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Sugared Cranberries are a fun and festive holiday treat that require only three ingredients! These sparkly, sugar-coated fresh cranberries are great to give as gifts or to accompany your favorite holiday recipes. Personally, I love using them to garnish a poinsettia cocktail!
The combination of the tart, fresh cranberry and sweet sugar makes this simple dessert recipe a dangerously delectable treat! Popping these candied cranberries in my mouth and having them burst when I bite into them is so fun!
Ingredients for This Recipe
- Cranberries – we’ve got to use fresh cranberries for this recipe, dried or frozen cranberries simply won’t work.
- Sugar – the sweet balances out the tart from the berries.
- Water – straight from the tap is just fine.
How to Make Cranberries Coated in Sugar
- Clean the cranberries. I have detailed instructions below.
- Make the simple syrup. It’s just a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar.
- Add the fresh cranberries. Just a quick dunk, we’re not cooking the berries.
- Sprinkle with sugar. And let dry for at least 4 hours, overnight is even better.
The key to really great sugar coated cranberries is making sure they are left out to dry so the sugar has enough time to adhere.
Cleaning Fresh Cranberries
Even though cranberries are harvested in water it’s still important to properly clean them before use to rinse off any remaining residue from the fields or processing facility.
Pour the berries into a strainer and give them a healthy rinse, tossing them gently to ensure every cranberry is properly washed. Discard any berries that are off-color or squishy. Allow the excess water to drain for a few minutes before using.
Storing Leftover Sugared Cranberries
I make this recipe using an entire 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries. This means there’s enough made to decorate cakes or cheesecake or a cheeseboard and still have some leftover to snack on or give as a gift.
To help keep the cranberries firm and prevent a soggy, sugary, syrupy mess, store the sugared cranberries in a large container at room temperature with the lid slightly ajar.
Storing them this way, covered but not sealed, helps keep the berries bright and firm for up to four days!
Oh what fun!
- Small Sauce Pot
- Rimmed Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar, divided
- ¼ cup water
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, mix together ¼ cup sugar and ¼ water over medium heat stirring until sugar is just dissolved. Remove from heat and pour cranberries into saucepan, tossing gently to coat.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove cranberries from simple syrup to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle ½ cup of sugar over cranberries and shake pan vigorously to coat.
- Sprinkle remaining 1 cup sugar over cranberries and shake pan again to ensure an even coating of sugar.
- Set pan over a cooling rack and let dry at room temperature for at least four hours, giving the pan a good shake every hour to ensure the sugar is evenly coating the berries.
- For even better results, allow the cranberries to sit out and dry overnight after the initial four hours.
- Cranberries can be stored at room temperature in a container gently covered with a lid (but not sealed!) for up to four days.