Christmas Eton Mess with Cranberries and Star Anise

Christmas Eton Mess with Cranberries and Star Anise

This Christmas Eton Mess is a fun and fruity dessert. Made with a cranberry and star anise compote and Christmas Elf Meringue Kisses it is a lighter alternative to the Christmas pud!

Cranberry Eton Mess is a fun and fruity Christmas dessert that is light on the lips

At this time of year I am always looking for simple but impressive looking dishes. I know I’m not the only one who struggles to find time over the Christmas period for doing all the things we are meant to do: Christmas shopping; entertaining friends and family; making home made gifts; Christmas parties – all at the same time as running a home and working full time.

My recipe for Christmas Eton Mess with Cranberries and Star Anise is a response to having very little time but needing to put a tasty pud on the table one evening in the week. It’s as simple as putting a punnet of cranberries in a pan with sugar and star anise, bringing it to a boil and cooking it down until a thick, syrupy sauce forms. This is then stirred together with freshly whipped cream and crumbled meringue is folded through. Add a couple of silver or gold sprinkles and you have something really special with very little effort at all.

Life is too short to stress about putting a work of art on the table every night. Serve up this Christmas Eton Mess and you will have happy friends and family without sweating in the kitchen for more than 15 minutes!

This Christmas Eton Mess is made with a Cranberry Compote and Christmas Elf Meringue Kisses

The Recipe

Christmas Eton Mess with Cranberries and Star Anise

Give the classic Eton Mess dessert a Christmas twist with star anise!

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword caster sugar, cranberries, meringue, orange juice, star anise, whipping cream
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Emma Walton


  • 300 grams cranberries fresh
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 250 grams caster sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 600 millilitres whipping cream
  • 28 meringue kisses or 4 store bought meringue nests


  1. Place the fresh cranberries into a heavy bottom pan with the orange juice, sugar and star anise.
  2. Heat the fruit, sugar and spice on a medium-high heat until the cranberries have burst and the sugar has melted.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for roughly 10 minutes, stirring frequently until a compote has formed,
  4. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
  5. Once the compote has cooled, pour the whipping cream into a large bowl and whisk on high for 2-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Crumble the meringues into the cream then stir through the compote leaving bright red streaks through the cream.
  7. Serve in glass dishes.

Recipe Notes

The compote can keep in an airtight jar for up to 3 weeks so you can whip up a Christmas Eton Mess whenever required.

See I told you it was easy! I’m not even sure I should be calling this a recipe it is so simple but sometimes even the best of us need a “cheat” dish up their sleeves so that greedy mouths can be silenced with minimal fuss or strain.

Cranberry Eton Mess made with Christmas Elf Meringue Kisses a fun Christmas dessert that can be served as an alternative to Christmas pudding

I’ll be relying heavily on some of my favourite simple recipes as we get closer and closer to Christmas. We’ve still got visits to friends and family, carol services, Christmas parties and more planned with only a week until the big day. This Mushroom and Walnut Tart will no doubt feature on our dinner table in the not too distant future. I wouldn’t be surprised if I whip up another batch of these Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Stars too!

How do you cope at this time of year? Do you have some simple yet delicious recipe like this Christmas Eton Mess ready to go at the drop of a hat? Let me know in the comments below!

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