Cranberry Bars Recipe -
Cranberry Bars Recipe

Cranberry Bars

Recipe by  

"A yummy bar that is tart and sweet at the same time. Easy to put together and your home will smell wonderful while they're baking!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 - 9x13 inch pan Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    40 mins

    1 hr 10 mins


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cranberries, white sugar, and water. Cook, stirring occasionally until all of the cranberries have popped, and the mixture is thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, melted butter, and eggs. Stir in the oats, brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Set aside about 1 1/2 cups of the mixture, and spread the rest into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pack down to form a solid crust, getting it as even as possible. Spread the cooled cranberry mixture over the crust. Pinch off pieces of the remaining mixture and place evenly over the cranberry layer.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is lightly browned. Cool in the pan for about 40 minutes before slicing into bars.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 07, 2003

This IS a great recipe! I read some of the other reviews, and the trick to getting the bars out of the pan without them turning into a gooey mess is to LET THEM COOL for at LEAST an hour! The cranberry mixture needs to "jell". My husband and kids REALLY loved these...even my picky four year old~!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 17, 2011

These were just okay for me. The flavors were good and the cranberry mixture smelled and tasted wonderful, but they were crumbly even after leaving them in the pan for a couple of hours. My cake mixture was very moist and gooey. There was no way I was going to be able to "press" them into the pan. Might be because I used instant oats, but not sure. Not sure the flavor was good enough to warrant another try.

Jan 05, 2006

Some important tips for this recipe: 1) use the real deal rolled oats, not the instant kind, 2) I used frozen cranberries and dropped the water down to 1/2 cup . . . you absolutely must cook the cranberries down until it's thick in the pan, keep mushing the berries as it cooks down, 3) you're better off making the cranberry part either the day before or wayyyy earlier than when you mix the cake part b/c it's better if the cranberry jam is fully cool, 4) don't even think about cutting these bars for at least 2-3 hrs after coming out of the oven . . . waiting will ensure lovely cut bars. I gave this a 4 and not a 5 because I only liked these the day I made them. The next day they had gotten soft (of course b/c of the amount of butter and the cranberry spread), which isn't bad, just a preference thing. And heck, throw some ice cream on top and I'll be saying texture smexture ;-). I will make these again, but will reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup.

Jan 25, 2004

Very good and easy too. I didn't have any whole cranberries on hand, so instead of making the craberry filling I actually used canned whole cranberry sauce. It worked just fine. This is a great one to add to your baking gifts for the holidays.

Dec 27, 2003

FANTASTIC!!!!! A nice change from the usual chocolate & nut bars. My husband loved these, so will make again. I may try next time with a little orange zest or a touch more cinnamon. The filling is so easy, I may try doing some kind of a cranberry pie/tart with it also.

Dec 17, 2003

This is baking in the oven as I write this. You need to drop the topping by small spoonfuls onto the cranberry filling. Then press lightly with your hands before putting in the oven.

Dec 07, 2006

a snap to prepare and oh, so good. I love the sweet with the tang of the berry. Used pom juice in place of water. Could not taste the spices in the crust, so added 1/2 tsp. cinnamon to the cran mixture after thickening and still can't taste it but perhaps by tomorrow it will season. The cooking time was spot on in my oven. I couldn't let them cool completely because I was too impatient to try. They were still warm but did not have any problems with crumbling or falling apart. *I also took care in not letting the cranberry sauce touch the sides of the pan during preparation. This prevented the sugar from crystallizing as it baked and sticking to the pan and becoming hard. They cut perfectly into little squares. They are sweet so they can be cut into small squares. I only had a white mix and used that and cannot taste any cake mix flavor. Thanks for a great recipe with alot of versatility. I would like to add a bit of orange zest to the next batch.

Dec 01, 2006

Very easy and a great way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce that nobody touched! I ad libbed a little (it is in no way a reflection on the original recipe, it's just what I do...). I added about a cup of ground pecans to the dough. On top of the cranberry layer I added a handful of white chocolate chips (would have liked to add a few more but someone had broken into the bag and a handful was all that was left!), and I also added about a cup of shredded coconut before adding the top layer of dough. Delicious and festive cookies that I am looking forward to serving at our Christmas party tomorrow night! Thanks for a great recipe.


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  • Calories
  • 228 kcal
  • 11%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 36.1 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol
  • 31 mg
  • 10%
  • Fat
  • 8.9 g
  • 14%
  • Fiber
  • 1.3 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 2 g
  • 4%
  • Sodium
  • 191 mg
  • 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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