Vanilla Bean Yogurt with Orange Cranberry Sauce

Winter is not my favorite.

vanilla bean yogurt with orange cranberry sauce

And I don’t even wait until the “official start of winter” to be gloomy about it. Winter, for me, starts as soon as all the leaves are off the trees. Which is now. And it’s cold and already dark when we get home from work and I just don’t like it.

Sometimes the snow makes it better. A little prettier, for a day or two. But then it just gets messy and gross.

Honestly, there are only a few good things about winter in my book:

1. Holiday time with family and friends

2. Boots, scarves, cute hats.

3. Citrus fruit.

4. Cranberries.

5. ….and now that I’m hooked, the return of Downton Abbey.

vanilla bean yogurt with orange cranberry sauce

When I get home to complete darkness and it’s 5:45, all I want to do is get in my pajamas, pour a bowl of cereal, and get into bed. Winter makes me lazy. It’s so tempting to not do anything that I really have to fight my way through the season.

And that’s why I’m so thankful for citrus fruit and cranberries in the middle of winter. When most foods are heavy and covered with gravy, they bring a bright flavor and lightness to an otherwise dark time of year.

vanilla bean yogurt with orange cranberry sauce

One of my favorite ways to use cranberries is to make my own cranberry sauce. But I don’t use this at the Thanksgiving table. This one gets swirled into yogurt or spooned on ice cream or mixed into grain salads.

If you’re a fan of plain yogurt (like me), but get into ruts with your mix-ins (like me), here’s a new one to try. The cranberries and oranges break down into a thick, syrupy sauce that’s perfect to mix in with your yogurt for breakfast, snack, or dessert. I use honey as the sweetener, but it’s also insanely good with maple syrup! Buddy the Elf would definitely approve.

vanilla bean yogurt with orange cranberry sauce

Vanilla Bean Yogurt with Orange Cranberry Sauce

A new spin on a yogurt parfait, this vanilla-speckled yogurt and ruby red cranberry swirl is a fun new way to start your day. Or, you can layer in some poundcake and freshly made whipped cream and make it a show-stopping holiday dessert.


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste


  1. Pour the cranberries into a medium saucepan.
  2. Peel the oranges and cut into sections, making sure to remove any seeds.
  3. Add the orange sections and honey to the saucepan and put over medium-high heat. Stir the fruit together and bring the mixture to boil. Lower the heat to medium and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries and oranges have mostly broken down (about 10-15 minutes).
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool before placing in the fridge. You can serve this warm or let it cool before mixing in with your yogurt.
  5. To serve, mix the yogurt with the vanilla bean paste and divide the yogurt between 4 bowls. Add about 2 Tbsp of the cranberry sauce to the yogurt, swirl in, and enjoy.