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Cranberry Crumble Bars – Gluten Free and Regular Versions

Move over pumpkin, cranberry is taking center stage. Cranberry is to Thanksgiving what pumpkin is to Halloween. Pumpkin is still a thing, so don’t go throwing it out the window or anything crazy! Put. Down. The CRAZY! Just, make room for the cranberry. Cuddle up on the couch with them. Cranberry is as versatile as pumpkin is… it can balance out savory dishes (like salads and all sorts of savory bites), it can be a supporting character in dessert, or it can be center stage in its own dish (sauces, jellies, and desserts).

Enter, center stage, the cranberry. That plump, round, juicy little berry. The floater of the berries. It’s the berry that berry medleys forgot. But no more! I present this berry crumble as berry revenge. No other berries were invited to this crumble party. Cranberries only. Tell blueberries and blackberries to keep their unforgiving spring faces out of my crumble. AND STAY OUT! (For 6 months. Then I’ll come crawling back. I’m so predictable)

Into this crumble went a slew of gluten free items that Bob’s Red Mill so kindly sent my way for me to test. No, I’m not gluten free, gluten intolerant, or g-anything – but for many people the Big G is a problem and it was something I wanted to try. Maybe it gave me the aches that I didn’t associate with gluten, the icky tummy can’t process gluten protein feeling?

Either way G-Free doesn’t have to be scary. Or intimidating. Unless the words Xantham gum kinda freak you out… but don’t worry, it’s more of a binder than a mutant fruit flavored gum from another planet.

These are impossibly simple, and absolutely festive just in time to welcome in the Turkey Day. Gobble! aka HOLLA!

The crumble started out simple enough with some GF Oat Flour into a bowl, with a hefty dose of GF Oats, lemon zest, baking powder and naturally – BUTTAHHHH!

After half being pressed into the bottom of a 8×8 baking dish (or in my case, a 9×9 which yielded slightly thinner bottoms to these bars – way to go me.)

2 cups of cranberries were pulsed in the food processor until finely minced. Into a small sauce pan went said cranberries, a quarter cup of sugar, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. When reduced and thickened the whole lot was shoved through a sieve to smooth out and remove the skins and pith left behind. Once slightly cooled just smooth it out along the pressed oat mix into the bottom of the pan. viola!

Then crumble, crumble, crumble the rest of the well, duh, crumble on top of the cranberries and you’re ready to go. 20 minutes and done m’friends. It doesn’t get any better than this.

And to have these oh so conveniently stashed away to whip them out right as perfect moment arises on Thanksgiving – you’ll be the hero. Much to the groans of the zipper of your loved ones jeans.


Cranberry Crumble Bars

Make these gluten free this holiday season with a few easy switcharoos.

Yield: 12 Bars

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 25 Minutes +1 Hour Cooling Time

Total Time: 45 Minutes

PrintPrint Recipe


Gluten Free Version:
½ cup butter, melted
2 tsp GF Vanilla Extract
1 cup Bob's Red Mill GF Oat Flour
1 cup Bob's Red Mill GF Rolled Oats
1/2 c cup Sugar + 2 Tbsp, divided
1 ½ tsp Xantam Gum
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Lemon Zest
2 cups Cranberries
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
½ tsp Salt

Standard Option:
½ cup Butter,
2 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Flour
1 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Sugar + 2 Tbsp, divided
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Lemon Zest
½ tsp Salt
2 cups Cranberries
2 Tbsp Corn Starch


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together butter, vanilla, flour (or oat flour for GF), Oats (or GF Oats for GF recipe), ½ cup Sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, salt (and Xantham Gum for GF). When combined divide mixture in half and press into the bottom of an 8x8 baking pan. Set aside.

In food processor, pulse together cranberries, sugar until finely minced and almost smooth. Place in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat and reduce to paste. Add in corn starch and allow to boil to thicken. Once thickened, remove from heat and press through a sieve to remove any extra skin and pith left behind. Let smooth cranberry jelly cool slightly. Spread evenly over the oat mixture that has been pressed into the bottom of the baking pan.

Crumble remaining oat mixture of the top of the cranberries. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Slice and serve at room temp. Devour.

Adapted and inspired by 1,000 Gluten Free Recipes by Carol Fenster Raspberry Oatmeal Bars


22 Responses to “Cranberry Crumble Bars – Gluten Free and Regular Versions”

  1. #
    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — November 12, 2012 @ 5:17 am

    LOVE cranberry. LOVE bars. These are great..Im beginning to overdose on pumpkin so this is a welcomed change!

  2. #
    Cookin' Canuck — November 12, 2012 @ 5:52 am

    I just love this idea. What a pretty treat for the holidays!

  3. #
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — November 12, 2012 @ 5:59 am

    Girl- I want these in my belly NOW!

  4. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — November 12, 2012 @ 6:24 am

    These look phenomenal Megan!! 🙂

  5. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — November 12, 2012 @ 6:50 am

    I absolutely love cranberries and cranberry bars!! I need to make some again soon. I made a similar apple-cranberry version a year or two ago and omg you seriously have me craving tart cranberry treats.

  6. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — November 12, 2012 @ 7:11 am

    Can you believe I’ve never tried fresh cranberries? Pretty ridiculous. But if they were covered with this delish crumble (BUTTAH!), I think I’d be game. 🙂

  7. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — November 12, 2012 @ 7:25 am

    These look gorgeous!!!! I love oats + cranberries – I’ve been stirring cranberry sauce in my oatmeal all week!

  8. #
    NanaBread (Jeanne) — November 12, 2012 @ 7:26 am

    I just made cranberry & cherry & amaretto preserves. I’m thinking I need to crack open a jar and try it in these beauties!

  9. #
    Haley @ The Girly Girl Cooks — November 12, 2012 @ 7:41 am

    I pretty much love anything that has “crumble” in its title, so I know these have to be amazing! Love the deep red color from the cranberries. It looks so festive for the holiday season!

  10. #
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — November 12, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    I’m not GF either, but I love having options for people. Thanks for this, good to know I can always link people over to the Bobs Red Mill site when they ask about GF flour subs 🙂

  11. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — November 12, 2012 @ 10:58 am

    Beautiful! I’m a total fool for crumbly topping!

  12. #
    Kathryn — November 12, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

    Cranberries are my absolute favourite and I just adore the idea of these bars!

  13. #
    cathy @ Noble Pig — November 12, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

    So these are like perfectly cut squares…you are the master! Love cranberry in everything too!

  14. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — November 12, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

    i LOVE cranberry bars – that crumble on top is to die for. i probably would eat the entire bowl before i could even crumble it on top haha

  15. #
    Jen @ Savory Simple — November 12, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

    Perfect for the holidays 🙂

  16. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — November 13, 2012 @ 10:07 am

    I have huge love for all things cranberry. These bars look wicked good Megan.

  17. #
    Sarah — November 13, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

    These look very interesting – I’m contemplating using this recipe to use up some leftover cranberry sauce (homemade). I’m guessing I’ll have to up the sugar in the cranberry sauce, but I think it’ll work aside from that. Thanks for the idea!

  18. #
    Anna @ hiddenponies — November 14, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    I am SO making these this afternoon…that oat crumble is too delicious, and I happen to have half a bag of cranberries languishing in my fridge.

  19. #
    Sarah — November 16, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    I made these with the leftover cranberry sauce, and they tasted fantastic! It was thick enough that I didn’t have to add any cornstarch. I made the mistake of just sprinkling on the top layer of crumble so it ended up being too crumbly (ironically!) – next time I’ll rub it together as I sprinkle it on. Still, even with that they tasted fantastic, so thanks for the inspiration!

    • Megan replied: — November 18th, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

      Oh Sarah, I’m 110% thrilled that the cranberry bars turned out for you! I hope you enjoy them and that if you make them for Thanksgiving that they’re a hit with all your guests. Happy Turkey Day!


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