Sugared Cranberries are a fun and festive dessert for your holiday table. Like a homemade candy made with fruit. Tangy, sweet and tart, even the kids will enjoy making this sweet treat.
Sugared Cranberries (клюква в сахаре) are a Russian and Slavic treat enjoyed as far back as the 1800's. It's considered a dessert or treat, and can even be bought in stores. It's so easy to make sugared cranberries at home.
Wild cranberries grow all over Russia and Northern Europe. As a result, cranberry recipes are popular in Russia. A popular Russian cranberry juice is called Mors, which we make every year as part of our Christmas dinner. Cranberries are also commercially cultivated in Canada, the US, and even in Chile, popular worldwide.
How to Serve Sugared Cranberries
Sugared Cranberries are a tasty treat or dessert, especially made around Christmas and New Years. Use them as a garnish for desserts, or even as a topping for a holiday cake. Sometimes I make a Pavlova Wreath and top it with these Candied Cranberries. Place them in a candy dish or small bowl and place them on your holiday table, and serve alongside Russian Style Tea. I just pop them into my mouth and eat them as is.
Fresh or Frozen Cranberries?
Both! You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe, just make sure you fully thaw out the frozen cranberries. Frozen cranberries are cheaper and usually available year round. If you can't find cranberries (not likely), you can use Lingonberries or Cowberries (even harder to find). In my mind, they are interchangeable, same but different!
White Sugar or Icing Sugar?
There are a few different ways to make Sugared Cranberries. They're made with the same method, but you can choose to use icing sugar or white sugar. They taste the same, but look different.
When using icing sugar, the cranberries will resemble fluffy pink and white snowballs. This is especially true if you take the effort to carefully roll them in the icing sugar properly, covering the whole red cranberry. Using regular white sugar gives the cranberries an icy frosted look from the granulated sugar. These sugared cranberries add to the festive mood of your holiday table.
How to make Sugared Cranberries
For this sugar cranberry recipe, use a hot sugar syrup to coat the berries. There are some recipes that will use egg whites to coat the cranberries before rolling them in the sugar. The goal is to get the icing sugar to stick to the cranberries. As the hot sugar syrup solidifies, it adds a candied coating underneath the cranberries as well. As the cranberries are tart, extra sweetness is a good thing!
After rolling in sugar, allow the sugared cranberries to set by leaving them at least for an hour on parchment paper. This allows the sugar to solidify around the berries, then they can stack nicely on top of each other in a bowl.
Tasty Christmas Desserts
- Christmas Pavlova Wreath
- Russian Honey Cookies - Pryaniki
- Easy Pavlova Trifle
- Australian White Christmas Slice
I love the sweet and tangy taste of these Russian Candied Cranberries. A bit crunchy on the outside, with a slightly sour cranberry explosion on the inside. Perfectly festive for the holidays. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 2 cups cranberries
- 1½ cups icing sugar or white sugar sifted
- ½ cups white sugar for syrup
- ¼ cup water
- Dissolve ½ cup sugar and water in a saucepan, heating up over medium until the sugar syrup is completely dissolved. Hot but not boiling.
- In small batches, gently place the cranberries into the sugar syrup and mix until coated. Remove the cranberries with a slotted spoon and place on parchment paper (or on a wire baking rack).
- Place the sifted icing sugar or white sugar into a bowl. Place a few cranberries at a time into the icing sugar. Don't allow the sticky cranberries to touch each other. Sprinkle with more icing sugar to cover the cranberries and roll them around in the sugar until they are completely coated. Place them on fresh parchment paper and allow them to harden up and set for at least 1 hour.