It’s easy to make your own dried cranberries with no added sugar! Make them in the oven or a dehydrator, and use them in your favorite keto treats.
This tutorial on how to dry cranberries has been on my blog since a gazillion years. Or, to be more precise, since November of 2012, which really amounts to the same thing.
I’ve been making these sugar free dried cranberries almost every year since. It’s not easy to find this popular snack without huge amounts of added sugar.
So I started making my own dried cranberries with alternative sweeteners. Turns out that it’s remarkably easy! I make several batches every fall and use them in all sorts of delicious recipes, like Keto Christmas Cookies.
You’ve got to try this!
Cranberries are extremely tart on their own. I’d almost go as far to say that they are unpalatable, which is why you rarely see unsweetened dried cranberries.
But you can use almost any sweetener to make them keto friendly. I like to use a combination of Swerve Confectioners and allulose, as I find this gives the best flavor while reducing any grittiness.
I discovered that the berries turn out much better if you also use a little oil. Otherwise, they tend to become crisp as they dry out, rather than soft and chewy.
You can dry cranberries in the oven or in a dehydrator, and it works well both ways. The oven method is quite a bit faster, as a dehydrator needs to run for at least 8 hours. But using an oven also uses more energy, so it’s up to you!
Ingredients you need
- Fresh cranberries: Choose cranberries that aren’t damaged or old as this affects the quality of your dried cranberries. Frozen cranberries tend to release a lot more juice as they dry, so it takes longer to dry them out properly.
- Sweetener: You have a lot of choice for sweetening the berries, but I do recommend using powdered sweeteners where possible. I found that a combination of erythritol and allulose works really well. Some of my readers also use BochaSweet. See more information in the Expert Tips section.
- Avocado oil: Don’t skip the oil or your dried cranberries will be tough and crispy! They get a little crispy as it is, but the oil makes a huge difference. You can also use extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or any other neutral tasting oil.
1. Cut the cranberries in half and toss in a bowl with sweeteners and oil.
2. Spread on a parchment-lined baking pan and separate each individual berry as best you can.
3. Place the baking sheet in a 200ºF oven and let dry, 3 hours or longer. Let them cool completely on the pan. Then transfer to an airtight container.
4. Store in the refrigerator for several months.
Dehydrator method: Prepare the berries as directed and spread out in a dehydrator. Set the dehydrator to 125ºF and 8 to 12 hours, or until the berries are dry to your liking.
Expert tips and FAQ
Sweetener Options: You can use almost any sweetener to make dried cranberries, but I recommend half Swerve Confectioners and half allulose for a few reasons. Erythritol sweeteners tend to crystallize during baking, and using some allulose helps offset this.
But allulose alone tends to make the berries brown too quickly. I tried this last year and ended up with something more like raisins than cranberries! Use powdered allulose for this recipe.
Cutting the berries: Whole cranberries have a firm exterior that doesn’t break down easily during baking. So cutting the berries in half allows them to dry out more quickly. This does take a little time but while save you time in the long run.
Keep your eyes on them! Every oven and every dehydrator is different so check them frequently.
This sugar free dried cranberry recipe has 5.2g of carbs and 2g of fiber per serving. That comes to 3.2g net carbs for a 3 tablespoon serving.
Store the dried cranberries in an airtight container. If they are well dried out, you can keep them on the counter for a few weeks. If they still have some moisture to them, they are best kept in the fridge. You can also freeze them for up one year.
How to use them
Now that you made a big batch of sugar free dried cranberries, you need keto recipes to use them. Not to worry, I have plenty of ideas for you!
How to Dry Cranberries
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ⅓ cup Swerve Confectioners
- ⅓ cup allulose powdered version
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil or any neutral tasting oi.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºF and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the cranberries in half and toss in a bowl with the sweeteners and oil. Spread on the prepared baking pan and separate each individual berry as best you can.
- Place in the oven and let dry 3 hours or longer. Let cool on the pan.
- Transfer to an airtight container. Store in refrigerator.
Marguerite Lindeann says
Can you use a different oil?
Yes, coconut oil works well too.
Michael and Alice Jordi says
My wife and I dehydrated two pounds today and oh boy they are great tasting ????. Thank you so much for sharing your cooking knowledge with all of us. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas.
Wow, look at you go!
Debra LuAnn Swank says
Thank you for this recipe, we love dried cranberries in our salad. Recently I tried them in keto cold slaw yummy.
I have bought unsweetened dried cranberries on Amazon, they were incredibly expensive and not very tasty. This sounds like a much better alternative. Thank you!
They really ARE expensive. I’ve bought some too and they last a long time. Not great for eating as is but okay for adding to other recipes.
It has been so long since I have had a dried cranberry because of the sugar. These are so so good!!! Now to just quit eating them so I am actually able to make something with them in it! Ha!
Your recipe uses avocado oil…Can you use coconut oil instead?
Yes, that should be fine but you have to melt it first.
I have made these numerous times and love them. The new method works great! I have a convection oven now and was wondering if anyone, or Caroline have made them in the convection oven and if so, how did they turn out.
I haven’t but I think you will need to lower your temp by 25 to 50 degrees.
Laura Sagan says
If I don’t use any sugar syrup, do I still coat with oil before popping in the oven? Coat before or after cutting/smashing?
cut them, and then coat them… otherwise they are dry like leather.
Angela Clifford says
I have a Instant Vortex Pro with a dehydrator function. 4 hours at 120f but they didn’t come out right. When back to the oven method overnight.
Any suggestions of time and temperature I could try on my dehydrator?
Made the biscotti is was AMAZING!
I use my dehydrator for these but it’s not a fancy one. I do the berry setting (can’t remember what temp that is but it’s pretty low) and let them dry out through the night.
Dana Grilikhes says
Dorothy Larson says
I have them in the oven at 200. I did cut them in half, but there is still a lot of moisture after 3 hrs. Should I keep baking them? I just realized I used granular swerve. Hope it is ok.
Yes, keep baking them until they are dry. The granular may make them a bit gritty but once baked into something, they should be fine.
thank you so much! Can’t wait to mix up a batch!
I picked up some liquid Allulose today, do you think I could use this instead of the oil and Swerve?
Paulette F says
I’m late to the party, but I just had to send a review. This turned out great! I used the convection feature on my oven and was able to reduce the cooking time to just over two hours. I didn’t think cutting the cranberries was going to be so easy, but it was. Next time I’ll try another reviewer’s suggestion to smash them after thawing frozen ones. And there WILL be a next time. These are so delicious. I used them in a massaged kale salad recipe yesterday. Your website is the one I turn to for reliable recipes. No other website comes close. Thankyou for all the hard behind-the-scenes work that goes into it.
I tried this with the Whole Earth Allulose Baking Blend, and tried powdering it inmy Ninja blender. I checked them at 2.5 hours and found a lot of liquid on the baking sheet. I transferred then to a fresh sheet of parchment paper and they still were not completely dry at the 3 hour mark. I decided to let them air dry the rest of the way because I needed my oven for dinner. I’m looking forward to trying them in the Cranberry Pecan Biscotti!
I think that’s probably the allulose, as it works very differently than Swerve.
I finally got around to making these and they were a big success! I used allulose and a little concentrated stevia powder for the sweetener to avoid the grainy texture that erythritol seems to have after cooling off. They do shrink quite a bit and I found that they took about 8 hours at 200 degrees to reach the leathery stage. They taste great by themselves and I am looking forward to making them again, in a larger quantity. Thanks for sharing!
I came to the comments specifically to see if anyone has used allulose. Thanks for sharing this!
I made mine the same way and they were still super tart even though I added more Allulose. Is that normal?
Excellent recipe. I use frozen cranberries, thaw them, and “pop” them with the bottom of a jar or cup. Wasn’t messy, can do several at a time. It’s kind of therapeutic in a weird way ????.
Genius! I’m totally going to use this popping method!
Made these in my dehydrator and they came out grainy. Should have read the comments first as I’m intending to use them primarily for salads. Would the boiling method prevent the graininess?
I love these dried crans and use them in my biscottis, a must with my coffee. Would this recipe work with blueberries?
Made these last night – amazing. Like candy, without the simple sugars. Thank you!
I have done this recipe cutting them in half. What happens if I leave them whole?