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Nantucket Cranberry Pie Recipe

Are you looking for a festive Christmas dessert that is a bit more gourmet than the classic pumpkin or apple pie? Try this Nantucket Cranberry Pie recipe!

Finished Nantucket Cranberry Pie on a plate.

Why I Love This Recipe

Cranberries are often associated with the holidays when families gather together, making homemade pumpkin pie, stirring up homemade fermented cranberry sauce for the turkey dinner, or stringing cranberries and popcorn to decorate the Christmas tree.

We especially enjoy our Homesteading Family Thanksgiving traditions, as well as making homemade Christmas gifts for our family, friends and neighbors. 

Sipping aged eggnog or homemade sparkling cider with cranberries floating about makes the holidays memorable and classic. 

If enjoying stress-free holidays is what you’re looking for, this easy Nantucket Cranberry Pie recipe is one to add to the menu. It’s delicious served as is or with homemade vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

Nantucket cranberry pie with a slice taken out on a plate.

What Is Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Did you know Americans eat 400 million pounds of cranberries yearly, 20% during the holiday season? 

Nantucket Cranberry Pie is a vintage New England recipe. It’s more like an upside-down cake than a traditional 2-crust pie. 

With fresh cranberries and nuts, a Nantucket Cranberry Pie is festive in color and will be a crowd favorite at your holiday table. The combination of sweet, tart, and salty crunch is simply unbeatable.

The jury is out on whether Nantucket Cranberry Pie is actually a pie or a cake. This age-old argument has been going on for centuries, but whichever way you say it or slice it, Nantucket Cranberry Pie (or cake) is delicious. 

Magazine cover for In the Homestead Kitchen Magazine: Holiday Table edition.

In the Homestead Kitchen

This recipe was featured in issue No. 16 of In the Homestead Kitchen Magazine. If spending less time working on your homestead and more time enjoying your homestead appeals to you, this is a tool you’ll want to invest in. 

With the In the Homestead Kitchen Digital Magazine, you’ll gain the skills, knowledge, confidence, and inspiration you’ve been missing as a homesteader so that you can engage in activities like gathering around a full table of healthy, home-cooked food with your family and friends.

Cranberries in a cake pan.

Supplies Needed

  • Round Cake Pan – A 9” good quality round cake pan with heavy gauge aluminum, glass or ceramic works well. I don’t recommend non-stick teflon pans since the coating can come off in the food, making it unhealthy.
  • Small Bowl – Small bowls are handy when you have a few ingredients to mix together, like in this recipe.
  • Large Bowl – A large mixing bowl to cream butter, sugars and added flour works well.
  • Stand Mixer – I use and recommend the Bosch Stand Mixer with a whisk attachment, but a hand mixer with electric beaters works well too. Good old-fashioned elbow grease will do the job if these aren’t available.
  • Rubber Spatula – I make sure to get every delicious drop of cake batter into the baking pan with a rubber spatula. It also works well to spread the batter evenly in the baking pan.
  • Large Knife – A large knife works well to chop the nuts uniformly. Mini choppers work well, too.
  • Cutting Board – A clean cutting board is helpful when chopping the nuts and zesting the oranges.
  • Measuring Cups – You will need various sizes to measure several ingredients accurately.
  • Measuring Spoons – Teaspoons are all you need for this recipe.
  • Zester – This is an excellent tool for zesting citrus fruit. The fine grate on a hand grater works well if you don’t have a zester.
  • Toothpick – Test the doneness of the pie with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
  • Butter Knife – After the cake cools, run a butter knife around the edges to separate the cake from the pan. 
  • Plate – A round platter or pie plate at least as big as the pie works well when it’s time to invert the pie for cooling.
Ingredients for Nantucket Cranberry Pie.

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 Cups Cranberries – Fresh or frozen cranberries (not dried!) 
  • ½ Cup Walnuts – Chopped pecans are also delicious in this recipe; it’s a personal preference. 
  • 1 ¼ Cup Sugar – White granulated pure cane sugar divided gives the cranberries a sweet and tart flavor. 
  • 1 Cup Flour – All-purpose flour works best.
  • ¾ Cup Melted Butter – Making butter in 3 easy steps couldn’t be easier, but store-bought butter works too. 
  • 2 Large Eggs – We use our farm fresh eggs, but store-bought work well, too. 
  • 1 tsp Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor in this recipe, but you can substitute almond extract if you prefer.
  • Optional: Zest of 1 orange for that slight citrus flavor that pairs well with the cranberries.

How to Make Nantucket Cranberry Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Generously butter a 9” round cake pan. This step is very important! Don’t skimp on buttering your pan, or the pie will stick.
  3. Combine the cranberries, nuts, and ½ cup of sugar in a small bowl until the fruit and nuts are well-coated. 
  4. Pour the mixture into the well-greased pan and shake gently to distribute evenly.
  5. Cream the butter and remaining ¾ cup sugar with your stand mixer, hand mixer, or with a whisk until smooth and pale. 
  6. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated in between. After adding the second egg, add the extract and zest if using, then beat a little extra so the batter is fluffy.
  7. Add the flour and mix until the batter is smooth and fully incorporated, scraping the bowl to get any flour left on the bottom or sides.
  8. The batter will be very thick. Spoon it gently or pour it like a thick ribbon over the fruit and nut mixture in your cake pan, being careful not to move the cranberries and nuts from the bottom. 
  9. Smooth the top of the batter carefully with the rubber spatula.
  10. Bake time for this pie is 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out free of batter. 
  11. Allow the finished pie to sit for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. 
  12. After 15 minutes, gently run a knife around the cake’s edge, separating the side of the pie from the pan. 
  13. Then, gently invert the pie onto a plate, which should slide right out. 
  14. Cool for 2 hours or more, but it is best served warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below. Then, snap a photo of your Nantucket Cranberry Pie (tag us on social media @homesteadingfamily) and let us know if you think it should be called pie or cake.

Nantucket cranberry pie on a dark table.
Finished Nantucket Cranberry Pie on a plate.

Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Are you looking for a festive Christmas dessert that is a bit more gourmet than the classic pumpkin or apple pie? Try this Nantucket Cranberry Pie recipe!
3.43 from 146 votes
Print Pin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 409kcal
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1.25 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup butter melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  • Generously butter a 9” round cake pan. This step is very important! Don’t skimp on buttering your pan, or the pie will stick.
  • Combine the cranberries, nuts, and ½ cup of sugar in a small bowl until the fruit and nuts are well-coated. 
  • Pour the mixture into the well-greased pan and shake gently to distribute evenly.
  • Cream the butter and remaining ¾ cup sugar with your stand mixer, hand mixer, or with a whisk until smooth and pale. 
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated in between. After adding the second egg, add the extract and zest if using, then beat a little extra so the batter is fluffy.
  • Add the flour and mix until the batter is smooth and fully incorporated, scraping the bowl to get any flour left on the bottom or sides.
  • The batter will be very thick. Spoon it gently or pour it like a thick ribbon over the fruit and nut mixture in your cake pan, being careful not to move the cranberries and nuts from the bottom.
  • Smooth the top of the batter carefully with the rubber spatula.
  • Bake time for this pie is 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out free of batter. 
  • Allow the finished pie to sit for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  • After 15 minutes, gently run a knife around the cake’s edge, separating the side of the pie from the pan.
  • Then, gently invert the pie onto a plate, which should slide right out.
  • Cool for 2 hours or more, but it is best served warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 617IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
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