Cranberry Bars - NumsTheWord

Cranberry Bars

Cranberry Bars with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting are an easy, beautiful dessert that make a perfect treat, gift or thank you.  Easy to make and have the texture of a blondie.

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Cranberry Bars
Cranberry Bars
Cranberry Bars
Cranberry Bars

It was only last year that I really tried cooking with fresh cranberries.

And though I was VERY skeptical and fairly certain I’d not like anything made with fresh cranberries, I’m now hooked on them.


Cranberry Bars


These Cranberry Bars with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting are no exception.

These bars are easy to make and taste delicious.  Sweet with a hint of tartness and the orange cream cheese frosting is a must have on top of these bars.


Cranberry Bars


To describe them I’d say they have the texture of a nice brownie.  Scratch that, blondie (based on their color).  

So I guess I could have called them Cranberry Blondies, but I didn’t.  Instead I went with Cranberry Bars.  


Cranberry Bars


The batter is thick and rebellious going into the pan, but come out soft, tender and chewy.  

They are beautiful to look at, festive, and make a great gift for the Holidays.


Cranberry Bars


These Cranberry Bars also make for an easy and unique treat for any cookie exchanges you participate in.  

Though I’ve not tried it yet, I suspect you could also use frozen cranberries to make these.  


Cranberry Bars


Now the real question is what did my picky kids think of them?

My 3 year old loved them.  In fact he was pretty sure he needed to eat the entire pan full and would do just about anything to get one.

My 6 year old bit into a cranberry, rather than the bar itself (tiny bite) and instantly declared she didn’t like them.


Cranberry Bars


DESPITE my attempts to tell her that if she’d just take a bigger bite and get some bar in her mouth with the cranberry, she’d love it, she wouldn’t do it.

Such is life.  One day though, she’ll learn to love these as much as the rest of us.  

Especially since I plan on making these EVERY year.  

If you love blondies or bar cookies and you love frosting, I highly recommend trying these Cranberry Bars!


Cranberry Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 16 Bars


  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish and set aside.
  3. Blend butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
  5. Add salt, baking powder and flour (1/2 cup at a time) until well blended. Mixture should be pretty thick.
  6. Stir in cranberries and optional nuts if desired.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared pan. It should be pretty thick. Push mixture around pan to the best o your ability, but don't over think it. As it bakes, it will fill in any gaps you may have.
  8. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until mixture begins to turn golden and a toothpick inserted into bars comes out clean.
  9. Set aside to cool while making the frosting.
  10. In a bowl beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  11. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending well between each addition.
  12. Once all powdered sugar has been added and mixture is thick and creamy, add milk and orange extract. Blend well.
  13. Spread frosting over cooled bars (do not spoon over warm bars or frosting will melt).
  14. Slice and top with a fresh cranberry.
  15. Serve immediately or cover until ready to serve.




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