Sugared Cranberries are fresh cranberries coated in simple syrup and tossed in sugar for the perfect festive treat. The best part about this recipe is that it is only three simple ingredients–cranberries, sugar, and water!

Bowl of Sugared Cranberries on a White Counter.

Sugared Cranberries

Sugared cranberries, also known as candied cranberries or frosted cranberries, are the perfect balance of tart and sweet. These are delicious on their own as a candy, but I especially love using them for garnish! They are so beautiful and would look perfect on top of a glass of Christmas punch, a cheesecake, or a cup of cranberries in snow.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Cranberries: I used fresh cranberries for this recipe. You could also use frozen, just be sure they are thawed to room temperature before using them in this recipe.

Sugar: I used granulated sugar for this recipe.

Variations: I love the simplicity of this recipe. If you want to change it up, you can easily add in some orange zest, fresh ginger, or vanilla bean to your simple syrup mixture for added flavor.

When to Roll the Cranberries in Sugar

When to roll the cranberries can be a topic of debate. There are many methods out there! We tested rolling the cranberries in sugar straight from the syrup, as well as letting them sit for the syrup to dry before rolling them.

I preferred rolling the cranberries directly into the sugar. I had no issues with the sugar melting, and I found that the sugar sticks much better than when I allowed the syrup to dry.

Close up of Sugared Cranberries in a Bowl on a White Counter.

How to Serve Sugared Cranberries

These cranberries are beautiful on their own in a dish. They also make an impressive garnish. Add these to any recipe for a festive touch! I recommend using these for topping a cake, cheesecake, cranberry mimosa, Cranberry Vodka Slush, or any of your favorite cranberry punch recipes. You can even add a handful of these to your holiday fruit tray!

Uses for Leftover Simple Syrup

You will have leftover simple syrup from this recipe. Don’t throw it out! You can store this in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. I prefer to store it in a bottle so it is easy to pour, but any airtight container will work! Use this syrup to moisten your cakes, or as a sweetener for any of your favorite drink recipes, like a homemade lemon-lime soda.

Bowl of Sugared Cranberries with Christmas Decorations in the Background.

How to Store

Sugared Cranberries can be stored at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to one week. If the cranberries start to weep, simply re-roll them in granulated sugar again before serving. I don’t recommend freezing these, as the sugar tends to dissolve when they are thawed.

Close up of Sugared Cranberries in a Bowl on a White Counter.

Sugared Cranberries

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Drying Time 1 hour
Sugared Cranberries are fresh cranberries coated in simple syrup and tossed in sugar for the perfect festive treat.


  • ½ cup (125 g) water
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried


  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add water and ½ cup of sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Allow to simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Remove the pan from heat. Add the cranberries and stir to coat.
  • To a medium bowl, add the remaining cup of sugar.
  • Using a slotted spoon, work in batches to drain any excess syrup from the cranberries. Transfer the cranberries to the bowl of sugar. Use a separate dry spoon (or your hands) to toss and coat the cranberries in sugar.
  • Place the sugar-coated cranberries onto the prepared parchment sheet to dry (about 1 hour).


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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

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