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Whether floating in a sea of sparkling punch or adorning the crown of a seasonal dessert, cranberries are the culinary stars of the festive season in the Edinburgh Food Social Kitchen. Their versatility shines, transforming into sauces, relishes, and jams that add a zesty note to any holiday feast.

This year, we are sharing a few of our favourite cranberry recipes, including some unexpected sweet, savoury and spicy twists on well-known favourites.

Thanks to Edinburgh Cyrenians and Fareshare for making sure we have plenty of cranberries to use in our community meals and cooking classes this Christmas!

Cultflav’s Cran Kosho

  • 400g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 40g cane sugar
  • 10g salt
  • 5g chili flakes

Just put everything in a blender or food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms. This might as well be a pickle with this much salt and acid, so just chuck it in a jar and store it in the fridge pretty much indefinitely.

Spiced Cranberry and Rosemary Syrup Cake

Adapted from a BBC GoodFood recipe

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 225g sugar (caster or light muscovado)
  • 450g golden syrup, plus 4tbsp to top the cake
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • 250g fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary (or any other dried herb e.g. thyme or oregano)
  • 30 x 23cm baking tin

Serves 16

Preheat the oven to 160/140 fan/gas mark 3
Grease and line your tin, making sure that the parchment covers the sides of the tin
Place the butter, 450g syrup and sugar into a large pan and heat gently until melted
Transfer to a bowl, and leave to cool for 10 minutes
Beat the eggs with the milk, and add to the syrup mixture
Once combined, sift in the flour, salt and ginger and mix until smooth
In a separate bowl, combine your cranberries and dried herbs
Pour half of the cake mix into the prepared tin, before topping with the cranberries, and the second half of the cake mix
Bake for around 50 minutes, until well-risen, golden and springy
In a small pan, gently heat the remaining syrup until runny
Whilst still warm, use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake, and pour the syrup on top
Leave to cool completely in the tin before slicing

Spiced Apple and Cranberry Muffins