Easy, mouthwatering sugared cranberries are just 3 simple ingredients away! Try adding these sugared cranberries to cocktails and desserts, and eating them plain for a special treat.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below and/or a review in the comments section down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok or by subscribing to my newsletter.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Fresh cranberries are abundant at the store and sugared cranberries are a fantastic, delicious way to use them up. Add these sweet cranberries to muffins, cookies, cocktails, and more. Plus, you can use this sugar method to sugar berries like raspberries and blueberries.
To find more Holiday recipes, check out my Holiday section on my blog!
What are sugared cranberries?
Sugared cranberries are made by coating fresh cranberries in a simple hot syrup mixture and granulated sugar. The sugary coating sweetens up the tart cranberries with sweet sugar. The key to this recipe is to let the cranberries coated in sugar water dry out before you roll cranberries in a cup of sugar. Plus, you can save any extra simple syrup for cocktails.
Are sugared cranberries good?
Sugar-coated cranberries are unexpectedly delicious! I have never been one to love raw fresh cranberries, but when coated in simple syrup and sugar, they make a delicious treat. I like to always have a bag around the house to snack on and add to cheese boards, cookies, cakes, and pies. Try sprinkling some candied cranberries on top of cranberry sauce before serving for a festive decoration.
- Fresh cranberries: use fresh, tart cranberries to make sugared cranberries. Frozen cranberries will not work as well in this recipe.
- Granulated sugar: used for both the simple syrup and when rolling the cranberries in sugar. You may also use cane sugar. I prefer to use superfine sugar like granulated sugar, though.
- Water: plain, filtered water is best.
- Vanilla extract: this is optional, but it really gives an extra flavor boost.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Sugared Berries
First, make the sugar syrup using water, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Let the mixture come to a roaring boil in a medium saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
Wash and dry the cranberries. Add to a bowl and pour in the simple syrup. Mix until the cranberries are all coated.
Pour the coated cranberries on a wire baking rack and let dry out for two hours at room temperature.
After the cranberries have dried out, pour them onto a baking sheet and sprinkle them with granulated sugar to coat the cranberries.
- Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary - add 1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary leaves to the simple syrup for a flavorful touch to these frosted cranberries.
- Sugared Berries - use this method to make sugared blueberries and sugared raspberries.
- Sugared Grapes - use this sugaring method to make sugared grapes. I like to add 1 teaspoon of orange zest to the simple syrup when sugaring grapes.
Try my cranberry chocolate bark on my blog for more cranberry recipes!
- Wire rack - to help dry out the cranberries.
- Medium saucepan - to make the simple syrup.
- Baking sheet - to coat the frosted cranberries in sugar.
- Precut parchment paper - a game-changer!
- Glass mixing bowls - are always good to have on hand.
- Slotted spoon - Pro tip: use a slotted spoon to grab any cranberries still left in the simple syrup.
How to Use Sugared Cranberries
Sugared cranberries can be used for many things during the holiday season. Here are some of my favorite ways to use them:
- Make a sugared cranberries cocktail. I love using candied cranberries for cocktails as the perfect garnish. These cranberries make a gorgeous garnish!
- Wrap it up in a box or jar and give it as a gift. It's an easy way to give a gift.
- Fill clear glass ornaments with cranberries for a great way to decorate the Christmas tree.
- Serve in a bowl on the Holiday Dessert table or fill tiny bowls with the cranberries and scatter them on your Holiday Table for Christmas dinner.
- Fill in blank spaces with the sugared cranberries on a charcuterie board or a cheese board.
How to Store Sugared Cranberries
Store the cranberries in an airtight container for up to seven days in the refrigerator. To freeze, store in a freezer-safe bag for up to three months.
Easy Sugared Cranberries Recipe
- 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prepare a wire baking rack over a baking sheet and line an additional baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the fresh cranberries and add them to a glass mixing bowl.
- Combine water, vanilla extract, and ½ cup granulated sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Bring the hot syrup to a roaring boil and remove it from the heat.
- Pour the simple syrup over the fresh cranberries and stir until all cranberries are coated.
- Pour the coated cranberries over the cooling rack and let them sit at room temperature for two hours.
- After two hours, pour the coated cranberries onto the additional baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of granulated sugar.
Yes, cranberries can go bad. Fresh cranberries are firm and crunchy. If cranberries are soft and mushy, discard them.
Sugared cranberries last about a week if stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
Freeze sugared cranberries in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. Use for cocktails.
Yes, refrigerate in an airtight container.
Some groceries store sell them, but you can easily make them using my recipe.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok or by subscribing to my newsletter.