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Quick and easy to make, and fabulously festive, Sugared Cranberries add that something special to your holiday recipes. Perfect as a tangy-tart snack, or an edible garnish on cakes, pies, cupcakes, quick breads, and even a holiday cocktail.
Each winter I get excited to see fresh cranberries in the grocery stores. I always grab a bag even if I don’t have a recipe in mind, because I’m sure I’ll come up with one! I’m not sure why I feel the need to hoard cranberries, but always hope to have enough leftover to make these beautiful little nuggets. Sugared Cranberries are sweet and tart, with a burst of tangy deliciousness, and fun to make too!
Making Sugared Cranberries couldn’t be easier. Wash your cranberries then add them to a saucepan with a simple syrup made from sugar and water. Be sure to pick through the bag for the best cranberries, using those that are still firm for this recipe.
When the cranberries are covered with the simple syrup and super sticky, remove with a slotted spoon to a drying rack. Once drained, toss just a few cranberries in a small bowl of sugar until completely coated. Return to a clean rack and allow them to dry completely. That’s it! Refrigerate until ready to use.
I’ve made Sugared Cranberries with different types of sugar over the years and thought I’d share the results with you. Top to bottom: Bob’s Red Mill White Sparkling Sugar, Organic White Sugar in the Raw, and everyday granulated sugar.
My favorite is the Sugared Cranberries made with the White Organic Sugar in the Raw (middle.) The granules of sugar are not as big as the decorative sugar and not as small as granulated. It’s the perfect size for good coverage and sparkle, and works well overall.
Did you know you can also make sugared Rosemary too? Don’t throw out the cranberry simple syrup because you can dip the Rosemary stalks using the same method. Snow covered evergreen Rosemary makes a beautiful garnish too.
Helpful hints: Take care not to over-handle the sticky dipped cranberries. The coating will become less sticky making it hard for the sugar to adhere to the cranberries. Lightly lift the cranberries (with the tips of your fingers) into the sugar then scoop the sugar over the top to cover the cranberries. Roll them around and press the sugar to the cranberry to completely cover. Once covered, they’re easily removed to a clean, dry rack. Allow the coated cranberries to air dry for a few hours, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use. This whole process goes pretty fast, and you don’t need a ton of cranberries to make a big impact on your dessert garnish. This recipe uses just 1 cup of cranberries.
Sugared cranberries make a beautiful garnish for your holiday drinks and cocktails like this Cranberry Vodka Punch Recipe from Boulder Locavore. The Sugared Cranberries pictured were made with Bob’s Red Mill White Sparkling Sugar.
Enjoy cranberries inside and out in our favorite Cranberry Almond Breakfast Cake. Lightly sweet, moist and delicious, this easy treat is perfect as a breakfast (coffee) cake, a light dessert after lunch or an anytime snack cake. These cranberries were made with granulated sugar.
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- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated, or coarse decorative sugar for coating
Combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture just starts to boil. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup fresh cranberries and stir gently to coat.
- Allow the cranberries to rest in the syrup for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then drain using a small colander or remove with a slotted spoon. (You can reserve the cranberry simple syrup to add to hot tea or cocktails)
- Place the sticky cranberries on a cooling rack taking care to separate them. Allow them to dry for 5-10 minutes, then toss one or two at a time in a small bowl filled with 2-3 tablespoons coarse or granulated sugar. Return the coated cranberries to a clean rack to dry. Dry at room temperature for at least 1 hour, then refrigerate until ready to use.
Use Sugared Cranberries to top cupcakes, cakes, a festive wreath pavlova, pies, or to garnish your holiday cocktails
Use firm, fresh cranberries for this recipe. Take care not to over-handle the sticky dipped cranberries. The coating will become less sticky making it harder for the sugar to adhere to the cranberries. Lightly lift the cranberries (with the tips of your fingers) into the sugar then scoop the sugar over the top to cover the cranberries. Roll them around and press the sugar to the cranberry to completely cover.
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Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you and your family have a blessed holiday season. I’ll be back after Christmas with a new recipe perfect for your New Year’s Eve party! Blessings to you and yours 🙂