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!Jump to Recipe
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!
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!
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!
Connect with Dance Around the Kitchen!
Follow on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook so you never miss a recipe!! And as always, thank you for following along with my blog, making my recipes, liking and sharing on social media and any other way you support Dance Around the Kitchen! -Kelsey
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!