Sugared Cranberries

Prepare to be stunned. Sugared Cranberries are a rush of sweet and sour, wet and dry. It's a big payoff from just two ingredients and a few minutes of time. So pretty! So special!

Sugared Cranberries ♥, big payoff for little effort, a rush of sweet and sour, wet and dry.

Real Food, Fresh & Festive for Decorating Holiday Desserts and Charcuterie Platters. Beautiful Color. Just Two Ingredients.

Ever Bite Into a Raw Cranberry? You Will Now!

Can you imagine eating a raw cranberry? I sure couldn't.

But once they're sugared? Wow. What a rush of sweet and sour, wet and dry.

And Sugared Cranberries are so pretty! I made these to embellish a plain-jane English-style gingerbread cake that sadly turned out to be more "ginger cake" than "gingerbread" (which means I'm stilllllllll lookin' for "my" recipe, thank you very much) but time got away, that didn't happen.

But I'm happy to have them on hand, a big payoff for little effort. They won't go to waste, this holiday season.

Sugared Cranberries ♥, big payoff for little effort, a rush of sweet and sour, wet and dry.

What Are Sugared Cranberries? Are They Edible?

Sugared Cranberries are a festive holiday sweet that add a special touch of prettiness while decorating Christmas cakes. Fresh cranberries are dipped in a sweet sugar syrup (called "simple syrup") and then rolled in sugar and left to dry.

And while Sugared Cranberries are often employed as eye candy, they are indeed safe to eat. One bite will convince you!

How to Use Sugared Cranberries

  • Decorate a holiday cake, either on the cake itself or around the cake on the cake plate or cake stand.
  • Scatter across a charcuterie platter, a holiday cookie plate, an appetizer dish.
  • Place small ramekins within reach at the table, a good reason to linger after a holiday meal.

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Sugared Cranberries ♥, big payoff for little effort, a rush of sweet and sour, wet and dry.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 24 hours
Makes about 2-1/2 cups
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 2 cups fresh (not frozen) cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Simple Syrup
  • Additional sugar

MAKE A SIMPLE SYRUP In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil, let simmer for a minute until the sugar dissolves. Cool completely. Makes about 1-1/3 cups.

SOAK THE CRANBERRIES In a bowl with room for stirring (I use a four-cup glass measuring cup), combine cranberries and 1/2 cup simple syrup. Refrigerate for 24 - 48 hours, stirring occasionally. Transfer the cranberries/simple syrup to a fine-meshed sieve, drain off and discard the simple syrup.

SUGAR THE CRANBERRIES Pile some sugar in a small shallow bowl, add more as needed. Roll the sticky cranberries in the sugar to coat, it's easiest with your fingers, one by one. Arrange the berries on a rimmed baking sheet, they shouldn't touch. Let dry at room temperature for a few hours, they'll crisp right up.

SAVOR Once dry, store the Sugared Cranberries in the fridge in an airtight glass container, if only because they're quite pretty. Use them up within a few days.

ALANNA's TIPS Simple syrup is handy to have on hand for impromptu cocktails, adding a touch of sugar to tomato sauce, etc. Since it keeps in the fridge for weeks, I always make enough to fill a squeeze bottle, extra easy to use! I half hoped that the sugar syrup would take on a little cranberry sourness or color: no such luck. Guess that means my next trick is a cranberry simple syrup! Now that my cranberries are all tucked away, I'm seeing that other cooks first sprinkle their berries with sugar, then roll them in sugar – and swear by those two thin layers. Next time!

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Quarter Cup: 86 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium; 22g Carb; 1g Fiber; 21g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 5 & Freestyle 5 & myWW green 5 & blue 5 & purple 5 & future WW points

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I love these! I was just thinking of whipping some up this season, since it's been a couple of years. Thanks for the reminder, Alanna!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna