These easy sugared cranberries are so wintry & festive! Made with just 3 ingredients, they taste like a sour candy & make a gorgeous garnish!
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.
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
- Fresh Cranberries (find these in the produce section of your grocery store)
You’ll also need:
- A small pot
- A slotted spoon
- A wire rack for the cranberries to dry on
Place the sugar and water in the pot and cook it over medium heat.
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!
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.
Then fish them out with the slotted spoon and allow them to drain on the 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!
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.
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:
- Skewer a few and garnish a cocktail such as mulled wine, hot buttered rum, sangria, frose, or hot apple cider.
- Pile a handful on top of a cake, like I did here with this orange spice pound cake or this yule log cake.
- Pop 4 or 5 on top of the big swirl of frosting on your favorite cupcakes! I did that with these cranberry white chocolate cupcakes, but I also think they’d be fantastic on these red velvet cupcakes.
- Sprinkle a few over a bowl of vanilla ice cream or chocolate mousse!
- Add a handful to your cheese board.
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.
A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE CRANBERRY RECIPES:
- Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Orange Cranberry Scones
- Cranberry Sorbet Champagne Floats
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- 1/2 cup (118.29 g) water
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar, , plus more for coating
- 12 ounces (340.2 g) fresh cranberries
- 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.
- Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
- Toss the cranberries in the cooled syrup until coated.
- Remove the cranberries from the simple syrup with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack.
- Allow the cranberries to dry until sticky to the touch (approx. 30 to 60 minutes).
- Roll the cranberries in granulated sugar to coat.
Helpful cranberry video!!!