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Great Grandma's Cranberry Jell-O

This is a slightly modified version of Ray's Great Grandma's holiday Jell-O recipe. It had instructions like "prepare cranberries per package instructions", which I can only imagine meant make cranberry sauce. I don't know that orange was included in his grandma's version, but in our home it was considered a good addition. I also halved the recipe as the full recipe is better suited for dinner party of 20+ people.



6oz Fresh Cranberries (approximately 2 cups)

1 Orange, juiced and zested

1/4 cup Sugar

1 3oz Package Black Cherry Jell-O - you can also use regular cherry or raspberry

3/4 cup of water

1 8oz can Crushed Pineapple - drained well, press on fruit to expel excess juice

1/2 cup Chopped Celery

1 cup Red Grapes, sliced into quarter rounds


4oz Cream Cheese

4oz Marshmallow Fluff

4oz Cool Whip



  • In a saucepan over medium heat add, cranberries, sugar and orange juice and cook until cranberries burst and the mixture reduces to a thick sauce (about 6-10 minutes).

  • Cut heat and stir in orange zest.

  • In a heat proof mixing bowl add contents of the Jell-O package.

  • Bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil and whisk into the Jell-O mixture until dissolved in the water.

  • Stir in cranberry sauce, pineapple, celery and grapes.

  • Pour into 6-10 individual dessert dishes or a 9" square glass baker or other similar sized dish. Cover and place in the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours.


  • Beat together marshmallow fluff, cream cheese and cool whip until smooth and fluffy.

  • Top set Jell-O with cream topping.

Makes 6-10 servings, depending on serving size

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