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A stack of three fresh cranberry bars on parchment paper.

Fresh Cranberry Bars

Fresh cranberries are cooked up in between a shortbread cookie crust and a cinnamon crumble topping for a simple, yet delicious dessert everyone will love.
4.19 from 27 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry bars, fresh cranberry bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 251kcal
Author: Karen


Crust and Topping

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter cold
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 16 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking pan with butter or cooking spray, and line with parchment if desired for easy removal. 
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. 
  • Cut the butter in small chunks and add to flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your hands, work the mixture until crumbs are formed. 
  • Add the egg and work into the mixture until fully combined. 
  • Press about 3 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan firmly. Set aside the remaining crumb mixture for the topping.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cranberries, sugar and cornstarch. Mix well.
  • Pour the cranberries over the crust, ensuring that leftover sugar from the bowl is also poured on top. 
  • Using a spoon, sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top of the cranberries. 
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is slightly golden. 
  • Cool to room temperature. You can serve at room temperature or put it in the refrigerator until slightly chilled.


Tips for Making Cranberry Bars:
If you plan to store these in the refrigerator, cut the entire tray into squares first as the crust gets a little tough to cut through when it's chilled.
For a delicious flaky shortbread crust make sure to use cold butter to make the crust.
Cook cranberry bars for the full 50 minutes as it takes that amount of time for the crust to cook. If the top starts to color too much, lay a piece of aluminum over the top and keep cooking.


Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg
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