The Perfect Holiday Garnish!

There’s something sort of magical about sugared fruits around this time of year. Maybe it’s because we don’t have snow down here, and sugar is the next best thing. Or maybe I’m just a crazy baker.


I bake for family and friends and typically take the holiday weekends off. This Christmas, I decided I would make a few red velvet cakes. With so much interest, I had to step up my garnish game. So, sugared cranberries it was.


I gathered my supplies: bag of cranberries, bowl of granulated (white) sugar, small pot to make simple syrup, cooling rack, baking sheet, and slotted spoon.


I washed the cranberries and brought them to room temperature. Next, I made a simple syrup by heating a cup of water over medium heat and adding a cup of sugar until completely dissolved. I took the pot off the heat and let it sit for a minute or two while setting up my cooking rack on top of a baking sheet.

Then, I dumped the whole bag of berries into the pot and let them soak for a few minutes, while stirring. I think this helped soften the cranberries since they are quite hard raw. After soaking, I spooned them out onto the cooling rack.


The berries needed to cool for about 5 minutes or so. They should be a little tacky to the touch. One batch wasn’t, so I re-dipped in the (warm) simple syrup. Then, I coated a handful at a time in the pan of sugar and put back on the cooling rack. The longer they sit, the crispier the sugar gets.

I mean, y’all, look how gorgeous these make a simple cake. I really appreciate the rawness of naked cake. Well, in this case, a semi-naked cake. But you don’t have to be a baker. You can add these sugared cranberries to a store-bought cake and look like a pro!


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