cranberry bars

Cranberry Bars

Cranberry Bars have a rich, creamy filling, tart cranberries and a crumbly oatmeal layer on the bottom and top! They’re the perfect festive addition to a holiday party!

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Stack of four Cranberry Bars

Cranberries are SO underrated. Like, why do blueberries, raspberries and strawberries always seem to get all the attention?! Now don’t get me wrong, I love all of the above. But sometimes, I feel like cranberries deserve a bit of the spotlight! They’ve got the most vibrant, pretty color and the tartness balances out a sweet treat like no other!

And especially when you pair cranberries and a little orange zest, you’ve got a match made in holiday heaven! These Cranberry Bars are very similar to my Blueberry Cream Cheese Bars (that always get rave reviews!), but have a festive flair. And just look at them….they’re gorgeous!

Cranberry Bars stacked up with a bite out of the top one

Making Cranberry Bars is super easy!

First, you’ll want to preheat the oven to 350F and prepare your 9×13 pan. I always like to line my pans with parchment paper because it’s easy to remove from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. However, you can simply use cooking spray instead!

Making the top and bottom oatmeal crumb mixture…

In a large bowl (I like to use my KitchenAid mixer), you’ll combine the butter and sugars. Then, the baking soda, salt, flour and oatmeal is added. This mixture is quite crumbly – that’s okay. Press half of it into the bottom of the pan. You certainly do not need to measure to get “exactly half”…just use your best guess! Then, you’ll bake it for 13 minutes or until it’s just turning golden brown around the edges.

Making the cream cheese filling…

While the bottom layer is baking, you will prepare the yummy cream cheese filling. It’s really important to have the cream cheese at room temperature because it’ll be easier to incorporate. Once it is, you’ll place it in a mixing bowl, and stir it until it’s smooth. Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk until well-combined. Lastly, add the egg yolk and orange zest.

When the bottom layer is done baking, pour the filling over it and spread until it’s even. Then sprinkle the cranberries over the filling. Finally, sprinkle the remainder of the oatmeal crumble on top and gently press it into the filling.

The final bake!

Then it’s time for the final bake! Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are beginning to become a golden brown color. Once it’s done, you’ll let the bars cool completely and then refrigerate until you’re ready to serve!

What can I do with a bag of (fresh or frozen) cranberries?

You’ve made your cranberry sauce and now you’re left with half a bag of cranberries. So what should you do? Make these Cranberries Bars!!!

Fresh or frozen cranberries will both work great in this recipe. If you use fresh berries, you’ll just want to wash them off and let them dry on a paper towel so you don’t have too much extra moisture. Use frozen cranberries as is!

A couple of my other favorite cranberry recipes are these Loaded White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies, Cranberry Apple Crisp and my festive Christmas Cocktail!

Cranberry Bars on a wooden platter

How should I store the Cranberry Bars?

Once the bars are completely cool, cover them and place in the refrigerator. As I mentioned before, I like to make these in a pan lined with parchment paper. Then, they’re easy to remove from the pan, place on a cutting board and cut into nice squares. They’ll be good for 4-5 days….if they last that long! 

Can I freeze Cranberry Bars?

Yes! I did test this out to make sure they freeze okay. Once the bars are cool, cut them into squares and place them in well-sealed freezer bags for 1-2 months. I simply thawed them in the fridge and they were just as good as they were the day I made them!

Cranberry Bars cut into squares

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cranberry bars

Cranberry Bars

Kelsey
Cranberry Bars have a rich, creamy filling, tart cranberries and a crumbly oatmeal layer on the bottom and top!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 c butter softened
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 c flour
  • 1 1/3 c quick oats (uncooked)
  • One 8 oz pkg cream cheese softened
  • One 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 c fresh cranberries halved

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×13 pan by lining with parchment paper or coating with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar and brown sugar. Then stir in the baking soda, salt, flour and oatmeal until combined. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 13 minutes.
  • While the bottom layer is baking, make the filling. Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and stir until smooth. Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk with a whisk to make sure it's mixed well. Then add the orange zest and egg yolk.
  • Once the bottom layer is done baking, pour the cream cheese mixture over it and carefully spread it out. Add the berries on top of the cream cheese layer. Sprinkle the remaining oatmeal crumble on top and press it down lightly.
  • Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  • Let cool completely before cutting; store in the refrigerator.
Keyword cranberry

1 Comment

  1. Growing up I never liked cranberries, but I like them more and more each year now. I can’t wait to try these bars, the creamy filling looks amazing!

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