Learning how to sugar cranberries is a fun holiday activity for kids and great addition to your Christmas recipes! Simple sugar cranberries (aka: candy cranberries) are perfect for snacking, cranberries in recipes for desserts or drinks, perfect garnish for Christmas cakes, and even holiday decorations for holiday tables or on a beautiful garnish for a Christmas cheese board. This sugared cranberry recipe uses just three ingredients, so add it to your easy holiday recipes!
How To Sugar Cranberries (Sugared Cranberries Easy Recipe)
I made this as a quick sugared cranberry treat (frosted cranberries) one year for Christmas and my daughter fell in love with them. (It’s seriously one of her favorite things for Christmas because tart cranberries with sweet sugar coating makes a great snack!) They’re the perfect mix between tart fresh cranberries and sweet treats. Now, she asks if we can make sugar cranberries every year because they’re like cranberry candy! Definitely add this to your holiday kids activities!
How To Make Sugared Cranberries For Drinks and Holiday Recipes
How do you prepare fresh cranberries for eating?
- Dissolve sugar in water in pot on the stove.
- Add fresh cranberries and gently stir to cover the cranberries in the syrup sugar mixture.
- Transfer cranberries to drying racks (cooling rack).
- Carefully cover cranberries with sugar.
- Add sugar covered cranberries to drinks, Christmas recipes, holiday desserts, or eat as a quick snack!
Don’t worry about where to buy sugared cranberries, because this is such an easy homemade recipe!
For the full sugar glazed cranberries recipe, including how to cook raw cranberries, the ratio of sugar to cranberries, and how to store sugared cranberries, see below to get the printable recipe card.
Making The Cranberry Sugar Coated Recipe
This candied cranberry recipe is so versatile for festive dishes.
I’ve made a holiday cake using sugared cranberries for garnish (sometimes called candied cranberries) and it was a so beautiful.
(See the pic of the sugared cranberry garnish after the recipe near the bottom of the post of our cranberry orange Christmas cake with sugar-coated cranberries.)
And, it’s a perfect recipe if you have leftover cranberries from the holidays and you’re wondering what to do with extra cranberries.
(You can even use these for sugared cranberries champagne or other drinks!)
If you’re looking for cranberry recipes or a cranberry dessert for the holidays, cranberries Christmas recipes, or even an easy snack, or even wondering how to sweeten cranberries for garnish, add these to your list!
Here are more ideas for things to do with cranberries, recipes with real cranberries / recipes with fresh cranberries…
What To Do With Sugared Cranberries
What to do with cranberries with sugar:
- Add sugar cranberries to holiday drinks (sugared cranberries for cocktails are so festive!)
- Include frozen sugared cranberries in Christmas punch
- Use them with drink glitter to make sparkling cranberries drinks for kids (They will love sugar coated cranberries for drinks this way!)
- Use sugared cranberries for garnish on a festive cheeseboard or holiday charcuterie board
- Make a frosted cranberry salad
- Use them as a garnish for cranberry sauce homemade
- Decorate a pumpkin pie with sugared cranberries
- Top Christmas cakes with sugar cranberry
- Decorate cranberry snowballs with them
- Use them on a cranberry dessert for Thanksgiving
- Make sugar cranberry topped cupcakes
- Top them on a cranberry freeze recipe or cranberry smoothie
- Bake a sugar cranberry pie
- Use them for sparkling cookie toppings
- Decorate frosted cranberry cookies
- Enjoy sugared cranberry cider
- Make frosted cranberries decor / use cranberries for decoration for a holiday party
- Include a baggie of sugar sweetened cranberries in your homemade food Christmas gifts
- Leave sugared coated cranberries on Santa’s cookie plate
- Garnish any of your easy cranberry dessert recipes with them
- Eat cranberries with sugar as a treat (They’re like a cranberry candy, so share cranberry snacks recipes with kids!)
NEED OTHER RECIPES WITH CRANBERRIES? TRY THESE HOLIDAY RECIPES WITH CRANBERRY:
(Includes how to sweeten fresh cranberries for sauce)
(Definitely add this to your recipes for cranberries! It’s one of my favorite cranberry ideas!)
IMPORTANT: Sugaring Cranberries Tips For The Frosted Cranberry Recipe
The success to this cranberry recipe is the drying time (use a slotted spoon to drain sugar frosted cranberries first).
After you “cook” the cranberries, they will need to dry in order to form a “sticky” coating. This is what the sugar coating will stick to.
I use two drying racks like this, crisscrossed so that the cranberries don’t fall through to the counter and the air can still circulate around them.
Put a baking sheet (or parchment paper) under the cranberry wire rack to collect any drips and extra sugar for this frosted cranberries recipe!
Before we get to frosted sugar cranberries recipe…
Can you eat sugared cranberries?
Yes, you can eat sugar coated cranberries. They’re not just for decoration! However, if you’re wondering are raw cranberries edible, you probably don’t want to eat uncooked cranberries. Not only are cranberries very tart when they are not sweetened, they are also very acidic for your teeth. Plus, they just don’t taste that great when you have a cranberry not cooked.
You may be wondering how long do sugared cranberries last…
How long can you keep sugared cranberries?
You can store sugared cranberries in an airtight container or lidded container (we just use a resealable plastic bag) at room temperature. Be sure to store them in a cool, dry place. Storing the sugared cranberries this way will make them last for a couple of days up to a week. The sugar in cranberries may melt off if you keep them in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze sugared cranberries…
Can I freeze sugared cranberries?
You can store cranberries (before they are “sugared”) in the refrigerator for around two weeks. If you need to store longer, place in a resealable freezer bag and store flat in the freezer, preferably before you glaze cranberries with sugar or make the recipe for sugar cranberries.
If you’re looking for recipes with frozen cranberries, this probably isn’t it.
How long will cranberries keep in the freezer?
You can freeze cranberries for up to a year. However, I wouldn’t freeze sugared cranberries. Once you thaw the frozen sugared cranberries, you may find some of the sugar “melting” off. Instead, freeze the cranberries before they are “sugared” and then sugar them after they are defrosted.
What kind of sugar do I use for sugared cranberries?
If you can find superfine sugar, use that for a sugared cranberry recipe. Coarse sugar doesn’t work as well, however if you only have regular white granulated sugar or cane sugar, that will work for sugar cranberry recipes, too. The sugary coating will just be a little thicker.
PRO TIP: You can also use a food processor to grind the sugar into a fine sugar consistency.
We used regular sugar in this recipe and it turned out fine with the syrup mixture.
We just dusted any bigger pieces of sugar off after the cranberries dried, if needed.
Let’s get to the candied cranberries recipe and learn how to make cranberries sweet!
Definitely get your kids involved in learning how to frost cranberries. They’re such fun Christmas kids activities!
Here’s how to sugar coat cranberries step by step…
How to Make Sugared Cranberries (Candied Cranberries Recipe)
You might be surprised to learn that this holiday recipe for frosty cranberries is just a bag of cranberries sugar and water!
The cranberry sugar is just plain white sugar, so you don’t need anything special to get this beautiful look.
(These cranberries are so pretty on holiday cocktails or perfect way to garnish Christmas punch!)
This is one of my favorite ways to make cranberries for the holiday season and a great way to tame tart cranberries.
There are different ways to make this recipe.
Some people make these as a candied cranberries egg white recipe, but I don’t find it necessary to add the egg white. The hot simple syrup make with a cup of water (sugar water) on dried cranberries makes the sugar stick just fine.
This is a sugared cranberries quick recipe – just 3 ingredients and cooked for only 5 minutes!
Once the sugar syrup is done, you just dry cranberries!
(It’s the drying time that takes the longest.)
Cooking with dried cranberries us a lot different than recipes with fresh cranberries, so be sure to read through the printable recipe before you start cooking!
Here’s the easy way to make cranberries with sugar (easy with no video needed!).
- 1 package (12 ounce) fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups white sugar
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add cranberries and stir until all cranberries are completely wet and coated.
- Transfer cranberries to wire drying racks using a slotted spoon. Let sit for 30 minutes or until cranberries are dry, but sticky, to touch.
- Add remaining sugar to a resealable plastic bag. Working in batches, carefully spoon sticky cranberries (a couple of slotted spoons at a time) into the bag. Seal the bag and gently shake the cranberries until they are completely covered with sugar. Transfer them back to the racks for drying, around 30 minutes. Repeat process until all cranberries are used.
If you're making a sugar cranberry recipe for snacking, try adding a little orange zest or a Tablespoon of orange juice into the syrup sugar while it's cooking
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 0gSugar: 34gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
Cranberry Holiday Recipes and Other Things To Do With Fresh Cranberries
Cranberry Orange Cake with Sugared Cranberries
Here’s the cake I decorated with the sugared cranberries.
It’s one of those easy cranberry recipes with fresh cranberries!
(If you’re wondering what to do with extra cranberries leftover after Thanksgiving or how to use frozen cranberries, this is a great recipe for that!)
I love the look of sparkling sugar cranberries on holiday recipes.
(It’s so sparkly and a festive holiday dessert, right? It was the perfect addition to Christmas dinner!)
I just made a boxed cranberry-orange cake recipe (cranberry and orange is the perfect combination!).
Then, I baked this holiday cake in a beautiful holiday bundt pan. (You can also make it as a cranberry bundt cake in a regular bundt cake pan.)
After the cake cooled, I sprinkled it with powdered sugar and added the sugar cranberry.
You can also add a little more powder sugar for powdered sugar covered cranberries.
It really is a beautiful dessert for a holiday table (and the sugared cranberries recipe gives it something special)!
The tart and sweet cranberries are great contrast for this cake or for extra flavor on any delicious holiday treats!
Definitely add this cranberry sugar recipe to your Christmas desserts!
Fun Recipe Tip: You can even do sugar coated blueberries or other sugared berries! (Candied blueberries for cake like this are beautiful, too!)
Cranberries Sugar Recipe paired with How Cranberries Grow Children’s Book
If you want to make this into a fun cooking projects with the kids, then you definitely want to talk about cranberries harvest.
I think your kids will have fun learning about how cranberries grow and how they are harvested.
We love Time for Cranberries by
From the book:
From the cranberry bog to the Thanksgiving table, join Sam and his family as they harvest a classic American fruit.
When the vines hang heavy with berries that the autumn winds have turned deep red, it’s time for cranberries, and Sam is finally old enough to help with the harvest!
This charming, lyrical picture book follows Sam and his family as they raise the water in the bog, pick the cranberries, and gather the fruit for processing.
It’s a story of modern family farming in action, showing readers where their food comes from but mostly delighting them along the way.
Listed Age Range: 4-7 years