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 22:59
  • @roux: lol send a cd
    – hobodave
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 23:04
  • @hobodave: I'd be less worried about it being flat and sad, than it being made from cranberries. Cranberry pie? Really? For those times when you really wanted pie but the store was out of fruit. Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 0:31
  • @Satanicpuppy - the linked recipe is for a cranberry apple pie. I agree that a cranberry pie doesn't sound tasty standalone?
    – justkt
    Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 1:09

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