On the third day of Christmas, there were sparkling sugared cranberries. You can use these sweet gems for your cake decorating or cocktail garnishing or snacking pleasure. This recipe may seem a little out of left field, but if you’re a fan of sweet and tart things, they’re delicious.

For sparkling sugared cranberries, the fresh cranberries get tossed into a simple syrup, then soak overnight. Then, it’s as simple as tossing the damp berries in sugar to get that frosty look. Voila! A gorgeous garnish for a cocktail, dessert, or just to snack on.

I used these sparkling sugared cranberries atop my Christmas Wreath Pavlova and garnished my Christmas Ornament Cocktail with them. They lend an instantly festive look to any cocktail, even if it’s not served in a clear glass ornament.

When I researched how to make these, I saw so many warnings. “Don’t add the berries to boiling syrup–they’ll pop.” “Don’t roll too many at a time–the sugar will clump.” Astoundingly, I heeded none of these warnings and they came out intact and clump free. So, here’s my shortcut.

Sugared Cranberries
4.13 from 8 votes

Sparkling Sugared Cranberries

These cranberries look like they've just been covered with frost and burst with a delightful sweet-tart pop.

Course Candy
Cuisine American
Keyword candied cranberries, sparkling cranberries, sugared cranberries
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 433 kcal
Author Amanda



  • 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen and thawed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided



  1. Combine water and 1/2 cup sugar in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil, stirring, until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Turn off heat.
  4. Add cranberries, stir to coat.
  5. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cover.
  6. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
  7. Strain (reserving syrup) and arrange berries in a single layer on a paper towel lined sheet pan with a lip.
  8. Replace paper towel with a dry one.
  9. Sprinkle 1/2 cup granulated sugar over berries and shake sheet pan back and forth to roll berries in sugar.
  10. Let dry in a cool, dry place, loosely covered with foil or paper towel. Will keep like this for 2-3 days.
Nutrition Facts
Sparkling Sugared Cranberries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 433 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 6mg0%
Potassium 85mg2%
Carbohydrates 112g37%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 104g116%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 60IU1%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sugared Cranberries

These little gems will be getting lots of usage this #12DaysOfChristmas. Be sure to check back for dessert and cocktail ideas this holiday season!