Chocolate cranberry bars are the perfect way to use up leftover cranberry sauce. These bars are cross between coffee cake and cranberry dessert bars.
The base and topping is a fluffy, crumbly cake with chocolate and cranberry sauce sandwiched between. Chocolate cranberry bars are a delightful combination of rich chocolate, tart whole cranberry sauce, and fluffy cake that is sure to please.
Leftover Cranberry Sauce
The recipe only uses 1 cup of whole cranberry sauce meaning it’s a great way to use up leftovers from Thanksgiving or other holiday feasts.
Use homemade cranberry sauce or store bought. Do stick to a whole berry variety not a jellied type for this particular recipe.
Mini Chocolate Chips
I used semi-sweet chocolate chips for these bars. You could use milk or even white chocolate, if desired.
Do stick to the mini size, however, for better melting in the bars. The regular sized chips will likely stay more chip like rather than chocolate layer in the final recipe.
The Raw Sugar Topping
The sprinkling of raw sugar on the top adds a delightful crunch as one bites into the bars. You could skip it but it adds a bunch to the final dessert.
The bars have just a little bit of sugar in them, and of course the cranberry sauce usually has sugar too. The extra bit of sugar on top just gives everything a sugary, crunchy hit that is extra delightful.
Regular granulated sugar could be substituted but the final texture will be a little different. However, use it if raw sugar isn’t in the pantry readily.
Do let these rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Longer is even better. The cake part is extremely soft when hot and will firm up as it cools.
Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
A scoop of ice cream, chocolate or vanilla, would also be quite lovely.
It is sweet but lovely as a brunch cake served with hot coffee or tea.
- 1 1/2 Cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 6 Tablespoons Cold Salted Butter
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1 Cup Whole Cranberry Sauce
- 1/3 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
- 1 Tablespoon Raw Sugar (more or less to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 9” square cake pan.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles a coarse milk. Add the milk and mix until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Spread and press ¾ of the batter onto the bottom of the pan. It is easiest to do this with moistened palms.
- Sprinkle the dough with the chocolate chips. Spread the cranberry sauce over the top of the chips and dough evenly across the entire surface.
- Drop the remaining bits of dough onto the top of the cranberry sauce.
- Sprinkle all with the raw sugar.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. The top will be golden brown.
- Let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 21mg Sodium: 234mg Carbohydrates: 40g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 20g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g