Sugared Cranberries

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Add a little sparkle to all of your holiday recipes and decorations with Easy Sugared Cranberries!

candied cranberries in a white bowl

Sparkling Sugar Coated Cranberries

If there’s anything good that’s come out of this year, it’s that my love for cranberries has increased exponentially.

While I’ve never disliked cranberries, they’ve never been a mainstay of my holidays. This year, something flipped. I picked up my first bag of cranberries back in early November, and they’ve been making appearances in all sorts of treats ever since.

We’ve been tossing them in our favorite Brunch Punch, roasting them for Balsamic Cranberry and Brie Crostini, baking them into Cranberry Cake, and using them to make this fantastically festive Cranberry Jello Salad.

If I really want the cranberries to shine, I make this easy Sugared Cranberry recipe.

Sweet on the outside and tart in the center, these sugar coated cranberries are like nature’s warhead.

Plus, they’re so.stinking.pretty! These glossy red, glittering orbs exude holiday flair. Make a batch for your Christmas table this year!

white bowl filled with cranberries

How to Make Sugared Cranberries

All you need to make candied cranberries is 3 ingredients (including water!) and 3 easy steps. These only require about 15 minutes of active prep time, but you’ll need around 1 hour to let them dry.

  1. Make a quick simple syrup with sugar and water.
  2. Toss the cranberries in the simple syrup, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a cooling rack or baking sheet and allow to dry.
  3. Roll the cranberries in granulated sugar. You’re done!
cranberries on a baking sheet

Tips for Candied Cranberries

  • Save the leftover simple syrup for another batch of cranberries or for use in cocktails. I tried infusing the syrup with orange peels and rosemary, but I didn’t notice a big difference in the flavor of the cranberries, so I would skip it!
  • If you don’t have a cooling rack, place the cranberries on a parchment lined baking sheet. Toss every 20 minutes, so they don’t sit in any puddles of syrup. The cranberries should be dry but still sticky before coating.
  • Sugared cranberries can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll keep perfectly for 2 days, and can stretch to 3-4, though they might get a little weepy. If this happens, just toss them with a little more sugar before serving.
Candied Cranberries piled in a bowl with rosemary sprig

What to Do With Sugared Cranberries

  • Add them to a charcuterie board.
  • Use them to decorate a cake or sour cream cheesecake.
  • Use them as a garnish for cocktails, like these Cranberry Mimosas.
  • Put them in bowls for a holiday spread. They’re pretty and great for snacking!
sugar coated cranberries with rosemary sprig
candied cranberries in a white bowl

Sugared Cranberries

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Sugared cranberries are coated in simple syrup and rolled in sugar for a glittery, sweet tart holiday treat!


  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries


  1. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in the cranberries until coated, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a wire rack to cool. Alternatively, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Allow to dry for 45 minutes to an hour, or until dry but sticky. If they're on the baking sheet, toss the cranberries every 20 minutes so they dry on all sides.
  3. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar to a shallow bowl. Add a small handful of berries to the sugar and roll them to coat on all sides. Repeat until all of the cranberries are sugared.
  4. Sugared cranberries should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, and will keep for 3-4 days. If they get weepy, toss with additional sugar before serving.

Did you make this recipe?

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