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Sugared Cranberries (Easy Recipe)

Sugared Cranberries are so festive and are an easy way to dress up desserts for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Candied cranberries have just 3 ingredients and will make any dessert sparkle.

Sugared cranberries recipe in red dish

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We love cranberries for the holidays from Cranberry Sauce to Sparkling Cranberry Punch and of course Cranberry Cake. They make everything more festive and these sugared cranberries are such a treat.

What are Sugared Cranberries?

Sugared cranberries are essentially candied cranberries, dipped in a simple syrup of sugar and water then rolled in sugar until well coated. This recipe only requires 3 ingredients and it’s easy to scale the recipe up or down.

Ingredients for sugared cranberries

The Best Sugar for Cranberries: We love granulated sugar because it gives the cranberries an even coating, but you can also use cane sugar.

How to make Sugared Cranberries:

  1. In a medium saucepan, simmer 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in cranberries to coat then remove from heat and stir another 1 minute.
  3. Remove cranberries with a slotted spoon and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet or rack and dry out for 1 hour
  4. Roll sticky cranberries in remaining sugar to coat.
step by step how to make sugared cranberries

Tips for making sugared cranberries:

  • Rinse and dry the cranberries. The syrup will stick better to dry cranberries and you don’t want to incorporate excess water into your syrup.
  • Simmer syrup on low heat for 3 minutes after it’s come to a boil. You want the sugar to fully dissolve and form a slightly thickened syrup for coating cranberries.
  • Fully Coat the cranberries in the syrup. I like to stir them for a minute off the heat.
  • Remove Cranberries before they burst. You don’t want them to release their juices or soften.
Cranberries rolled in sugar to make candied cranberries

Can I eat candied cranberries?

Sugared cranberries are edible. They are sweet, tangy, and delicious. Raw cranberries can be very tart on their own but once they are coated in that sweet syrup and a layer of sugar, they almost taste like candy.

How to serve cranberries in sugar:

  • Snacking – Sugared Cranberries are great for snacking and look amazing on a holiday cheeseboard.
  • Garnish – Try them over a Cranberry Cake, or scatter them on Pumpkin Pie or a cooled Apple Pie.
  • Decorate Main Dishes – decorate the serving platter of your Baked Ham or Prime Rib.
  • Make Desserts Festive – Decorating Vanilla Cake or Cupcakes with sugared cranberries will instantly make them look Christmasy and festive.
sugared cranberries recipe served in red bowl

What can I do with the sugar syrup?

You can discard the sugar syrup or make great use of it to:

Storing sugared cranberries:

Store cranberries covered at room temperature in a cool, dry environment for up to 2 days.

If the sugar starts looking moist, you can re-roll them in a little more sugar to freshen them up.

Sugared cranberries stored in a bowl

More Holiday Desserts:

Sugared Cranberries (Easy Recipe)

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
sugared cranberries recipe in red bowl

How to make easy sugared cranberries with just 3 ingredients. These candied cranberries are perfect for decorating cakes, pies, and even holiday roasts.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $3-$5
Keyword: candied cranberries, sugared cranberries
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert, snack
Calories: 108 kcal
Servings: 12 people (makes 3 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar divided
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries rinsed and dried

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and let it simmer on low heat for 3 minutes.

  2. Stir in the cranberries to fully coat in the syrup then remove from heat and stir 1 minute.
  3. Remove cranberries with a slotted spoon and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet or a metal rack to let cranberries dry out for 1 hour.
  4. Roll in remaining 1 cup sugar to coat
Nutrition Facts
Sugared Cranberries (Easy Recipe)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 108 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 21mg1%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 26g29%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 15IU0%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 2mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Denise
    February 26, 2021

    Hi Natasha, cranberries are out of season now. Can I use dried cranberries? I am planning to use them for the cranberry bundt cake recipe you shared. Thanks! πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 26, 2021

      Hi Denise, I haven’t tried making sugared cranberries with dried cranberries. It may work, but they won’t look as nice. You might google that before experimenting.

      Reply

  • Nadya
    January 26, 2021

    Hi Natasha, can’t wait to make this beautiful dessert! Can I use thawed cranberries?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 26, 2021

      Hi Nadya, frozen even when thawed would not hold up – since they are pretty wet when they thaw, it would just liquefy the sugar.

      Reply

      • Nadya
        February 11, 2021

        Thank you, Natasha

        Reply

  • Sveta
    December 31, 2020

    If I decorate my cake with the cranberries can I store the cake in the fridge overnight or should I just decorate the cake right before serving?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 31, 2020

      Hi Sveta, I would decorate before serving or the moisture from the cake can make the sugar coating on the cranberries soften.

      Reply

  • Mychel (Michelle)
    December 24, 2020

    when you eat it is it supposed to be sweet and then turn to bitter

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 25, 2020

      Hi Mychel, it should not turn bitter but be tart or sour on the inside. If the berries are bitter, they may have spoiled.

      Reply

  • Linda
    December 22, 2020

    Hi Natashia. Just finished making two of your Cranberry/Orange Cakes for gifts. They came out beautifully. The recipients we amazed by them. So once again, Thank You. HUGS from Canada and Merry Christmas

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 22, 2020

      That’s a great gift idea!! That’s so nice of you! Thank you for sharing that wonderful feedback with us!

      Reply

  • Annie M.
    December 6, 2020

    Hi Natasha. I love your website & videos. I made the sugared cranberries but noticed that you mentioned storage at room temp only. Do you think they would hold up if I freeze them too after they are made?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 6, 2020

      Thank you so much, Annie. I haven’t tried freezing this to advise, if you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Mena
    December 5, 2020

    what can I use instead of cranberries?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 6, 2020

      Hi Mena, I have not tried any other substitute aside from cranberries. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Susan
    December 4, 2020

    Hi Natasha! Can I use frozen cranberries for this recipe?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 4, 2020

      Hi Susan, frozen would not hold up – since they are pretty wet when they thaw, it would just liquify the sugar.

      Reply

  • Malak
    November 26, 2020

    Are you going to do a video in friday

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 26, 2020

      Hi Malak, we are taking the day off this Friday. Most people aren’t excited about cooking the day after Thanksgiving so we take that opportunity to rest. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

      Reply

  • Mirna
    November 25, 2020

    Hi Natacha,
    How can I store the berries if I don’t use all of them?
    Thank you in advance!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 25, 2020

      Hi Mirna, I have tips on storing in the recipe post. I hope you love the sugared cranberries.

      Reply

  • Zory
    November 25, 2020

    How do you store them? And how long are they good for?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 25, 2020

      HI Zory, please see the notes above for storing candied cranberries.

      Reply

  • malak
    November 25, 2020

    looks nice if you a use c a pastry wheel can you give me the link

    Reply

  • Maryam
    November 25, 2020

    Made these but with oranges cause they were very sour…..they literally tasted just like candy’s everyone loved it…plus they are so easy to make…Thankyou so much for sharing Natasha

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 25, 2020

      You are most welcome, Maryann. I’m happy to hear that everyone loved it!

      Reply

  • Melissa
    November 24, 2020

    Yum – beautiful and delicious!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 25, 2020

      Thank you, Melissa. I appreciate it!

      Reply

  • Anna
    November 24, 2020

    I am a huge fan of cranberries and always stock up when they show up in stores! These sugared berries are not only gorgeous on cakes and cupcakes but also a delicious snack. Thank you for this recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 24, 2020

      Yes! It is such a treat in the cold months and I get excited with I see fresh cranberries show up in stores also.

      Reply

  • April
    November 24, 2020

    Love sugared cranberries! They’re really fun to snack on, but they also make a beautiful centerpiece at the holiday table.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 24, 2020

      They are so festive and fun. I’d love to know what you serve them on. I have a great cranberry cake coming soon with these sugared cranberries (stay tuned!).

      Reply

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