Oct 27, 2023
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Easy candied cranberries that look snow-kissed – perfect for topping your holiday cookies, cakes, pies, platters, and even cheese trays!
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Sugared Fresh Cranberries
Candied cranberries are a delightful and festive treat that balances the cranberry tartness with sweetness. These cranberries are made by simmering a sugar syrup which I then use to coat the cranberries. This makes them really sticky and helps the sugar adhere when they are rolled in it. Fresh cranberries are a classic look, but these sugar-coated ones really help your cake or cookies pop.
These cranberries are super versatile and a great thing to have on hand around the holidays. I use these on cheese boards to add that red color and they are delicious with sharp creamy cheeses. I also like to incorporate them around the holidays as an artful and elegant garnish. Candied cranberries look and taste great in cocktails too!
How to Make Candied Cranberries
First you will need to assemble the following ingredients:
- Water – you need water to make a thick syrup to coat the cranberries so that the sugar will stick.
- Sugar – granulated sugar is perfect for this recipe both for making the sugary syrup and for coating the cranberries!
- Cranberries – use fresh cranberries that have been rinsed and dried. You can usually find frozen cranberries even in the off season.
Once you have assembled the ingredients use the following method
Heat. Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan and boil and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes until it is thickened.
Pour. Pour the sugar mixture over the cranberries and fully coat. Toss then remove the cranberries from the syrup with a slotted spoon and add to a parchment lined baking sheet. Let them cool 1 hour.
Roll. Roll the cranberries in sugar to coat. You want to do this in small batches to get them fully coated.
Cool. Cool for about 30 minutes then use to decorate cakes, pies, or you holiday cheese platter!
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Candied Cranberries
Go Fresh. Make sure you always use fresh cranberries whenever you possibly can. When using frozen cranberries be sure to defrost them at least overnight.
Add some zest. If you want some zip in these candied cranberries, you can add the zest of an orange, yum!
Done overcook. Be sure to not boil the cranberries in the syrup since it will soften them too much and could become a cranberry relish.
Double Coat. You can double coat the cranberries in more sugar after the first layer if you want.
Bake with them. These can be added to cakes for a decoration or to add cranberries to them.
Yes! You can use defrosted frozen cranberries to make candied cranberries. Be sure to thaw them and pat them dry before coating in the syrup and sugar.
Candied cranberries can be stored in an airtight container (I usually use a jar) on the countertop for a few days. They can be stored in the refrigerator for a week an a half.
I don’t recommend using a sugar substitute for candying. The best success I have had is by using corn syrup instead of sugar. This really isn’t saving you much health wise though.
Yes, feel free to roll the cranberries another time after the first coating to get a thicker layer or sugar.
Candied cranberries can be enjoyed as a snack, used on cakes, pies, or even salads and cheese boards. Anywhere you want that tart and sweet flavor.
Yes, these candied cranberries are naturally gluten-free and vegan.
What to Serve With Candied Cranberries
Try these cranberries atop any of our favorite desserts:
Candied Cranberries Recipe
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- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated Sugar, divided
- 2 cups fresh Cranberries (rinsed and dried)
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar.
- Bring to a boil, then let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
- Pour into the Cranberries to fully coat.
- Remove Cranberries with a slotted spoon and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet or metal rack, to let cranberries dry for 1 hour.
- Roll Cranberries in the remaining 1 cup of Sugar to coat. Do it in small batches.
- Let cool 30 minutes and use to decorate cookies, cakes, pies, or even your holiday platters and cheese plates!
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 157Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 2mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 1gSugar 39gProtein 0g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.