Sugared cranberries in a white bowl

Sugared Cranberries

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I love eating fruit! Cranberries are one of the fruits you don’t normally think to eat fresh because they are pretty tart, however, if you make sugared cranberries or candied cranberries, it balances out that tartness and you can enjoy them fresh!

Sugared cranberries make a great snack to enjoy during the holidays. They also make an awesome garnish for other dishes.

This candied cranberries or sugared cranberries recipe is super duper easy to make with just three ingredients. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

Bowl of cranberries next to sugar, water and a pot.

In order to make sugared cranberries you need these simple ingredients:

  • Cranberries – You can’t make candied cranberries without fresh cranberries!
  • Water – I always use filtered water because my tap water is nasty.
  • Sugar – Use white granulated sugar.
White bowl full of sugared cranberries.


  • Pot
  • Slotted spoon
  • Sheet pan
  • Cookie rack

How to make sugared or candied cranberries

Hands holding a glass bowl with fresh cranberries in it.

Begin by rinsing the cranberries really well. Don’t just take them out of the package and use them right away. It should even say on the package to rinse before using.

If you are picking them fresh off the bush, definitely rinse them. And luck you if you grow your own cranberries!

Medium pot with simple syrup in it.

Time to make a simple syrup. Add 1 cup of sugar and the water to a pot and put it on the burner. Set the heat to medium and then stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves, it will only take a few minutes.

Don’t bring it to a boil, it just needs to be warm enough to dissolve the sugar. If it is too hot the liquid will split the cranberries and we don’t want that.

Medium glass bowl full of fresh cranberries soaking in simple syrup.

Now pour the simple syrup liquid over the cranberries. Give them a good stir making sure all the cranberries get coated well.

NOTESome people will soak the cranberries in the simple syrup overnight. If you do that, take a plate just smaller than the bowl and place it on top of the cranberries to weigh them down.

Simple syrup coated cranberries on a wire rack.

Now use a slotted spoon or something similar, and scoop out the cranberries and place them on a wire rack in a sheet pan. The sheet pan will collect the drippings.

Arrange the cranberries so they are flat. Then allow them to dry for about an hour. They should get sticky, which will allow the sugar to stay coated on them, hence the name sugared cranberries or candied cranberries.

Sugared cranberries in a bowl

Now, add those cranberries to a large bowl of sugar. Use the other 1 cup of sugar. It can be a little less as well you will have some leftover.

If you have a lid for the bowl add that and give it a shake, otherwise use the spoon and scoop and stir the cranberries and sugar until well coated.

OR Place the sugar and cranberries in a ziplock bag and shake it. This works great too.

Sugared cranberries on a wire rack

Then lay the sugared cranberries out flat once again on the wire rack again and let them dry for about an hour. Then enjoy!

How long do sugared cranberries last?

You can store the sugared cranberries at room temperature for a few days. Otherwise, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

Easy sugared cranberries pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

Here are some other recipes you may like:

Dinner Rolls

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter

Peanut Brittle

Air Fryer Hard Boiled Eggs

Sugared cranberries in a white bowl
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5 from 3 votes

Sugared Cranberries

These sugared or candied cranberries make a great snack during the holidays. And they are incredibly easy to make with just 3 ingredients.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time3 minutes
Drying Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 8 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Garnish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas, fruit, Holidays, sweet, Thanksgiving
Servings: 15 people
Calories: 23kcal
Author: Matt Taylor


  • pot
  • Slotted Spoon
  • sheet pan
  • cookie rack


  • 12 oz cranberries 340g doesn’t have to be exact
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar divided (400g)
  • 1 cup water 237ml


  • Rinse the cranberries really well.
  • Add the water and 1 cup of sugar to a pot on the burner. Set the heat to medium and dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally. This is a simple syrup.
  • Pour the simple syrup over the cranberries and stir until well coated.
  • Spoon the soaked cranberries onto a sheet pan lined with a wire rack. Arrange them so they are flat. Allow them to dry for 1 hour. When done they should be slightly sticky to the touch.
  • Add the coated cranberries to a bowl with the other cup of sugar. Shake the bowl with a lid, or stir with a spoon to coat the cranberries in the sugar. Or place the sugar and cranberries in a bag and shake.
  • Put the sugared cranberries back on the wire rack to dry for about an hour. Then enjoy!


How to Make Sugared Cranberries | Candied Cranberries Recipe


NOTE: Some people like to soak the cranberries in simple syrup overnight. Weigh the cranberries down with a plate and cover the bowl to soak.
list of nutritional facts for sugared cranberries
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!


Calories: 23kcal

Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it.  If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

Check out my other website 101 Creative Dates for fun date ideas. Food and dating go hand in hand!


  1. Why is the sugar not sticking g to the cranberries?

  2. 5 stars
    I made an orange cake and used these as garnish, they made for the best treat, so easy to make and perfect for the fall, I could not get enough!

  3. 5 stars
    This is a game changer for those leftover cranberries from thanksgiving – or if you want something red and sweet on your dessert table for christmas!

  4. 5 stars
    This is such a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing!

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