How To Make Sugared Cranberries In 3 Easy Steps

Looking for a fun and festive way to decorate your holiday treats? Try making some sugared cranberries! These little berries are easy to make and add a pop of color and sweetness. They can be used in various recipes, from appetizers to desserts! These sugary cranberries are not only a delicious seasonal treat but also a beautiful garnish to all your holiday dishes and festive cocktails.

how to make sugared cranberries

Easy-to-make sugared cranberries

Cranberries are super popular during the holiday season and with reason. They are absolutely delicious! You’ve got:

And that’s just to name a few popular recipes. Cranberries are very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. What better way to enjoy them than with a little bit of sweetness? These sugared cranberries hit the spot.

Besides eating them as a snack, use these sugary cranberries to add to a holiday look to a cookie tray, cheeseboard, and holiday desserts. You can even use them as a cocktail garnish. This year, I used them to decorate my gingerbread house cake.

All you need to make candied cranberries are three ingredients: white sugar, water, and fresh cranberries! It’s really that simple.

fresh cranberries rolled in white sugar

Want more cranberry recipes? Try these:

sugary cranberries
Gingerbread House Cake

Ingredients for candied cranberries

Here’s what you need to make this recipe:

  • Cranberries: The main ingredient! You will need 1 bag of fresh cranberries for this recipe.
  • Sugar: To make sure the cranberries are perfectly coated, you will need 2 cups of white sugar. Although, using another type of sugar might not be able to dissolve and coat the cranberries as effectively.
  • Water: To help the sugar dissolve and coat the cranberries, you will need about 1/2 cup of cold water. It makes this delicious sugary syrup that pairs nicely with the tart cranberries!
easy candied cranberries

How to make sugared cranberries for the holidays:

This recipe can’t get any easier. All you need to do is…

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water.
  • Then, stir until the sugar is dissolved (2-3 minutes) and then remove from the heat.
  • After, gently fold in the cranberries until they are well coated.
coating fresh cranberries in simple sugar syrup
  • Using a colander, drain the liquid from the cranberries.
  • Transfer the cranberries to a wire rack and let dry for at least an hour.
candied cranberries in a saucepan
  • Working in small batches, roll the cranberries in the remaining sugar until they are well coated.
  • Let them dry for at least one hour on a wire rack.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Note: I’ve provided the exact ingredients and instructions in the printable recipe card below.

sugared cranberries in a bowl
sugar coated cranberries

How to serve sugared cranberries

First and foremost, they taste great by themselves or as part of a cheese board appetizer. The sugar shell offsets the tart cranberries perfectly for a juicy snack that everyone will love. Serve them with some pepperoni and you’re good to go!

My all-time favorite way to serve them? Holiday cocktails! Not only do they add a bit of pizzazz to your drink, but they also look fabulous on a wood skewer placed atop the glass. When sugar comes in contact with a cocktail, it will dissolve and adds this sweet/tart flavor to the drink.

I think they would look especially wonderful with my Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail or Jingle Juice Holiday Punch. I most recently used them when I made my Very Merry Ornamentini!

Beyond those ideas, you can use them to garnish your cookie tray or any seasonal appetizer. Let me show you how easy they are to make!

Very Merry Ornamentini

Frequently asked questions about homemade sugary cranberries

Here are a few questions I’ve been asked when I have shared this easy cranberry recipe.

How long do sugared cranberries take to make?

The entire process takes about 2 hours, but most of that time is inactive! All you need to do is mix the ingredients together and wait for the cranberries to cool.

How long do sugared cranberries last?

If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, sugared cranberries will last up to two weeks!

Do sugared cranberries need to be refrigerated?

Yes, sugared cranberries should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. They can last up to 5-7 days, but they are best enjoyed within a few days of making them.

Can sugared cranberries be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 2 months. When ready to enjoy, let the cranberries thaw overnight in the refrigerator before eating.

Sugared Cranberries drying on a wire rack

That’s a wrap on easy sugared cranberries!

Pretty simple, right? It’s easy to see why these little guys make the perfect holiday garnish. Now you’re ready to tackle the holidays with a delicious dessert recipe (that doubles as an adorable and festive village), plus some sparkly cranberries you can use in a variety of ways.

Enjoy and happy holidays!

a bowl of sugary cranberries

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Sugared Cranberries

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, cranberries, dessert, holiday, sugared cranberries
Servings: 12
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 25 mins
These sugared cranberries are not only a delicious seasonal treat, but they make a beautiful garnish to all of your holiday dishes and festive cocktail recipes.


  • 2 cups sugar - divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bag (12-ounces) fresh cranberries


  • In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the cranberries until they are well coated. Using a colander, drain the liquid from the cranberries. Transfer the cranberries to a wire rack and let dry for at least an hour.
  • Working in small batches, roll the cranberries in the remaining sugar until they are well coated. Let them dry for at least one hour on a wire rack.
  • Store the cranberries in a bowl without a lid. Enjoy as a snack within two days or use as decor for up to two weeks.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 24mgFiber: 1gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 17IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!
Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | #IBCholiday
Sugared Cranberries and Gingerbread House Cake | #IBCholiday
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  • Aimee Tucker at

    Can the cranberries sit longer than an hour before I roll them in sugar?

  • Connie at

    I make these every year thanks to you. I used them on and in anything I can. Thanks!

  • zenmom at

    Loved your simple decoration on the cute houses. I’ve got a Nordic Ware bundt pan that makes 6 mini houses, which I love. I had just about decided to make them with a chocolate cake this year, but the gingerbread recipe is very tempting!

  • Sheila Vives at

    Very festive and this looks so delicious! I love inspiration like this.

  • Patti at

    Just ordered this gingerbread mold last night. Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  • Karen Mary at

    Can’t wait to try the gingerbread houses! Did they slide out of the pans easily? (I have visions of myself digging out pieces of chimney! :)) And the beautiful cranberries will definitely be dotting all sorts of celebratory plates around here this season! Thanks for your beautiful posts!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Yep, no problem at all. The baking cooking spray works perfectly.

      xo Michael

  • Karen Maia at

    Hi Michael!

    I love your blog and EVERYTHING you post is just fabulous. I have also printed out many of your recipes.

    Thank you for keeping it real!

  • Amy Lambermont at

    Love how simple the cake is! You are truly original, thank you.

  • Trish at

    Gorgeous! I’ve been wondering what to do with the lovely cranberries that came in my csa basket!!

  • Design Chic at

    What a beautiful gingerbread house and the sugar cranberries add the perfect festive touch. Have loved seeing all of your decorations, Michael – so pretty!!

  • Matilda Joyce at

    Just bought the larger pan – excited to try this recipe.

  • Susan at

    Thanks for
    The recipe I’m making them! Your photos are amazing!!!

  • Kimmy at

    Gorgeous! We just went looking for a Bundt pan this weekend, no luck and we had already planned a trip to the Home Goods this coming weekend to search there! Perhaps we will be fortunate as well to find a cute one, similar to yours!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I just saw a couple of them at two stores this past weekend. Good luck!

      xo Michael

  • girlfromwva at

    i LOVE your gingerbread house, simply divine!

  • lisa brennan at

    Love these ideas!! I’m getting the cake pans – probably both :-O And, I can’t wait to make the sugared cranberries. Thank you so much – I’m thrilled to have found your blog and look forward to your postings …

  • Jennifer at

    Perfection! I love that you kept the gingerbread house decorations simple.

  • JoeyfromSC at

    Beautiful! I must get that cake pan lol
    Thanks for the sugared cranberries recipe. I’ve always wanted to make those!

    thanks r for the awesome giveaway too!

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