Cranberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

I’ve got a blueberry and raspberry version of these bars and to get into the seasonal spirit, I knew a cranberry rendition would be perfect.

The bars are soft, slightly chewy, and the hearty oats with big crumbles are a perfect contrast to the juicy cranberry filling.

Cranberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars - Fast, easy, no mixer bars with juicy cranberries and big crumbles!! Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or dessert! Soft, chewy, hearty, and so good!!

They’re easy, you don’t need a mixer, and the crust and crumble topping are one in the same. One less step and one less bowl to wash.

I boiled fresh cranberries with sugar and orange juice. Orange and cranberry are such complementary flavors and the subtle citrus brightens up the overall flavor of the bars. Add orange zest to taste if you want to intensify the orange flavor.

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Cranberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars - Fast, easy, no mixer bars with juicy cranberries and big crumbles!! Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or dessert! Soft, chewy, hearty, and so good!!

For this recipe you do need fresh cranberries so make the bars while cranberries are in season.

The bars aren’t overly sweet and the tart cranberry flavor shines nicely making them an easy grab-and-go breakfast bar, snack, or dessert. They’re egg-free which may come in handy for some people.

Cranberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars - Fast, easy, no mixer bars with juicy cranberries and big crumbles!! Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or dessert! Soft, chewy, hearty, and so good!!

Print Recipe

Cranberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

The bars are soft, slightly chewy, and the hearty oats with big crumbles are a perfect contrast to the juicy cranberry filling. They're easy, you don't need a mixer, and the crust and crumble topping are one in the same. Orange and cranberry are complementary flavors and the citrus brightens up the overall flavor of the bars. Add orange zest to intensify the orange flavor. The bars aren’t overly sweet and the tart cranberry flavor shines nicely making them an easy grab-and-go breakfast bar, snack, or dessert.

Yield: one 8x8-inch pan

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: about 15 minutes stovetop, about 30 to 32 minutes oven

Total Time: 3+ hours, for cooling

Ingredients:

Cranberry Filling

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest, optional and to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch

Bars

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned whole-rolled oats (don't use quick cook or instant, they're finer and behave like flour and will make mixture too dry)
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste

Directions:

  1. Cranberry Filling - To a medium stockpot with high sides, add the cranberries, optional orange zest, orange juice, granulated sugar, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often to incorporate the sugar.
  2. Once mixture has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, add the corn starch, stir to combine, and allow mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes. While it simmers, make the bars.
  3. Bars - Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  4. To a large, microwave-safe bowl add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the sugars, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  6. Add the flour, oats, optional salt, and stir to combine. Mixture will have some larger, well-formed crumble pieces as well as some sandier, dryer bits.
  7. Set 1 heaping cup mixture aside to be sprinkled on later as crumble topping.
  8. Transfer remaining mixture to prepared pan, and using a spatula or your fingers, hard-pack the mixture to create an even, smooth, flat crust.
  9. Add the cranberry filling over the crust making sure there's complete coverage but leave a 1/4-inch bare margin around the edges. Tip - The cranberry filling will burn if it's touching the edges of the pan and will also stick like crazy.
  10. Evenly sprinkle with the reserved heaping 1 cup crumble topping mixture. Tip - Before sprinkling, I squeeze the mixture in my palm to encourage bigger crumble pieces to form.
  11. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until edges are set and center has just set and is lightly golden browned. Place pan on a wire rack and allow bars to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Adapted from Blueberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars and Raspberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

Only Eats

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17 comments

  1. Ohhhh I love the addition of orange juice! I can only imagine these two go very well together. I was actually looking back at my apple oatmeal breakfast crumble recipe, and I started craaaaaving something like that… And then I saw your recipe. Can’t be a coincidence, right?! ;)
    Have a great week!

  2. Can I thaw and use frozen cranberries if I already have those?

    • Probably but I haven’t tried and so the consistency of the filling will change so you will need to experiment possibly with how long to boil/simmer, how long to bake the bars, etc.

  3. The filling looks fantastic–oj and cranberries are perfect together and I think I could go to town on that alone. However….I am a crumble lover so the bar part of the recipe is really giving me a craving!!

  4. Oh, they look so delicious! Something to make with my Mum who loves snacking on bars.
    – Charmaine
    http://charmainenyw.com

  5. these are BEAUTIFUL! Can’t wait to bake these for brunch!!!

  6. These bars look fantastic Averie! So yummy and perfect for the holiday season!

  7. Ooh, yummy–now I need to decide which crumble bar to make first!

  8. These are gorgeous! I always love crumble bars. And I always buy cranberries for garnishes…now I know how to use them up!

  9. Oh these look delicious! Crumble bars are great :)

  10. I just bought 5 bags of cranberries! Can’t wait to make these bars! The crumble topping looks amazing.

  11. hey girl these look so good!

  12. these look incredible! we don’t use cranberries nearly enough

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