Cranberry Bars are an unexpected twist on our favorite holiday flavors of tart cranberries, sweet orange, and buttery crusts. These cranberry crumble bars are the perfect festive addition to your next holiday party or Christmas dessert spread.
The Best Cranberry Bar Recipe
We’ve put your favorite holiday flavors in this easy recipe, creating a delicious dessert with crumble topping, fresh cranberry middle, and a buttery crust. And if you’re feeling really decadent, serve this fun dessert with a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!
What You Will Need
- brown sugar & organic cane sugar – A combination for the perfect added sweetness. Coconut sugar is an easy substitute here too.
- all-purpose flour – Can easily be substituted for 1-to-1 gluten free flour if you want to make gluten-free bars
- rolled oats – These bring some added texture and nutrition. If you are making them gluten-free, make sure these are certified gluten-free on the package.
- ground flax – Great for an added nutritional punch!
- kosher salt –The basic ingredients help to lift up all of the amazing flavors.
- egg – Helps with binding that the crust together.
- vanilla extract – Just a little bit for some added flavor!
- butter – This is what makes your crust & topping nice and golden brown. Use regular or dairy-free butter if you prefer.
- cornstarch – Added to the blueberries so that the filling doesn’t get too runny.
- organic cane sugar – Just a bit to lean into the natural sweetness of the cranberries
- orange zest & juice – A little bit of acidity to lighten and brighten these crumble bars.
- vanilla extract – A classic ingredient to add some warmth and vanilla flavors.
- fresh cranberries – A slightly tart flavor that gets evened out with the other sweet and savory ingredients.
- ground nutmeg – Adds a slightly nutty and sweet flavor throughout.
How To Make Cranberry Bars
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. While your oven is heating up, start working on your crust and topping mixture. In a large bowl whisk the together 1/2 a cup of the brown sugar, and then cane sugar, all purpose flour, rolled oats, ground flax, and salt then set it aside.
In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the egg and vanilla extract. Then pour it into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Then add in the butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a fork or a pastry blender until you notice coarse crumbs throughout.
Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, making sure that enough parchment paper comes over the sides for easy removal. Then spray the bottom of the pan with your favorite non-stick cooking spray. Once your pan is prepped, use your hands to press down a little more than half of the flour mixture. Be sure that it is spread evenly along the pan to create a sturdy crust.
Now for the filling ingredients. In a medium bowl combine cornstarch and cane sugar. Then add the orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Finally, add the cranberries and gently combine.
Pour the cranberries into the pan and spread them out evenly. Now add the remaining 3 Tbs of brown sugar to the remaining half of the flour mixture and mix it all together. Then spread the crumble mixture over the top of the cranberries.
Place it all into your preheated oven on the middle rack and let it cook for 40-45 minutes or until the top begins to turn golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven, let those perfect cranberry bars cool to room temperature before cutting. These are truly one of our favorite cranberry recipes and is a delicious way to get friends and family gathered in a hurry.
Feel free to use coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar. This will make the bars a little less sweet.
Use 1-to-1 gluten-free flour and gluten-free rolled oats.
Use plant-based butter.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Made these easy cranberry bars and loved them?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!
These delicious cranberry bars are easy to make and the perfect dessert for either Thanksgiving or Christmas!
- 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or 1-to-1 gluten-free flour)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon ground flax
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup salted butter, room temp and cubed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 2–3 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 heaping cups raw cranberries
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment, ensuring their flap folded over the sides for easy removal. Spray bottom of pan with olive oil or your favorite non-stick.
- In a large bowl whisk together 1/2 cup brown sugar, cane sugar, all purpose flour, rolled oats, ground flax and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and vanilla extract. Pour into flour mixture and stir to combine.
- Add butter to flour mixture and cut into flour with a fork.
- Pour a little more than half of the flour mixture into the prepared baking pan. Spread out evenly and press down firmly with your hands/fingertips to create the crust. Set aside.
- Filling: In a medium bowl combine cornstarch and cane sugar. Add orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Add cranberries and gently combine. Pour cranberries into the pan and spread out evenly.
- Take the remaining half of the flour mixture and add 3 tablespoons brown sugar. Use a fork to combine. Crumble the mixture evenly over the top of the cranberries.
- Place in the oven, middle rack, 40-45 minutes or until the top starts to become golden brown.
- Remove and let cool completely before cutting into squares.
- Brown Sugar: you can use coconut sugar in place of brown sugar, if you prefer, it will be a bit less sweet.
- Gluten-Free: to make this gluten-free use 1-to-1 gluten-free flour and gluten-free rolled oats.
- Dairy-Free: to make this dairy-free use a plant-based butter.
- Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Serving Size: 4 oz
- Calories: 188
- Sugar: 13.3 g
- Sodium: 117.5 mg
- Fat: 8.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 26.8 g
- Protein: 2.1 g
- Cholesterol: 28.1 mg