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Cranberry Meringue

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Cranberry Meringue is one of our favorite Holiday desserts we look forward to every year.  A buttery crust, cranberry custard filling and fluffy meringue all make this a dish we can’t get enough of.



Cranberry meringue is similar to a rhubarb meringue or even a lemon meringue. It offers up the sharp, zesty flavor of the cranberries next to the sugary, delightful flavor of the meringue. The filling and meringue are layered on top of an easy, buttery crumb crust. Scrumptious!

I love that this recipe uses the entire egg! Many meringues leave you hanging with all those egg yolks and nothing to do with them which feels like such a waste. You get to use them in your filling instead! 

Aside from the cranberries and heavy whipping cream (which are specialty items in my house), you get to use all pantry ingredients! Only 8 ingredients total! And it makes a FULL casserole dish of dessert. More dessert means everyone is happier!



What Ingredients Do You Need for Cranberry Meringue?

  • Butter: For your crust, you CANNOT go wrong with butter. In the past people may have used shortening or other such fats in their crusts. Your crust- and this is across the board for most desserts- is going to taste mostly like the fat you put in it. So stick with that delicious, wonderful butter and you’ll be so happy you did.
  • Flour: You’ll be using flour in your crust and filling. If you want you can opt for whole wheat flour for your crust but I recommend all purpose, white flour in your filling. 
  • Sugar: Sugar in the crust. Sugar in the filling. Sugar in the meringue. If you’ve ever cooked with cranberries or rhubarb, you’ll understand why! Although inviting, they are sour, mouth puckering foods on their own. The sugar is the reason people eat these foods!
  • Eggs: You’ll be separating but still using the entire egg in the cranberry meringue. They act as binders in your filling and in the meringue they create a perfectly fluffy, peaked texture that your grandma would be proud of.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: This heavy whipping cream will be added to the filling, making this delicious recipe a million times more wonderful. My kids would drink this stuff by the cup full if I let them.
  • Salt: You need just a tiny bit of salt here to bring out the flavor of the filling, but most of what you are tasting will be coming from those yummy cranberries. 
  • Cranberries: Cranberries are a superfood! They are chock full of nutrition which is why I think we turn to eating them when the weather turns cold. We could all use some more nutrients in our bodies to stave off all the cold weather illnesses. Though I wouldn’t use a dessert, even full of nutritional cranberries, as your only source of vitamins!
  • Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar, beaten together with eggs, stabilizes the air bubbles being whipped up and creates those sweet stiff peaks that are so stereotypical of a meringue. I wouldn’t recommend leaving the cream of tartar out, but you can try substituting if needs be.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can try lemon juice instead. Use about ½ tsp of juice per egg white. The cream of tartar will make for a more stable meringue that is less prone to weeping though.



How To Make a Cranberry Meringue

There are three parts to making these Cranberry Meringue bars.  Don’t be scared off, the end results are worth it!

  1. Make the crust!  This buttery crust truly does take this dessert over the top.  
  2. Make the filling!  Fresh cranberries in a custard sauce, need I say more?
  3. Top it off!  Fluffy, rich meringue pulls this entire dish off, making it one of our favorite Holiday treats!



Pro Tips for Getting the Best Meringue

  • Make sure your cranberry filling is hot when you put the meringue on. The steam rising from the filling will travel up through the egg whites and cook the meringue from the bottom.
  • Choose a dry day with no humidity. The sugar in the delicate meringue mixture will absorb the moisture from the air making it difficult or impossible to achieve those stiff peaks. It can also cause your meringue to weep or soften once cooked.
  • Use room temperature egg whites. Cold egg whites tend to lessen the volume of your meringue.
  • If some egg yolks get into your whites, don’t panic. Get out as much of the yolk as possible and then beat as directed. It may take longer to get the peaks you need but give it time and it should get there.
  • Store in an airtight container in your fridge for 3-5 days or in your freezer for up to a month, but you may experience some weeping if you do. Meringue is really best the day of.



Can I make Cranberry Meringue in Advance?

We all know that the holidays are busy so anything you can do in advance is a life saver! You can cook cranberry meringue one day ahead of your holiday but your meringue will probably weep. 

I recommend making the crust and filling ahead of time and then reheating to hot and doing the meringue on the second day. Make sure the cranberry filling is hot when you top it with the meringue.



More Cranberry Dishes You’ll Love…



Cranberry Meringue packed with flavor and a satisfying way to serve up your cranberries for the holidays. You can not go wrong when you put this delicious dish on your table.


Yield: 16 Servings

Cranberry Meringue

zoomed in photo of cranberry meringue on a plate

Cranberry Meringue consists of a buttery crust, cranberry custard filling and fluffy meringue - making this a dish we can't get enough of.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups + 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons  + 2 cups + 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish and set aside.
  3. In a bowl combine butter, 2 cups flour and 2 Tablespoons of sugar with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles crumbs.
  4. Press mixture into casserole dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. While the crust is baking, make the filling.
  6. In the same bowl as before {no need to dirty another bowl!} combine 6 egg yolks, 2 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup flour, heavy whipping cream, salt and cranberries.
  7. When the crust is done, pour cranberry mixture over the hot crust and bake for 45 minutes.
  8. In a new bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar until egg whites are at a soft peak. Add 3/4 cup of sugar a little at a time and continue beating until all of the sugar has been added and you get stiff peaks.
  9. Once cranberry filling is done cooking and still hot Immediately top with meringue.
  10. Using the back of a spoon make little peaks all over the meringue and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 20 minutes or longer, then slice and share!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 431Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 156mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 1gSugar: 61gProtein: 3g

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