Sugared cranberries are incredibly easy to make, the perfect combo of sweet and tart and a beautiful garnish for your holiday recipes!
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Why you’ll love this recipe!
📌 Quick and easy to make.
📌 Three simple ingredients.
📌 Deliciously sweet and tart flavors.
Sugared Cranberries Ingredients
- Cranberries – Fresh cranberries
- Sugar – White granulated sugar, divided.
- Water – Cold, filtered.
How do you make sugared cranberries? (step-by-step directions)
⭐ First, add sugar and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until sugar is dissolved completely and remove from heat.
⭐ Next, add the cranberries to the pot and stir. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries from the pot and place them onto a parchment lined tray, separating them as best you can.
⭐ Then, let the cranberries dry completely.
⭐ Last, toss cranberries in the remaining sugar to coat. Use to top and garnish your favorite dishes.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card toward the bottom of this article for ingredient measurements and detailed cooking instructions.
Can I make sugared cranberries ahead of time?
Yes, these can be made ahead. Make and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Toss in more sugar if needed before using.
What kind of cranberries to use for sugared cranberries?
Using fresh cranberries is essential for this recipe. Frozen cranberries will not hold their shape and texture well.
Storage and leftovers
How long do sugared cranberries last?
Store these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Toss in more sugar if needed to freshen them up.
Can I freeze sugared cranberries?
No, we do not recommend freezing sugared cranberries. After freezing, they don’t thaw well. If you have leftover sugared cranberries, you can toss them into your homemade cranberry sauce!
Tips and tricks
✅ This recipe also works for other small berries like blueberries and blackberries. Give it a try!
✅ Add these to your holiday charcuterie boards for a fun and festive pop of color.
✅ Use sugared cranberries as a garnish around your turkey for a beautiful accent.
✅ Top your favorite cocktail like an old fashioned or a glass of champagne with a couple sugared cranberries!
Frequently asked questions
Are there any alternatives to water for boiling the sugar?
You can experiment with flavored liquids like orange juice or apple cider for a hint of additional flavor.
Can I reuse the sugar syrup after boiling the cranberries?
Yes! Run the remaining liquid through a fine mesh to remove any impurities from the cranberries and then use it in other holiday treats.
The sweetened water will have taken on some of the cranberry flavor and tartness, so taste it first to see where you think it would work. I like to add ours to iced tea or in hot apple cider. You can also reduce it to make a simple syrup (try leaving a few cranberries in while it reduces for even more flavor).
How can I prevent the cranberries from clumping together during drying?
Ensure the cranberries are well separated on the tray during the drying process. You can gently shake the tray periodically to prevent sticking.
Can I add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to enhance the flavor?
Absolutely! Experiment with your favorite spices during the boiling stage for added complexity in flavor.
What to enjoy with sugared cranberries (serving suggestions)
More delicious cranberry recipes
- Cranberry vinaigrette dressing
- Cranberry almond salmon bowl
- Cranberry jello salad
- White chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies
- Homemade cranberry sauce
- Cranberry upside down cake
- See all our recipes with cranberry!
Tools we love
- Baker’s Half Sheet – This is the baking sheet we use in the cooking video. Another favvvvvorite. I have four or maybe six of them.
- Enameled cast iron pot – This is a great and super versatile pot that can be used in both the oven and on the stove top.
- Silicon baking mat – Nothing sticks to these, I swear by them!
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How to Make Sugared Cranberries
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 cups white granulated sugar divided in 2 equal parts
- ½ cup water
- In a medium pot bring ½ cup of sugar and ½ cup of water to a boil. Boil uncovered for 2 minutes then remove from heat.
- Add the cranberries to the pot and stir for 1 - 2 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries. Place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Give the tray a shake to separate the cranberries so they're not clumped together.
- Keep the cranberries out in a cool dry place for about 1 hour or until all the moisture has evaporated.
- Toss the cranberries in the remaining sugar to coat.
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