How to Make Sugared Cranberries: A Recipe from the Farm

Last Updated on November 22, 2023 by TheFarmChicken

Sugared cranberries in the sun

Cranberries are so pretty on their own; add a sugary coating and they are even more so. These sugared cranberries are festive and pretty, great for the holiday season. They make a perfect garnish or a sweet/tart snack. They pop when you bite them and are sweet and tangy! Let’s take a look at How to Make Sugared Cranberries: A Recipe from the Farm.

I started making these sparkling cranberries a few years ago and love how pretty and simple they are to make. I made them for my daughter’s birthday and loved how simply they dressed up the food table. A lot of sugared cranberry recipes you will see more water used for the syrup. I reduced the water to make the syrup thicker which helps it to coat the cranberry better. Using a thinner simple syrup left bare, uncoated spots on the cranberries.

The tart berries are first washed, then dried. Coated with a simple syrup and tossed in granulated sugar. The contrast of the tart cranberries goes well with the sweetness of the sugar and is the perfect combination. After I made them, my little girl said, “I like them with the sugar on but not without.” They are such tart berries I can’t blame her! These cranberry jewels are simple to make but for sure will be filed as a Fancy Farm Food. Enjoy!

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washed cranberries

The Ingredients:

These easy sugared cranberries are simple to make with just 3 simple ingredients. Making these sugared cranberries is an easy way to dress up your holiday table.

Sugar

Some of the sugar is used to make the simple syrup and the rest of it you will use to roll the sticky cranberries in.

Water

Water is necessary in this recipe to make the simple syrup. The recipe only needs 2 tablespoons of it though.

Fresh Cranberries

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the fresh cranberries in the store. So many pretty and delicious ways to use this fresh fruit!

Tips for Making Sugared Cranberries:

  • Make sure to use FRESH cranberries NOT frozen. Frozen will not look or work right. Cranberry sauce is a great way to use frozen cranberries.
  • Putting a cookie sheet under the cooling rack helps to catch the mess of dripping simple syrup and makes clean up so much faster.
  • Save any left-over sugar from rolling the cranberries and use it in another recipe like these Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  • Don’t over boil the simple syrup mixture for too long. If it simmers that should be fine.

Ways to Use Sugared Cranberries

  • A fancy addition to cheese boards or charcuterie boards.
  • A beautiful garnish for cranberry recipes, holiday desserts, or other delicious recipes. Try them on Pumpkin Pie or Pecan Pie. Also, pretty on mousse or a layered chocolate cake!
  • A tart treat during the holiday season.
  • A lovely addition to the holiday table.

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How to Make Sugared Cranberries | A Recipe from the Farm

pretty sugared crans in the sunshine
  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 2 T water
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • First place the cranberries in a colander and wash them thoroughly. Then place them on a towel or paper towels and dry. Make sure they are all dried before starting on the next step. As you are washing and drying the berries take any soft ones and discard them.
  • Next, set the cranberries aside. Take a small saucepan and heat ½ cup sugar and the water on low heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves, and the mixture has slightly thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and stir the cranberries into the simple syrup mixture. Make sure to fully coat all of the berries with the warm sugar syrup.
  • Using a slotted spoon transfer the cranberries out of the pan, into a single layer, onto a wire rack that is placed on top of a sided baking sheet. (This helps some of the mess be contained.)
  • Let the cranberries dry for 15-45 minutes. Place 1 cup of remaining sugar in a bowl. Then working with a few cranberries at a time roll them in the bowl of sugar.
  • Place the sugared cranberries on a serving plate, large bowl or in an airtight container. Leave them uncovered for around 30 minutes or until fully dry.
  • Good for around a week at room temperature.

How to Make Sugared Cranberries | A Recipe from the Farm

Print Recipe
Cranberries sugared and pretty on a platter
Prep Time:15 minutes
Total Time:1 hour

Ingredients

  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 2 T water
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar divided

Instructions

  • First place the cranberries in a colander and wash them thoroughly. Then place them on a towel or paper towels and dry. Make sure they are all dried before starting on the next step. As you are washing and drying the berries take any soft ones and discard them.
  • Next, set the cranberries aside. Take a small saucepan and heat ½ cup sugar and the water on low heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves, and the mixture has slightly thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and stir the cranberries into the simple syrup mixture. Make sure to fully coat all of the berries with the warm sugar syrup.
  • Using a slotted spoon transfer the cranberries out of the pan, into a single layer, onto a wire rack that is placed on top of a sided baking sheet. (This helps some of the mess be contained.)
  • Let the cranberries dry for 15-45 minutes. Place 1 cup of remaining sugar in a bowl. Then working with a few cranberries at a time roll them in the bowl of sugar.
  • Place the sugared cranberries on a serving plate, large bowl or in an airtight container. Leave them uncovered for around 30 minutes or until fully dry.
  • Good for around a week at room temperature.

I hope you enjoy making these little sugar-coated cranberries. Comment below with any questions or how they turned out for you. I would love to hear from you!

Mariah N. | TheFarmChicken

FAQ’s

How to store sugared cranberries?

I have found the best way to store cranberries is a room temperature uncovered or loosely covered. This allows the cranberries to stay crunchy and sparkly. Putting them in the fridge makes them turn wet and soaks in the sugar.

Can you make sugared cranberries with frozen cranberries?

No, not successfully anyways. Frozen cranberries are to soft when they thaw and don’t hold onto the sugar coating well.

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