Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars

Tastes of Lizzy T participates in affiliate advertising programs. We may earn a commission when you make a purchase through links on our site.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars combine the sweetness of cream cheese with tart cranberries.  The crust is also the streusel topping!

Do you love cranberries?  From what I hear, there are those who love cranberries, and there are those who’d rather not have anything to do with them. I’ve always loved cranberries in baked goods.  Cranberry bread, cranberry cookies, dried cranberries in granola…it’s all good.

I’ll have to admit, though, that a year ago at Thanksgiving was the first time I had ever tried cranberry sauce. What do you do if you have leftover cranberry sauce after the holidays? Make these Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars!

stack of 3 cranberry cream cheese bars on a plate

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Perfectly sweet and tart treats.
  • Buttery crust which is also the topping.
  • Uses leftover cranberry sauce.
  • Makes just a small batch.
  • Smooth and creamy!

You’ll definitely want this simple, festive treat on your cookie tray this holiday season!

ingredients for cranberry cheesecake bars on a table

Buttery Shortbread Crust

One of my favorite things about this recipe is the crust.  It is a simple mixture of butter, brown sugar, flour and chopped walnuts. Make sure the butter is very soft so it is easy to mix in. You can also melt the butter if you’d like.

How to Make Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Cream together the butter and the brown sugar. Mix in the flour and the walnuts.
  • Reserve one cup of this mixture for the topping (set it aside for later). Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake or 12 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, milk, lemon juice and vanilla until well blended. Pour this over the baked crust.
  • Spoon teaspoonfuls of the jellied cranberry sauce over the top of the cream cheese mixture. Then take a knife and gently swirl the cranberry sauce into the cream cheese.
  • Sprinkle the reserved crumb topping over the top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.

Allow the bars to cool before cutting into squares.

cranberry cream cheese bars in a pan on a spatula

Recipe Variations:

  • Don’t have cranberry sauce? Try using your favorite jelly or jam.
  • Use pecans instead of walnuts.
  • Add sliced almonds.
  • Double the recipe and use a 9×13 baking pan. You’ll have to watch the baking time. They’ll need to bake longer since they’ll be slightly thicker.
stack of 3 cranberry cream cheese bars on a plate
stack of 3 cranberry cream cheese bars on a plate

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars

4 from 6 votes
Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars combine the sweetness of cream cheese with tart cranberries. The crust is also the streusel topping!
Servings 12
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1/3 cup salted butter softened
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Mixture:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup jellied cranberry sauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Cream together the butter and the brown sugar. Mix in the flour and the walnuts.
  • Reserve one cup of this mixture for the topping (set it aside for later). Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake or 12 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, milk, lemon juice and vanilla until well blended. Pour this over the baked crust.
  • Spoon teaspoonfuls of the jellied cranberry sauce over the top of the cream cheese mixture. Then take a knife and gently swirl the cranberry sauce into the cream cheese.
  • Sprinkle the reserved crumb topping over the top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Allow the bars to cool and cut into squares.
  • Store the bars in the refrigerator.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the bars being cut into 12 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 bar. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 80mg | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 440IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 253
Keyword christmas, easy thanksgiving dessert

About Lizzy T

Get 5 Classic Recipes with a Deliciously Secret Twist

You might also like

Join the Discussion

Subscribe
Notify of

3 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

bernadette
7 years ago

1 star
make sure you fix the recipe to melted butter not softened

Julie
2 years ago

5 stars
I thought these were great. I did use melted butter just because I didn’t have time to soften it, but the crust was delicious, so was the filling. Used for thanksgiving desert and it was great and a hit!