This easy no bake cranberry pie recipe is a sweet, tart, and beautiful addition to any dessert table!
The holidays are the time of year when festive pies take center stage! This cranberry pie recipe is made with a rich and buttery shortbread crust and lots of fresh, tart cranberries folded into a sweet and creamy filling.
I have partnered with Walkers Shortbread to bring you this holiday dessert recipe.
Perfect Holiday Pie
There are lots of reasons we love this cranberry pie besides the amazing flavor and its beauty!
- No baking required means your oven is free for your holiday meal.
- This dessert is best made ahead of time (one less thing to do when your guests arrive).
- This can be made with fresh or frozen cranberries.
- The buttery crust is made with Walkers Shortbread Fingers or Rounds making it both easy and delicious!
CRUST – This pie begins with an incredible buttery shortbread crust using Walkers shortbread cookies. Best of all, it takes just a few minutes to prep and requires no baking.
Walkers Shortbread cookies are rich, adding great flavor to this pie crust. They have only four locally sourced ingredients, flour, butter, sugar, and salt. Generations of the Walker family have been baking this recipe for 123 years. Simply perfection.
You can use either Walkers Shortbread Fingers or Rounds in this recipe or a package of each if you’d like! Walkers Shortbread cookies are available on the Walkers website here, at most local grocery stores, and here on Amazon!
No holiday would be complete without a plate of shortbread cookies!! Be sure to check out Walkers holiday collection for easy entertaining, stocking stuffers, and last minute gifts. Now until December 31, 2021, use the promo code SWP20 to save 20% off of your entire purchase.
CRANBERRIES – Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used and are simmered with a bit of sugar to make a cranberry sauce. This adds lots of fresh and zesty cranberry flavor.
OTHER INGREDIENTS – Cranberry or raspberry gelatin is added to thicken and set the pie. We opt for real whipped cream to create a deliciously sweet and creamy base for the cranberries. Whipped topping can be substituted if needed.
GARNISH – I top this pie with a little bit of whipped cream and some Sugared Cranberries for a pretty presentation. The cranberries can be sugared a couple of days ahead of time. When making sugared cranberries, try sugaring a handful of mint leaves as well. They’re easy, festive, and pretty.
- For a nuttier flavor add walnuts or pecans to the food processor with the shortbread cookies.
- Walkers Shortbread cookies are great for more than dipping and dunking! Make them into this crisp buttery shortbread crust to up-levels every homemade pie from pumpkin cheesecake to millionaire pie! Use it to replace a graham crust in almost any recipe.
How to Make Cranberry Pie
Cool, creamy, and tart, this no-bake pie is yummy and incredibly beautiful! No baking required!
To prepare the shortbread crust, place 2 packages of Walkers Shortbread Fingers or Rounds into a food processor (per the recipe below). Pulse the crumbs with a bit of sugar and melted butter. Press into a pie plate and refrigerate.
Cookies can also be crushed by hand in a freezer bag with a rolling pin.
To prepare the cranberry mixture, simmer the cranberries with sugar and a few spoonfuls of orange juice. While the cranberry mixture is still hot, strain it through a fine strainer to remove any cranberry skins and whisk in the gelatin. Let this mixture cool.
Whip the cream and fold it into the cooled cranberry mixture. Fill the chilled pie shell and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Tips for a Perfect Cranberry Pie
- Ensure the Walkers Shortbread cookies are finely crushed to make an even crust.
- Cranberry gelatin is preferred but can be hard to find. We also love raspberry gelatin although any red gelatin will work.
- Strain the cranberries while they are hot and use a spatula to press them through the strainer to extract as much sauce as you can.
- Ensure the cranberry mixture is hot when you add the gelatin (it can be reheated in the pot if needed).
- Ensure the cranberry mixture is completely cooled before adding the whipped cream. If it is warm, it will melt the cream.
How to Make Ahead
The crust can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in the fridge. Assemble the entire pie up to 2 days in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve. Garnish just before serving.
This pie can be frozen and served frozen, semi-frozen, or thawed.
Keep leftover cranberry pie in the refrigerator and use it within 4 days. As long as the pie plate is freezer safe, cranberry pie can be frozen for up to a week. Cover it with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil with the date written on the outside.
More Pie? Oh My!
Any of the following pies would be delicious with a no-bake shortbread crust!
Did your family love this No-Bake Cranberry Pie? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
No Bake Cranberry Pie
- 2 packages Walkers Shortbread Fingers, 5.3 oz each, or Walkers Shortbread Rounds
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 3 ounces cranberry gelatin or raspberry, 85 g
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Place shortbread cookies in a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Add melted butter and sugar and pulse a few more times.
- Press the crumb mixture into a 9" pie plate and refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Bring cranberries, sugar, and orange juice to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 8-10 minutes or until the cranberries are done popping and are cooked. While the cranberries are still hot, strain through a mesh strainer.
- Stir the gelatin into the warm strained cranberries. Cool to room temperature on the counter (about 1 hour). Do not refrigerate.
- Once the cranberry mixture is cooled, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cranberry mixture.
- Spread into the prepared crust and refrigerate until at least 4 hours or until set.
- Garnish with additional whipped cream and sugared cranberries if desired.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I was so excited to try this recipe for Christmas dinner dessert, but something didn’t go right. I used fresh cranberries and after boiling them with the orange juice, there was no liquid left and nothing to strain. It was a thick paste. I tried adding more orange juice but it was still too thick. Gave up at this point :(
It is expected to be very thick, you are basically making a cranberry sauce. You can see the texture in the image where it is in the saucepan.
You can use the whole sauce as cooked or press it through a strainer using a spatula, it will not run through the strainer as it is not a liquid, more of a gel. If the mixture has cooled, it will be harder to press through the strainer so you can reheat it on low. If you’re finding it difficult to strain you can certainly use the whole sauce as is.
I hope that helps.
Could you blend the cranberry mixture instead of straining it? Or would blending not be enough to break up the skins….just wondering.
I haven’t tried blending it. You can try it and once blended if you don’t find it smooth enough, you could strain it then.
Hi Diana, I would measure by weight and use 10.6 ounces of crushed shortbread cookies (your choice on brand) in total. You can also purchase these cookies on amazon or directly from the Walkers website if you prefer.
I don’t know what kind of gelatin you’re using but Jell-O brand is only 3 ounces.
Hi Shirley, for this recipe, we use one 85g box or a 3-ounce box of gelatin. The recipe has been corrected to reflect that. Thank you!
I can’t find Walker’s Shortbread in my stores. How many cups of crumbs do you need?
Hi Shirley, You can purchase these cookies on amazon or directly from the Walkers website. Otherwise, I would measure by weight which is 10.6 ounces of crushed shortbread cookies total.