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5 from 3 votes

Sugared Cranberries

These easy candied cranberries are easy to make with just two ingredients. Perfect for topping festive drinks and desserts during the holidays!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1
Calories: 1510.99kcal
Author: Julie Evink


  • ¼ c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. water
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries firm and fresh
  • 1 ½ c. granulated sugar or in-the-raw sugar or coarse sparkling sugar for coating


  • In a medium size saucepan combine ¼ c. granulated sugar and ¼ c. water. Heat on medium, stirring continuously, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture just starts to boil.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat and add fresh cranberries. Stir mixture until cranberries are coated.
  • Allow cranberries to sit in pan for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cranberries from pan with a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack making sure to separate them. Allow to dry for 5 minutes.
  • Place remaining sugar in a small bowl. Gently toss a few cranberries in sugar at a time. Return sugar coated cranberries to a clean cooling rack to dry. Repeat until all cranberries have been dipped in sugar. Let cranberries dry at room temperature for at least 1 hour, then refrigerate until ready to use.


Best Sugar for Candied Cranberries
For the simple syrup (the water and sugar mixture used to candy the cranberries), you will want to use granulated sugar. It dissolves quickly!
For the sugar coating - this is where you can have fun! Depending on the kind of look you want your cranberries to have, you have a few choices. 
  • Granulated sugar gives the cranberries a smoother coating and it works really well.
  • Or, try coating your cranberries in decorative sugar, which is coarser than granulated sugar and will give the cranberries a different sugar coating texture.
  • Another option is sugar-in-the-raw, which is also a coarse sugar that is light brown in color.
How to Add Different Flavors
  • Add a few orange and/or lemon peels to the syrup while it's warming before you add the cranberries.
  • Or, try adding a vanilla bean to make a vanilla simple syrup.
  • Make a cinnamon-sugar syrup by adding a cinnamon stick.
  • Add a few mint leaves to give it a minty twist!
Storage Tips
The most important thing when storing your sugared cranberries is keeping them dry. So, be sure they have dried thoroughly at room temperature for at least an hour before storing them.
Once dry, you can transfer them to an airtight container. It's best to keep them chilled in the refrigerator where they will keep well for up to two to three days. If you are making them for gifts, I recommend making the day you plan to give them and let the recipient know to enjoy them within the recommended time frame.
If the cranberries start to weep you can always roll them in a bit of sugar to freshen them up before you use them!


Calories: 1510.99kcal | Carbohydrates: 391.43g | Protein: 1.33g | Fat: 0.44g | Saturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 13.43mg | Potassium: 289.16mg | Fiber: 15.65g | Sugar: 363.04g | Vitamin A: 204.12IU | Vitamin C: 45.25mg | Calcium: 27.22mg | Iron: 0.85mg