Cranberry Oatmeal Bars Recipe – Cookin’ Canuck

Healthy Lifestyle

Looking for a delicious and easy to make dessert? Look no further than Cranberry Oatmeal! With or without the chocolate drizzle, these oat bars make a fantastic holiday dessert or healthy afternoon snack.

Chocolate covered cranberry oatmeal on a white plate and red napkin.

These Cranberry Oat Bars are the ultimate light dessert or satisfying snack you didn’t know you needed. Made with a combination of sweet-tart cranberries, hearty oats and a hint of ground cinnamon.

And the best part? They’re so easy to make, even the most inexperienced baker can whip up a batch in no time.

When I first set out to make a light dessert bar according to the recipe, I was convinced that it would turn out dry and crumbly. These Oatmeal Yogurt Bars blow that theory out of the water! In fact, the first thing my husband said when he tried it was, “They are so tender!”

The texture is similar to a snack, without pounds of butter and sugar. Instead of butter, I used coconut oil, and replaced the traditional sugars with a smaller amount of maple syrup (or agave nectar).

Ingredients needed for Cranberry Oat Bars:

  • FLOUR: Wholemeal pastry flour gives a really soft snack bar. If you can’t find it, use a combination of all-purpose flour and white whole wheat flour.
  • CRANBERRY: Use dried cranberries. I prefer unsweetened dried cranberries. However, if you can’t find them, a sweetened version works just fine.
  • OATS: Old-fashioned oats are larger and thicker than quick-cooking oats, which means they hold their shape better during baking. This will give your bars a nice chewy texture that’s hard to beat.
  • SWEETENER: Use pure maple syrup, not corn syrup based syrup. Substitute agave nectar if desired.
  • YOGURT: Opt for plain, low-fat Greek yogurt.
  • OIL AND EGGS: Melt the coconut oil, then measure it and let it cool down a bit. Use one large egg.
  • VANILLA: You can find pure vanilla extract in the baking section of any grocery store.
  • CHOCOLATE: Use dark chocolate to pour over the bars. This is optional, but a great option for a holiday dessert.
  • OTHER: Baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon.

See the recipe tab below for a complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions.

How to make Cranberry Oatmeal Bars:

The instructions for making these bars are very simple – mix dry and wet ingredients, bake and cover with chocolate. Let’s talk about the details…

OVEN AND TYPE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To prepare an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan, you have two options…

1) Lightly coat with cooking spray or 2) Line with two pieces of parchment paper overlapping the sides of the pan. The two parts should be placed perpendicular to each other. Another method makes it easier to lift the bars out of the pan in one piece before cutting.

DRY INGREDIENTS: Place the dry ingredients – flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda – in a large bowl. Bowl. Whisk to combine.

WET INGREDIENTS: Beat the egg in a separate bowl. Then whisk together cooled coconut oil (melted), water, maple syrup (or agave nectar) and vanilla extract.

Collage of flour mixture in bowl with dried cranberries.

COMBINE: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until combined, but be careful not to overmix. Overmixing can cause the finished bars to be tough. Stir in the oats and dried cranberries.

TRANSFER TO PAN: Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Spread it evenly with an offset spatula or by tapping with your hands.

BAKE: Bake the bars until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This should take about 20 minutes.

COOL AND CUT: Place the tray on a wire rack and let them cool completely. If you didn’t use parchment paper, cut the bars into 24 pieces, then remove them with an offset spatula. If you used parchment paper, lift the entire square of bars using the overhanging parchment paper. Cut out the bars.

TO COVER WITH CHOCOLATE: Chop the chocolate and put it in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power. Stir it every 30 seconds. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a steamer. Spoon the chocolate over the bars.

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Oatmeal with cranberries on a baking sheet, topped with chocolate.

How to store and freeze oat snacks:

There are several ways to store cranberry oatmeal bars to keep them fresh and soft for longer.

One of the best ways to keep oatmeal fresh is to store it in an airtight container. This will prevent moisture or air that could cause the bars to become stale or moldy. Make sure you choose a container that is large enough to hold the bars without crushing them. Extend shelf life by storing them in the refrigerator.

If you want to store some bars for a few weeks or months later, you can freeze them. Once the bars are cool, wrap them in plastic wrap, then place them in an airtight freezer container or resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator before eating.

Chocolate covered cranberry oatmeal on a white plate and red napkin.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I make them without chocolate?

Yes! The chocolate topping makes them perfect for the holidays. Plus, these bars are just as good without the chocolate. In fact, we’ve all been snacking on them to curb afternoon snacking. With only 91 calories per piece (112 calories with chocolate) and a dose of calcium, fiber and protein, these products satisfy afternoon hunger without piling on the guilt.

Can I use another type of fruit in these bars?

Yes, you can use any type of dried fruit you like. Raisins, chopped dates and chopped apricots work well in these bars.

Can I make these oat bars vegan?

Yes, you can use plant-based yogurt instead of Greek yogurt and flax egg instead of chicken. Dark chocolate is typically vegan, but be sure to double-check the ingredient list to be sure.

To make a flax egg, mix one tablespoon of flaxseed meal (not whole flaxseed) and 3 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens and becomes like gelatin.

Chocolate covered cranberry oatmeal on a white plate and red napkin.

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars Recipe

Looking for a delicious and easy to make dessert? Look no further than Cranberry Oatmeal! With or without the chocolate drizzle, these oat bars make a fantastic holiday dessert or healthy afternoon snack.