Sugar-frosted cranberries look just like snow-covered Christmas berries. You only need cranberries, water and sugar to make these sparkly ruby-red gems. Add these frosted cranberries to desserts, cocktails and charcuterie boards during the holiday season. They taste sweet and tangy and will be a hit during the holidays. Don’t be put off by the long time it takes to make these berries, most of it is resting time. It only takes about 15 minutes of active time to make these gorgeous snow covered gems!
What are sugared cranberries?
Sugared cranberries are the same as candied cranberries. They are submerged in hot simple syrup (made with just water and sugar) and then rolled through caster sugar to create that frosted look.
Raw cranberries are very tart and can even taste a bit bitter, this is why most people only eat them dried or cooked. You can eat them raw and they are full of vitamins and antioxidants, but to make them taste a bit better we’ll let them cook for just a minute or two in simple syrup and then infuse for a couple of hours. This way they become less tart and bitter and take on some of the sweetness of the sugar. The end result will taste like candy!
How to make Sugared Cranberries?
You only need three ingredients to make these delicious berries: Cranberries, sugar and water.
Step 1: Prepare the berries
Wash and dry your cranberries. Make sure to remove any berries that are soft and mushy.
Step 2: Make the simple syrup
Simple syrup is a mixture of equal parts sugar and water. Put both ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil. All the sugar has to be dissolved.
Step 3: Coat your cranberries in simple syrup
Add your cranberries to the saucepan with simple syrup. Give it a stir so all the cranberries are coated with the syrup. You can leave the saucepan on the heat for another minute, but make sure to remove the pan before the berries burst open!
Step 4: Let the cranberries absorb the syrup
Many recipes tell you to immediately roll the berries in sugar, but I find that leaving them to rest in the simple syrup helps make them a bit sweeter. Cranberries can be super tart and even a bit bitter. The longer they soak in the sugar syrup the sweeter they become. Leave them to rest for at least 2 hours or even overnight.
Step 5: Remove the berries and let them dry
Remove the berries from the sugar syrup with a slotted spoon and lay them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Make sure to spread them out so they’re not all clumped together. Let them dry for about 1 hour. They should still be sticky.
Step 6: Roll your cranberries in sugar
Add some sugar to a wide bowl or deep dish. Move the sticky cranberries to the bowl of sugar and roll them around until they’re evenly coated in sugar. It’s best to do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the bowl. Transfer your sugared cranberries to another bowl or container and sugar the next batch until you’ve covered all your cranberries in sugar.
How to serve Sugar Frosted Cranberries?
- Sweet snack: Just eat them like that! They taste amazing and will look pretty in a small bowl.
- Cocktail Garnish: Use them as a garnish for cocktails like this Christmas Moscow Mule. Just stick them on a cocktail stick and balance them on the rim of your glass.
- Cake decoration: These frosted berries are the perfect decoration for Christmas bakes. Add a couple of these sugar frosted cranberries to cakes, desserts or pies and they will immediately look festive for the season.
- Charcuterie Board: A charcuterie board always needs a variety of cheese, meats and fruits. Sugared cranberries are a delicious alternative to grapes, they look pretty and will make your board look extra Christmassy. Their sweet and tangy flavour is delicious combined with the fatty and salty flavours of the cheese and meats. Here are some tips to make the best looking (and tasting) cheese platter!
Tips & Alternatives
Left-over simple syrup:
Don’t throw away the simple syrup that you’ve got left after making these cranberries! The syrup has turned a gorgeous shade of pink and even acquired a hint of cranberry flavour. You can add it to cocktails and drinks over the holidays!
You will be left with some sugar after rolling the cranberries in them. You can add this sugar to the left-over simple syrup with another splash of water to balance out the sugar to water ratio. You can also just use this sugar for any other cookies and cakes you might be baking during the festive season.
Storing the frosted berries:
Store the berries in the fridge in an airtight container. They’ll stay good for at least a couple of days, but the frosted sugar layer might start to look a bit moist. If that’s the case then simply re-roll them in a bit more sugar to give them that frosted look.
Using up leftover frosted cranberries:
In the unlikely event that you’ve got leftover frosted cranberries, you can simply turn them into a quick homemade cranberry sauce. Add them to a saucepan with a little bit of water and cook them down so they’ll become soft and fall apart. You can add extra flavour by adding orange juice and spices like cinnamon and cloves.
Are you looking for more festive recipes?
- Use these frosted cranberries to garnish a Christmas Moscow Mule. This festive cocktail is the perfect drink to serve at your next Christmas party!
- Serve this festive Cranberry Brie Crescent Wreath for brunch or as an appetizer, your guests will gobble up this wreath in no time!
- This Classic Mulled Wine with citrus fruits and whole spices tastes like Christmas in a mug!
- Serve this Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine at your next party so everybody can join in the festive fun!
- A Pinterest-perfect cheeseboard is a delicious appetizer for any type of party. You can even add these sugared cranberries to make your cheeseboard look extra festive for the winter holiday season.
- Serve these Truffle Deviled Eggs at your next party! These delicious appetizers can be made ahead of time and a touch of truffle gives them an elegant twist.