Cranberry Walnut Crumb Dessert Bars

These cranberry walnut crumb dessert bars are a sweet and tangy dessert bar that will make you question your devotion to pie on Thanksgiving! They are a great make-ahead dessert, and wonderful addition to any holiday dessert table.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups oats, old fashioned or quick cooking
  • 1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar (light or dark), packed
  • 3⁄4 cup walnut halves, very finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), slightly melted
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2⁄3 cup Smidge and Spoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, chopped walnuts, baking soda and salt and stir. Pour in melted butter and stir until crumbly mixture forms.
  • Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish and bake for 8 minutes.
  • While the bottom layer of the bars is baking, make the cranberry sauce/jam. In a medium pot with a lid, add the cranberries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Cover and cook until cranberries pop. Reduce heat to medium-low, cook until mixture has thickened into a jam-like thick consistency.
  • Spoon/spread filling over bottom layer of bars. Crumble remaining topping over cranberry layer and bake for 25 minutes or until topping is starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into bars and serving.
  • Note: These bars can be made ahead and are super good served cold.