These Sugared Cranberries are fun, beautiful, and super easy to make. Garnish your holiday drinks or adorn your cheese and charcuterie boards with fresh candied cranberries!
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's so easy to make. If you can make a simple syrup (you can) and roll these cranberries around in some sugar, you can totally make these sugared cranberries.
- These cranberries are so festive! I mean, look at them! They're the perfect festive garnish for drinks, especially around the Winter holidays.
- You only need three ingredients to make it. And one of those ingredients is water. You got this.
💭 What are Sugared Cranberries?
Sugared Cranberries are fresh cranberries that have been dunked into a simple syrup before being rolled in sugar. The sugar gives the cranberries a frosty, snow-covered appearance.
You can use sugared cranberries to garnish your drinks: cocktails and mocktails, alike! These candied cranberries are also beautiful additions to cheeseboards or other holiday spreads. If you like a sweet-tart (mostly tart, hahah) treat, you can also pop these sugared berries right into your mouth and snack away.
- Water: Just plain tap water will do.
- Sugar: I used white granulated sugar. You could certainly use brown or demerara sugar, but keep in mind that they appearance of the sugared cranberries will be altered.
- Cranberries: You'll need to pick up some fresh cranberries from the store. I usually find that they begin showing up in the produce section around October-ish. Unfortunately, frozen won't do in this recipe. Frozen cranberries tend to get very mush and start weeping liquid once they thaw out. You want firm, fresh cranberries for this recipe.
👩🏻🍳 How do you make Sugared Cranberries?
Though they look super fancy, it's actually really easy to make sugared--or candied--cranberries.
You'll start out by making a bit of a simple syrup and coating the fresh cranberries in the syrup.
Next, you'll need to let that simple syrup dry on the cranberries. I've found that the easiest way to do this is to take a baking sheet, line it with foil or parchment paper, and set a baking cooling rack on top of that. Gently pour the coated cranberries onto the cooling rack and spread them out in a single layer. Check out the picture below to get a better idea of what I'm talking about.
Once the simple syrup has dried on the cranberries for about an hour, you want to take the cranberries and toss them with some granulated sugar. This will result in the beautiful frosty appearance that you see in the photos.
After you've made your sugared cranberries, they can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days. If, after a day or two, you find that they start to get a little juicy, you can always just toss then with a bit more sugar.
🔗 Other drink garnishes
Looking for other fabulous garnishes for your drinks? Check out the photos and links below for some other options!
- Homemade Luxardo Cherries from A Nerd Cooks
- Dehydrated Citrus from Jaylynn Little
- Easy Citrus Salts from Platings + Pairings
- Brandied Cherries from With Spice
❓ FAQs/Tips and tricks
Nope, they have to be fresh berries. Frozen cranberries, once they start to thaw out, begin to seep. They also get really mushy.
They should keep for about 2-3 days when stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
Garnish your favorite wintry cocktails and mocktails with these cranberries!
They might start to seep out a little juice after a bit of time sitting at room temperature, covered in sugar. This is normal. Just toss them with a bit more sugar to coat, and you'll be good to go!
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- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar divided
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries rinsed
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Set a baking cooling tray on top of the tray. Set this aside.
- Combine the ½ cup of water and ½ cup of the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Whisk occasionally, bringing the mixture to a simmer, until the sugar has completely dissolved into the water.
- Turn off the heat and add the fresh cranberries to the syrup. Stir gently to coat the cranberries in the simple syrup.
- Carefully pour the cranberries onto the prepared cooling rack on the baking sheet. Allow them to cool for about an hour.
- Put the remaining sugar into a large bowl. Add the syrup-coated cranberries to the sugar and toss to cover the cranberries in sugar.
- Store the sugared cranberries in an airtight container for a 2-3 days
- If, after a few days at room temperature, your cranberries start to seep a little bit, you can toss them in some more granulated sugar to restore their sparkly, sugary exteriors
- Only use fresh cranberries, never frozen
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is a generated estimate and is not guaranteed to be accurate.