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.
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.
Want more cranberry recipes? Try these:
- Cranberry Brie Bites
- Marscapone Cranberry French Toast
- Cranberry Sweet Rolls
- Apple Cranberry Tart
- Cranberry Orange Marmalade
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!
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.
- 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.
- Serve and enjoy!
Note: I’ve provided the exact ingredients and instructions in the printable recipe card below.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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- 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.