Make your holidays sparkle with these Orange Sugared Cranberries! They’re a festive addition to cheese boards and holiday cookie trays, and are a beautiful garnish for desserts and cocktails. They include just 3 ingredients and are so easy to make!

Orange sugared cranberries in a white ramekin

Each and every fall I look forward to the arrival of fresh cranberries in the stores. I scoop up at least 2-3 packages every time I go to the store and pop them in the freezer.

I’m a firm believer that one can never have enough. As my collection of fresh cranberry recipes proves, there are so many more uses for them then cranberry orange sauce.

These Orange Sugared Cranberries are a fun way to utilize them. The cranberries are cooked in a simple syrup, left out on a rack to dry, then rolled in sugar for an ultra festive edible garnish.

They’re guaranteed to add plenty of sparkle to your holidays. 🙂

Sugared Cranberries on a wire rack

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Candied cranberries are tart, sweet, and add a festive touch to your holiday table.
  • They take just 3 ingredients and a few minutes of hands on prep.
  • They’re a great addition to cheese boards, the holiday dessert table, or as a garnish for desserts, cocktails, pancakes or waffles.
  • They can be made up to a day in advance.

Recipe ingredients

Sugared cranberry recipe ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Fresh cranberries. Frozen cranberries may be used, but be sure to thaw them out slightly or cook for about 1 minute in the simple syrup.
  • Granulated sugar. The granulated sugar is used in the simple syrup, and the candied cranberries are rolled in it as well. If you’d like to use unrefined sugar in this recipe, the best bet would be maple sugar or date sugar as they’re lighter in color, but they’re quite expensive. Coconut sugar would work as well, but it’s darker in color.
  • Orange zest. The orange zest is completely optional, but the oils in the zest provides a pop of color and mild flavor.

How to make candied cranberries

The best part about these sparkling sugared cranberries is that they take about 10 minutes of hands on prep and just 3 ingredients.  

During the hectic holidays it’s nice to have some recipes that don’t take much effort but will still dazzle the crowd, and this recipe is just perfect for that.

Pro tip: Prep candied cranberries up to a day in advance as they take time to dry. I don’t recommend prepping them earlier as the sugar may weep and cranberries may moisten over time.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

How to make sugared cranberries
  1. Place ½ cup of the granulated sugar in a saucepan with the water and heat over medium low until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add the cranberries and stir until well coated.
  3. Remove the cranberries from the pot using a slotted spoon, allowing excess simple syrup to drain.
  4. Place the cranberries in a single layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and let stand 1 hour until dried.
  5. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and orange zest until combined, then roll the cranberries in the sugar until they’re well coated.
  6. Place the cranberries back on the wire rack in a single layer until dried, about 1 hour more.
Sparkling Sugared Cranberries piled on a wire rack

FAQs

How long do sugared cranberries last?

Sugar coated cranberries will keep for 3-4 days in an air tight container at room temperature. Keep in mind that the sugar will begin to weep and the cranberries will moisten over time.

How can I customize this recipe for sparkling sugared cranberries?

Omit the orange zest if desired to make plain candied cranberries.

You can cook the simple syrup with cinnamon stick or star anise, or add a tablespoon of alcohol such as brandy, kirsch or bourbon.

After cooking, you can stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract or your favorite extract into the simple syrup as well.

Serving suggestions

There are a number of ways to serve these orange sugared cranberries. They truly add sparkle to your holidays!

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: Prep candied cranberries up to a day in advance as they take time to dry. I don’t recommend prepping them earlier as the sugar may weep and cranberries may moisten over time.
  • Dry sugared cranberries thoroughly, store in an air tight container at room temperature and use within 3-4 days for best results.
  • You will have simple syrup left, which works wonderfully in cocktails or brushed over cakes. Simply store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.
  • If you have orange sugar leftover, add it to your whipped cream or use it in baking recipes.
Candied cranberries in a white ramekin with orange slice

More cranberry recipes you’ll love:

Did you try this recipe?  If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram!

Orange sugared cranberries in a white ramekin

Orange Sugared Cranberries

Orange Sugared Cranberries are sure to add sparkle to your holiday table! They're a great addition to cheese boards, and make a festive garnish for cocktails, desserts and so much more!
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided
  • ½ cup water
  • 8 ounces fresh cranberries rinsed and picked through
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest

Instructions 

  • Place a large wire rack over a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Place ½ cup of the granulated sugar in a medium saucepan with the water. Heat over medium low until the sugar dissolves. Add the cranberries and stir until well coated.
    1 cup granulated sugar, ½ cup water, 8 ounces fresh cranberries
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the cranberries from the simple syrup, allowing excess syrup to drain back into the pan. Place the candied cranberries in a single layer on the wire rack and let stand 1 hour until dried.
  • Place the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar in a medium bowl and toss with the orange zest until thoroughly combined. Roll the cranberries in the sugar until well coated, then place back on the wire rack and let stand for another hour or so at room temperature to dry. Enjoy!
    1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest

Notes

  • Pro tip:  Prep candied cranberries up to a day in advance as they take time to dry. I don’t recommend prepping them earlier as the sugar may weep and cranberries may moisten over time.
  • Dry sugared cranberries thoroughly, store in an air tight container at room temperature and use within 3-4 days for best results.
  • You will have simple syrup left, which works wonderfully in cocktails or brushed over cakes. Simply store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.
  • If you have orange sugar leftover, add it to your whipped cream or use it in baking recipes.

Nutrition

Calories: 55kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 12mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 9IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

**This recipe was originally published in November 2016. Step by step photos have been added, and the text has been modified to include more recipe information.

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