How to Make Sugared Cranberries
An easy recipe for sugared cranberries – a beautiful, sparkly garnish for your holiday desserts and cocktails!
We’re knee-deep into December, holiday baking, gift-wrapping and, as of today, lots of fluffy white snow(!). That means that as far as I can tell, it’s prime time for all of pretty, sparkly things.
These sugared cranberries? They totally qualify as pretty and sparkly. (And delicious, too!)
I have long seen sugared cranberries garnishing holiday desserts and cocktails that feature cranberries, but for some reason (no idea why?) I thought they were some kind of high maintenance garnish. I could not have been more wrong! These couldn’t be easier to make and add such a gorgeous punch to festive recipes.
So how easy are these sugared cranberries?
First, make a simple syrup by simmering together water and sugar until the sugar dissolves (takes a few minutes). Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl, then add the fresh cranberries. Stir and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, drain your cranberries, then roll them in sugar. Toss them onto a baking sheet for about an hour so they can dry.
That. Is. It.
Such little effort for such a pretty outcome!
I used these sugared cranberries to top a phenomenal batch of cupcakes that I’ll be sharing with you tomorrow; stay tuned because they’d make an awesome holiday party (or Christmas) dessert option.
I’ve linked to some other recipes below that would be great to use sugared cranberries to garnish. Also, if you have a favorite holiday cocktail, these make a fabulous addition! Just plop them right in! You could also just keep them (or extras) in an airtight container and snatch a few throughout the day (this totally happened at my house).
I just love when my preconceived notions about a recipe’s difficulties are shattered. Easy, pretty, sparkly things are what December is all about, right?!
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar, divided
- ½ cup (125 ml) water
- 1 cup (100 g) fresh cranberries
- Combine ½ cup of the sugar with the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the simple syrup into a heat-proof bowl and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Add the cranberries and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight, stirring a couple of times to coat with syrup.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Place the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Drain the cranberries, then roll them in the sugar. You may need to roll them a few times to get a couple of layers of sugar on them. Place the sugared cranberries on the prepared baking sheet and allow to dry for 1 hour before using.
Chubby toddler hands tried stealing my cranberries while I was photographing!
Recipes Using Sugared Cranberries
Some sugared cranberry inspiration for you:
Cranberry Orange Margaritas (Half Baked Harvest)
Fresh Cranberry Ginger Margaritas (How Sweet It Is)
Buttermilk Chess Pie (Love and Olive Oil)
Cranberry Orange Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Oh Sweet Basil)
Overnight Pull-Apart Brioche Cinnamon Roll Bread (Half Baked Harvest)
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes (Diethood)