Sparkly Sugared Cranberries

Sugared Cranberries are easy to make with only 2 ingredients and add a sparkly, red festive flair to any table! Not only are they a delicious sweet and tart snack, but they make a wonderful garnish for holiday cocktails and desserts. 

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sugared cranberries in an oval bowl

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Sugared Cranberries

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without days full of magic, joy, and all the tasty treats, right? 

While most people might focus on classics like sugar cookies and, hot cocoa, I like to mix things up with the holiday snacks and whip up a batch of my favorite sugared cranberries. It doesn’t get much better than a recipe this easy that’s almost too pretty to eat. The perfectly sugar dusted cranberries shine and sparkle like the star on top of the Christmas tree. 

Even if you’re not normally a fan of cranberries because of their natural tartness, no worries, the sugar, and simple syrup transform these eye-squinting tart berries into a delightfully sweet snack you will devour in no time. So, don’t miss out on this oh so festive recipe this season, you’ll only regret not making a least one batch.

sugared cranberries in a white oval bowl

How To Make Sugared Cranberries

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

Sometimes during the holidays, the idea of prepping a million complicated recipes sounds like a meltdown waiting to happen. To keep my sanity in check I put together a list of only simple, yet delicious recipes everyone will love. 

Naturally, that means every year these sugared cranberries make the list since they are so easy they almost make themselves. 

To begin the recipe, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Next, remove the syrup from heat and stir in cranberries. Once the cranberries are coated remove from the syrup using a slotted spoon and transfer to a wire cooling rack to dry.

After one hour the cranberries should be dry but sticky. Put the remaining sugar in a shallow bowl and roll tacky cranberries in sugar until fully coated, and enjoy! 

Tips For Making The Best Sugared Cranberries

While this recipe might be almost foolproof, there are always ways to make any recipe easier, so here are a few of the tips and tricks I use to get the perfect sugared cranberries ever time. 

  • When making the simple syrup, do NOT bring mixture to a boil, keep the heat low.
  • If you don’t have a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries from the syrup, you can pour the cranberries into a colander with a bowl under it to catch the syrup.
  • Give yourself some extra time. This might be a very simple recipe, but Don’t forget you’ll need about an hour of extra time to let the cranberries dry out.
  • To keep the sugared cranberries fresh longer, store and a small bowl of rice in with the airtight container of cranberries. Rice is great for absorbing moisture and will prevent the berries from weeping. 

cranberries in syrup drying on a rack

How Do You Serve Sugared Cranberries?

Once you have your sugared cranberries complete, you might just want to sit and gawk at how beautiful they turned out, but don’t forget they aren’t just for decoration. you can enjoy these little bites of sugary heaven in a number of different ways, like on top of your most drool-worthy dessert, as a garnish paired with your festive Christmas cocktails, or even just on their own. 

Here are my favorite ways to enjoy the recipe. 

sugared cranberries in an oval bowl with Christmas napkin

Can You Freeze Sugared Cranberries? 

While I love a good recipe that can be saved for later, these sugared cranberries are best when enjoyed in the moment. They don’t quite work well when frozen, so it’s best if you only make a batch just a few days before you need them. 

sugared cranberries for a cake

More Cranberry Recipies You’ll Love 

Cranberry Mulled Ale – This drink is brimming with festive flavors. Full of cinnamon, honey, ginger and nutmeg, the drink smells and tastes just like Christmas.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip With Rosemary – It’s a snap to make and only gets better with age. With a hint of tangy sweetness, both kids and adults will gobble it up.

Cranberry Walnut Sweet Potato Rounds – Make room for roasted sweet potato rounds on your table this holiday! This appetizer has all the flavors of Thanksgiving in one tasty bite.

Turkey Bacon Pancakes With Cranberry Maple Syrup – Get a layered taste explosion with Turkey Bacon Pancakes dripping in Cranberry Maple syrup.  The perfect tart, tangy, sweet and salty breakfast the whole family will love.

Wild Rice Stuffing With Cranberries and Pecans – An easy side dish infused with incredible flavor that will complete your holiday table. Dried cranberries add a touch of sweetness to the nutty taste of this breadless stuffing with all the classic flavors of a traditional stuffing.

Like This Sugared Cranberries Recipe? Pin It!

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sugared cranberries photo collage

Tools Used To Make These Sugared Cranberries

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here.

Stainless Saucepan

My favorite saucepan to use because it always cooks evenly, and heats up in a flash! Once I switched to stainless steel pots, there was no going back. It’s the only kind I ever use now! 

Slotted Spoon

This is a must-have to complete any kitchen tools set. It’s perfect for removing large items while draining liquid at the same time. 

Food Storage Containers

A few years back I threw out all my mismatched containers and bought this matching set, and it has been a lifesaver. Since many of them are all uniform it makes grabbing the perfect size container and matching lid a breeze. 

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Sugared Cranberries

Sugared Cranberries

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Drying Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Sugared Cranberries are easy to make with only 2 ingredients and add a sparkly, red festive flair to any table! Not only are they a delicious sweet and tart snack, but they make a wonderful garnish for holiday cocktails and desserts.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups (or one 12-ounce bag) fresh cranberries

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup of sugar and water over medium-low heat stirring until sugar dissolves(about 2-3 minutes). Do NOT bring mixture to a boil, keep the heat low.
  2. Remove syrup from heat and stir in cranberries (if you feel your syrup is a little hot, let it sit and cool off for a few minutes, otherwise the berries will pop if it's too hot). Once cranberries are coated remove from the syrup using a slotted spoon* and transfer to a wire cooling rack to dry for one hour. (I like to put a piece of wax paper underneath for easy cleanup). After one hour the cranberries should be dry but sticky.
  3. Put the remaining sugar in a shallow bowl and roll tacky cranberries in sugar until fully coated.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

    Notes

    *if you don't have a slotted spoon, you can pour the cranberries into a colander with a bowl under it to catch the syrup (if you want to reserve it).

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 10 servings Serving Size: 1/3 cup
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 0g

    Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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    sugared cranberries with a mint garnish