If you're looking for a cute appetizer for the holidays, then look no further than these Christmas crostini! Super simple to make, we make a festive cranberry compote and spoon it over cream cheese, and top with honey and herbs. I know your guests will love these cranberry crostini this year!
Do check out my cream cheese stuffed peppers for another Christmas appetizer to enjoy!
Festive celebrations aren't complete without some fun festive appetizers, and everyone loves a little bite of crostini or bruschetta don't you find? These Christmas crostini make the most of sweet festive cranberries for a zingy taste sensation!
And the best bit about these little cream cheese cranberry canapés? They're super easy to make but look a little fancy!
⭐ Why this recipe is so good
Sweet festive cranberry flavors. Of course cranberry sauce is a traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas side, but we can also enjoy it as a topping on these little toasts!
Easy Christmas appetizer. Simply make your cranberry compote, bake your baguette (also known as French stick by some of us!) and spoon on the toppings!
These Christmas crostini are very simple to make, with just a few ingredients (and most are pantry staples during the holidays I think!). You will need:
- Cranberries: the main ingredient of the compote. I tend to use fresh, but have tried it with frozen as well (it turned out great).
- Brown sugar: to add some sweetness to offset the slightly tart flavour of cranberries.
- Cinnamon: optional for those on a low histamine diet (if tolerated), but adds a nice flavor if you are good with it.
- Bread: I suggest to use a good quality baguette that is sliced fairly thinly.
- Cream cheese: I suggest using one with as few additives as possible.
- Honey: for the best touch of sweetness.
- Thyme: adds a really nice herby flavour (and looks so pretty too!).
📖 Variations on the recipe
If you are gluten-free or don't tolerate bread, then rice cakes are a good swap.
A touch of maple syrup can be used instead of honey.
🔪 Step by step instructions
Making these Christmas crostini is very simple. We start by making a cranberry compote, bake our baguette and then assemble the crostini to serve on our Christmas menu for family and friends!
All the instructions are set out in the recipe card below, but some detail to help guide you.
Add your cranberries, brown sugar and cinnamon (if using) to a pan with water, bring to the boil and listen to those cranberries start popping! Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes and your compote will come together ready to make your cranberry cream cheese toasts.
Slice your baguette into thin pieces, brush with olive oil and bake so they are light golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Spread the cream cheese over the baguette slices, top with the cranberry compote and drizzle on honey and sprinkle over fresh thyme leaves.
💭 Recipe tips and notes
- Cook the cranberries down so they have a syrup-like texture, with some whole cranberries still there.
- Slice the baguette fairly thinly so you have a mini crostini perfect as an appetizer - we want cute finger food not an open sandwich!
- Don't skip the sugar! Cranberries are naturally quite tart to taste, so a little sugar is needed to balance the flavors.
🍽 More fun appetizers
Choose from so many fun appetizers here to serve at a Christmas party, including my spicy baba ganoush, cauliflower hummus, herbed ricotta balls and my quinoa seed crackers, as well as these recent recipes:
Christmas Cranberry Crostini
For the cranberry compote
- ½ cup fresh cranberries
- 1-2 teaspoon brown sugar adjust to preferred sweetness
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon optional
- ½ cup water
For the crostini
- ¼ French baguette thinly sliced into 6 pieces
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoon cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon honey
- fresh thyme
- pinch salt optional, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 360F / 180C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Thinly slice the baguette and brush with a little olive oil. Bake your baguette slices for 6-8 minutes until they are light golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Add the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon (if using) and water to a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture turns largely syrupy in texture. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Spread the baguette slices with cream cheese and then top with the cranberry compote. Drizzle with the honey, sprinkle over fresh thyme leaves and add a pinch of salt if using.
- Adjust the amount of sugar using to your preferred level of sweetness. Cranberries are naturally tart and need sweetening up, so taste test the compote while cooking (be careful not to eat it when it's too hot!) and add more sugar to your preference.
- For those on a low histamine diet, try and use a cream cheese that has as few additives as possible.
- If you prefer not to use bread, then rice cakes or oat cakes are a good gluten-free alternative.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
Swiss Interest Group Histamine IntoleranceAll ingredients score 0 on the SIGHI list with the exception of:
- bread, which scores 1 on SIGHI and a ? as a liberator. Be attentive to any additional ingredients that may be problematic.
- cinnamon scores 0 on the SIGHI list, but is higher on other lists.
- cream cheese scores 0, with additional notes you may wish to read.