These easy, Sugared Cranberries are perfect for charcuterie boards, holiday gifts, drink garnishes, and wowing your holiday party guests!
I have been on a roll making cranberry recipes. I bought too many from Costco and Trader Joe's and needed ways to use them.
I forgot about the giant bag of cranberries in the fridge when I went to Trader Joe's and bought four more bags. Oops!
So now I am making all the things with cranberries in them. Did you see the Cranberry Relish we shared? I also made Cranberry fluff salad, a cranberry Moscow mule, fresh cranberry sauce, and cranberry salsa.
My fridge still has cranberries, so there will probably be even more cranberry recipes rolling out soon. Do you have a favorite recipe with cranberries in it?
Sugared cranberries are also called candied, sparkling, or frosted cranberries. Whatever you call them, this easy recipe is perfect for the holidays!
They look amazing on cheese boards and charcuterie boards, are perfect for snacking, or mixed with other berries for a colorful fruit bowl.
We love using these sugared cranberries to garnish Christmas Cocktails.
This is a quick overview of the simple ingredients that you'll need to make an sugared cranberries! Specific measurements and step by step instructions are included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- White Sugar
Cranberries - We use fresh cranberries that have been washed and all stems have been removed.
Sugar - We use granulated sugar or cane sugar since it looks so good coating the cranberries.
Sugared-Coated Cranberries and Rosemary - To add the rosemary flavor simply add a sprig of fresh rosemary to the simple syrup and let it steep while stirring in the sugar.
Recipe variations - Add in a vanilla bean, orange zest to the simple syrup mixture for additional flavor.
- Medium Saucepan
- Slotted Spoon
- Baking Sheets with Sides
- Drying Rack: A cooling rack allows the cranberries to drip to get an even coating.
- Parchment Paper: Please use parchment or something to make it easier to clean up!
How to Make Sugared Cranberries
I've included complete instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post but here's a quick version.
Step 1 - Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
Step 2 - Once sugar has fully dissolved stir in the cranberries to saucepan and stir until well coated.
Step 3 - With a slotted spoon transfer cranberries and transfer cranberries to a wire rack.
Step 4 - Allow cranberries to dry for at least an hour. They will be sticky!
Step 5 - Working in batches roll cranberries in sugar until the sugar is evenly coating cranberries.
Step 6 - Once you have rolled them in sugar dry cranberries on a parchment lined cookie sheet for at least an hour.
Serve in a bowl or spread on a charcuterie board.
Preparation and Storage
Make Ahead + Storage:
Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature.
If you are worried about leaving them out at room temperature, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
If you notice the cranberries weeping, toss them in fresh sugar to re-coat them.
Freezing/How to Freeze: We do not recommend freezing these Sugared Cranberries. They start to get mushy as they defrost.
Substitutions: You can use white or brown sugar, depending on your preferred flavor. Brown sugar will give the cranberries a molasses flavor, with dark brown sugar imparting the most flavor.
Vegetarian + Vegan Option: Cranberries, sugar, and water are the only ingredients in this holiday cranberry recipe, making it vegetarian and vegan!
Gluten-Free: This recipe is also 100 percent safe for a gluten-free diet.
Smaller Serving Size + Larger Group/More Servings: You can halve, double, or scale this recipe to how many cranberries you need.
Sugar-Free: The written recipe contains 413 grams of sugar per batch. Sweeten your cranberries with a sugar-free alternative to make it sugar-free.
Tips for the Best Sugared Cranberries
- For the best results, plan time for the cranberries to dry.
- If your Sugared Cranberries start to get mushy, you can use them in a homemade cranberry sauce.
- You can use the sugar syrup left behind after making these cranberries to flavor cakes or cupcakes or as a simple syrup for cocktails.
- If you are wondering how to tell if fresh cranberries have gone bad, see if they are soft, mushy, have bruises or mold, smell off, have shriveled, or look like they have issues.
- Nutrition information, including calories, protein, calcium, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin c, potassium, cholesterol, sodium, trans fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and more, will vary depending on the products used.
What to Serve with Sugared Cranberries
This quick and easy recipe gives you homemade Candied Cranberries that will jazz up any holiday snack or charcuterie spread! Here are some menu pairing suggestions to make it part of a festive feast for sharing with friends and family.
Sides: Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Smokies, Cheddar Bay Sausage Balls, Cheesy Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Potato Casserole with Canned Yams, Creamed Corn Casserole, Campbell's Green Bean Casserole, CrockPot Scalloped Potatoes & Ham
Main Dishes: Eggnog French Toast, Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole, Ham & Cheese Crescent Roll, CrockPot Turkey, CrockPot Ham, CrockPot Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs, Bourbon Baked Ham, CrockPot Orange Glazed Ham, CrockPot Coke Glazed Ham
Desserts: Eggnog Cookies, Cranberry Fluff, 4 Ingredient Christmas Crack, Reindeer Chow, Grinch Bark, No Bake Church Window Cookies, Eggnog Cake with Eggnog Glaze, No Bake Eggnog Pie, Snowball Cookies, Snow Ice Cream, Black Forest Cupcakes, no bake pumpkin pie
Drinks: Broken Down Golf Cart Shot, Baileys Hot Chocolate, Grinch Jello Shots, Fireball Jello Shots, Cherry Bomb Shot, Cranberry Mimosa, Eggnog Coffee, Peppermint Patty Shot, Polar Bear Shot, Boozy Grinch Drink, Three Wise Men Shot, Maple Old Fashioned Cocktail
When to Serve
- Holiday Parties
- Cocktail Garnish
- DIY Holiday Gift
- Dessert Topping
- Snack or sweet treat
- Decorate an appetizer board/charcuterie board
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- 12 Ounce Cranberries 1 bag
- 2 cups White Sugar
- ½ cup Water
- Clean and dry cranberries, make sure to remove any extra stems or mushy cranberries.
- Combine ½ cup sugar and a ½ cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the cranberries to the sauce pan and stir to evenly coat all of the cranberries in syrup.
- Using a slotted spoon remove the cranberries and spread them on a drying rack. Dry for a minimum of 1 hour.
- Working is batches roll cranberries in sugar until evenly coated. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet for at least an hour to dry.
- Cookie Sheets
- Parchment Paper
- Spider Strainer