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Nov 21, 2017

Cranberry Crumble Bars

These Cranberry Crumble Bars are an easy dessert to serve for Thanksgiving and Christmas... or anytime.

Cranberry Crumble Bars

These cranberry crumble bars are reminiscent of the flavors of Linzer cookies, the jam-filled sandwich cookie made with both wheat and almond flours.

In the case of these bars, some of the dough is pressed into a baking pan, topped with cranberry jam, and then the rest of the dough is crumbled over the top of the jam.

Cranberry Crumble Bars

Have you ever been assigned dessert for a family holiday gathering and then found that your pie, trifle, or cake sits there untouched because everyone is too full? Me too.

These bars are small enough, and yet festive enough, to tempt your family members to have dessert.

To fill these bars, I made cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries. You can also fill these bars with any store-bought jam that you like, such as raspberry, strawberry, or apricot. I love the tart flavor of the cranberries, but kids might prefer a sweeter jam.

Cranberry Crumble Bars

One of the primary ingredients in these bars is almond flour, an ingredient I apparently had quite a bit of in my freezer. It seems that every time I made Macarons, I stashed the rest of the almond flour in the freezer and forgot about it (no wonder my freezer is so full).

In addition, every November, when the grocery store has bins and bins of fresh cranberries, my inner ingredient hoarding tendencies kicks in .... and I never regret it. In the "make your own jam" category, nothing beats cranberries. They are super high in pectin, the ingredient that sets jams and jellies.

Cranberry Crumble Bars

These bars aren't overly sweet, nor is the cranberry filling, and the whole recipe screams "holiday!"

You need to try them!

Cranberry Crumble Bars

After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the cookies and bars recipes featuring holiday themed cookies.

Yield: 24 bars

Cranberry Crumble Bars


Cranberry Jam
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces cranberries, fresh or frozen
For the Bars
  • 1 1/3 cups butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, or scant 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 300 grams (2 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 192 grams (2 cups) almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • heaping cup of the cranberry jam or any fruit preserves of your choice


Cranberry Jam
  1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. 
  2. Cool to room temperature before using in this recipe. Can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator a few days in advance. 
Cranberry Crumble Bars
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 13 inch by 9 inch pan with spray oil. 
  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and lemon zest. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, and cinnamon.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture while beating on medium low. 
  4. Measure two cups of the dough and press it into the bottom of the pan. Spread the jam over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border along the edges. 
  5. Crumble the rest of the dough over the top of the jam. Gently press it to slightly flatten it. 
  6. Bake until lightly browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. When fully cooled, cut into squares. Keep at room temperature in an airtight container. 
Recipe inspired by Taste of Home.

It’s cookie season! And I know everyone is thinking pies for Thanksgiving, but sometimes time gets away from us and we need something faster. Or maybe you just want something different, like a cookie tray for Turkey Day. You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

If you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Cranberry Crumble Bars

Would you like to comment?

  1. I am LOVING everything about these Cranberry Bars. Linzer cookies are one of my favorites. I never think of using fresh cranberries in recipes. Cannot wait to try these!

    1. Thanks so much. I love the tartness they add.

  2. Karen, didn't you know that almond flour is known to multiply when subjected to low temperatures? Usually below zero degrees Celsius, that's when the magic takes place. It is fascinating.

    love these bars, particularly the small size, and I think cranberry filling is the way to go - that sourness is perfect!

    1. Leave it to a scientist to know the chemistry of almond flour multiplication!

      Thanks! Love the sourness too.

  3. Hi Karen, I love this recipe so much , it's absolutely amazing delicious,and these would be great also with a different kind of puree, like you said, they are so delicious, I made the cranberry version as I speak, and they are definitely a keeper. great for anytime , but the ones with cranberries are good for the fall and winter.😍😎

    1. Oh, that's wonderful! I'm so happy you like them! xoxo

  4. These bars look sooo good! I just love these kind of recipes - easy and delicious ♥

  5. Cranberries Jam. Brownies-style dessert:) There's no way this would slip our attention!:D Thank you for making the food blogging world so delicious Karen!


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