Two ingredient Sugared Cranberries will instantly up-level any holiday dessert decor!

A little sweet, a little tart, and just as delicious as they are pretty. Sugared cranberries can be served as a snack or used to decorate your favorite holiday desserts.

Top cakes, pies, cheesecakes, cupcakes, or cookies with sweet, colorful little cranberries that look like they are lightly frosted in snow. Add them to a dish or eat them alone for a sweet & tart snack.

sugared cranberries in a bowl

Enjoy as a Snack or For Decorating

  • No baking, no prep, and minimal clean-up means sugared cranberries can be ready within minutes. Or make sugared cranberries in advance and freeze them so they can go directly onto a dessert or a drink!
  • Make sugared cranberries to garnish any holiday meal or beverage. Pop a few in clear glasses of hot homemade apple cider with slices of orange or add to Celebration Punch!
  • Celebrate the New Year with a glass of bubbly & sugared cranberries!
  • Use fresh sprigs of rosemary and sugared cranberries as a festive garnish on the top of a cheesecake.
  • Or set along the side of a roast turkey like this Herb Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe.

ingredients to make Sugared Cranberries

Ingredients & Variations

CRANBERRIES Sugaring berries and fruits is super easy! Fresh or frozen cranberries are used in this recipe, but the same sugaring process can be used for other fruits like raspberries, blueberries, grapes, and orange slices.

SUGAR Any granulated sugar that’s on hand will do, including sugar-in-the-raw. Superfine sugar melts faster and will coat the cranberries more thoroughly, but larger, coarser grains of sugar will reflect the light better. I sometimes use a combination.

How to Make Sugared Cranberries

Cute and sweet cranberries are so easy to make!

process of cooking cranberries and prepping to make Sugared Cranberries

  1. Boil sugar water to make simple syrup per the recipe below, add cranberries.
  2. Remove & place on a rack for a few minutes until they’re tacky or sticky.
  3. Toss in sugar and let dry completely.

process of dipping cranberries in sugar to make Sugared Cranberries

PRO TIP: Save any remaining ‘simple syrup’ for coffee, sweet tea, or cocktails!

closeup of sugared cranberries in a bowl

Got Cranberries?

What’s your favorite thing to top with Sugared Cranberries? Leave us a comment below!

sugared cranberries in a bowl
5 from 5 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Sugared Cranberries

Sugared Cranberries are easy to make, require no baking and are the perfect way to make any dessert or cookie plate look gorgeous! Use them to top cupcakes, trifles or even just to snack on.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Drying Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 oz cranberries
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  • 12 ounces cranberries fresh or frozen
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • extra sugar for rolling (coarse or fine)


  • Bring ¾ cup each water and sugar to a boil. Let boil about 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add cranberries in.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove cranberries and place on a rack letting them drip dry. Allow the cranberries to dry on the rack until they're tacky or sticky, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Place the sugar in a plastic sandwich bag (we find this easiest) and add cranberries a few at a time.
  • Shake the cranberries in the sugar and strain through a strainer or pick the cranberries out and let dry on a rack or parchment paper at least 1 hour before handling.


If you don't want to use a plastic sandwich bag, place the sugar in a bowl and roll cranberries in the sugar.
Store leftover sugared cranberries in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Toss with more sugar before serving. 
Freeze them on a baking sheet and then store them in a zippered bag for up to 2 months. 
5 from 5 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 78 | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Sugared Cranberries in a decorative bowl with a title


plated Sugared Cranberries with writing
close up of Sugared Cranberries with a title
Sugared Cranberries in a bowl and close up with a title


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. So you toss the cranberries into the sugar mixture after boiling. You don’t have to leave them in to boil for any length of time? Just coat and take right out to drip dry?