I partnered with Evite to create this Thanksgiving recipe. This is a paid post.
Thanksgiving is such a great time of year. Fall is so busy and it is nice to take a few days to settle down and celebrate while spend quality time with family. And while our family is very small, that is something I am used to. Raised by my grandmother, Thanksgiving usually meant a trip to my great-grandmother’s house, and every year we enjoyed a quiet but fun dinner together.
Tradition is big for us, yet at the same time, not a big deal – which sounds a little contradictory! I grew up with traditions, but in an nontraditional way, if that makes sense. Thanksgivings were small. We didn’t have much money, so we did what we could – and we had the best times doing things differently! I crave that same way of coming up with our own traditions, and every year, the kids look forward to those things.
Since having kids, Thanksgiving is all about them and how grateful I am for my family, however small, and the friends who make up our support system. Thanksgiving has evolved to make it a fun day for the kids, from activities to making the foods they like, making many of our own traditions. Where many families might focus on a big turkey, we have a small family with mostly vegetarians! And while I might get super excited over mashed potatoes, my kids don’t want any on their plates. My tip is make Thanksgiving what you want!
This year, I wanted to do something a little different with dessert, since we usually do some kind of pie or apple or pumpkin bread or cake. My kids have never been a fan of pies, and since this is about the time of year we run out of our homemade strawberry sauce for Strawberry Shortcake, it was only natural to come up with a Thanksgiving cranberry version.
Cranberry Shortcake Recipe
This dish was created both as a spin in Strawberry Shortcake – and also because it is easy. Honestly, Thanksgiving can lose it’s appeal when you are stressing out all day over food! My goal for desserts is to make it easy to make, something the kids can help with, and also something they will enjoy.
To make this Cranberry Shortcake, you just need some simple ingredients:
~ Pound Cake
~ Cranberry Juice
~ Whipped Cream
To start, if you want to be ambitious and make your own pound cake, go for it. You could even make this a day ahead of time if you are looking to spread out the timing. Otherwise, there are so many pound cakes you can buy, from the grocery store to the bakery.
To make the sugared cranberries:
Start by heating up 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar until dissolved. Stir in the cranberries and then place on a drying rack. I actually allowed my cranberries to heat up a little, so a few popped, but honestly they are so tasty and tender by the end of the project, it doesn’t matter. I also re-poured the syrup from the pan over the cranberries on the drying rack to make them extra sticky!
Once the cranberries are dry – after about an hour – they are ready to roll in sugar. If you need to wait longer, that is fine too – just pop them in the fridge and roll them in sugar when you are ready.
To make cranberry sauce:
Use about 1 cranberry juice and 2 cups sugar. Add in a 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries and simmer until tender. I found myself making a sort of “cranberry slurry”, allowing the cranberries to soften and mashing them with my mixing spoon. I love fresh cranberries, so I wanted a rich, chunky sauce for the Cranberry Shortcake.
At this point, you can assemble your dish! Start with slices of pound cake, top with the cranberry sauce, add whipped cream on top, and garnish with the sugared cranberries.
This dish is bright and fun, adding a pop of color to your Thanksgiving table. It is easy to make, which means less stress and more fun! My kids love this dessert, even if sometimes they are in it just for the pound cake!
Happy Thanksgiving from our little family to yours!