Whether you call them sugared cranberries or candied cranberries, they’re the perfect sparkling garnish to nearly any holiday dish or cocktail. They’re easy to make, too.
Why you’ll love it: It’s a perfect duet: tangy cranberries and crunchy sugar. They are pretty irresistible.
How long it takes: 10 minutes, plus an hour to let them dry
Equipment you’ll need: small saucepan, wire rack
Aren’t these sugared cranberries the prettiest things? Sugared cranberries are like little jewels for your food!
They go by different names: sugared cranberries, candied cranberries, or frosted cranberries. You can call ’em what you like but you’ll definitely want to try this easy little recipe.
Wanna know the best part? They’re super easy to make so they’re a great last minute addition to your holiday plans.
How To Use Sugared Cranberries
- Add to appetizers. I love them as a garnish for that amazing baked brie I shared last week. They are the perfect sweet tart complement to the cranberry sauce and bourbon candied pecans. I’ve also had them on these festive sparkling cranberry brie bites, an easy holiday appetizer idea from Yummy Mummy Kitchen.
- Garnish cocktails. The cranberries also look stunning on a refreshing holiday cocktail. Skewer a few cranberries on a pretty toothpick and balance it on the edge of a champagne glass. It’s so pretty!
- Embellish charcuterie boards. I love adding sparkling sugared cranberries to my charcuterie platters. Not only are they are gorgeous, the tart cranberries really complement the rich creamy cheese.
- Snack on them like candy. A bowlful of these candied cranberries will disappear in a hurry!
How To Make Sugared Cranberries
There are only three simple steps to making these sugared cranberries:
- Make a simple syrup of sugar and water.
- Coat the cranberries in the simple syrup and spread them onto a baking rack to dry for an hour.
- Roll the sticky cranberries in more sugar. And that’s it!
They’re so easy and so fun. The contrast of the tart cranberries is so so good with the sugary coating. You are going to love these, and everyone will be so impressed by you!
Garnish a cake or pie with the cranberries. They look gorgeous on a cheese platter or charcuterie board. Add them to a cocktail or put them in candy bowls. They’re so pretty and really quite addicting.
Sure! For vanilla flavored cranberries, add scraped vanilla bean (the pulp of the bean) to the rolling sugar. For orange flavored cranberries, add finely grated orange zest to the rolling sugar.
Although I haven’t tested it, I did a little research and it looks like you can. Allow the frozen cranberries to partially defrost before adding them to the simple syrup. Soak them in the simple syrup for 10 minutes before removing them to dry.
Refrigerate: Store the cranberries in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for a few days. If they start to “weep” a little, just give them another quick toss in sugar to freshen them up.
You can also re-use the simple syrup. Refrigerate it in a jar and use it to make cocktails.
- 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- ½ cup water
- 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries
- Sort cranberries, discarding any soft or wrinkled berries. Rinse well and drain.
- Combine ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Remove from heat.
- Stir the cranberries into the simple syrup, and stir to coat well.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Set a wire rack inside the baking sheet. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to the wire rack. Let the cranberries dry for 1 hour.
- After one hour of drying, roll cranberries in remaining sugar until completely coated.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days (see note).
- The cranberries may start to “weep” some liquid after 2 to 3 days. If that happens, re-roll them in sugar to extend their life.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.