Easy Sugared Cranberries

A little bit tart, a little bit sweet, these easy sugared cranberries are the perfect addition to any holiday dessert or the perfect snack all on their own!  All you need is cane sugar, water, and fresh cranberries!

Okay in all honesty I didn’t think these were going to be any good 😛 I had never actually eaten a fresh cranberry and only heard that they were. extremely tart.  I was originally just making these to make a charcuterie board festive.  Well let me tell you, these little guys are ADDICTING.  They are the perfect mixture of sweet and tart, they are refreshing, and they are PERFECT for the holiday season!  Doesn’t get much better than that. Plus you literally only need sugar, water, and cranberries.  During a time of year full of a lot of complicated baking, lets take our easy wins where we can get them!

If you want to check out all of my festive recipes you can check out the holiday recipe section of the blog! Some of my favorites are hot chocolate french toast, my pomegranate ginger cocktail, and my gingerbread sheet cake with vegan maple tahini buttercream.

Ingredients You’ll Need for your Easy Sugared Cranberries:

It does NOT get any simpler than this.  This recipe only requires three ingredients, and one of them is WATER.  So really it is only two.  The most simple recipe you will make all holiday season long!

  • Fresh cranberries – yes fresh, not dried.
  • Sugar – I used good old cane sugar and that is what I would recommend sticking with
  • Water – we will mix the sugar with water to make our syrup for dipping the cranberries in.

And that is it! Super duper easy peasy.

Tips for the Perfect Easy Sugared Cranberries:

  • Don’t leave them to dry too long! You need them to be sticky so if you let the syrup completely dry the extra sugar won’t stick to them when you try to coat them.
  • Shake don’t stir – I think you get the most even, prettiest coating if you put the extra sugar in a bowl, put a few cranberries in it at a time, and spin/shake the bowl around (gently so you don’t spill sugar!).  This way it coats evenly and you don’t make finger marks by trying to roll them around on a plate with your fingers.  And then just move them from the bowl to the drying rack with as little touching as possible.
  • You will have extra syrup using this recipe.  If you don’t want to use it for more batches and won’t use it for any cocktails, you could probably get away with doing 1/2 cup of water and sugar instead of a full cup.

And that is it! If you have any other questions that I didn’t cover don’t hesitate to reach out.  You can do so by leaving a comment at the end of this post, or shoot me a DM on Instagram!

In addition to the listed ingredients, you will need:

  • a small saucepan
  • 2 cookie sheets (or some sort of tray)
  • 1 cooling rack


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Easy Sugared Cranberries

  • Author: Megan
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Gluten Free, Vegan


  • 1 cup water
  • 22.5 cups cane sugar
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries


  1. In a small sauce pan on the stove over medium to high heat, combine the water with 1 cup of sugar.  Stir. Continue cooking until sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to simmer, then remove from heat and allow it to come to room temperature.
  2. Once syrup is at room temperature, dunk some cranberries in it, coating them entirely, and then move them to a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet to dry for 45 minutes, so they are sticky but not wet.
  3. While still sticky, put some sugar in a deep bowl.  A few cranberries at a time, put in the bowl and swirl around until evently coated.  Move to another cookie sheet to dry completely (I put mine in the fridge and I think it helped them dry faster).  Note: try to touch them with your fingers as little as possible when transferring so you don’t remove the sugar coating.


If you don’t plan on making more, or having another use for your simple syrup, you could probably get away with using 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar.

I have not tried this with any sugar alternatives.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Keywords: sugared cranberries, candied cranberries, fresh cranberries

If you try this recipe please leave a rating and a review in a comment below! It would mean the world to me 🙂 If you remake on Instagram please also tag me at @donutworry_behealthy when you share so I can see your creation!


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