These easy sugared cranberries are so wintry & festive! Made with just 3 ingredients, they taste like a sour candy & make a gorgeous garnish!

Sugared cranberries displayed in various sized glass bowls.

The winter holiday season has unofficially begun!

And today I’m bringing you a fun little kitchen project that can be used in all sorts of different ways: sugared cranberries!

These little gems are so easy to make, you’ll only need 3 ingredients. And they make the prettiest, tastiest garnish for everything from drinks to side dishes to cakes and cupcakes.

Sugared cranberries recipe prepared and served in glass bowls.

WHAT DO SUGARED CRANBERRIES TASTE LIKE?

Fresh cranberries are juicy and very tart!

But when you coat them in a layer of sugar they become so much sweeter. And they also get a little bit of crunch on the outside!

It’s a lot like a sour patch kid, but all-natural and so fresh and seasonal.

HOW TO MAKE SUGARED CRANBERRIES

This process is really easy.

To start, you’ll just need:

  • Regular, granulated white sugar
  • Water
  • Fresh Cranberries (find these in the produce section of your grocery store)

You’ll also need:

Place the sugar and water in the pot and cook it over medium heat.

Sugar and water in a small pot.

At first, it will look cloudy. Stir it as it heats and you’ll see it become clear after a few minutes. It’s done!

Simple syrup in a small pot.

You do not have to boil the sugar and water mixture. Just get the sugar dissolved and you’re good to go.

Once this simple syrup has cooled you can pop in the cranberries.

Stir them around in the syrup so every one gets bathed in the sweet syrup.

Fresh cranberries coated in simple syrup.

Then fish them out with the slotted spoon and allow them to drain on the wire rack.

Transferring cranberries to a wire rack.

Be careful that every one gets air flow all the way around. It’s best if none of the cranberries touch.

After about 30 minutes to an hour, they should feel really sticky to the touch. It’s time to move on to the final step!

Fresh cranberry sticky to the touch.

Working about a handful at a time, roll the berries around in sugar. The partially dried syrup acts as the glue that will allow the sugar to stick to the cranberries.

Coating cranberries in granulated sugar.

HOW TO USE

You can totally snack on these sugar coated cranberries, just as is!

Display them in a pretty glass bowl and people can just grab a few as they walk by. They taste even nicer than they look!

But they work so well as a garnish too. Scatter a handful on a serving platter and it will elevate the presentation of just about any dish. Especially with a few sprigs of rosemary!

Here are a few other ideas:

Close-up image of sugar coated cranberries in a champagne glass.

CAN YOU USE FROZEN CRANBERRIES?

I prefer to use fresh cranberries for this recipe, but you can get away with frozen in a pinch.

Allow them to thaw first, and just keep in mind that the freeze/thaw process can cause them to leak a lot of juice and lose their shape, so they might not look as plump and round.

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?

Sugar cranberries will last at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, or in the fridge for around a week.

HOW TO STORE

Once the sugar coating has dried really firm and hard, you can pop these into a bowl or airtight container.

If you put them in the freezer, it’s best to eat them frozen and not thawed. As they thaw, the sugar tends to melt.

How to make sugared cranberries and display them as winter decor.

A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE CRANBERRY RECIPES:

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Sugared Cranberries
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Resting Time:
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

These easy sugared cranberries are so wintry & festive! Made with just 3 ingredients, they taste like a sour candy & make a gorgeous garnish!

Course: Topping
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make sugared cranberries, sugar coated cranberries, sugar cranberries, sugared cranberries, sugared cranberries recipe
Servings: 12 ounces
Calories: 45 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for coating
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
Instructions
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small pot and cook over medium heat until the mixture is clear and the sugar has completely dissolved.

  2. Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.

  3. Toss the cranberries in the cooled syrup until coated.

  4. Remove the cranberries from the simple syrup with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack.

  5. Allow the cranberries to dry until sticky to the touch (approx. 30 to 60 minutes).

  6. Roll the cranberries in granulated sugar to coat.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Sugared Cranberries
Amount Per Serving (1 ounce)
Calories 45 Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0.003g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.02g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.01g
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 23mg1%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 0.1g0%
Vitamin A 17IU0%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 3mg0%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.