Sugared Cranberries are made with fresh cranberries, water, and sugar. They’re crisp, sweet, and incredibly easy to make – the perfect combination of a sugary coating with a burst of tart cranberry flavor underneath! Serve these on a cheese board, or on top of a festive holiday dessert or cocktail.
This delicious treat can be whipped up quickly using just two simple ingredients (three if you count water). Making sugar-coated cranberries couldn’t be easier. Just combine the ingredients, and you are ready to go! These little gems are crisp, sweet, and incredibly delicious!
Simply add the ingredients together in a medium saucepan to get started. Sugared cranberries are the perfect last-minute holiday dessert to serve for your family and friends. Consider making them for Christmas this year!
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WHY WE LOVE SUGARED CRANBERRIES
For starters, these little treats are simple to make. It is the perfect bonus dish to make during the holiday season because they are so quick and can turn an ordinary meal into a festive feast for the eyes and tastebuds. OR you can just keep them around for a convenient and delicious snack!
Not only are these candied cranberries incredibly easy to make, BUT you can make these sweet cranberries for a very low cost. In addition, fresh cranberries are often on sale during this time of the year.
These easy sugared cranberries are a great alternative to the typical sweet cranberry sauce you tend to find with each year’s holiday spread. The tart berries combined with a sweet sugary coating are simple and complimentary to some of the heavier and savory dishes we love so much this time of year.
INGREDIENTS for this SUGARED CRANBERRY RECIPE
Bag of fresh cranberries – you will want to make sure you purchase a 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries for this recipe. However, if you cannot find fresh, frozen cranberries will work great too.
Water – one cup of water is needed for this recipe. Filtered water will work the best, but regular tap water is fine as well. You are going for equal parts sugar and water – we’ve used a simple 1 cup each.
Granulated sugar – You will need one cup sugar for this recipe – the sugar dissolves in the water to make the simple syrup that the cranberries soak in, plus you will need additional sugar for tossing the cranberries to turn them into sparkling little jewels! You can use a superfine sugar, often called caster sugar, or just your everyday sack of sugar will do.
KITCHEN GADGETS USED:
Saucepan – a small saucepan or medium saucepan will work just fine as long as the saucepan you are planning to use is at least 12 inches in size.
Slotted Spoon – you will need a slotted spoon to scoop out the cranberries from the hot simple sugar syrup and place them on a cooling rack for drying before serving.
Drying Rack – once your tart cranberries are done cooking in the sugar water, and you have scooped them onto a wire rack, they will need to dry. You will want to leave the cranberries to dry in a cool place for at least 1 hour of drying time.
HOW TO MAKE SUGARED CRANBERRIES
Combine 1 cup of sugar and one cup water in a 12-inch saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar completely. Essentially, we’re mixing up a simple syrup here, just like the recipe we use to make delicious cocktails!
Add cranberries and reduce heat to a simmer for 1-2 minutes. You do not need to simmer them for very long – they will begin to pop and burst open if they become too hot, just a quick swim in the sugar water is all that is needed. Use a slotted spoon to lift the cranberries from the syrup and place them on a drying rack.
Leave cranberries to dry for at least 1 hour – they will be tacky but no longer wet. Once they are sticky, toss them in a large bowl or sheet pan filled with white sugar. Roll them around a bit so the sugar sticks on all sides and then transfer them to and airtight container.
HOW TO SERVE
You can serve them alone as a delightful holiday dish or as a delicious addition to your other holiday snacks. They look absolutely gorgeous in a pretty serving bowl or in a mound amongst other goodies on a charcuterie board.
These sweet treats make the perfect garnish on cheese boards and desserts. People also love to make sugared cranberries for cocktails. String a few on a festive pick to garnish holiday theme drinks or atop a glass of champagne. You can even drop a couple in your sparkling water!
HOW TO STORE SUGARED CRANBERRIES
Sugared cranberries can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. They can sit out at room temperature for quite awhile, but I like to store them in the refrigerator when they’re not out for snacking.
TIPS FOR MAKING + TROUBLESHOOTING
Make sure to only let your cranberries dry for about an hour. If you allow them to dry for a couple of hours or longer, they may lose the tackiness needed to coat them in sugar.
If you do not have a slotted spoon, you can drain cranberries instead with a strainer or colander.
If you do not have a drying rack, you can allow your cranberry dessert to dry by placing them in a single layer on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet or simply spread out on a cooling rack. Do not use paper towels, as the cranberries will stick to them.
Use a large bowl to toss your dried yet still tacky cranberries with a delicious sugar coating that makes these cranberries incredibly sweet. You do not want to skip this step!
If you want to double or even triple the recipe, just make sure to use equal parts sugar and water and cook your cranberries in small batches.
- 1 cup granulated sugar plus an additional ½ cup for rolling
- 1 cup water
- 12 ounce package of fresh or frozen cranberries
- Combine 1 cup of sugar and water in a 12-inch saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar completely.
- Add cranberries and reduce heat to a simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to lift the cranberries from the syrup and place on a drying rack.
- Leave cranberries to dry for at least 1 hour – they will be tacky, but no longer wet.
- Toss cranberries in granulated sugar to coat completely.