Easy and delicious cranberry sauce oat bars with a soft, chewy and buttery crust, a tart yet sweet cranberry sauce filling, and a crumbly pecan and oat topping is the best mouthwatering way to use up any leftover cranberry sauce from a holiday dinner. Enjoy these cranberry squares for breakfast, dessert, or any time of the day as a snack.
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is all the leftovers, and my favourite item to work with is leftover cranberry sauce. I love turning them into delicious baked treats like cranberry sauce swirl pound cake and cranberry sauce muffins with oat streusel topping. And these tasty cranberry sauce oat bars fit right in. They are basically date squares made with cranberry sauce. Pretty genius right? Except they taste so different, and so delicious.
So there are 3 layers to these bars, and here is what you will need for each layer:
- buttery crust - butter, brown sugar, rolled oats (not quick oats), all-purpose flour, vanilla extract, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
- cranberry sauce - homemade cranberry sauce or canned cranberry sauce both work great. If your cranberry sauce is already very sweet, you may want to cut down on some of the sugar in this recipe.
- pecan oat topping - melted butter, brown sugar, rolled oats, crushed pecans, and ground cinnamon.
How to Make The Best Leftover Cranberry Sauce Oat Bars
- Make the crust: In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream together butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add rolled oats, flour, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Continue to mix until fully combined. The mixture will resemble crumbs.
- Start assembling the layers: Transfer the mixture into a 9-inch square baking pan, and firmly press it in to create an even layer on the bottom. Layer and spread cranberry sauce on top.
- Make the pecan oat topping: In a shallow saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in brown sugar, oats, pecans, and cinnamon. Stir until fully combined. Sprinkle and evenly distribute the topping on top of the layer of cranberry sauce.
- Bake: Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in a preheated 350 F oven until lightly browned. Place baking pan on a wire cooling rack to cool down and cut into 9 even squares.
- Serve: Make yourself a nice cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate and grab a cranberry sauce oat bar.
- How to store: Cranberry sauce oat bars will last for up to 2 days tightly wrapped or stored in an airtight container at room temperature, or up to one week in the refrigerator.
- How to freeze: Cranberry sauce oat bars freeze really well and can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic cling wrap or in an airtight container for up to 3 months in the freezer. If you have a lot of leftover cranberry sauce, I would make a few batches and freeze for a rainy day.
More Cranberry Recipes
- Cranberry Sauce Swirl Pound Cake
- Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins with Oat Streusel Topping
- Cranberry Scones with Orange Glaze
- Easy Make-Ahead Cranberry Sauce
- Cranberry Yogurt Muffins
- Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.