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Sugared cranberries in a small white bowl.

Sugared Cranberries

Sugared cranberries add a little shimmer and sparkle to a cake, holiday cheese board, or wintery table centerpiece. And they're only 2 ingredients: just sugar and fresh cranberries.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Drying Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 129kcal


For the sugared cranberries:

  • 4 cups granulated sugar divided
  • 2 (12-ounce) bags fresh cranberries (see note 1)


  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cranberries until well coated.
  • Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer cranberries to a wire rack and allow to dry, at least 1 hour.
  • Place remaining sugar in a medium bowl, and working in small batches, roll cranberries until well coated. Allow to dry, about 1 hour.


  1. Fresh cranberries: Stock up at the freeze around the holidays when they're delivered straight from the cranberry bog into the produce department.
  2. Yield: This recipe makes 24 ounces of sugared cranberries.
  3. Make ahead: Make the cranberries up to a couple days ahead of time, and store them in the refrigerator. They may get a little damp when they warm up; if so just roll them in sugar again and let dry. (Also, some cooks soak the cranberries in the sugar syrup overnight in the refrigerator before rolling in sugar the next day.)
  4. Storage: You can store the cranberries in a lidded container with a bowl of rice tucked inside to catch extra moisture. Depending on the humidity of your kitchen, they may become sticky over time; simply roll in sugar again and let dry.
  5. Flavoring the syrup: Adding a little vanilla extract, or steeping the simple syrup in orange zest of rosemary sprigs will add a little extra flavor to the cranberries.
  6. Garnish cocktails: Skewer a few berries and add to a signature cocktail to instantly make it even more festive. Try it with Gimlet or a Brandy Slush.
  7. Save the syrup: Use it in your home bar for sweetening drinks.


Serving: 1ounce | Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 33g | Iron: 1mg