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

four cranberry oatmeal bars on a white platter

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars Recipe

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.

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.

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.

close up of a cranberry crumble bar on a white platter

What’s in Cranberry Oatmeal Bars? 

To make these cranberry crumble bars, you’ll need: 

  • Fresh cranberries
  • Orange juice and zest
  • Cornstarch 
  • Granulated sugar and light brown sugar
  • Unsalted butter 
  • Vanilla extract 
  • All-purpose flour
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Salt

How to Make Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

These cranberry crumble bars come together so easily! First, bring the cranberries, orange zest and juice, and sugar to a boil on the stove. 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.

Meanwhile, make the bars. Mix together the ingredients, then set 1 heaping cup mixture aside to be sprinkled on later as crumble topping. 

Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of an 8×8-inch dish. Spoon the cranberry sauce over top, then sprinkle the reserved crumble mixture over that. 

Bake until edges are set and center has just set and is lightly golden browned.

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!!

Do I Have to Use Fresh Cranberries? 

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

Can I Use Instant Oats? 

No, don’t use quick cook or instant oats because they’re finer and behave like flour and will make mixture too dry.

Tips for Making Cranberry Crumble Bars

When spooning the cranberry filling over the crust, leave a 1/4-inch bare margin around the edges. The cranberry filling will burn if it’s touching the edges of the pan and will also stick like crazy.

Before sprinkling on the crumble topping, I squeeze the mixture in my palm to encourage bigger crumble pieces to form.

Note that these bars must cool for at least 2 hours before you can slice and serve them. The cranberry layer needs time to set! 

Cranberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars
Yield: 9

Cranberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 47 minutes
Total Time 57 minutes

Fast, easy, no mixer cranberry oatmeal bars with juicy cranberries and big crumbles!! Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or dessert!

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

Instructions

Make the Cranberry Filling:

  1. 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.

Make the Bars:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To a large, microwave-safe bowl add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the sugars, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  4. 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.
  5. Set 1 heaping cup mixture aside to be sprinkled on later as crumble topping.
  6. Transfer remaining mixture to prepared pan, and using a spatula or your fingers, hard-pack the mixture to create an even, smooth, flat crust.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until edges are set and center has just set and is lightly golden browned.
  10. Place pan on a wire rack and allow bars to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.

Notes

Storage: 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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 2gSugar: 36gProtein: 2g

More Cranberry Dessert Recipes:

ALL OF MY CRANBERRY RECIPES! 

Crustless Cranberry Pie — A FAST, super EASY, no-mixer dessert that’s perfect for holiday entertaining!! Somewhere in between pie, cake, and blondies is what you get with this FESTIVE recipe!

Cranberry Bliss Bars (Starbucks Copycat) — Just like Starbucks except even better! Learn how to make these at home with this easy recipe!

Overhead shot of Cranberry Bliss Bars (Starbucks Copycat) on red and white plates

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies — Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there’s a chocolate overload in every bite!!

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies — Bursting with texture and each bite is loaded with tart, chewy cranberries and sweet white chocolate! The perfect fall or holiday cookie recipe! 

Cranberry Orange Bread with Sweet Orange Glaze — The fresh cranberries in this cranberry orange bread contrast nicely with the sweet orange glaze, making it the perfect blend of sweet and tart!

Cranberry Bliss Seven Layer Bars — A buttery graham cracker crust, topped with white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, walnuts, dried cranberries, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cake — This fast, easy, no-mixer cake is light, soft, fluffy, and moist. It’s springy and bouncey, with just enough density to give it some heft and dimension.

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