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Cranberry Granita Pudding Parfaits

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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!

Holiday Cranberry Parfait

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.  The color of the dessert is striking, and 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.  The result is a flavor combo that you must experience!

Small Batch Cranberry Granita Pudding Parfaits

As beautiful as the holiday parfaits are, it wouldn’t be a Butter and Bliss recipe 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.  Which is ok.  You can enjoy a bowl after all of your holiday guests leave.  🙂
  • The granita does freeze pretty hard.  When ready to serve, you can defrost it for a few minutes on the counter.  Or, the way I am accustomed to eating granita is to use a fork to scrape it up.  Then transfer to your serving glass.
  • You can make the granita festive for New Year’s with some sparkling cider or champagne.  Just swap the sparkling water for the libation of your choice!
  • I recommend having all of the ingredients for the pudding ready at room temperature.  Ingredients incorporate nicely when they are all the same temperature to start.
  • I always strain my pudding through a fine mesh strainer.  Even when I’m pretty sure I have no lumps or bumps.  I like to be 100% certain it is the smoothest pudding!
  • This pudding recipe is a great base for any flavored pudding you may want to try.  Like chocolate pudding, because who doesn’t love chocolate!

More Holiday Desserts

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Cranberry Granita Pudding Parfait

Yield: 2 Parfaits
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!
Prep20 mins
Chill Time2 hrs
Total2 hrs 20 mins


  • Small Freezer-Safe Dish


Cranberry Granita

  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sparkling water - I used Cranberry Citrus, but any flavor will work
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt

Vanilla Pudding

  • 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 about 2 hours, until frozen all the way through.
  • When ready to serve, defrost the granita on the counter for a few minutes to make it easier to scrape and scoop. Using a small cookie scoop or fork, scrape the granita and scoop into serving dishes. Garnish with sugar-covered cranberries and enjoy!


  • 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 3-5 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 2 hours to set fully.  
  • Once the pudding has set and the granita is frozen, spoon equal portions of the vanilla pudding into serving glasses. Using a fork or small ice cream scoop, scrape equal amounts of the cranberry granita to top the pudding. You will have leftover granita that you can enjoy another time. Garnish with sugar covered cranberries and enjoy immediately!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich
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