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Cranberry Bars

Cranberry Bars are a delicious dessert made on the healthy side by utilizing rolled oats to create a crust and crumble topping that has the perfect texture! These bars can be made with dried or fresh cranberries and are a dreamy blend of sweet and tart flavors. A wonderful holiday treat that can’t be beat!

Try serving these Cranberry Bars alongside a round of our sparkling Christmas Mocktails. They would also look lovely on the table next to this adorable Christmas Charcuterie Board or a holiday Veggie Pizza!

Cranberry bars in a stack.

Cranberry Bars

Rolled oats and cranberries just seem so quintessentially winter. The heartiness of the crumble topping and the tangy flavor of cranberries pair together perfectly. And now, that combination is here in the form of a dreamy dessert bar!

These cranberry bars are sweet, tart, tangy, crunchy, chewy, soft, crumbly, and ideal for the holidays. They really have it all! Serve them up for dessert or even turn them into an indulgent breakfast. It’s the holidays, after all – you deserve it!

How To Make Cranberry Bars

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a 9×13-inch with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, flour, light brown sugar, chopped pecans, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Pour in the melted butter and combine until a crumble mixture forms. Make sure there are no dry patches in this mixture.
  4. Press half of the crumble mixture into your baking dish forming a crust. Press firmly and evenly throughout so the crust is in an even layer. Set the dish aside.
  5. Now in a small saucepan combine the dried cranberries, honey, and water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until all the water has evaporated and the berries are nice and plump. Typically about 5 minutes.
  6. Spread the cranberry mixture over the crust, smashing the berries with the back of a spoon along the way to make a gooey center. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture over the cranberry mixture and press down enough to ensure the crumble sticks to the cranberry filling.
  7. Bake for 25-28 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  8. Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Collage showing how to make cranberry bars.

Tips and Variations

  • Parchment paper isn’t necessary, you could grease the pan as usual. However, parchment paper ensures the cranberry bars won’t stick (as it does occasionally still happens when using cooking spray) and makes the removal from the pan and cleanup much easier.
  • You can use fresh cranberries as opposed to dried. If using fresh cranberries, you’ll need to cook them down with water and honey in a saucepan over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until they are cooked through. 
  • White chocolate chips mixed with the cranberry filling or even sprinkled with the crumb crust would add a deliciously sweet flavor.
  • Try topping with your favorite chopped nuts for an added crunch.
  • Add a glaze on top for an even sweeter indulgence. Powdered sugar mixed with a touch of orange juice makes a tangy glaze that blends with the cranberry flavor beautifully.
Side view of crumble cranberry bars.

Storage and Reheating 

Room Temperature: You can store these Cranberry Bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

Refrigerator: These bars store well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freezer: Cranberry Bars are freezer friendly! Store them in freezer bags or a freezer safe container for up to two months. To thaw, place the bars in the refrigerator and microwave for a few seconds to warm if desired.

Reheating: No need to reheat this sweet treat unless you prefer to enjoy the bars slightly warm!

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Cranberry bars with crumble topping in a stack.

Cranberry Bars

Yield: 18 Bars
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Cranberry Bars are a delicious dessert made on the healthy side by utilizing rolled oats to create a crust and crumble layer that has the perfect texture!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a 9x13-inch with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, chopped pecans, baking soda, and salt. 
  3. Pour in melted butter, and combine until a crumble mixture forms. The mixture should be completely moistened with no dry patches. 
  4. Press half of the crumble mixture into your baking dish, pressing firmly and evenly throughout so the crust is in an even layer. Set aside.
  5. In a small saucepan combine the dried cranberries, honey, and water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until water has evaporated and berries are plump, about 5 minutes. 
  6. Spread the cranberry mixture over the crust, smashing the berries with the back of a spoon along the way and making a gooey center. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture over the cranberry mixture, and press down to ensure the crumble sticks to the filling.
  7. Bake for 25-28 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  8. Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing and serving. See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cranberry bar. Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

*Photos courtesy of Meghan King Photography.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 194mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 3g

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