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Chocolate Cranberry Bars

Chocolate cranberry bars are the perfect way to use up leftover cranberry sauce. These bars are cross between coffee cake and cranberry dessert bars.

A chocolate cranberry bar on a white plate with a fork and napkin includes text overlay.

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.

A white pan full of chocolate cranberry bars.

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.

A chocolate cranberry bar on a plate with a fork and pan full of bars.

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.

Serving Ideas

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.

Chocolate cranberry bars in a white baking pan on a table with a napkin with text overlay.

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.

Yield: 9 Bars

Chocolate Cranberry Bars

Chocolate cranberry bars in a white baking pan on a table with a napkin.

Tart whole cranberry sauce sandwiched between layers of fluffy cake and dark chocolate for a delightful and easy dessert.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 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)


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Grease a 9” square cake pan.
    3. 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.
    4. Spread and press ¾ of the batter onto the bottom of the pan. It is easiest to do this with moistened palms.
    5. Sprinkle the dough with the chocolate chips. Spread the cranberry sauce over the top of the chips and dough evenly across the entire surface.
    6. Drop the remaining bits of dough onto the top of the cranberry sauce.
    7. Sprinkle all with the raw sugar.
    8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. The top will be golden brown.
    9. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g

We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.

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Tuesday 1st of December 2020

I just made this and it’s so good! I had a lot of leftover cranberry sauce and this recipe showed up at the perfect time and I was able to use it up for this recipe. I used an 8” X 8” glass baking dish (it’s what I have) and baked it for 25 minutes and it came out perfect. I also had regular chocolate chips, not mini so i microwaved the chips and used a spatula to spread the chocolate on the batter before topping with the cranberry sauce. Improvise and overcome, ha! Super easy, super fast, super tasty!

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