Vanilla Sugared Cranberries

Bright red and sparkling, these little beauties belong on every holiday table.  Super simple to make and even simpler to pop in your mouth for a little sweet/tart snack.  They make a stunning garnish to many holiday dishes and cocktails….almost too pretty to eat!

Vanilla Sugared Cranberries | The Suburban Soapbox

I love sparkles….shiny, pretty, glittery things that make me smile.  I’m like a bird, I’m drawn to tinsel, glitter, baubles and sugared cranberries.  I’ve always had a thing for sugared fruit but always bought the styrofoam stuff at Pier 1 or Pottery Barn.  I think it’s beautiful…and magical.  I always wanted to take a bite out of any type of sugared fruit when I was little.  Even though I knew, it was just a decoration.  It seemed like such a great concept.  Roll fruit around in a big bowl of sugar and then eat it….WHY NOT?

Vanilla Sugared Cranberries | The Suburban Soapbox

So, I finally did it.  I started small but small is good.  Really good.  Like a box of natural Sweet-Tarts just waiting to be opened.  These little gems are amazing and surprisingly addictive.  I’ve always seen these in magazines as a garnish to much more complex recipes and then thought I wouldn’t have the energy to forge ahead to make a glitzy garnish.  But these Vanilla Sugared Cranberries are so easy and you can make them a day in advance.

Vanilla Sugared Cranberries | The Suburban Soapbox

You start by making an easy vanilla simple syrup with sugar, water and…..vanilla.  Then toss the cranberries in the syrup and let them steep for a bit.

Vanilla Sugared Cranberries | The Suburban Soapbox

Transfer the cranberries to a wire rack to dry.

Vanilla Sugared Cranberries | The Suburban Soapbox

Toss the cranberries in the sugar.

Vanilla Sugared Cranberries | The Suburban Soapbox

Transfer to a baking sheet to dry completely.

Vanilla Sugared Cranberries | The Suburban Soapbox

They look spectacular in or around a cocktail….on top of a cake or cupcake, next to the turkey in a little glass bowl, on top of your spectacularly easy cranberry jelly or this gorgeous (and easy) cocktail. These NEED to be on your holiday table this year.  I’m dead serious.

Vanilla Sugared Cranberries | The Suburban Soapbox

If you’re not making dinner this year and visiting someone else’s home for the holiday, take a little jar of these as a little gift.  You know the person in the kitchen is a little stressed out, these will help calm the nerves….especially if you hand over a bottle of champagne or wine with them.  They will love you forever…..and then burn the turkey because they chugged that bottle of champagne when nobody was looking.  But that’s ok….we’re all there for the side dishes.  Am I right?

Vanilla Sugared Cranberries

Elegant and sweet, these Sugared Cranberries are lightly scented with vanilla.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups
Calories 451 kcal


  • 1 cup granulated sugar plus extra for coating
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries


  • In a large saucepan, bring the water, sugar and vanilla to a simmer stirring until dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the cranberries tossing with a wooden spoon to coat. Allow the cranberries to sit in the simple syrup for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
  • Allow the cranberries to dry for 20-30 minutes. Pour some sugar in a shallow dish and roll the cranberries in the sugar to coat completely. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment and allow to dry completely, approximately 1 hour.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.


Serving: 0gCalories: 451kcalCarbohydrates: 113gProtein: 0gFat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgPotassium: 85mgFiber: 4gSugar: 104gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 13.3mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword cranberries
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

21 comments on “Vanilla Sugared Cranberries”

  1. These are so pretty! I love sugared cranberries!

  2. One of my favorites! These should never be reserved for just the holidays! So pretty.

  3. These would add a spectacular finishing touch to so many things. Love them!

  4. I cannot resist anything sparkly. These are stunning!!

  5. I can’t get enough of these little sparkling gems! I love your idea of taking a jar as a hostess gift – so fun! Maybe a bottle of champagne to drop them in, too… 🙂

  6. I have a half of bag of fresh cranberries that I now know what to do with!

  7. I just made sugared cranberries for the first time and I agree, they are the best and so pretty for this time of year.

  8. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to make these!! They look so pretty and I always forget! Have to bookmark!

  9. So pretty. I swear I think they are almost too pretty to eat. Every time I make fancy cranberries I just want to stare at them instead of eating them. These too, just too dang pretty to eat.

  10. So pretty! I just bought a bag of fresh cranberries. I just may make some of these so I can have pretty things on my table too!

  11. Wow so easy! making them for a dessert I have in mind!

  12. When do you put in the vanilla?

  13. Do they need to be kept in the refrigerator?

  14. Can you do this recipe with frozen cranberries, if so, what would be the steps? Do you thaw them first or just leave them longer in the syrup? Will they still keep 48 hrs in the refrigerator.

  15. I made these last night as a trial run before giving as gifts. They turned out awesome, but when I put them in a container with a lid, they started sweating inside the container and the sugar began to slide off the cranberries. Is there something that I may have done wrong or something I could do to keep them looking freshly coated and pretty to be able to give these as small gifts?

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