Jalapeno Hot Honey Fermented Cranberries

by Kaitlynn Fenley

This cranberry honey is a versatile spicy, tart, and sweet fermented hot honey, and it’s made with raw honey fermented cranberries and fermented jalapenos. You need fresh cranberries, fermented or fresh jalapenos, and quality raw honey to make these spicy fermented cranberries in honey.

Honey fermented cranberries with jalapeno peppers in a large glass weck jar. the jar is only half full to prevent messes.

Honey Fermented Cranberries

My favorite thing to ferment in honey is cranberries. Since cranberries are so acidic, fermenting the berries in honey is naturally safe and maintains a pH below 3 for the entire process.

My honey fermentation recipes are a bit unique. I always add a small amount of acidic fermented kombucha or raw apple cider vinegar.

This addition helps boost the microbial community, keeps the pH low, and maintains a healthy fermentation process in the presence of so much sugar. Honey is also anti-microbial, so you need to add a source of microbes to get the fermentation going.

I did something a little different for this recipe and added lacto-fermented jalapenos! These jalapenos add a bit of lactic acid, beneficial lactic acid bacteria, and heat to the honey.

dark red cranberry honey with jalapenos that has started fermenting. The honey is thinner and darker.

Fermented Hot Honey

Fermented hot honey is infused with hot peppers to make it spicy. In this recipe, you can use any hot pepper and choose to use fresh raw peppers, lacto-fermented peppers, or a mix of both.

Note that the more peppers you add, the hotter the fermented honey.

Here are some peppers I suggest trying:

  • Jalapenos
  • Serrano
  • Cayenne
  • Habanero
fermented jalapenos in a mason jar

Fermented Cranberries in Honey

To make fermented cranberries in honey, you need good quality raw honey! I suggest finding some local raw honey at a local produce stand or farmers’ market in your area.

This is also an excellent time to talk about crystalized honey. Natural raw honey can crystalize when stored for a long time.

As you can see in the pictures below, I started my hot honey fermented cranberries with crystallized honey. That’s why it looks thick, opaque, and chunky. It’s perfectly fine to use crystalized honey. Thanks to the fermentation, it will automatically thin out within a day or two of mixing it with your cranberries, peppers, and starter.

After you wash your cranberries you need to “bruise” them. While they are in the colander you just need to use the bottom of a mason jar to put a bit of pressure on them. Don’t smash too much. Essentially you want to gently crush them to just break the skin.

Fermented Hot Honey and Honey Fermented Cranberries

Start by choosing a jar that is big enough. You don’t need to use weight measurements for this recipe, so you can go by volume. You want to choose a large jar to fit a good bit of cranberries while only filling it halfway.

I used a 25-ounce weck jar. It is imperative that you only fill the jar halfway. If you try to fill it all the way up, you will make a huge sticky mess.

How to Use Fermented Cranberries

Get creative with it! I like to strain the honey from the cranberries and use it as a drizzle on things like chicken, fish, and cornbread.

As for the cranberries, I like to chop them up and add them to braises, fold them into sourdough bread, and incorporate them into meatballs.

a jar of fermented hot honey with cranberries flipped upside down to coat all the berries in honey.

Jalapeno Hot Honey Fermented Cranberries

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5 from 4 reviews

This cranberry honey is a versatile spicy, tart, and sweet fermented hot honey, and it’s made with raw honey fermented cranberries and fermented jalapenos. You need fresh cranberries, fermented or fresh jalapenos, and quality raw honey to make these spicy fermented cranberries in honey.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Fermentation Time: 4 weeks
  • Total Time: 672 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 ounces
  • Category: Honey Fermentation
  • Method: Fermented


  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Fermented Jalapenos
  • Fresh hot peppers (optional)
  • Raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar


  1. You get to choose how much of this fermented cranberry honey you make. Choose a jar large enough, so that you can make your desired amount while only filling the jar halfway. The more you want to make, the more honey you will need.
  2. Wash your fresh cranberries, and gather your peppers.
  3. Bruise the cranberries slightly, by tampering them with the bottom of a mason jar. Don’t crush them completely, just put a little pressure on them to break the skins.
  4. If you are adding fresh peppers, wash them and slice them.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar and some fermented jalapeno peppers to the bottom of your jar. You can choose how spicy to make this honey, the more peppers you add the hotter it will be. I added 3 tablespoons of fermented jalapenos.
  6. Fill your jar halfway with fresh, washed cranberries. If you are adding fresh hot peppers, add them to the jar.
  7. Slowly pour raw honey over the cranberries and peppers until they are completely covered.
  8. Stir the mixture with a clean spoon. The cranberries will start to float, that’s normal.
  9. Place a tight sealing lid on the jar.
  10. Each day loosen the lid to let any gasses out, the tighten the lid back and flip the jar upside down to coat all the cranberries in honey.
  11. Allow the cranberry hot honey for ferment for 4 to 8 weeks.
  12. It is done when you notice the honey is much darker, very runny, and all the cranberries become darker and wrinkled.


  • you can leave out the peppers completely to make simple honey fermented cranberries.

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author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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Angie October 18, 2022 - 7:06 pm

I’m definitely going to try this. I fermented jalapeños from our garden this year using your recipe and we love them! I have some “finishing” that I added some crazy hot peppers to that I’m planning to blend into hot sauces. My question is can I just add fresh hot peppers to honey to ferment? Or should I ferment them first? Just to make hot honey without the cranberries.

Jackie November 2, 2022 - 10:28 am

Absolutely delicious! I just strained the honey off the berries and peppers, and it is divine. Slightly spicy with so much cranberry flavor. I think I’m going to fold the berries into a loaf of sourdough and then use the honey to drizzle over some baked brie on Thanksgiving.

SAKS November 21, 2022 - 3:52 pm

Thanks for the recipe I’m definitely going to try this.
Question in general for fermenting vegetables – during fermenting could I use a glass weight and a fermentation silicone lid that has a spout to release the gas rather than burping it every now and then with a classic lid? Would it still be anaerobic as the vegetables are submerged in the liquid and held down by the glass weight and air only released via spout?

Kaitlynn Fenley November 21, 2022 - 4:12 pm

No, I do not recommend those silicone lids. They are terrible and often lead to mold. You can read more about that here: A guide to the best fermentation jars and lids

Heidi December 9, 2022 - 9:47 am

So delicious! This is my first fermentation. Do you have recipes that use the strained cranberries?

Cultured Guru Admin December 10, 2022 - 9:54 am

Not yet, but I’m working on some. I do like folding them into sourdough loaves.

Julie September 13, 2023 - 2:32 pm

Hi, I have a question before i make this. Can i use frozen cranberries? I have lots of wild low bush cranberries.

Kaitlynn Fenley September 13, 2023 - 4:05 pm

you can!

Laura Owens September 24, 2023 - 4:47 pm

Fermented cranberries are the BEST! I grew jalapenos and cayenne peppers this year and am looking for new ways to use them. I can’t wait to make this!

I also make fermented mustard. Honey-fermented things are great in mustard and Cranberry-Cayenne Honey Mustard will be my next creation.

For salad dressing, I use 1 part honey-fermented cranberries, 1 part oil or mayonnaise, and thin it out with fermented jalapeno juice or flavored raw vinegar. You can play with the ratios to get the consistency you like.

Thanks for the tip on using crystalized honey. I’m fermenting some ginger & jalapenos right now (separately) and decided to use my older honey. Glad it will still work.

Great website! Very happy The Googles put your Oxymel recipe in my feed!

Cindy October 4, 2023 - 10:40 am

Instead of fermented peppers could I add some brine from a previous ferment?

Kaitlynn Fenley October 4, 2023 - 11:57 am

It’s not a necessary ingredient. You can just leave it out.