Everyday Eats & Sweets / Recipes

Sparkling Sugared Cranberries: Sweet Treats for the Holidays

Sugared cranberries

Sugared cranberries are one of those fast, easy treats that look like they took a lot more effort than they did to make. (Don’t be intimidated by the times shown in the recipe—most of that is hands-off waiting time.)

They’re also a festive, pretty addition to your tabletop—almost too pretty to eat!

I like to serve these sparkling sugared cranberries at holiday gatherings or happy hours with cranberry moscow mules and spiced holiday nuts.

In my opinion, all three need to be enjoyed together as they give the perfect balance of savory, sweet, and tart to whet your appetite for the main course.

If you have leftover sugared cranberries, add them to sangria, other fancy cocktails, lemonade, or iced tea, or top off sweet treats like brownies, bundt cake, chocolate cake, or ice cream with a few berries.

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What kind of sugar to use

In this recipe, I went with plain ol’ granulated white sugar, as I find the finer grains stick better to the berries. You can also try raw cane sugar (turbinado sugar) or—if you really want to make them sparkle—roll your cranberries in a combo of sugar and edible glitter. They’d look so pretty on the table!

Sometimes I like to use coarse sparkling sugar (also known as sanding sugar or shimmer sugar) for a festive touch.

Can you use frozen cranberries?

I recommend fresh cranberries because they’ll keep their shape better. When thawed (and then heated), frozen berries will turn too soft.

This is truly a seasonal recipe to enjoy from October to December when fresh cranberries are at their peak in North America.

Sparkling sugared cranberries

Sparkling Sugared Cranberries

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 cup water
2 cups fresh cranberries

Instructions

In a small saucepan over medium heat, dissolve 1 cup sugar in water. Stir in the cranberries until well coated, then turn off the heat and let steep for about 30 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a wire cooling rack to dry, about 1 hour. They’ll be dry but tacky from the simple syrup.

Cranberries coated in simple syrup

(Reserve the syrup for use in other beverages. It can be stored in a lidded container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.)

Roll the cranberries in a bowl filled with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, then let dry for about 1 hour before serving.

Roll cranberries in sugar
Yield: 2 cups

Sparkling Sugared Cranberries

Sugared cranberries

The perfect balance of sweet and tart, sugared cranberries are one of those fast, easy treats that look like they took a lot more effort than they did to make. (Don't be intimidated by the times shown in the recipe—most of that is hands-off waiting time.) They're also a festive, pretty addition to your tabletop—almost too pretty to eat!

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 32 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, dissolve 1 cup sugar in water.
  2. Stir in the cranberries until well coated, then turn off the heat and let steep for about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a wire cooling rack to dry, about 1 hour. They'll be dry but tacky from the simple syrup.
  4. Roll the cranberries in a bowl filled with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, then let dry for about 1 hour before serving.

Notes

Reserve the syrup for use in other beverages. It can be stored in a lidded container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 532Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 138gFiber: 4gSugar: 129gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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More cranberry recipes you might enjoy:

View the Web Story on sugared cranberries recipe.

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »

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