How To Use Up Extras from Making Sugared Cranberries

This is a blog post about using the ingredients leftover from the sugared orange cranberry recipe I released recently. After making that recipe you are left with a delicious cranberry-orange simple syrup and orange zest sugar. Here is a list of things you can do to use up the extras!

If you didn’t see the original recipe these ‘leftovers’ came from, here is a link to making Sugared Orange Cranberries. These cranberries are great for garnishes of all kinds, to snack on, as appetizers, and many other uses.

What to do with Leftover Cranberry-Orange Simple Syrup?

Now the great thing about this is that simple syrup has a variety of uses from cocktails to cakes. Here are a few things I think would be great to use up that extra syrup on!

Make a Fall Themed Cranberry and Orange Mojito


Follow this recipe, but add in 1/2-1oz cranberry-orange simple syrup, only use 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar to muddle the lime and mint, and you may add less soda than the recipe states. If you want it sweeter add a bit more simple syrup.

Use it to Moisten Cakes

Many professional bakers (and at home too) use a simple syrup on cakes to make them moister. You could use the leftover cranberry-orange simple syrup on a vanilla or even chocolate cake to add flavor and to help keep it moist. Just make sure to pair the frosting with everything as well (could make a cranberry orange frosting too!).

You’re Halfway to Cranberry and Orange Sorbet

You could make a cranberry and orange sorbet following this recipe. Take 3/4 cup of cranberry-orange simple syrup to replace the water and sugar and you do not need to follow the first step of boiling the two together (they have already been through this). Replace the 1 cup tangerine juice with 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup cranberry juice (or to preferences but end up with a cup of liquid), and keep or boot out the prosecco or replace with another alcohol of your choice. Follow the rest of the instructions to get sorbet!

Replace the Simple Syrup in Any Cocktail Recipe

If a recipe already calls for simple syrup, try switching out plain simple syrup with the cranberry-orange one. Only use on light and refreshing cocktail flavors that are fruity based (or basically anything that would sound good with cranberry and orange). Here is an article with recipes to drinks that use a simple syrup already.

Flavor Your Tea


Use the cranberry-orange simple syrup as both a sweetener and flavor enhancer in most teas. The milder the tea the better (earl gray, black and green teas are all good start). You could also use this to flavor sweet iced teas.

Make a Simple Fruit Salad

Using the cranberry-orange simple syrup as a ‘dressing’ for a simple fruit salad. Cranberries tend to pair well with apple, orange, peach, pear, or mango, so pick any combination to get started. Add a little simple syrup at a time to get the sweetness to the right amount based on the amount of fruit you are using. If the fruit salad becomes too sweet try adding in some lemon juice.

How to use up Orange Zest Sugar?

Some of the ideas are similar to those for the simple syrup, but there are new ones too!

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Flavor Your Tea

As stated above, the orange zest sugar would be great for flavoring teas just orange.

Rim Most Drinks

Since the orange zest sugar packs a punch, it would be great for rimming the glasses of several drinks like a margarita is rimmed with salt. Make sure the drinks that you would rim aren’t too sweet (the sugar rim will only make them sweeter). Classic drinks that have a sugar rim include mojitos, fruity margaritas, some specialty shots, and more.

Top Sugar Cookies, Scones, and Other Pastries and Desserts

Use the orange zest sugar to add a little pizzaz to pastries and desserts like sugar cookies,  gingerbread cookies, and scones. Any pastry that requires you to sprinkle the tops with sugar would be great to try. Just watch out for baking times. The orange zest could burn if the pastry it is sitting on needs to be cooked at a high temperature and/or cooked for a long time.

Use it with Buttered Toast

Have you ever put butter, sugar, and cinnamon on some toast? I use to do that all the time. Take this classic to the next level by replacing the sugar and cinnamon with the orange zest sugar or by simply adding the cinnamon to the orange zest sugar for a holiday tasting treat!

Flavor the Crust


If you are baking up some fruit pies this year, try sprinkling this on the bottom of the pie crust before filling or use an egg wash (or just water) and this sugar on the edges for flavored pie crust!

Amp up Cinnamon Rolls

Similar to the tips above, replace the sugar in cinnamon rolls with the orange zest sugar for an orange filled cinnamon delight. You could also make an orange glaze to go with it to really sell the orange flavor. Here is a recipe for orange cinnamon rolls that includes an orange glaze.

Add a Little Extra Flavor to Baked Fruit

Making some baked apple or pears? replace the sugar used for browning the baked fruit with orange zest sugar instead.

Sweeten Your Oatmeal

Trying to get rid of this sugar but don’t like what I’ve given ya? Try replacing your normal sugar for oatmeal with the orange zest sugar for a special treat!

That’s it! If you have more suggestions or ideas, please leave them in the comments below! 🙂

As always thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you have a fantastic week!

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*Main images in this post are free to use images from Canva*


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