Cranberry Bars – Mom On Timeout

These Cranberry Bars are the perfect combination of tart and sweet and are just so, so delicious! They look absolutely stunning on a dessert table or cookie tray. I hope you give this super easy recipe a try this holiday season!

Looking for more cranberry recipes? Make sure to try my Cranberry Moscow Mule, Cranberry Orange Scones and Cranberry Sauce! 

cranberry bars on a wood board with the center bar flipped up so the filling takes center stage and you can see the profile of the bar.

Cranberry Bars Recipe

These easy Cranberry Bars are a must-make for the holidays! The tart cranberry filling is perfectly complemented with the buttery, crumb topping and crust. Perfect for your holiday dessert table, cookie trays or sharing with friends and family on a cozy night by the fire.

The beautiful cranberry filling is brilliant in both color and flavor and the crumbly texture of the topping is irresistible. Don’t let the holiday season pass you by without trying these easy cranberry bars!

More Cranberry Desserts

I’m fully obsessed with cranberry desserts – especially during the holidays. There is just something so enticing about their bright, bold color and tart flavor that make cranberry desserts extra special. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake
  2. Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
  3. White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge
  4. Cranberry Pecan Pinwheel Cookies
  5. Cranberry Fluff
three cranberry crumb bars stacked on each other on a dark wood board with a glass of milk in the background.

What I Love About This Recipe

There’s a lot to love about this easy cranberry dessert recipe:

  • Sweet and tart. The flavors from the cranberries and sugar cookie crust and topping go perfectly together. The topping adds the extra sweetness that the cranberries need.
  • Can be made in advance. This recipe can be made up to 2 days in advance if storing in the refrigerator and months in advance if you plan to freeze.

What You’ll Need 

This Cranberry Bars recipe comes together very quickly and easily. As always, you can find the full printable recipe in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a quick look at what you’ll need for this recipe:

Crust and Crumble Topping

  • sugar cookie mix – to make these bars extra easy and quick to make, you’ll need one package of sugar cookie mix for this recipe. You can find this at every grocery store or even online. I used the Betty Crocker brand.
  • salted butter – melted butter makes this crust come together super fast. If you want to use unsalted butter, just adda pinch of salt.
  • egg – one large egg is all you need to help this topping come together.
  • all purpose flour – adds just a little more structure to this topping.
  • quick oats – old fashioned oats can be used interchangeably in this recipe but the texture will be different. You can also just pop the old fashioned oats into the food processor and process for a few short bursts to break the old fashioned oats down a bit.
  • ground cinnamon – the cinnamon is optional but adds a nice touch of warmth and spice to the crust and topping.

Cranberry Filling

  • cranberries – you can use frozen or fresh cranberries but if using fresh, they will need to be frozen for at least 30 minutes before using. The reason is that fresh berries will burst too quickly while baking.
  • granulated sugar – light brown sugar can also be used in this recipe.
  • cornstarch – helps to thicken the filling.
  • ground cinnamon – adds warmth and spice to the cranberry filling.
  • cranberry juice – can also use lemon juice, apple juice or cran-apple juice.

Make sure you pick through the cranberries and remove any that are blemished or mushy. They should be nice and firm.

How To Make Cranberry Crumb Bars

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
  3. Beat together the sugar cookie mix, melted butter, egg, all-purpose flour, quick oats and ground cinnamon.
  4. Spoon ¾ of the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press it into the bottom.
  5. Stir together the cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, ground cinnamon and cranberry juice.
  6. Spread the cranberry mixture evenly on top of the crust layer in the baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture evenly over the cranberry mixture.
  8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the topping turns golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
  9. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving or let cool completely and serve at room temperature.
four image collage showing how to make the cranberry bars starting with the crust, then the filling and the topping.

Storage Information

Refrigerator: Leftover bars should be cooled and then stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Freezer: Cool bars completely, individually wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe airtight container for up to 3 months.

Cranberry Bars FAQs

How do I store these Cranberry Crumble Bars?

Leftover bars should be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Another option is to freeze the bars. Cool completely, individually wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe airtight container for up to 3 months.

Can I use old fashioned oats instead of quick oats?

The short answer is you can but the texture will be a little different. You can also just pop the old fashioned oats into the food processor and process in a few short bursts to break them down a bit.

close up look at cranberry bars stacked on top of each other.

Feel free to make a homemade crust and topping for this recipe if you don’t want to use the sugar cookie mix. Double the crumble topping from my Apple Crumble recipe and proceed as directed.

Trish’s Tips and Tricks

  • Consider using a Snickerdoodle Cookie Mix to add more cinnamon flavor to these bars. You can omit the cinnamon from the recipe if using a snickerdoodle mix.
  • If you don’t have any quick oats, use the food processor to break up some rolled oats so that they are about the size of quick oats.
  • Consider adding a half a cup of chopped nuts to the topping mixture.
  • Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  • Make sure you leave enough of the crust/topping mixture to sprinkle over the cranberry filling.
three cranberry crumb bars stacked on each other on a dark wood board with a glass of milk in the background.

More Cranberry Recipes

Bring on the cranberry goodness! Here are some of our favorite cranberry recipes:

  1. Cranberry Orange Scones
  2. Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Bread
  3. Easy Cranberry Fluff
  4. Cranberry Sauce
  5. Crockpot Cranberry Sauce
  6. Cranberry Pecan Mini Goat Cheese Balls
  7. Cranberry Pecan Brie Bites

How To Make Cranberry Bars

Cranberry Bars

These Cranberry Bars are the perfect combination of tart and sweet and are just so, so delicious! They look absolutely stunning on a dessert table or cookie tray. I hope you give this super easy recipe a try this holiday season!

Keyword cranberry bars, cranberry crumb bars, cranberry crumble bars
Author Trish – Mom On Timeout

Ingredients

Crust and Crumble Topping

  • 17.5 ounces sugar cookie mix 1 package sugar cookie mix
  • ½ cup salted butter melted
  • 1 egg large
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cranberry Filling

  • 12 ounces cranberries frozen, about 4 cups
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry juice

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, beat together the sugar cookie mix, melted butter, egg, all-purpose flour, quick oats and ground cinnamon with a stand mixer or hand mixer.

  • Spoon ¾ of the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press it into the bottom. Set the rest of the sugar cookie mixture aside.

  • In a large bowl, stir together the cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, ground cinnamon and cranberry juice.

  • Spread the cranberry mixture evenly on top of the crust layer in the baking dish.

  • Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture evenly over the cranberry mixture.

  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the topping turns golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

  • Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving or let cool completely and serve at room temperature.

Notes

Storage Information Refrigerator: Leftover bars should be cooled and then stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Freezer: Cool bars completely, individually wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe airtight container for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 139mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 206IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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