Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bars are rich and chewy dessert bars made with pumpkin puree and dried cranberries. Sweet, moist pumpkin dessert perfect for fall!
PUMPKIN CRANBERRY BARS
Pumpkin Cranberry Bars are one of the easiest fall desserts you can make. With a handful of pantry ingredients, these bars come together in just a few minutes with no mixer needed. This recipe for Pumpkin Cranberry Bars is sure to be a new favorite holiday treat for breakfast, snacks, or after dinner!
This Pumpkin Cranberry Bars recipe can be made all year long with canned pumpkin puree. During pumpkin season, make a homemade Pumpkin Puree for the best, freshest pumpkiny flavor. When using canned pumpkin puree, make sure it’s puree with no sugar or spices added and not pumpkin pie filling.
These tasty Pumpkin Cranberry Bars are the perfect fall dessert recipe that can double as a breakfast bar. Serve them with a little powdered sugar or go all out with Salted Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. For a cake-like dessert, make Pumpkin Cranberry Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting topped with cranberries and chopped nuts.
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Tips For Pumpkin Cranberry Bars
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for bursts of berry flavor! Thaw frozen berries and pat dry before adding. Toss fresh or frozen cranberries in a couple tablespoons of flour to keep them from sinking.
- Don’t stir your pumpkin bar batter too much or the bars will be dense and not light and fluffy. Sift dry ingredients before adding the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined.
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Not only is it easier to mix wet ingredients at room temperature, but when all the ingredients are the same temperature they cook evenly.
- Use Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of just cinnamon to make these Pumpkin Cranberry Bars taste packed with warm holiday flavor!
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VARIATIONS ON PUMPKIN CRANBERRY BARS
- White Chocolate: Fold a ¼ cup white chocolate chips into pumpkin bar batter and sprinkle another ¼ cup white chocolate chips with the cranberries before baking. You could also use semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate chips.
- Brownies: Make Pumpkin Cranberry Brownie Bars by substituting ¼ cup all-purpose flour with ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder. For chewier brownie bars, use ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup white sugar.
- Dried Fruit: Instead of cranberries, try dried pineapple, dried strawberries, golden raisins, or dried apple pieces. You can do a fruit medley, using up to ½ cup dried berries or fruit.
- Nuts: Add chopped nuts to give your Pumpkin Cranberry Bars some extra crunch and fall flavor. Fold in ½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts to the batter.
- Healthy: To make Healthy Pumpkin Cranberry Bars use applesauce for the butter and replace the vegetable oil with coconut oil, or use ½ cup mashed banana. Fold in ½ cup rolled oats for heartier bars, or replace the flour with ground almond flour for gluten-free Pumpkin Cranberry Bars.
- Muffins: Turn these into Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins by baking in a muffin tin for 18-22 minutes. This recipe should make 18 muffins if you fill the cups 2/3 full.
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HOW TO STORE PUMPKIN CRANBERRY BARS
- Serve: You can keep Pumpkin Cranberry Bars at room temperature for up to 4 days. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Line container with a paper towel to absorb moisture.
- Store: Cool Pumpkin Cranberry Bars before storing (to avoid moisture collection) and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Use parchment paper between layers so the bars don’t stick together.
- Freeze: Freeze cut Pumpkin Cranberry Bars on a baking sheet for an hour before transferring to a sealed container or freezer safe bag. Freeze Pumpkin Bars for up to 6 months.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries , chopped, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking pan with baking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin and ⅓ cup of cranberries until well combined.
- In another bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk until just combined.
- Pour mixture into baking dish and spread evenly.
- Top with remaining cranberries.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Cool completely before cutting and serving.