Sugared Cranberries take a minimum of time and effort to prepare, and they’re the perfect holiday party snack. Add them to holiday cookies and cakes for some extra bling!

It costs approximately $1.63 to make these Sugared Cranberries. The recipe makes sixteen servings which cost about $0.10 per serving.

See how sugared cranberries are used in this Orange and Cranberry Shortbread Cookie recipe.

An overhead picture of the finished Sugared Cranberries in a white serving dish.

These Sugared Cranberries are a bright, beautiful, and festive addition to your holiday table. They are made with only three ingredients.

If you have never had Sugared Cranberries before, they are candied cranberries coated in sugar water and then rolled in granulated sugar. Sugar Coated Cranberries are a sweet treat on their own or when added to another dessert.

Today I’m sharing a tutorial on how to make sugar cranberries. They’re lovely, glittery, and perfectly tart.

Ingredients and Estimated Cost

Per Serving Cost: $0.10

Recipe Cost: $1.63

  • ½ cup water – $0.00
  • 1 cup granulated sugar – $0.17
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries – $1.46

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in November 2022.

An overhead picture of all of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How To Sugar Cranberries

  1. First, combine ½ cup of water and ½ cup of sugar in a medium saucepan and heat until the mixture comes to a simmer.
  2. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely and remove from the heat to allow it to cool for five minutes. 
  3. Next, add two cups of cranberries, one cup at a time, to the saucepan. Stir to coat the cranberries in the simple syrup. 
  4. Remove the cranberries from the simple syrup with a slotted spoon. 
  5. Set the cranberries on a wire rack over a foil-lined cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining cranberries. Let the cranberries dry for one hour.
  6. Add ⅓ cup of sugar to a pie plate, followed by ⅓ of the cranberries. Cover the cranberries with sugar and then scoop them up with a slotted spoon, shaking off the extra sugar. Set the cranberries on the wire rack. 
  7. Finally, repeat with the remaining cranberries. Allow all the cranberries to dry before serving. 

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe.

Storage Tips

SERVE: These sparkling cranberries are great on their own but also perfect for garnishing cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.

STORE: The cranberries will keep, in an air-tight container, for one week.

FREEZE: Sugar coated cranberries do not freeze and thaw well so I do not recommend freezing them.

Recipe FAQs

How do you dry sweeten cranberries?

You will first dip the cranberries in a sugar water mixture and then place them on a wire rack to dry completely for about an hour. Then, to really sweeten the cranberries you will place them in a bowl of sugar and toss to coat them completely. Again, place the sugar covered cranberries on a wire rack to dry completely before serving. 

What can I do with a bag of fresh cranberries?

My first recommendation is to make these Sugared Cranberries! They are simple to make, and everyone loves them. For more recipes using cranberries, see my list below.

Can you eat fresh cranberries without cooking them?

Yes! Fresh cranberries are safe to eat without cooking them. They are tart-tasting, so not everyone loves them plain. But make them into Sugared Cranberries, and they are delish!

The Sugar Coated Cranberries in a serving bowl with more in the background.

More Christmas Recipes

A close up picture of the finished Sugared Cranberries recipe in a white serving bowl.
4.47 from 15 votes

Sugared Cranberries

Recipe Cost $ $1.63
Serving Cost $ $0.10
Prep Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
16 servings
Sugared Cranberries are easy to make and are the perfect holiday party snack. Add them to holiday cookies and cakes for some extra bling!


  • medium saucepan
  • wire rack
  • baking sheet
  • pie plate
  • Measuring cups




  • In a medium saucepan, make a simple syrup by combining ½ cup of water and ½ cup of sugar.
  • Heat over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.


  • Add 2 cups of fresh cranberries, 1 cup at a time, to the saucepan. Stir the cranberries to coat them in the simple syrup.


  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries from the simple syrup.
  • Place the cranberries on a wire rack set over a foil-lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining cup of cranberries and allow them to dry for 1 hour.


  • Add ⅓ cup of sugar to a pie plate, then add ⅓ of the cranberries.
  • Shake the pie plate gently in a back-and-forth motion until the cranberries are coated in the sugar.
  • Scoop the cranberries up with a clean slotted spoon, shaking off the excess sugar, and place the cranberries back on the wire rack to set and dry for about 15 minutes.
  • Repeat with the remaining cranberries.



Serving: 2Tablespoons | Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Potassium: 10mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 1mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. Amy Hopkins says:

    Hi Jillian
    Thank you for this beautiful recipe.
    How long do the sugared cranberries keep for?
    Many Thanks

    1. Hi Amy! These will keep for about a week out on the counter. I do not recommend putting them in the fridge because sugar crystals tend to “melt” while chilling.

  2. Jessica Hehir says:

    Can you add the sugared cranberries to cookies before your bake? Or will the sugar melt?

    1. Hi Jessica, the sugar will definitely melt.

  3. Would these be a good snack on their own or do you recommend adding them to a recipe?

    1. Hi Kristi, Great question! You can eat these on their own for a snack or party snack. OR you can add them to a cheese plate, as a garnish on cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, white chocolate mousse, etc. I hope this helps!

  4. Glenda Rutten says:

    Can you use frozen cranberries?

    1. Hi Glenda! Frozen cranberries will not work in this recipe, they will turn to mush. Fresh cranberries are definitely the way to go with this recipe.

  5. Gina Marie says:

    Wow awesome idea! Never heard of sugared cranberries before. This would go really good as a topping for my vegan cheesecake recipe or I could do a mixtute of berries

  6. Cindy Rodriguez says:

    I didn’t know it was this easy to make sugared cranberries! They’re so pretty and delicious, I’m sure. Thanks for the great recipe video, I quite enjoyed the music.

  7. I’ve always wondered how you make sugared cranberries. Now I know! 🙂 I need to get some cranberries and make them soon. They look so snackable and delicious.

  8. THIS Is such an easy recipe with lots of options to serve with. I am thinking blueberries version topping a cheese cake. Thanks

    1. That would be amazing!

  9. YUM! What a great and easy to make treat! Definitely gonna try it soon ♥

  10. So easy and so beautiful! Excellent way to decorate festive desserts or even skewer on a cocktail stick and res on the glass rim for cocktails.

  11. I just bought some cranberries and definitely try your recipe with them. They look so pretty!

  12. This was a really huge hit at my house!! One of our favorite holiday snacks!

  13. These are really perfect holiday snack!! My kids loved it!

  14. kushigalu says:

    These cranberries look perfect for holidays. Thanks for sharing