These Paleo cranberry dessert bars have a juicy tang from the cranberries that pairs really well with the sweet, crunchy crust. They are a wonderful way to have a treat but still maintain your health goals.
How was your Thanksgiving? I had someone ask me that today and I said mine was relaxing and she said, "Well, you're the first person I've talked to that said that." But it actually was.
Because of various dietary restrictions, my husband usually cooks his own meals and often for the children too. We try to limit it to two meals, and since my husband and I rarely eat the same thing, whichever one of us is making something the children will like better, makes enough for the kids, or sometimes we split and I'll make dinner for two children and he does the other children.
Well, that is a long way of saying that my husband knows how to cook well and he cooks often. Especially when it comes to his Traeger. He is in love with that thing. So on Thanksgiving, we ate at my mom's house, so we only had to bring a turkey (which he smoked), Brussels sprouts (which he made), and stuffing (which he made from a box cause we live in the real world over here).
Then the rest of the weekend we made gingerbread houses, baked some cookies, did crafts, went bowling, went to a movie and I got a lot of work done, in addition to all the fun. It felt like three Saturdays in a row. Busy, but good.
These bars are the perfect treat for the holidays; cranberries are a fabulous price right now, they are so pretty to look at, they taste amazing, they are a healthy treat full of antioxidants and various other nutrients, they are vegan and Paleo-friendly, and they are super-simple to make.
Really, there is no good reason not to make these for your next holiday party, or just to make for a fun holiday treat, especially when you are surrounded by sugary sweets everywhere you look, and you want to enjoy a treat without completely derailing your health-related goals.
I would love to know if you make these bars and how they turned out and if you like them as much as I do. I would also love to hear how your Thanksgiving was and if it was as relaxing as mine.
Paleo Cranberry Dessert Bars Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Paleo
I love how the tang from the cranberries compliments the sweet crust in this recipe. Plus, it's easy and fun to throw together and looks so pretty and festive.
For the Crust
- 2 cups almond flour *
- ½ cup arrowroot powder *
- ¼ cup coconut oil (melted)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup *
For the Filling
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup *
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder *
- 1 tsp orange zest
- Juice of ½ an orange
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Mix all of the ingredients for the crust in a large bowl until a dough forms
- Cut out ¼ of the crust dough and set aside
- Press the remaining ¾ of the dough into a well greased 8x8 baking dish
- Mix all of the ingredients for the filling together in a large bowl
- Pour the filling into the prepared 8x8 baking dish
- Crumble the ¼ of dough (that had been set aside) over the top of the filling
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top starts to lightly brown
- Allow to cool and serve
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge
Keywords: sweet, festive, pretty
Delicious bars. Everyone who tries them, likes them. This recipe is a staple in my kitchen!
One of my favorite cranberry recipes of all time—the orange, almond and cranberries really pull together and make this dessert unforgettable..
These are sooooo good! You don’t miss conventional flour in the least. A family favorite at Christmas and anytime cranberries are in stores!
Donna in Inwood
These are good! I made as directed with one exception: I added 1/2 teaspoon salt to the crust ingredients, because salt brings out the flavor of everything, including sweet stuff.
Just the right amounts of cranberries and maple syrup. I'm taking them to a party -- hope they're a hit!
Thanks for this recipe, these were so easy to make! Came out tasty with lots of tangy cranberry-orange flavour, and they look nice too.
I'm glad you like them!
My favorite dessert I made this year! So pretty and delicious. Making more today to take to a friend’s house.
I thought my 5 star rating would show in my previous comment… So here it is ?. These are very good. No one would guess they are Paleo and yet they are. Everyone that tasted them enjoyed them tremendously as much as I did! Thank you so much for your reply. Happy holidays to you and your family
Happy Holidays to you too!
Delicious! Perfect recipe as is. Well balanced tangy and sweet taste. A keeper!
I'm so glad you like the recipe! We love to have it this time of year at our house too.
I am excited to try some of your recipes. I have a specific question. On the Bars can I make them in advance and freeze them? It would be great if you could let us know if you have every frozen these recipes and if they were still good. Life is so busy and it is helpful whenever I can make something ahead of time.
I rarely freeze things. I just don't plan things that far in advance or have room in my freezer, etc. But maybe some of the other readers have tried freezing these bars?
Just a quick note to say over Christmas I froze a lot of desserts to see how it would be and the cranberry bars did not freeze well. At least they are easy to make and I will make them the day before if I don’t have time the day of my event.
Good to know. I imagine they got really mushy and runny. At least they were easy to make and you liked them otherwise. Hopefully your comment will help other readers too.
They were not runny just a mushy crust.
Good to know!
I didn’t have pistachios so I used walnuts. My husband wanted me to make cranberry relish so I used blueberries instead and thus lemon peels and juice instead of orange. Oh and I added a pinch of nutmeg. Fabulous! I love your site!
Lots of changes, but sounds like it turned out great. Thanks for commenting!
This comment says they didn't have pistachios so they used walnuts, but I don't see pistachios in the recipe??
I know. I was super-confused too . . .
Baking it as we speak. I didn’t have almond extract so I subbed with Grand Marnier orange liqueur.
I bet the orange flavor is fabulous!
Just made those. Still in the oven. Didn't have maple syrup so I mixed molasses, agave and date syrup. Well, hoping it's gonna turn out great 🙂
Very creative, I am sure it will be fabulous!
Would coconut flour work in place for almond?
Coconut flour is typically not a good substitute. It has a lot more fiber, and absorbs a lot more liquid than the almond flour…so I wouldn’t recommend it, sorry :(.
Would you follow the same recepie with frozen craberreis? These bars look so good!
Yes, frozen cranberries would work great :).
Thalia @ butter and brioche
I just bought some fresh cranberries and have been looking for a great recipe to use them on. Definitely making your cranberry bars.. they look festive and delicious too!
I love how pretty cranberries are in food and delicious they are to eat :).