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Cranberry Lemon Bars

    A beautiful bake for autumn and winter, these cranberry lemon bars are the perfect one-bowl recipe you can whip up any time. A rich lemony batter is folded with tart bright cranberries and topped with granulated sugar that creates a nice crunch in every bite.

    Both delicious and festive looking, each bite is a burst of cranberry and lemon flavor. This recipe uses either fresh or frozen cranberries, meaning you can make it anytime you need a quick and comforting breakfast bake.

    While the texture of these bars is moist and soft, they are sturdy and hefty, the kind of bar you can pick up in your hands and enjoy. Because this dish is very fruity, you have a lot of options when it comes to what you serve it with. This dish goes just as well with a robust cup of coffee or a strong cup of tea as it does with a cranberry mimosa or glass of orange juice.

    Cranberry lemon bars

    What You Need to Make Cranberry Lemon Bars

    Cranberry lemon bars require butter, flour, granulated and brown sugar, Greek yogurt, lemon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and one egg.

    You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries. If you use frozen, do not defrost them.

    You can also use non-fat, 1%, 2% or whole Greek yogurt. Higher fat contents will produce a richer crumb, but I recommend just using what you would normally buy.

    Ingredients on a table


    • Cranberries, fresh or frozen
    • Unsalted butter, melted
    • All-purpose flour
    • Dark brown sugar
    • Lemon
    • Granulated sugar
    • Greek yogurt
    • Large egg
    • Baking powder
    • Baking soda
    • Kosher salt


    Cranberry lemon bars require a whisk, a bowl, a micro-planer, a juicer, spatula and an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. I like to line my baking pan with parchment paper. This makes it easier to remove the cranberry lemon bars and slice them into squares after baking.

    How To Make Cranberry Lemon Bars

    Place the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Fold in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a spatula until just combined.

    Add in the cranberries and fold until well distributed. The resulting batter will be very thick. If your cranberries are frozen, it will be even stiffer. This is fine.

    Folding in cranberries

    Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line and grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Spread the batter evenly in the baking dish. You will need to press the dough into the edges of the pan.

    Sprinkle the granulated sugar on top and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    Sprinkling sugar

    Serve: Allow to cool and slice into squares. Enjoy!

    Cranberry lemon bars

    How long can cranberry lemon bars be stored?

    These bars store very well for several days and can be frozen. You can store any leftovers for 4-5 days well wrapped in the refrigerator. You can also freeze individual slices and defrost them on the counter when you want to eat them.

    Can I make these with other fruit?

    Definitely! This recipe also tastes great with tart cherries or with blueberries. Like the cranberries, you can make them with fresh or frozen fruit (but if you use fresh cherries, make sure you pit them!). You could also try swapping out orange for the lemon juice for a different and classic citrus pairing with the cranberries.

    Can I add nuts?

    This is really a fruit-forward dish, but if you want to add nuts, opt for those with a milder flavor like walnuts or almonds. Make sure that you do this sparingly and adjust how many cranberries you put in the batter. The batter is already very thick, so you will need to reduce how many cranberries you add.

    Cranberry lemon bars

    Cranberry lemon bars

    Cranberry Lemon Bars

    Arielle Hess
    Cranberry lemon bars are a simple, one bowl-bake, festive for the colder months. Tart cranberries are folded into a sweet, lemony dough and then baked for less than 30 minutes for a breakfast bake that is just sweet enough without being dessert. Make this the next time you go over to someone's house for a last-minute brunch.
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    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes
    Course Dessert
    Servings 9
    Calories 226 kcal


    • 1 ½ cups cranberries fresh or frozen
    • 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • cup dark brown sugar
    • 1 lemon zest and juice
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • ¾ cup Greek yogurt
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp kosher salt


    • Preheat your oven to 375ºF.
    • Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease it with butter or cooking spray.
    • Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and allow the butter to slightly cool.
    • Add the melted butter, 1 egg, 2/3 cup brown sugar, and the zest and juice of one lemon to a bowl and whisk until well incorporated.
    • Fold in 2 cups flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt with a spatula until just combined.
    • Add in 1 ½ cups of cranberries and fold until well distributed.
    • Press the dough into the edges of the pan.
    • Sprinkle the granulated sugar on top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
    • Allow to cool and slice into squares. Serve!


    The batter for this dish is very thick, so you will want to use a large sturdy spatula when you incorporate the flour and cranberries into the batter.
    Try not to over mix the dough. You want the cranberries evenly distributed throughout the batter, but over mixing will result in a tougher texture. If you are using frozen cranberries, they will bleed their juices as they start to defrost, so the fewer times you mix them, the better.


    Calories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 38.27gProtein: 5gFat: 5.97gSaturated Fat: 3.41gFiber: 0.8gSugar: 15.69g
    Keyword bars, breakfast, dessert, holiday
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    Arielle is a food and drink photographer based in Washington, D.C. She was previously a social science researcher before she fell in love with photography.

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