I once tried to make a cranberry sauce like the one I tasted on Long Island, but the one I made tasted differently (it was more sour). I guess I used less sugar that I should have done.

Do I wrongly recall, or do you use also lemon juice to prepare the American version of the cranberry sauce?

2 Answers 2


For 12 ounces of cranberries, use about 1 cup of sugar. You may like to use part brown sugar. Lemon juice, orange juice, or zest of either are welcome additions. There is no absolutely standard American version; like anything else, every cook has their own variation.

  • 1
    I like to add brown sugar, orange zest, and a few seived raspberries (to remove seeds) to mine.
    – Juju
    Sep 1, 2010 at 20:00
  • Just thought I'd link to the Oceanspray recipe in a comment. I always reduce the sugar and just use lemon zest, no juice, personally, but I always considered the recipe on the back of the bag "standard" oceanspray.com/en/Recipes/By-Course/Sauces-Sides-and-Salads/…
    – kitukwfyer
    Jul 9, 2019 at 3:15

All fruits, including cranberries, will vary in sweet/tartness from crop to crop. Many variables will affect a crop, for instance, a drought will usually make smaller, sweeter fruits.

When cooking with fruits, always taste, then adjust the sugar to the sweetness you like.

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