Cranberry-Orange Fruit Bars

Cranberry-Orange Fruit Bars

7 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2010

These sweet-tart cranberry-orange bars are a great addition to a holiday cookie tray or cool weather grab-and-go treat.

Ingredients 18 servings

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Original recipe yields 18 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • Crust
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts) or old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tip)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Fruit Filling
  • 5 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen, divided
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup orange segments
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare crust: Combine ¾ cup nuts (or oats), whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add butter; pulse until well incorporated.
  2. Whisk egg, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract in a small bowl. With the motor running, add the mixture to the food processor. Process, then pulse, scraping down the sides, if necessary, until the mixture begins to clump, 30 to 45 seconds (it will look crumbly). Measure out ½ cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining ¼ cup chopped nuts (or oats). Set aside for the topping.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. To prepare fruit filling & assemble bars: Combine 3 cups cranberries, orange juice, sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes. (It may take up to 10 minutes to get a thick result if you start with frozen fruit.) Stir in the remaining 2 cups cranberries, orange zest and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  5. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form a crust. Spread the fruit filling over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling.
  6. Bake the bars for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the crust and topping are lightly brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool completely before cutting into bars, at least 1½ hours.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the crust and topping (Steps 1-2) for up to 1 day. Cover or individually wrap and refrigerate the cooled bars for up to 5 days.
  • Tips: Lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat and has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods. You can find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.
  • To segment citrus, with a sharp knife remove the skin and white pith from the fruit. Working over a bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes.
  • Easy cleanup: Dessert pans can be a headache to clean. Skip the soaking and scrubbing by lining your pan with parchment paper before you bake.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 bar
  • Per serving: 205 calories; 9 g fat(2 g sat); 3 g fiber; 30 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 30 mcg folate; 17 mg cholesterol; 17 g sugars; 14 g added sugars; 159 IU vitamin A; 15 mg vitamin C; 19 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 70 mg sodium; 104 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (25% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 2 other carbohydrates, 2 fat

Reviews 7

October 28, 2016
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By: raysgirl137
Funny story, I had made this recipe once and absolutely loved it! So I made it again, but as I was making the crust I couldnt figure out why the texture was different. It was only after I baked it I realized....I forgot the butter!! I thought I was screwed, I ruined the whole thing like an idiot. (how does one forget butter in a crust right?) So I tried it, and to my surprise it was still really good. So for any butter nazis out there, leave out the butter, and just add 1 Tb more oil to the crust :) just make it a day ahead to allow the crust to soften a bit (the day of its too chewy). Anyway, even through the mistake it's great and I adjusted a few things to make it even better imo! Instead of orange segments, I added 1 c extra cranberries, and an extra 1/4 c sugar to the filling. I also make 1 1/2 recipe worth of crust, while using only white flour, and a mix of walnuts and oats. To omit the egg, use 1 Tb ground flax meal + 3 Tb hot water, stir and let set til the consistency of a beaten egg. If your trying to add an extra half batch of crust like I suggested, use 1 1/2 Tb flax to 4/1/2 Tb water.
February 25, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Tart/Tangy/Yummy! These are great! Used 4 cups of cranberries instead of 5 and it was fine. Used a combo of whole wheat, white, and cake flour.
February 12, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Sugar & cornstarch -ICK I don't see how this could possibly be a Healthy Eating choice with 1 1/4 cups of sugar & 1/4 cup of cornstarch. :P makes my stomach hurt just reading it.
January 25, 2011
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By: lalalindsey
With a little tweaking could be amazing I used a mixture of oats and nuts and whole wheat flour for the crust. I couldn't find any cranberries in the grocery store so I used raspberries instead. The bar itself had a really nice flavor (perhaps a little tart) and the crust is to dieeee for (I opted to use MOSTLY whole wheat flour) but I had difficulty getting them out of the baking dish! Next time I will use parchment paper for better results. Pros: Incredible crust Cons: Crust to filling ratio was off for me
November 15, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
very yummy, but tart. definitely pretty tart!
October 30, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
These were a really nice change to the processed fruit bars I normally buy my children. They were a nice mix of tangy/tart and sweetness. If you check out the article/video on how to make these you will find the oranges should be added to the cranberries when you are making the fruit filling. The recipe does not mention when to add the oranges. Otherwise these were great. I am going to try the Apple-Cinnamon this weekend.
October 11, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
When do you add the orange segments? With the first batch of cranberries or the second?
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