Cranberry Apple Crumb Bars

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Cranberry Apple Crumb Bars are loaded with fall flavors and an abundant helping of tart cranberries and sweet apples.

stacked Cranberry Apple Crumb Bars with apples in background

Apple Cranberry Bars

Apples and cranberries have always been a match made in heaven for me. The sweet and tart combine so well and balance each other.

In a dessert like this, I like to cut back the sugar in the fruit filling just a bit to let that combination sing, you don’t want to lose the tart!

Fresh cranberries are nearly impossible to find outside of fall and holiday time. Right after Christmas, I have learned to pick up a few bags of cranberries and throw them into the freezer to have on hand year-round.

Typically when freezing fruit I will put it on a baking sheet and put the frozen pieces in a freezer bag or container so they don’t become one big frozen blob.

You don’t have that problem with cranberries at all. Just put the entire bag in the freezer and pour out what you need when the time comes.

Cranberry Apple Crumb Bars on serving board

What are Crumb Bars?

Crumb Bars are an easy shortbread-based dessert with a fruit filling of some sort and then a buttery, sugary, crumbled topping. The topping is super easy to make but there are a few tips for keeping it crumbly.

Don’t overmix the crumble. You want crumbles, not batter. Even for the bottom of the. You will put loose crumbles into the pan and then press it together to get a shortbread like crust.

Cool your butter after melting. If your butter is too hot it will be greasy and not crumbly, your sugar will also melt and create a batter texture instead of a crumble.

The original recipe for these bars was adapted from these Brown Butter Blackberry Bars from Inside BruCrew Life.

crumb crust in parchment lined pan
Fruit Filling Ingredients
  • cranberries
  • apples, peeled and finely diced 
  • granulated sugar
  • cornstarch
  • fresh lemon juice
Crust Ingredients
  • butter
  • light brown sugar
  • egg
  • vanilla
  • flour
  • oatmeal
  • cinnamon
  • kosher salt
apple cranberry filling

Cranberry Crumb Bars

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the cranberries, apples, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon or whisk until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk smooth. Add the flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine until crumbly.
  3. Press half of this mixture into a buttered or parchment-lined 9×13 pan. Pour the fruit mixture over the bottom crust and then sprinkle the rest of the dry mixture on top.
  4. Bake for 30-36 minutes, until the crust turns golden brown. Serve warm from the oven or let cool completely and slice into servings.
crumb bars in baking pan with apples
Bar Cookies and Treats

Caramel Apple Crumb Bars have all the flavor of apple pie in an easy-to-make bar recipe with a pretty caramel drizzle on top!

Crisp buttery shortbread spread with smooth caramel and chocolate adds up to a pretty amazing Homemade Twix bar. With a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa, these bars make a pretty fantastic afternoon snack.

I not-so-humbly declare that these are the best Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies on the internet. Soft, moist Pumpkin Toffee Cookies with a brown butter glaze. These are the most perfectly seasonal cookies you could want for fall baking.

crumb bars on wooden board next to apples
crumb bars on wooden board next to apples

Cranberry Apple Crumb Bars

Cranberry Apple Crumb Bars are loaded with fall flavors and an abundant helping of tart cranberries and sweet apples.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Additional Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 55 mins
Course: Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 bars

Ingredients 

Fruit Filling Ingredients

  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 3 medium apples, peeled and finely diced about 2½ cups worth
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Crust Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 egg
  • teaspoons vanilla
  • cups flour
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the cranberries, apples, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon or whisk until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk smooth. Add the flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine until crumbly.
  • Press half of this mixture into a buttered or parchment-lined 9×13 pan. Pour the fruit mixture over the bottom crust and then sprinkle the rest of the dry mixture on top.
  • Bake for 30-36 minutes, until the crust turns golden brown. Serve warm from the oven or let cool completely and slice into servings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar · Calories: 196kcal · Carbohydrates: 29g · Protein: 2g · Fat: 8g · Saturated Fat: 5g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g · Monounsaturated Fat: 2g · Trans Fat: 0.3g · Cholesterol: 27mg · Sodium: 92mg · Potassium: 75mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 16g · Vitamin A: 264IU · Vitamin C: 2mg · Calcium: 17mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @chocolatewithgrace or tag #chocolatewithgrace!

{originally published 12/13/14 – recipe notes and photos updated 11/10/22} 

Cranberry Apple Crumb Bars

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