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No-Bake Cranberry Pie

Embrace the holiday spirit with a dessert that’s as effortless as it is delicious – my No-Bake Cranberry Pie! This heavenly pie, featuring creamy cream cheese, zesty cranberry sauce, and the fluffiness of Cool Whip, is the perfect festive treat that will impress your guests and make your holiday celebrations even more memorable.

Slice of cranberry pie on a plate.

What makes this No-Bake Cranberry Pie truly special is just how easy it is to prepare, leaving you with more time to enjoy the season. With no need to heat your oven, you’ll have precious space freed up for other holiday dishes. Simply whip together the creamy cream cheese and tangy cranberry sauce, fold in the velvety Cool Whip, and voila – you have a magnificent dessert that will leave your guests impressed with your culinary skills, without breaking a sweat!

No-bake cranberry pie decorated with sugared cranberries.

Ingredients for No-Bake Cranberry Pie

  • Cream Cheese – Forms the creamy base and gives structure to the pie.
  • Powdered Sugar – Adds sweetness to balance the tartness of the cream cheese and cranberry sauce.
  • Orange Zest – Brightens up the pie and compliments the cranberry.
  • Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce – The star ingredient, adding tartness and vibrant color.
  • Cool Whip – Gives the filling a light, airy texture.
  • Graham Cracker Crust Serves as the pie’s sturdy foundation.
Ingredients displayed on counter.

Making the No-Bake Cranberry Pie

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and orange zest with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the cranberry sauce and beat on low until well combined.
Collage showing four steps to make the pie.
  1. Gently fold in the whipped topping.
  2. Spread the mixture into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
  3. Once the pie has set, garnish as desired, slice, and serve chilled.
Collage showing four steps to make the pie.

Variations and substitutions

Homemade crust – Make your own graham cracker crust! Homemade graham cracker crusts are often thicker than store-bought versions and provide more structural support for your pie, helping it hold its shape easier when sliced.

Gluten-free – Choose a gluten-free crust to make a gluten-free version of the pie. Be sure to double check the cranberry sauce and whipped topping you use are also gluten-free. The Ocean Spray cranberry sauce and Cool Whip I used are both gluten-free.

Homemade whipped cream – Use 3 cups of stabilized whipped cream instead of the whipped topping. Stabilized whipped cream is regular whipped cream that has been fortified with a stabilizing agent, such as gelatin or cornstarch. Regular whipped cream can also be used. However, the pie filling will not be as firm.

Homemade cranberry sauce – Use 1 ½ cups of homemade cranberry sauce instead of the canned sauce. Depending on how sweet your sauce is, you may need to add or reduce the amount of sugar in the pie.

White chocolate – Drizzle melted white chocolate over the top for a delightful contrast to the tart cranberry flavor, adding a touch more sweetness to your pie.

Citrus Swap Experiment with different citrus zests. Try replacing the orange with lemon or lime zest.

Slice of cranberry pie on a plate with forkful missing.

Tips for success

  • Chill time – Ensure the pie has enough time to chill in the refrigerator. This helps it set properly and enhances the flavors.
  • Full-fat cream cheese – Ensure you use brick-style cream cheese rather than the spreadable kind in the tub. Cream cheese in tubs contains more water and will not provide the desired texture for this pie.
  • Room-temperature cream cheese – Use room-temperature cream cheese for easier mixing and to help reduce lumps in your filling.
  • Fold gently – After adding the whipped topping, remember to fold it in gently using a slow and delicate motion. This prevents the filling from deflating and maintains the light and airy texture of your pie.
  • Zest carefully – When zesting citrus, avoid the bitter white pith beneath the peel. Only use the colorful outer layer for the best flavor.
Slice of no-bake cranberry pie being removed from pan.

Storage

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days, although the pie is best enjoyed within two days of being made. I recommend storing leftover pie in the pan so the crust maintains its shape.

The pie can be frozen for up to three months. Allow the pie to thaw in the refrigerator before serving, or enjoy it frozen.

No-Bake Cranberry Pie FAQs

Can I substitute fresh or frozen cranberries for cranberry sauce?

Using fresh cranberries is possible, but it will require some preparation. You will need to cook the fresh cranberries with sugar and water to create a sauce that can be used instead of canned cranberry sauce. Simply simmer the cranberries with sugar and a bit of water until they burst, and the mixture thickens, then let it cool before incorporating it into the pie filling.

What can I use as a garnish for this pie?

Whipped Cream – Pipe it decoratively on top of the pie or serve it on the side for guests to add as they please.
Fresh Cranberries: Scatter a handful of fresh cranberries across the top of the pie for a festive and colorful touch.
Sugared Cranberries: These delightful, sparkly cranberries add a sweet and festive touch.
Citrus Zest: Grate some citrus zest, like orange or lemon, over the pie for a zesty, aromatic finish. The citrus zest complements the tart cranberry flavor and adds a refreshing twist.
Chocolate Shavings: Consider grating dark or white chocolate and sprinkling it over the pie. The chocolate’s sweetness pairs wonderfully with the tartness of the cranberries.

Can I use a different type of crust, like a chocolate cookie crust?

Yes, you can get creative with the crust. A chocolate cookie crust, shortbread, or even a gingersnap crust would work well.

Want more no-bake desserts?

Check out these recipes.

Slice of cranberry pie on a plate.

No-Bake Cranberry Pie

Author: Mandy
Creamy, tart, and utterly delicious, our No-Bake Cranberry Pie is the perfect holiday treat. With a luscious cream cheese filling, tangy cranberry sauce, and a buttery graham cracker crust, it’s a slice of festive delight you won’t want to miss.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Slices
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 (14 ounce) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) tub of whipped topping thawed
  • 1 (9 inch) graham cracker crust

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and orange zest with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the cranberry sauce and beat on low until well combined.
  • Gently fold in the whipped topping.
  • Spread the mixture into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
  • Once the pie has set, garnish as desired, slice, and serve chilled.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days, although the pie is best enjoyed within two days of being made. I recommend storing leftover pie in the pan so the crust maintains its shape.
  • The pie can be frozen for up to three months. Allow the pie to thaw in the refrigerator before serving, or enjoy it frozen.
  • Keep the pie chilled until you are ready to serve it.

Disclaimer: Nutrition information is estimated based on automated calculations and should be considered as an approximation. These estimates are provided as a courtesy. Please use your own brand’s nutritional values to verify accuracy.

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