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

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2010


Recipe Summary

2 hrs 45 mins


Fruit Filling


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare crust: Combine 3/4 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.

  • 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 1/2 cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts (or oats). Set aside for the topping.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 1 1/2 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 Facts

206 calories; protein 2.7g; carbohydrates 30.1g; dietary fiber 2.8g; sugars 17.3g; fat 8.8g; saturated fat 2.2g; cholesterol 17.1mg; vitamin a iu 159.2IU; vitamin c 15.2mg; folate 29.7mcg; calcium 18.8mg; iron 0.6mg; magnesium 15.8mg; potassium 103.9mg; sodium 70.1mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 14g.

Reviews (3)

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7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
very yummy but tart. definitely pretty tart! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
When do you add the orange segments? With the first batch of cranberries or the second? Read More
Rating: 3 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
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 Read More