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Easy Cranberry Hand Pies

Cranberry hand pies are a quick and easy dessert that is perfect for the holidays.  Made with a flaky crust and tart cranberry sauce, these are the ideal treat for someone who likes a treat that isn’t too sweet.  They are a great way to use leftover cranberry sauce, and because they are portable and hand-held, they are a delicious addition to the lunch box. 

Round cranberry handpies in a stack with one broke open showing cranberry sauce inside.
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What Are Cranberry Hand Pies?

These cranberry sauce hand pies are quick and easy treats with simple ingredients.  They are a great treat around the holiday season when cranberries and cranberry sauce are easy to find.

The filling ingredient is just prepared cranberry sauce.  You can use a can of store-bought or make a batch of homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, but because you don’t need much, this is a great recipe to make after the holidays when you have leftover cranberry sauce on hand. 

Like the filling, you can use store-bought refrigerated pastry to make these hand pies, or if you are ambitious, you can make your own. 

Handpies make a great dessert or snack, and because the filling is completely wrapped in pastry, they are easily portable, and you can eat them with your hands, so they make a great addition to the lunch box as well. 

These pies are perfect for the person who likes a dessert that isn’t too sweet, as the tart cranberries and flaky pie crust, when drizzled with the icing, are just the right balance of flavors.

The best part about these hand pies is that they only take a few minutes to prepare and less than 30 minutes to bake, so they are perfect when you need something quickly but lack time.

Round handpies with icing drizzle on a table with a bowl of cranberries and two oranges.

Ingredients

For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Ingredient notes & substitutions

Pastry – To make things easy, I used refrigerated pastry. It is sold in a package of 2 deep dish pie shells, perfect for making 8 hand pies. Of course, if you are ambitious, you can make homemade pie crust instead if you have a favorite pie crust recipe. 

Cranberry Sauce – I use whatever cranberry sauce is leftover from my holiday dinner. You can use store-bought or homemade.  For added flavor, you can add some orange zest if you like.

Egg – Gives the hand pies a nice golden crust. You can leave the egg out without issues if you have an allergy.

Powdered Sugar – Used to create the icing drizzle. If you don’t want icing, you can leave it off. Or sprinkle some coarse or turbinado sugar on the pies before you bake them. It will add texture and color.

Orange Juice – Gives the icing a slight orange flavor, which always goes well with cranberry. You can use lemon juice or cream if you don’t have orange.

Ingredients for cranberry hand pies on a wooden tray.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 – Unroll the pastry and cut each sheet into 8 rounds using a 3.5-inch biscuit cutter. Alternatively, you can make them bigger or smaller, use fun shapes such as hearts, or cut them into squares with a sharp knife.  

Laying down a piece of parchment paper or using a pastry mat on your work surface will make clean-up easy and prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter. 

You can bring the dough scraps together, roll them, and cut them into additional rounds, or save the scraps for something else, such as pastry scrap cinnamon sugar snacks.

Step 2 – Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce onto the center of half of the rounds.

Pastry rolled out and cut into 8 rounds with a round cutter, and 4 pastry rounds topped with cranberry sauce.

Step 3 – Place the remaining pastry rounds on top of the filled rounds. Gently press around the edges with your fingers to bring the edges together, then use a fork to crimp edges to seal. Poke a few holes, or cut a few small slits, in the top of each pie.

Step 4 – Place the pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then whisk egg and water in a small bowl and brush over the top of each pie. After adding the egg wash, you can sprinkle the tops with a bit of coarse sugar for some crunch if you like.

Four hand pies sealed around the edges with a fork, an x sliced in the top of each, then brushed with egg.

Bake the pies for 22-25 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until lightly golden brown.  Then, remove them from the oven and move them to a wire rack to cool. 

Then, combine the powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl and drizzle over each cranberry pie. 

Icing drizzle being spooned over a hand pie.

Making Cranberry Sauce Pies in the Air Fryer

To make these cranberry pies in the air fryer, follow the directions above for assembly.

Then place the pies in a single layer in your air fryer basket, set the air fryer to 350°F, and cook for approximately 8 minutes, until golden brown.

Then remove, let cool, and top with the icing drizzle.

Round handpies with icing drizzle on a round cooling rack.

Equipment

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Parchment paper – Rolling the dough on parchment paper or a pastry mat will make clean-up easy and prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter. You will also want to line the baking sheet with parchment for the best results.

Rolling pin – If the dough doesn’t come pre-rolled, or you are making your own, you will need a rolling pin. Marble rolling pins are my favorite because the pastry doesn’t tend to stick as much.

Round biscuit or cookie cutter – I use a 3.5-inch round cutter when making hand pies, but you can use any size or shape you like.

Baking sheet – You will need a baking sheet to bake the pies; a standard half-sheet pan is fine for eight hand pies.

Wire rack – A wire cooling rack will help ensure even cooling and keep the bottom of the pies crisp.

Storage

Cranberry sauce hand pies can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

You can also store these in the freezer in an airtight container for several months.

A pile of hand pies with one broken open showing cranberry sauce filling.

Top Tips & FAQS

  • While tempting, avoid over-filling the pies as they will be difficult to seal, and they will burst while baking.
  • Let the hand pies cool before adding the icing, or it will melt into the pastry.
Do I need to refrigerate hand pies?

These hand pies will be fine at room temperature for a day or two, so long as you do not use dairy in the frosting. Otherwise, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can I make hand pies gluten-free?

You can make them gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free pie crust.

More Easy Dessert Recipes

Recipe

Round cranberry handpies in a stack with one broke open showing cranberry sauce inside.

Easy Cranberry Hand Pies

Cranberry hand pies, made with a flaky crust, tart cranberry sauce, and an icing drizzle, are a quick and easy dessert that is perfect for the holidays.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 261kcal
Author: Deanna

Ingredients

  • 2 refrigerated deep-dish dish-pie crusts
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoon orange juice

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 375°F
  • Unroll the pastry and cut each pie crust into eight rounds with a 3.5-inch round cutter (or any shape/size you like). You should end up with 16 rounds.
  • Place one tablespoon of cranberry sauce in the middle of 8 pastry rounds. Top with the remaining pastry rounds, then seal around the edges with a fork.
  • Poke holes, or cut a small slit in the top of each hand pie.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water together.
  • Place the hand pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the egg wash over the tops.
  • Bake the pies on the middle rack of the oven for 22-25 minutes or until golden.
  • Move the pies to a wire rack to cool, then mix the powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl until smooth and runny.  You can make it as thick or thin as you like. Drizzle over the hand pies. 

Nutrition

Estimated Nutrition Facts
Easy Cranberry Hand Pies
Amount per Serving
Calories
261
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
12
g
18
%
Saturated Fat
 
4
g
25
%
Trans Fat
 
0.003
g
Sodium
 
184
mg
8
%
Carbohydrates
 
35
g
12
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
13
g
14
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES.