Holiday Berry Jam for Gift Giving

December 16, 2016(updated on August 30, 2021)

This holiday berry jam combines frozen strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries with fresh cranberries. The result is a bright, flavorful jam that works beautifully for holiday gift bags and baskets.

Four jars of holiday berry jam.

No matter how much jam making I do during the summer season, I almost always find myself a little short on the desirable jams come gift giving time. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have mountains of preserves. But many of them were experimental batches that just don’t work for neighbors and Scott’s coworkers.

Fruit for holiday berry jam.

This year, instead of relying only on pears and apples to make up the shortfall, I headed for the freezer section at the grocery store. In the past, I’ve been hesitant to make giftable jam exclusively with frozen fruit, because I find it almost always ends up with a softer set and a slightly dull flavor.

Ingredients for holiday berry jam in a pot.

But last week, the solution came to me in a flash. Cranberries. Combine frozen berries with a small portion of cranberries and you get perfect jam every time. The cranberries provide both ample pectin and welcome acidity to ensure that the jam sets and tastes terrific. Holiday berry jam is born!

Finished holiday berry jam in the pot.

I made this jam with 24 ounces of raspberries, 12 ounces of strawberries, 12 ounces of blueberries, and 8 ounces of cranberries. You can easily change up the frozen fruit, but maintain the basic ratio of three pounds frozen berries to 8 ounces of cranberries.

Holiday berry jam in an open jar.

The yield on this sucker was just a little bit more than 6 cups. I canned it in four 12 ounce jelly jars because those were the easiest jars to put my hands on. You could also do six half pints or even a dozen 4 ounce jelly jars. Make it work for you.

Oh, and one last thing. If you have an Aldi near you, know that it’s an excellent spot to pick up your frozen fruit. Their prices are awesome and they often have organic options.

5 from 2 votes

Holiday Berry Jam


  • 24 ounces frozen raspberries
  • 12 ounces frozen strawberries
  • 12 ounces frozen blueberries
  • 8 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 3 cups sugar


  • Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold six half pints of product.
  • Combine the berries and sugar in a large, non-reactive pot. Stir to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes or so, until the berries are mostly defrosted.
  • Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring regularly, until the jam thickens. This should take between 20 and 25 minutes. Because of the presence of the cranberries, this jam will pass the sheet test on a spatula.
  • When the jam is finished, remove the pot from the heat.
  • Funnel the jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  • When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortable handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.

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44 thoughts on "Holiday Berry Jam for Gift Giving"

  • How Wonderful. Thank U. No time for me to make this year but will be saving for me to make come next year.
    Stay warm

    1. I recognized those bags of fruit as being from Aldi’s. I get their frozen fruit all the time for adding to home-made yogurt.

  • Nice for last minute add on to gifts. My lemon Lady 10 lbs. just arrived so I will be so busy, may have to skip a few more work days…shhh! Thank you Marissa and Happy Holiday!

  • I did a cranberry strawberry jam for gifts this year and it was awesome. I used some berries I froze over the summer and fresh cranberries. The colour is wonderful and the flavor is out of this world. I will be trying more cranberry/berry combos like this recipe in the future for sure!
    Hope you have a safe and joyous holiday Marissa!

  • Thanks for the inspiration and the recipe! Are the measurements by volume or weight? Just trying to figure out how to portion out larger bags of frozen berries to make the recipe. Happy Holidays!

      1. aha That explains why my jams from frozen berries is so different from that made with fresh berries. I’ll be on a jam and jelly making spree this week to fill gift baskets. This will help my jam turn out as well as it does in summer. Thanks!

      2. Just to clarify weighing frozen fruit (I have some self-picked berries in my freezer) — do we weigh the frozen fruit while it’s still frozen? Thanks for clarifying!

  • You are brilliant! Because, yes, every summer I make tons of jam and then come Christmas time I think, hmmm not as many choices as I thought. Plus it sounds absolutely delicious! Thank you

  • Thank you! I made three batches yesterday. Deep and interesting flavor from all of them. It’s such a treat to know what to do with the bags of frozen berries in my freezer. I love picking blueberries and raspberries, but don’t always use them efficiently.

  • Many thanks for the motivation as well as the dish. This is exactly what I have actually been looking for! Thanks for sharing.

  • Marisa,

    Great recipe…got to try…I’m always at Aldi buying baking goods for Christmas Cookies. I’ve never tried their frozen fruit. I’m going to give it a whirl.


  • Marissa, I waited too long to make this and can no longer find fresh cranberries; however, I do have some that I froze at Thanksgiving when they were everywhere. Will this jam work with all frozen fruit? Thank you!

  • Can you use frozen cranberries in this recipe? I have all of the ingredients, but the cranberries are frozen…got a little greedy about buying cranberries in November:)

    1. Don’t bother to answer this…I just saw that you said in the blueberry cranberry jam that frozen cranberries are fine…should have done my homework before posting:). Looking forward to the new cookbook!

  • Can I increase the blueberries or cranberries or what about blackberries for the strawberries? My Mom is allergic to strawberries –

  • Delicious! And helped me use up the half opened bags of frozen berries my daughter leaves in my freezer after she visits! I added a little anise, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and allspice and made it a spiced Holiday Jam. Fabulous recipe!! Thanks so much.

  • New to canning and I am looking for a spicy mixed berry recipe. This one sounds delicious. Can you add Habanero’s to this recipe and it remain safe? If so, what amount would you recommend?

    1. You can add some finely chopped pepper to this jam without making it unsafe. I wouldn’t exceed 1/4 cup total volume.

  • Have made this wonderful recipe and added ghost and scorpion peppers to it. Not hot but a rich warmness at end.

  • This recipe looks yummy! I was wondering could I use honey in place of sugar. If so how much honey would I use. Thanks in advance.

  • Have you ever used a breadmaker for jam making? I can’t stand long enough to do jam on the stove, so I want to try it. This would be a great recipe. But breadmaker jam doesn’t set as firmly as stove top and it is suggested to use from 1-3 Tbsp pectin depending on the fruit. I’m wondering if anyone has tried this recipe in a breakmaker and also if I should add pectin to this recipe. Thank you!

  • thank you! So now we’ve made plans that I go to my daughter’s and sit on a stool in front of her stove. Valuable advice.

  • Can I add more sugar? Cranberries are so tart!! If so how much would you suggest? Thanks so much. I just saw the same ratio of fruits but they added 5 lbs yes 5 lbs sugar & 2 liquid pectin. They sure didn’t need that pectin!! I used pectin 1 time in my life & pitched the recipe it was gross.

  • They turned out perfect. I did add 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 c brown sugar instead of all white & you’re correct 3 c sugar was excellent. Will tag you on instagram. Thanks so much. Merry Christmas!!

  • I’m looking forward to trying your Holiday Berry Jam recipe. I LOVE Strawberry Habanero Jam, particularly when swerved with cream cheese and crackers, and think it makes a wonderful gift. I’m interested in your thoughts on adding the pulverized peppers to this mixture to add a spicy element. How do you think it would pair with this particular jam? You have such an amazing blog and I have learned so much from you about the art of food preservation. Happy New Year!

    1. You could add a small amount of pepper to this, but you want to keep the amount low in order to ensure that you don’t impact the safe acidity.

  • This recipe, Holiday Berry Jam, sounds wonderful for the holidays. Question, since this sounds like a marmalade, (no added pectin), can this recipe be doubled and just extend the cooking time.

    1. Marmalades are defined by the inclusion of citrus, not whether or not they include pectin. However, you can certainly double the batch and increase the cooking time.

    1. I’ve never tried it with fresh blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, but I imagine it should work.

  • 5 stars
    I made this recipe. It turned out fantastic.!!! Thank you for sharing. Do u happen to have a recipe for cranberry sauce.? How long can I store this jam for?

    Thank you
    Lesli B

    1. If properly processed, this jam will keep for up to a year on the shelf. Once opened, it should last at least a month in the fridge. I have a number of cranberry recipes on the blog. Use the search bar!

  • Can I freeze the jam after it’s made? Not that jam lasts long around here but if I don’t hot water bath it, I wasnt sure how it would perform if I freeze it.
    Thank you! I can’t wait to try this!

    1. You can definitely freeze it rather than can it. I have heard reports that frozen jam can go a little gummy or sticky after a long time in the freezer, but as long as you don’t leave it in there for many months, it should be just fine.