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Luscious, buttery, sweet and tart glossy cranberry sauce crumble bars are made with a sweet crumble dough that doubles as a topping. A classic and super easy gorgeous and delicious holiday dessert. You won't be able to eat just one!
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5 from 1 vote

Cranberry Bars

Tart and sweet cranberries are made into a sauce then sandwiched between sweet crumble dough and baked until pale golden.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12
Author April Boller Wright


  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted very cold butter cut into cubes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Cranberry filling

  • ¾ cups cranberry sauce
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl add all of the dough ingredients except for the egg. Whisk the ingredients well.
  • With a pastry cutter or fork cut the butter into the flour until pea-sized crumbs form.  Add the egg and combine it into the crumble dough using your hands. Alternatively, you could use your food processor.
  • Pour half the crumble dough into the pan. With your hands flatten it evenly all over. Set the remaining dough to the side.

Cranberry sauce

  • Place all of the cranberry ingredients into a small saucepan over high heat and boil for 6-7 minutes or until the sauce is thick and dark stirring frequently. Place the sauce in a bowl then add the vanilla extract. Stir and set to the side to cool completely.
  • Pour the cooled cranberry mixture or your leftover cranberry sauce evenly over the bottom crust and spread it evenly. Crumble remaining dough over the cranberry sauce.
    Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until top is a golden pale color. Cool completely before cutting into squares.


  • To remove bars easily from the pan, line the pan with two crisscrossed pieces of parchment. Have enough parchment paper so the it overhangs on all side. 
  • The bars cut better when they are chilled I usually let mine cool for about 30 minutes then refrigerate for 2-4 hours. If you are in a hurry to eat them then cool completely (30-60 minutes) before cutting.
  • Cover tightly and store for up to 5 days.
  • Bars can be frozen up to 3 months.
Make in advance: Prepare the bars up to 4 days in advance. Cover tightly and refrigerate until you need them.
  • Read the blog post for instructions on how to make these using your favorite fresh raw berries.