How to Make Easy Sugared Berries
Sugared Berries are really easy to make and add a special pizazz to any dessert. You only need three ingredients and I love to use them to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, and more! My kids also love to just pop them in their mouths for a snack!
A few years ago I made this Sugared Berries Winter Wedding Cake and had several people ask me about how I made the sugared berries. I never shared because honestly, the sugared berries were kind of a fail.
The bride was so kind and just a doll and she never complained but I was sad and disappointed. If you look closely at the cake, there really wasn’t much sugar left on any of the berries by the time I finished setting up. 😭
Was the cake still beautiful? Absolutely! Or at least I thought so. But it wasn’t what I (or probably she) had envisioned.
So anyway… until recently, I hadn’t made sugared berries again. But then a client asked for another sugared berries wedding cake and I knew I wanted to do better this time!
In preparation, I read dozens of recipes/blog posts and practiced a couple of times before the wedding weekend to make sure I could pull it off. In the end, I was SO happy with how well they turned out. But it still wasn’t perfect.
Sugared berries are easy to make but very tempermental and time-sensative. Just keep that in mind if you plan to use them for a wedding cake or other event that requires working ahead!
And after I shared this cake (above) on my Facebook page, the questions started rolling in again about how to make the sugared berries. So I decided to write it up and share.
Easy Sugared Berries Ingredients
You seriously only need three ingredients to make these sugared berries.
- The fruit (berries, grapes, etc.)
- Pasteurized egg whites
I’ve made strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and grapes. You could also do larger fruits, like pears and apples to use as centerpieces on your table, but today, let’s stick to berries.
Raspberries are the primary berries that gave me trouble. They were pretty at first but quickly began to seep juices and get extremely soft and squishy. This is because they ripen faster than most fruits so their lifespan as “sugared berries” is much shorter.
With that in mind – let me show you how easy it is!
Easy Sugared Berries
First, you’re going to want to plan ahead. You need to gently rinse your berries and let them air dry. You could do this the night before or a few hours ahead. Either way, the berries need to be clean, dry, and at room temperature.
When you’re ready to make the sugared berries, be sure to use pasteurized egg whites to prevent any food poisoning risk. I buy them in a carton.
Pour the egg whites into a small, shallow bowl, then whisk to break them up. This prevents the egg whites from being stringy.
Next, dip the berries in the egg whites. Make sure to turn them and make sure they’re completely covered.
I usually do strawberries one at a time, but you could easily put a few grapes or blueberries in and use tongs to turn them and get them completely covered.
Next, roll the fruit in sugar. Again, use your fingers or tongs… whichever you prefer. I only add a small amount of sugar to the bowl, then toss it and get more if it gets too clumpy.
You may have to dip the fruit twice to get a good coating. Sometimes the first layer of sugar will “disappear” into the egg white and you’ll need more for it to be easily seen.
What kind of sugar is best for sugared berries?
I used plain granulated sugar. But you could use almost any kind of sugar… sanding sugar, superfine sugar, or coarse sugar. I would not recommend powdered sugar because it would dissolve so easily.
Remove the berries from the sugar and place them on parchment paper or a wire rack to dry. Some berries will seep juices so I like to put my wire rack over a cookie sheet to catch any juices.
Then let the berries dry for at least 8 hours or evernight. Aren’t they pretty?
By morning, the berries are ready to use!! I recommend using these berries the same day or within 12 hours.
When I’m assembling cakes, I almost always finish them at home the night before, chill the cake all night, and then transport them completely finished. But as I mentioned above, that didn’t work out so great with my first sugared berries wedding cake.
With that first cake, I made the berries too far ahead, then set up the cake a few hours before the reception. By the time I was leaving the venue, the sugar had almost completely disappeared and the fruit was dripping.
Why do Sugared Berries Seep Juices?
Have you ever had macerated strawberries? This is a process by which you sprinkle sugar onto cut strawberries and then let them sit for at least half an hour. The sugar then draws the water out of the berries forming a sweet syrup that makes them perfect for use on Strawberry Shortcake or Vanilla Ice Cream.
When making sugared berries, the egg whites create a barrier and prevent this for a little while, but the longer they rest, the more the fruit will begin to break down, and eventually, the sugar will start to pull the juices out.
On the cakes I’ve made in the past couple of months, I decided to make the berries the night before the event (and no sooner!), then wait and put the berries on just before pickup or delivery. The less time the berries are on the cake, the less chance they’ll begin to seep juices.
Even still… with the wedding cake above, the raspberries had started to seep juices down the side of the cake within an hour. You can see it in the pic below if you look closely.
So… while sugared berries are beautiful and decorative and delicious – they’re not practical for all applications or uses. Just keep that in mind! I had to learn this the hard way with that first big wedding cake.
I didn’t realize until I was editing pictures of this last wedding cake that I had captured the juice issue in some of the darker images. The raspberries, in particular, were already making syrup and it was dripping down the front of the cake.
Thank goodness, it wasn’t super obvious and this reception was starting immediately after I delivered the cake and the family didn’t seem bothered by it at all.
Easy Sugared Berries Recipe
Are you ready for the printable recipe? Here you go…Print
Sugared Berries are really easy to make and add a special pizazz to any dessert. You only need three ingredients and I love to use them to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes and more! My kids also love to just pop them in their mouths for a snack!
- Rinse the fruit and let it air-dry at room temperature.
- Place the egg whites in a small, shallow bowl and whisk it to break up any stringiness.
- Dip the fruit in the egg whites, completely covering it. Let any excess drip off.
- Dip and/or roll the fruit in the sugar*.
- Place on a wire rack over a cookie sheet and allow it to dry overnight (or 8 hours).
- Serve within 12 hours of making it.
Keywords: sugared fruit, sugared berries, berries, fruit, sugared strawberries