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Sparkling Edible Gems: Sugared Cranberries

There is something so enchanting about these tiny crystal-covered spheres. Leslie Kiszka of Stress Baking shares this trouble-free recipe for these heavenly sugared cranberries (Kiszka is an absolute ray of culinary light and we highly encourage you to check out more of her site!).

Viciously tart cranberries are tamed by a hot sugar syrup before being rolled in fine sugar until they take on a generous coat of frosty sweetness. When eaten, each berry opens with an intoxicating introduction of sweetness on the tongue, followed by an effervescently tart burst once bitten into. It's such an enjoyably—down right addictively—dynamic experience that will certainly keep you coming back for more.

Flavor aside, these treats are magically beautiful. The vibrant almost oxblood red colour of the cranberries peaks through the sugared shell offering a visual reminiscent of glistening frosted snow-covered berries. Extremely appropriate for the holiday season, we highly recommend using these sugared cranberries as garnishes on all your sweet creations this winter. In the years before covid, we often filled festive bowls or tins with these cranberries to place on our coffee tables for guests to enjoy or to offer as gifts to welcoming party hosts and hostesses. We can't tell you how often people ask us for this recipe; it's arguably the most requested snack we share during the holidays! Note: we sometimes deviate from the recipe below a bit and let the cranberries cool down in the syrup for 12-24hrs and then roll them in sugar—as opposed to cooling them on a rack immediately after tossing them in the syrup. Both variations work well, it's typically just a matter of how much counter space we have while preparing our holiday meals!


Tart cranberries rolled in sugar make for a simple, 2-ingredient, no-bake snack for the holidays! It’s also perfect as a garnish for all your holiday treats.

I’ve always been a fan of candy that is both sweet and sour. Why? I don’t know. But Sour Patch Kids? Ohhhhh. I’m all over those.

Cranberries aren’t sour, but they are tart – which, to me, makes them the perfect candidate for my first sweet and tart “candy”: Sugared Cranberries.

I’m going to apologize right now for including so many pictures – they’re just so pretty, I couldn’t help myself!

I wanted my final cranberry recipe for the month of November to be simple. Easy to create during the busy holiday season. Something that requires practically no brain power because the post-Thanksgiving food coma is still lingering.

Luckily, making these were step number one in the next recipe I’ll be posting this week. Not so luckily, that meant they had a purpose and I couldn’t just sit down and inhale them all. Therefore, I was forced to make a double batch.

[snaps fingers] Gosh darn it.

These are super easy and only require two ingredients, if you don’t count water as an ingredient (which I don’t). You boil some water and sugar together until the sugar dissolves and then add the cranberries to coat. Let them set a bit on a wire rack, and then coat them in sugar. Voila! You now have sugared cranberries. They make a gorgeous garnish as well as a delicious snack. Even though they’re coated in sugar, they’re not overly sweet thanks to the natural tartness of the cranberries themselves.

I like to keep them in a little bowl in my fridge because I really love them as cold as I can get them – but they’re the perfect little snack to set in a decorative bowl, out on the counter during a party to let your guests snag a few if the mood strikes them.

What’s your favorite holiday snack? Is it one of my recipes? If so, tag your photos with #stressbaking and follow me so I can see them! And if not, tag me anyway so I can see those, too!

Sugared Cranberries

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Yield: 1 cup


  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine ½ cup sugar and water. Stir frequently until sugar has dissolved and remove from heat.

  2. Add cranberries and stir to coat. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they’re well coated.

  3. Transfer cranberries to wire rack to cool (placing parchment paper underneath to catch the dripping sugar syrup). Allow to cool for an hour.

  4. Place remaining sugar in a large bowl and add half of the cranberries. Toss to combine. Using a slotted spoon, transfer coated cranberries to clean parchment paper to set. Repeat with the other half. Let set for at least an hour, then enjoy!


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