This recipe for cranberry granita pudding parfaits is a light and refreshing dessert, perfect for the holiday season. The parfaits pair a smooth and creamy vanilla pudding topped with a spiced cranberry granita. Creating a delicious mix of sweet and tart. A must have for your holiday dessert line-up!
Beautiful Holiday Dessert
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And I think these cranberry granita pudding parfaits scream ‘aren’t I the prettiest dessert for the holiday season!?‘ Yes, you are little beauties.
We have made cranberry granita before. And as I worked on that recipe, it occurred to me that it would be a beautiful contrast of flavor to pair the tart granita with creamy vanilla custard. Kind of like how I paired the two textures in the strawberry lemonade granita parfaits.
The color of the dessert is striking and one that I have used before in my no-bake cranberry mousse cheesecake. Plus, the flavor of vanilla pudding combined with frozen cranberry slushie is beyond delicious. The two flavors work harmoniously together while one tames the tartness, the other amps up the creaminess.
Small Batch Cranberry Granita Pudding Parfaits
As beautiful as the holiday parfaits are, it wouldn’t be one of my recipes if it wasn’t a small batch. The wonderful thing about the granita and the pudding is you can stretch the desserts to serve more.
It just depends on how large your serving glasses are, or simply how large you want the servings to be. However, because I love pudding (and now cranberry granita), I opted for two large servings.
Tips For Making The Parfaits
Since the granita and pudding need time to freeze and set, it is your choice on which one you make first. I started with the granita because it is easier.
- The recipe will make more than needed for two parfaits. You can enjoy a bowl after your holiday guests leave!
- Grate the granita with a fork periodically while it is freezing. This gives it that granita texture.
- If the granita freezes hard, just use a fork to scrape it to get your scoops.
- Make the granita festive for New Year’s by adding sparkling cider or champagne. Just swap the sparkling water for the libation of your choice!
- I recommend having all the ingredients for the pudding ready at room temperature so they mix evenly.
- Strain the pudding through a fine mesh strainer to ensure a the pudding is smooth and free of lumps.
- This pudding recipe is a great base for any flavored pudding you may want to try. Like chocolate pudding!
Looking For More Small Batch Holiday Desserts? Check Out These Recipes!
- Vanilla Cupcakes with Cranberry Frosting
- Cranberry Crumble Bars
- Gluten Free Gingerbread Cranberry Bars
- Pecan Gluten Free Snowball Cookies
- Vanilla Orange Gingerbread Cream Cake
Cranberry Granita Pudding Parfait
- Small Freezer-Safe Dish
- 10 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup sparkling water
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- In a blender or food processor, add all of the ingredients and blend until the cranberries are completely blended and pureed.
- Pour the cranberry mixture into a freezer safe dish, such as a small casserole dish or baking dish. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Remove the granita from the freezer. The edges and the top should have started to freeze. Scrape the mixture with a fork and freeze again. This creates the slushy granita texture. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for up to 4 hours. The granita is ready when it is completely frozen with a flaky texture.
- Fluff the granita one final time before serving.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and maple syrup over medium heat until the maple syrup melts and bubbles start to form along the sides of the pan. Be careful not to boil.
- While the milk mixture is heating, whisk the egg yolk, cornstarch and heavy cream in a medium bowl, until thoroughly combined.
- Once the milk has heated, slowly drizzle in about half the mix into the bowl with the egg mixture. Whisk constantly – this makes sure the egg yolk does not scramble. Add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan. Still whisking constantly, cook the pudding over medium heat until it thickens and bubbles – about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla extract and butter. Stir until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Strain the pudding over a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap – with the wrap directly touching the top of the pudding. This will keep a skin from forming on the top of the pudding.
- Refrigerate the pudding for at least 4 hours to set fully.
- Once the pudding has set and the granita is frozen, spoon equal portions of the vanilla pudding into serving glasses. Fluff the granita one final time. Using a small cookie scoop or fork, scoop the granita on top the pudding. You will have leftover granita that you can enjoy another time. Garnish with sugar covered cranberries and enjoy immediately!
- Chill and Freeze Overnight – The pudding can chill overnight, and the granita can freeze overnight. You can stop the scrape process after about 4 hours, and just scrape and fluff the granita before serving.
about the author ...
I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!
I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!