These Cranberry Lemon Bars are just as delicious as they look! Packed with flavor from vanilla, lemon zest, and fresh cranberries - it's an easy and delicious sweet treat. Perfect for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert!
In this Article:
A cranberry dessert that will please a crowd! If you are a fan of cranberries, you have to try these perfect cranberry lemon bars.
Also make sure to try my blueberry lemon bars, which are always a hit with the whole family. You might also enjoy these key lime bars, or learn how to can your own lemons!
These Cranberry Lemon Bars are:
- Made from scratch.
- An easy make ahead dessert.
- Simple to make with fresh or frozen cranberries.
- Freezer friendly.
- A popular dessert bar recipe!
How to Make Cranberry Lemon Bars
Full steps along with measurements for these cranberry lemon bars are in the printable recipe card below. This is a quick walk through.
- Preheat the oven and grease your baking dish and set aside.
- Next you will mix up the wet ingredients in a mixer. Once well combined, move to the next step.
- Now begin adding in the dry ingredients, mixing till combined.
- Fold in the cranberries and pour into baking dish.
- Bake as directed and once done remove and cool. Then drizzle with melted white chocolate.
Helpful Tips for Making Cranberry Lemon Bars
You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer for this dessert. But I recommend using one of them rather than trying to mix by hand. You will find you need the power to really cream the ingredients together, giving the bars their light and delicious texture.
Fresh or Frozen Cranberries?
Depending on the time of the year, you might find it hard to buy fresh cranberries for baking. So you can use frozen cranberries to simplify this recipe. Just fold the frozen berries into the batter gently. The berries will leak a little more coloring into the dough, but the bars will still taste spot on.
Amp up the Lemon Zest
To get even more zesty flavor from your lemon, here's a little trick. Take your lemon zest and mix it with about ½ tablespoon of granulated sugar. Massage the lemon zest and sugar together in your hands for a few seconds. By rubbing the zest with sugar, it will bring out a bolder lemon flavor!
Variations to Lemon Cranberry Bars
Make it Orange Flavored
Swap out the lemon juice and zest for orange juice and zest instead - and you will have a completely new recipe. Orange cranberry bars!
Consider sprinkling the top of your bars with slivered almonds after drizzling on the white chocolate. This would add a nice crunchy finish to your bars!
Add Chocolate Chips
You can also fold in some white chocolate chips at the same time as the cranberries. This will add rich chocolatey flavor to each bite, sweetening up the bars even more.
Make it Dairy Free.
The only dairy ingredient in these lemon cranberry bars is the white chocolate, which is drizzled over the top. Simply leave it out for a dairy free version!
For a completely plant based version, check out these Vegan Lemon Bars.
How to store lemon cranberry bars?
Once your bars are fully cooled, place in an airtight container. Then you can place your bars on the counter at room temperature for 1-2 days. Or refrigerate for 3-4 days. The fridge extends the shelf life best.
Can you freeze these cranberry bars?
If you happen to have extra cranberry lemon bars, just freeze what you won’t eat. The bars can be wrapped in foil and then place in a freezer bag or container of choice. The bars store for 2-3 months in the freezer.
Does this cranberry bar recipe double?
This bar recipe can be doubled. Use a larger, 9" x 13" pan to double the recipe. And note that you may need to increase the baking time.
Cranberry Lemon Bars
- ¾ cup oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
- Melted white chocolate optional
- Preheat oven to 350 F, grease and flour or line a 9x9 baking sheet and set aside
- Beat together the oil, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla until smooth
- Add in the flour, baking powder, salt
- Stir until combined and batter becomes smooth and lump-free.
- Fold in the cranberries.
- Combine until all cranberries are covered with batter.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool, drizzle with melted chocolate if using
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