Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas is only six weeks away… Time to make sparkling Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries.

Sparkling Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries Recipe |
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I took my dog for a walk this morning and reveled in the clean crisp air, gingerly scented with decomposing leaves and pin needles.

I don’t know what it is about that earthy aroma that makes me so happy. Like a whispering woodland fairy, it always reminds me to start planning for the holidays. No time to waste.

Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries Recipe |

I always like to make Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries in preparation for the holidays.

Candied cranberries are extremely simple to make, and impressive at any Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years table.

How to Make Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries

Like nature-made Sour Patch Kids, candied cranberries are sweet and tart.

Plus they are so pretty!

Making Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries

How To: Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries

Just think of all the wonderful ways to use them:

  • Place them in a candy dish to be gobbled up by the handful.
  • Use as a fancy garnish for holiday pies, cakes, or savory dishes.
  • Fill martini or champagne glasses with them to decorate your holiday table.
  • Place them in little tins or gift bags for small edible gifts.
  • One more bonus, the leftover vanilla-orange simple syrup absorbs the essence of cranberry, so save it for irresistible holiday cocktails.

Brilliant Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries

Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries are a must-make this holiday season.

Just soak the berries in vanilla orange syrup, then shake in sugar. Viola!

Dazzling Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries

Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries Recipe |
5 from 12 votes

Vanilla Orange Sugared Cranberries

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Easy Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries Recipe, perfect for snacking, edible gifts, dessert garnishes and cocktails!
Servings: 12
Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Orange Sugared Cranberries
Amount Per Serving (2 ounces)
Calories 255
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Potassium 24mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 65g 22%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 63g
Protein 0g 0%
Vitamin A 0.3%
Vitamin C 4.6%
Calcium 0.3%
Iron 0.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • 3 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract or Grand Marnier
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries (1 bag) about 3 cups


  1. Combine 2 1/2 cups of sugar, water, vanilla, and orange extract in a sauce pan. Heat over medium until the sugar has completely dissolved, but not boiling.

  2. Pour in the cranberries and stir. The hot syrup will loosen the skin, saturate the berries, and adhere to the berries over time. Cover the cranberries with a small plate to keep them mostly submerged. Then cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator over night.
  3. Place the remaining 1 1/4 cup of sugar in a rimmed dish. Strain the cranberries and place them in the sugar. Shake until they are completely coated. Carefully transfer them to a baking sheet to dry, about an hour.

  4. Once the sugar coating is hard, place them in an air-tight container and keep in a cool spot for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: Don’t forget to refrigerate your Cranberry Infused Vanilla-Orange Syrup for cocktail time!

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104 comments on “Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries

  1. Pingback: Healthy Portable Snacks 2 - Veg Girl RD

  2. Sonjaposted December 18, 2018 at 9:31 am Reply

    My toddler loves these. Of course, we made the alcohol-free version with orange extract. And I’m keeping the syrup. Might be nice to infuse other deserts with it. Or maybe even too add a teaspoon or two to some sparkling wine. ;-)

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  7. deeposted November 19, 2018 at 4:20 pm Reply

    I’ve done these cranberries for the last three years for holiday parties. So, so easy.
    They disappear like magic – the sweet/tart is addicting!

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  10. Reganposted December 15, 2017 at 10:13 am Reply

    Any idea how many hours this needs in the fridge? Does it need 8? More? Thanks!!

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  12. Usnea Rulez!posted November 24, 2016 at 4:01 am Reply

    Just finished these up today, and they came out great! Using the left over syrup for cocktails! I think a bit of vanilla powder would make these pop just a bit more.

  13. Maria Lichtyposted November 23, 2016 at 10:09 am Reply

    Endless possibiliteis for these little beauties!

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  15. Jocelynposted December 8, 2015 at 6:54 pm Reply

    I made your recipe last year during Christmas time and they were a hit!! These cranberries are so gorgeous and delicious. I’m giving away mason jars full of these babies as little pre-Christmas gifts this year. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Sarah Wposted December 11, 2014 at 11:05 am Reply

    I made these last year and my husband ate them up! He even loves them so much he made a specific request for me to make them again this year. I’d call that a winner!

  17. Kacey @ The Cookie Writerposted November 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm Reply

    We absolutely loved these! I had to keep hands away from them because I wanted to decorate a cake using the cranberries(which turned out perfectly Christmas-y!)
    I did reduce the sugar quite a bit and decided to use Amaretto Liqueur, all working out wonderfully. Thanks so much!

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  19. kristaposted November 15, 2014 at 10:05 am Reply

    Using different colored sugars is fun with these. We love to use the golds and silver.

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  24. Jessicaposted December 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm Reply

    Just noticing the grams do not equal the cups via Google search. Google says 12oz is equivalent to 1.5 cups. But the ingredients say 12oz is about 3 cups. Please clarify. Was planning on making these. Thanks.

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  26. Eileenposted December 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm Reply

    These are so beautiful sparkling in the bowl! I made a batch and although they are a little too sour for me, my husband and son (big fans of Sour Patch Kids) love them! Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays!

  27. Gregposted December 29, 2011 at 10:43 am Reply

    Oh just saw these on Eat, Play, Love and can’t wait to try them!

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  29. Vanessa Cposted December 29, 2011 at 1:37 am Reply

    Not only beautiful to look at but an extremely user friendly recipe to make even for the novice of cooks. I will definitely be adding this to my recipe collection. Thank you so very much!

  30. deniseposted December 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm Reply

    love this idea never heard of candies cranberries,,, They sound yummy

  31. mjskitposted November 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm Reply

    I’ve always wondered if cranberries could be made into sweet berry bites and here you have it. This is just what I’ve been looking for. I bet it’s a bite of tart sweetness. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Laura @ Family Spiceposted November 30, 2011 at 9:27 am Reply

    Great idea! I’ve garnished cakes with candied cranberries before, but it required raw egg. And who would eat that?!

  33. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)posted November 30, 2011 at 8:33 am Reply

    Um, this is brilliant. I’m totally doing this!

  34. LondonEatsposted February 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm Reply

    What a great idea! I wish I had seen this in time for Christmas…but I just made some candied kumquats in syrup, so perhaps this is something I could try with them in the meantime. I’ve never wanted to try a Christmas recipe so early in the year. Well done!

  35. Taylorposted December 7, 2010 at 5:38 am Reply

    I've never had sugared cranberries…they sound delicious with the vanilla orange syrup! Perfect for the holidays!

  36. Fashion Meets Foodposted December 6, 2010 at 7:58 pm Reply

    this is the cutest idea! I am going out to the store right now and buying some cranberries so I can do this as well. I am your newest follower.


  37. Kristy {Sweet Treats & More}posted December 6, 2010 at 6:12 pm Reply

    Your cranberries are beautiful. I made some similar ones…mine got all clumpy! I'll have to try with orange and vanilla!

  38. Magic of Spiceposted November 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm Reply

    These are definitely pretty…wonderful flavors :)
    I just finished a cranberry dessert last night, these would have been lovely on the side :)

  39. Nirmalaposted November 15, 2010 at 2:36 am Reply

    These ares stunningly simple. Now I just have to find fresh cranberries.

  40. The Mom Chefposted November 15, 2010 at 2:36 am Reply

    Wow…when I first saw the title, I have to admit that I wasn't interested, thinking that it would be raw cranberries. But the bath in the hot simple syrup would make them perfect. You're a genius.

  41. 5 Star Foodieposted November 15, 2010 at 2:29 am Reply

    Such pretty cranberries! The vanilla and orange flavor sounds excellent for sure!

  42. M @ Betty Crapperposted November 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm Reply

    These are so pretty and festive. I wonder how much like sour candy they taste like.

  43. Heavenly Housewifeposted November 14, 2010 at 12:52 pm Reply

    What a wonderful flavour! These would be so beautiful on top of a cake as a decoration. It would be so pretty!
    *kisses* HH

  44. honeybeecooksjackfruitposted November 14, 2010 at 6:08 am Reply

    Wow so festive! Great idea.

  45. j e t s e t WISDOMposted November 14, 2010 at 4:49 am Reply

    You just helped me decide what to make for my (helpful) gate agents and flight attendant friends, while flying during the holiday season. I'm thinking in baby jelly jars, wrapped in striking burgandy toile with a little velvet ribbon! Love!!!!!

  46. Cake Duchessposted November 14, 2010 at 3:46 am Reply

    This photos is gorgeous! I want it to be my Christmas card. Can you photoshop in my kids? Delicious! Have a wonderful weekend!!

  47. WizzyTheStickposted November 14, 2010 at 3:29 am Reply

    These are so beautiful. No cranberries her ebut excited to try this with other fruit

  48. Shirleyposted November 14, 2010 at 2:48 am Reply

    These are gorgeous! I'd hesitate to eat them at someone's house… they look like they're meant to be admired.

    • Toniposted November 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm Reply

      I made these for an event and I will be disappointed if no one eats them. They are delish!

  49. thespicegardenposted November 14, 2010 at 1:06 am Reply

    Haha! I see someone else is going for Christmas and holiday posts! In our house, we laugh when someone breaks the 'pre-Thanksgiving ban on all things Christmas'. BUT… yesterday, I baked a beautiful little spice cake and decked it out like Christmas… look on The Spice Garden! To great minds, Sommer! Cranberries and sugar decked cakes … deck the halls!

  50. Torviewtorontoposted November 14, 2010 at 12:19 am Reply

    delicious way to eat cranberries

  51. homepodgeposted November 13, 2010 at 10:18 pm Reply

    They look beautiful and I bet they taste even better… and the cranberry infused syrup would make a delicious addition to some iced tea!

  52. Chef Dennisposted November 13, 2010 at 9:29 pm Reply


    those cranberries look amazing and are so simple to make!! I can't wait to try them!! Thanks so much for passing along this wonderful creation!

  53. [email protected]posted November 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm Reply

    I too make sugared cranberries for a holiday garnish. Yours looks so festive!

  54. Annieposted November 13, 2010 at 2:15 pm Reply

    Those are so festive and pretty! They also look like their easy to make. I am going to give this one a try!

  55. Lizzyposted November 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm Reply


  56. K o r iposted November 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm Reply

    What lovely photos and what a lovely idea! I am so excited the holidays are around the corner. Thanks for sharing your recipe and congrats on the top 9 too!!!

  57. Marisaposted November 13, 2010 at 5:30 am Reply

    These are lovely for the holidays. The cranberries look like they are spinkled in snow! P.S. Your dog is very cute!

  58. Chow and Chatterposted November 13, 2010 at 4:48 am Reply

    wow love these and the snap of you and your dog is adorable

  59. Emily Zposted November 13, 2010 at 2:15 am Reply

    Hi, Sommer! I feel like we haven't chatted in a while, although I am not sure why! Let's remedy that! These cranberries look WONderful, and I love your dog, although I am rather partial to my own. ;)

  60. Monetposted November 13, 2010 at 12:26 am Reply

    What a wonderful idea! These sugared cranberries look gorgeous. I imagine that they would look beautiful on a holiday table. You are adorable, by the way. Thank you for sharing. I hope your weekend is full of love and fun.

  61. Biren @ Roti n Riceposted November 12, 2010 at 11:02 pm Reply

    They look so pretty and festive. Great for the holiday table!

  62. EnglishGirlinBCposted November 12, 2010 at 10:30 pm Reply

    these look fabulous! I will definitely be making these at Christmas time!

  63. lauraposted November 12, 2010 at 10:22 pm Reply

    Oh, beautiful, Sommer! These photos are gorgeous (as are you!)! I love the idea of making amazing edible decorations. You are helping me feel festive already – wish I were there to enjoy all the activities. ( :

  64. Green Girl @ A little bit of everythingposted November 12, 2010 at 9:42 pm Reply

    Your sugared cranberries are so cute that I'd throw a party just to make them to show off to my guests :d
    thanks for sharing it

  65. Winelady Cooksposted November 12, 2010 at 9:13 pm Reply

    What a terrific recipe. And I just love your photos. This is a great idea and looks so beautiful and festive.

    Thanks for sharing,

  66. thelonelyradish.composted November 12, 2010 at 8:57 pm Reply

    I love these! I love your pictures too :)

  67. [email protected]posted November 12, 2010 at 7:32 pm Reply

    Candies cranberries are my favorite thing ever! I made a whole bunch last year nd they were gobbled up in minutes. I used plain old simple syrup but lov ethe extra flavors in your version. Thanks for the reminder to make them again.

  68. Emily Malloyposted November 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm Reply

    1. You are the cutest creative ever. Yes, cuter than Kona.
    2. These are perfect!

  69. Kimberly @ Servantless American Cookposted November 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm Reply

    I live in Asheville as well and have always enjoyed seeing the gingerbread house competition! Every year my boyfriend and I enjoy some hot chocolate in the lounging area after looking at all the houses. The Nutcracker is such a treat, too! Your cranberries look delicious! What a festive idea!

  70. Katerinaposted November 12, 2010 at 3:23 pm Reply

    These are such great treats. I wish we had cranberries in Greece.

  71. Kristenposted November 12, 2010 at 1:50 pm Reply

    Those are so pretty and festive. Thank you for a timely recipe!

  72. Carolynposted November 12, 2010 at 11:52 am Reply

    Well this is incredibly timely. I was just looking up how to make sugared cranberries for some desserts I have in mind this Christmas. Thanks! They look beautiful.

  73. Cherineposted November 12, 2010 at 10:39 am Reply

    Gorgeous! i love cranberries!

  74. Yesimposted November 12, 2010 at 7:27 am Reply

    woow.. really it looks so good, great idea!

  75. Eileenposted November 12, 2010 at 4:49 am Reply

    Wow! What a great idea. I am going to make these for Thanksgiving – for sure. Won't everyone be impressed! Do the cranberries soften much?

  76. karenposted November 12, 2010 at 4:33 am Reply

    Hi there! I love the recipes, clear instructions & delicious photography! May I know what camera you use for your shots? Thanks. Will keep coming back for more.

  77. My Kitchen in the Rockiesposted November 12, 2010 at 4:31 am Reply

    They are so beautiful. What a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing!

  78. Meganposted November 12, 2010 at 3:07 am Reply

    Holy Cranberry! I am going to have to give these a whirl. They look beautiful and sound delicious. We have a lot of cooks in our family and we all are bringing *something special* to Thanksgiving this year. This might have to be my new treat! :)

  79. Reeniposted November 12, 2010 at 2:20 am Reply

    These are stunning! And sound positively delicious!

  80. Julie M.posted November 12, 2010 at 2:06 am Reply

    Wow Sommer! These are almost too beautiful to eat! Great idea!

  81. Priya Sreeramposted November 12, 2010 at 2:04 am Reply

    whoa they look awesome ! wanna graab a few–:P

  82. Queen of Cuisineposted November 12, 2010 at 1:12 am Reply

    This is a great recipe- I have a bag of cranberries and am going to make this RIGHT NOW!! Thanks.


  83. Confectionary Designsposted November 12, 2010 at 12:43 am Reply

    Clever combination of flavors! Thank you for sharing – it looks beautiful.

  84. Belinda @zomppaposted November 12, 2010 at 12:42 am Reply

    I am absolutely not thinking Christmas. These are just what it takes to get me in the mood.

  85. Evan @swEEtsposted November 12, 2010 at 12:25 am Reply

    How fantastic! These look delicious.. I love the flavors.. I'm going to use this in a slightly different dish.. I'll let you know how it turns out :)

  86. sara @ CaffeInaposted November 12, 2010 at 12:21 am Reply

    So easy and so pretty? I love that you are presenting us with something so doable and at the same time so chic! Love the grand marnier :)

  87. wendyweekendgourmetposted November 12, 2010 at 12:05 am Reply

    LOVE THESE…saving!

  88. Evan Thomasposted November 11, 2010 at 11:05 pm Reply

    These sound delicious! Love the idea of grand marnier :-)

  89. Stellaposted November 11, 2010 at 11:05 pm Reply

    Nice, Sommer! I love that you compared these to Sour Patch Kids too-I bet these are much more delicious, and I know they are more wholesome:)

  90. Angela FRSposted November 11, 2010 at 11:04 pm Reply

    So pretty! Such a great idea as an edible centerpiece, too.

  91. briarroseposted November 11, 2010 at 11:01 pm Reply

    These are wonderful. I can see a ton of uses for these lovelies.

  92. blackbookkitchendiariesposted November 11, 2010 at 10:29 pm Reply

    this is so pretty:) thank you for sharing this.

  93. apiciusapprenticeposted November 11, 2010 at 10:23 pm Reply

    I love this idea! Cranberries are on sale at our Teeter this week, and since I'm having friends over on Sunday, I think I'll try this!

  94. thegourmandmom.composted November 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm Reply

    Yum! Great idea!

  95. Victoriaposted November 11, 2010 at 10:16 pm Reply

    Wow, these are so easy and they looks so festive and beautiful! I definitely want to make these this year! Thanks so much for sharing. Oh, and yeah, I cannot believe that Christmas is only 6 weeks away, crazy!

  96. baking.serendipityposted November 11, 2010 at 10:08 pm Reply

    I love, love, love this. Seriously, I'm planning a holiday party already just to have these sitting on the counter in dishes to share. I love it!

  97. Cristina - TeenieCakesposted November 11, 2010 at 9:55 pm Reply

    These sugared cranberries are downright beautiful and festive. What a lovely edible decoration for the table. Saved to recipe file for sure…thx for the inspiration and sharing :)

  98. Gourmet Gadget Galposted November 11, 2010 at 9:54 pm Reply

    I had sugared fruit like this on my wedding cake. It is so pretty. I have always wanted to come see the gingerbread houses at Grove Park. Is it just mobbed or are there better times to come? My husband, Paul, makes an amazing gingerbread house every year with candy glazed windows and he lights it from inside.

  99. Carol Peterman/TableFareposted November 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm Reply

    Gorgeous! I can‘t wait to try them. I love cranberries.

  100. claireposted November 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm Reply

    Love this idea! All of the uses are so well thought out and perfect for the holidays. I have a great planning sheet I found for thanksgiving too if you need it!

  101. Angie's Recipesposted November 11, 2010 at 7:45 pm Reply

    Hi Kona! You look almost as sweet as your Frauchen. :-))

  102. Angie's Recipesposted November 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm Reply

    That's a super duper idea! I didn't know I could do cranberries this way. Thanks!

  103. Alisonposted November 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm Reply

    I think I'm in love! What a fantastic idea.