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Cranberry Caramel Bars

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 24 bars

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These Cranberry Caramel Bars have a crumbly oat crust, filled with tart cranberries and sweet caramel — a match made in heaven!

cranberry caramel bars overhead cut into squares
Table of Contents
  1. Variations on these Cranberry Caramel Bars:
  2. How to store Cranberry Caramel Bars:
  3. Cranberry Caramel Bars Recipe

I know you think I haven’t eaten anything except baking for the last few weeks now.

That’s not entirely true.

I mean, you can be sure I’ve been doing a lot of taste-testing. But I occasionally try to be a responsible mother and cook real food.

It’s just more fun to tell you about all kinds of sweet, gooey things you can make for Christmas instead.

So, I was perusing my Southern Living Christmas cookbook, the same cookbook I got this recipe from, and I found this gem. I had in fact passed by it many, many times.

Because there was no picture.

I think that’s kind of a thing of the past, right? Cookbooks without pictures? I mean, how am I supposed to know if I did it right?

cranberry caramel bars with two pointing up to reveal inside

Anyway, so I made them.

And they were delicious.

I don’t make a lot of things with fresh cranberries (or even a lot of cranberry sweets altogether), but these are such a pretty pink addition to your holiday baking plates!

I first posted this recipe back in 2014, so it was time for an update!

They are crumbly and sweet and tart and crunchy and gooey and everything you could want in a cookie bar 😉

close up image of one cranberry bar with drizzle of glaze

Variations on these Cranberry Caramel Bars:

  • Swap half of the cranberries with raspberries for an extra fruity twist
  • Add a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to your oat crumble crust
  • Drizzle with caramel and serve warm with ice cream (plates and forks required!)
  • Swap the fresh cranberries for frozen, but be sure to add 1 tablespoon of corn starch so the filling is not too juicy
  • Add a sprinkling of white chocolate chips to your cranberries before spreading on your caramel.
overhead image of cranberry bars drizzled with glaze

How to store Cranberry Caramel Bars:

You can store these bars at room temperature for 24 hours, refrigerate for 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

We usually freeze them because I love having a stash of freezer baking to pull out if we have last minute guests!

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Cranberry Caramel Bars

5 from 8 votes
Cranberry Caramel Bars: the perfect sweet and tart combination for the holidays!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 24 bars
Calories 247cal


  • 3 cups fresh cranberries (if using frozen, add 1 tbsp corn starch)
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour divided
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups regular large oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup caramel sauce

Glaze (optional)

  • 1/4 cup powdered icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  • Line a 9×13″ pan with tin foil and spray with non stick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Stir together cranberries and 6 tbsp sugar. Set aside.
  • Combine 2 cups flour, baking soda, oats, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup of flour mixture.
  • Press remaining flour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 6-8 minutes, until crust appears dry but not browned.
  • Sprinkle crust with cranberries and pecans. Combine caramel sauce with remaining ⅓ cup flour and pour over top. Sprinkle with remaining flour mixture and press down gently. Bake 20-25 more minutes until lightly browned.
  • Cool on a wire rack and cut into bars.

Glaze (optional)

  • Stir together powdered sugar and milk until combined. It should be quite thick — add additional milk or sugar if necessary to reach desired consistency

Nutrition Information

Calories: 247cal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 145mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. wilhelmina says

    I was so surprised at how deliciously cranberry and caramel go together! I loved these bars and they have inspired me to try this combo in other things!

  2. Renee Williams says

    Is this a take on a recipe from the late 1990’s early 2000’s Southern Living cookbooks? I lost the recipe years ago, and this looks really similar?

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Jess! I think I’ve only started to really appreciate cranberries in the last couple years, but now I love them!

  3. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. says

    Keep the desserts coming Ashley, they all look amazing! And I don’t want to be the only one doing nothing but baking in December! These bars look incredible, I would never have thought to combine cranberries and caramel, but it looks so so good! And I would definitely add the ice cream and caramel on top, I mean why not?!

    • Ashley says

      Ya know, it just sort of happened…. Lol. I swear that’s how ice cream gets on top of pretty much everything I eat! Anytime friend 🙂

  4. Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze says

    You are a baking machine these past few weeks!! I don’t know how you do it all! Your awesome and these Cranberry Carmel Bars look out of this world! I am like you too. I will skip a recipe if there is no picture. I am very visual!! 🙂

  5. Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl says

    Wow! These look incredible! Your pictures are fabulous too. The caramel and the ice cream melting altogether – omg! Cranberries and caramel sound like a terrific combo. I think I have that same Southern Living Christmas Cookbook! Thanks for sharing this!

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