4.59 from 29 reviews

Fresh Cranberry Bars with Oat Crumble Topping

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cranberry oatmeal bars on parchment paper

Disclosure: I created this blog content in partnership with The Cranberry Institute. I was compensated for my work, and all opinions are solely my own. Find additional information on The Cranberry Institute!

In general, most people think of fresh cranberries for one thing and one thing only: cranberry sauce.

That’s not a “bad” thing! Cranberry sauce brings me back to my mother’s kitchen.

To this day she makes the best cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. I don’t even need the turkey to eat it…just hand me a spoon!

cranberry oatmeal bars in a baking dish

However, there are so many other uses for this versatile fruit besides cranberry sauce and I am excited to share one of those ways with you – a fresh cranberry bar!

First off, let’s talk health benefits:

The fresh cranberries in these bars not only add a unique flavor and beautiful color, but also heaping amount of Vitamin C and fiber. Plus, cranberries are naturally low in sugar!

Additionally, cranberries offer whole body health benefits. Scientists are actually exploring how the bioactive compounds found in cranberries may positively affect glycemic response, prevent recurrent UTIs, support gut health, improve heart health and reduce inflammation.

Did I lose you yet?

I hope not!

A graphic on cranberries and gut health

To simplify: Cranberries may improve your glucose response if you have type 2 diabetes, the compounds found in cranberries may feed good bacteria to support your gut health, and cranberry consumption can help prevent reoccurring Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). Woo!

Now that we know cranberries are beneficial to our health…how are cranberries grown?

Cranberries are grown on vines. (Yes – cranberries grow on vines, not in water! The cranberry bogs are only flooded to harvest the cranberries!)

close up of a cranberry oatmeal bar

Most cranberries are grown in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington and Oregon!

Let’s chat about this recipe…

Fresh Cranberry Bars with Oat Crumble Topping…

  • Easy-to-make
  • Tart and sweet at the same time!
  • Rich in fiber and vitamin C
  • A easy fall dessert…or breakfast! No judgement here!
  • Takes less than 45 minutes to make
  • You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already
  • It’s a new Holiday favorite in my house!

What if I don’t have coconut sugar?

You can use granulated sugar – I just really love the flavor coconut sugar gives this dish!

Can I use oranges instead of lemon in the cranberry layer?

Yes! If you don’t have lemons, oranges are a fantastic substitute for both the juice and zest!

close up of a cranberry oatmeal bar

Can I use dried cranberries?

While dried cranberries are absolutely wonderful, this recipe works best with fresh cranberries.

I love that the crumble topping and crust to this cranberry bar recipe is the same recipe!

Makes life just that much easier! You enjoy as is, or with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Perfect for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving and a fun way to enjoy this Fall fruit!

close up of a cranberry oatmeal bars on parchment paper

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

cranberry oatmeal bars on parchment paper
4.59 from 29 reviews

Fresh Cranberry Bars with Oat Crumble Topping

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 9 bars
These Fresh Cranberry Bars are a great way to enjoy fresh cranberries this holiday season! Cook your fresh cranberries on the stove and layer it in-between a delicious oat crumble and you’ll have a satisfying and vibrant dessert to show off to your friends and family! 


For the crumble:

  • 1 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. flaxseed, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, ground

For the Fresh Cranberry filling:

  • 1 12 oz. bag Fresh Cranberry
  • 4 Tbsp. lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    In a large bowl, mix all of the crumble topping ingredients together. The melted butter will combine the dry ingredients into a crumble.
    Press half of this mixture into an oven safe 8×8 baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat – make the cranberry mixture! Add the cranberries, juice, zest and sugar to the sauce pan. The cranberries will begin to pop and cook down. You may need to add a little bit of water. Add a tablespoon at a time! Let this cook down until it looks like, well…cranberry sauce!
  • Pour this on top of the crust layer, and then top with the remaining oat crumble. Bake again for 20 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes before cutting into it. (Trust me, I know it’s hard!)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

You’ll want to be sure to snag your fresh cranberries soon to make this dish! They are available now (Fall) until early January so you don’t want to miss out on making this dessert!

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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4.59 from 29 votes (26 ratings without comment)
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I made this yesterday. I used granulated sugar and oranges. Everyone liked it. I thought the crumb topping was too dry. Next time, I will probably add some pats of butter on top during the final step of baking or more butter to the topping that’s left after baking the bottom.

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Amy Moctezuma

This recipe is perfect. Followed directions without modifications. Excellent result.

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I’m allergic to oats any ideas to make them without the oats?

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Carolyn L

This was just what I was looking for! Even better than a version I used to make. I love the tangy gooey cranberry layer so much, I want to try to maybe do it a little thicker or do like 3/4 or the crumble part next time. So delicious! I’m saving this in my little handwritten recipe book where I keep only the best 🙂


So much butter!! Are 12 tablespoons really necessary?

Sharon Fuentes

These look delicious! I’m wondering if I can replace the white flour with almond or oat flour?


Hi! Do you think this would work with artificial sugar, for diabetics? Also, do they freeze well? Thanks!

Emily Kyle

This made the most delicious brunch addition last weekend! Everyone loved it!


I’m definitely going to make these this week. They look scrumptious!!


This is making an appearance at our Thanksgiving dessert table this year. Winning!!!