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Sparkly Sugar Cranberries

Sparkly Sugar Cranberries

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 I have decided that I am going to make these sparkly sugar cranberries as often as possible while cranberries are in season.  This is a recipe I created years ago for Eat Boutique, who unfortunately is not around any longer.  I revamped the recipe during lock-down, and have been enjoying every winter since.  

Sparkly Sugar Cranberries

I use a lot of fresh cranberries during their season as I find their tart flavor to be very refreshing.  I love biting into them, and hearing that “pop” as they release their tart juice.  They are a dream to bake with too.  Toss some into scones for an extra special treat.  This recipe for sparkly sugar cranberries is extra special as they can dress up a cocktail during the holidays or add as a garnish to meat dishes, toss into a spinach salad, garnish a yule log or even chocolate cake.  We had a few people over for drinks, and I put out a dish of them, and let everyone do as they please, which ended up being a noshing moment.  Some friends did toss them into the manhattans.  

What makes our sugar cranberries so special?  The vanilla simple syrup that coats the cranberries, and the sparkly addition of edible glitter to the sugar mixture.  After all, why not make them even more fun as it is the holidays when most people will enjoy.  

Tips for the most perfect sugar cranberries:

  • Let the simple syrup cool down before adding the cranberries.  You do not want to cook them.
  • Let the cranberries soak for 30 minutes, stirring every so often to really coat them.  Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the simple syrup, and then place onto a baking rack.
  • Place the soaked cranberries on a baking rack that has very small spaces as you do not want them to slip through.  Let sit about 5 minutes to remove excess simple syrup.  Then mix together with the sparkly sugar before placing back onto the baking rack.  
  • Let the sugared cranberries sit about 10 minutes, then coat with sugar again.  Finally removing and placing on the baking rack to let them dry for 2 hours before placing into a dry, air tight container.
  • They will keep for no more than 3 days, after that they start to get a bit mushy.

Put a small bowl out during your next dinner party and see how your guests smile when they take their first bite, “what is this?”.  I should call them magical sparkly sugar cranberries, as they make people smile magically with with tiny bite.


Yield: 12 ounces

Sparkly Sugar Cranberries

Frozen cranberries on a cooling rack, adorned with sparkly sugar.

Adding edible glitter to the sugar mixture make these Sparkly Sugar Cranberries even more special.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes


  • Simple Syrup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, beans scraped out
  • 1 12 ounce package cranberries, rinsed
  • Sparkles
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon edible glitter


  1. Place the simple syrup ingredients into a small saucepan, and cook over medium low heat until the sugar dissolves; about 5 - 8 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  2. Add the cranberries to the cooled simple syrup. Stir, and let sit. Stir again in 5 minutes and let sit. Remove using a slotted spoon and place onto a baking rack. Let sit 5 minutes to remove the excess syrup.
  3. Mix the sugar and glitter together in a shallow bowl. Toss the cranberries in using a soup soon, and gently stir to coat. Do this in batches. Placing the sugared cranberries back onto the baking rack.
  4. Let sit 10 minutes. Then repeat sugar process again - there will be enough sugar left in the bowl.
  5. Place the cranberries back onto the baking rack and let dry for about 2 hours.
  6. Store in an air-tight container on the kitchen counter.
  7. They will keep for up to 3 days.


I love making these often during fresh cranberry season as the recipe works the best using fresh and not frozen. Fancy Sprinkles edible glitter is the best one to use as it does not clump up.

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