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Orange Zest Sugared Cranberries

My younger sister got married 2 weeks ago, and it was a lovely affair! Since it was a winter wedding she had a stunning long sleeve wedding gown, the bridesmaids were in burgundy, there were beautiful white roses and evergreens everywhere, the reception was filled with christmas trees, and I got to make the wedding cake!

It was my first wedding cake and I will have to say I am pretty proud of it. The cake was a dense white almond flavor, frosted in an American buttercream, decorated in evergreens, pine cones, and sugared cranberries (picture included)!

white wedding cake with sugared cranberries and pinecones

My family really dug snacking on the sugared cranberries while I was getting everything together so I thought why not share these little treats but with a twist! Orange Zest Sugared Cranberries is what I am sharing with you today, perfect to snack on, add on to things as decorations, or add to food to liven it up!

Before I made them I always assumed sugared cranberries would be hard to make, boy was I wrong. Sugared Cranberries, even these orange zest sugared cranberries are very simple to make and require just a few ingredients. Cranberries, sugar, an orange, and water is really all you need, so simple!

close up of Orange Zest Sugared Cranberries on a wire rack

You begin by zesting and juicing your orange.

You add a little sugar to the orange zest and add them to a low heat oven to dry out for 20 minutes. 

You use the orange juice, water, and sugar to make a simple syrup.

In batches you mix the cranberries into the simple syrup and then onto a cooling rack. You let the cranberries dry until they are sticky on the cooling rack about 30-45 minutes.

Then simply add sugar to the orange zest and again in batches add cranberries to the sugar mixture until covered and then back to the cooling rack to finish drying.

So simple and such a cute addition to baked goods and meals, especially around the holidays. So whip up a batch of Orange Zest Sugared Cranberries and impress all of your family and friends!

toddler hand reaching for Sugared Cranberries

Orange Zest Sugared Cranberries in a bowl next to a wire drying rack

orange zest sugared cranberries in a little black bowl

Orange Zest Sugared Cranberries

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Easy to make homemade sugared cranberries with an orange twist, perfect for holiday snacking and fun dessert accents!


  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 orange


  1. Preheat oven to 250º F
  2. Zest orange into an empty pie plate (I found a pie plate is perfect for both cooking the orange zest and tossing the cranberries in sugar).
  3. Spread orange zest out on the bottom of the pie plate and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, toss orange zest and return to oven for 10 more minutes. Let cool.
  4. Squeeze juice from orange into a measuring cup, fill the rest with water until you have 1 cup of liquid. Create a simple syrup, add orange juice/water and 1 cup of sugar to a small saucepan. Heat on medium until the sugar dissolves and the water just starts to barely boil. Take off heat.
  5. In batches add cranberries to the simple syrup, remove cranberries and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Continue until all of the cranberries are covered in simple syrup and on the cooling rack.
  6. Let simple syrup dry until sticky, 30-45 minutes.
  7. Add remaining sugar to cooled orange zest, and toss together.
  8. In batches add cranberries to sugar mixture and toss until completely covered in sugar. Carefully transfer back to cooling rack. Continue until all cranberries are covered in sugar, let dry completely.
  9. Enjoy! Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 3gSugar: 72gProtein: 1g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below on the blog or share a photo with me tag @the_schmidty_wife! Can't wait to see what you made!

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

P.S. Looking for more dessert recipes? Check out my Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream or my Lemon Squares

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