Classic tangy lemon bars updated with a tart layer of fresh cranberry jam are perfect for the holidays! Cranberry Lemon Bars will find a place on your Christmas or Thanksgiving table or make a tasty treat for any other occasion.
Looking for more Lemon Baked Goods? Try Vegan Lemon Cookies, Gluten Free Lemon Cookies, and Lemon Cranberry Cookies too!
Why This Cranberry Lemon Bars Recipe is So Good
- Bright Flavors - Lemon bars are already delicious because of the way they mix sweet with sour, and cranberries add another tart layer that makes these extra tasty!
- Easy Recipe - Bars are easier to make than pies and cakes, and just as fun to eat! Cranberry Lemon Bars do have a few layers and steps, but the steps are very easy to execute.
- Gluten Free - We are simply using an all-purpose gluten-free flour to make the crust for these lemon bars and using it to thicken the lemon curd too.
Tips and Tricks for Making The Best Cranberry Lemon Bars
- Use your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Flour for this recipe, which already contains xanthan gum. If your flour doesn't, you should add ½ teaspoon to the crust mixture.
- Fresh lemons are a must! You'll need about 4 large lemons to get the lemon juice and lemon zest needed to make these cranberry lemon bars.
- But frozen cranberries are totally fine. Since we're cooking the cranberries, you can use either fresh or frozen ones in this recipe. You don't even need to let frozen cranberries thaw before making the cranberry sauce.
- Be gentle when pouring the lemon filling over the cranberry layer so that you don't disturb it too much. If you do happen to mix up the layers a bit, don't stress about it. The lemon and cranberry fillings will settle and look perfect after baking.
- Parchment paper makes lemon cranberry bars super easy to remove from the baking pan, but if you don't have any, just grease your pan well with butter or cooking spray.
What to Serve with Cranberry Lemon Bars
This easy cranberry dessert is a perfect fit for Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner.
Add gluten-free cranberry lemon bars to your Christmas Cookie platters along with Vegan Gingerbread Cookies and Peanut Butter Blossoms that you made in the air fryer.
Lemon bars with cranberry add a burst of flavor to your Thanksgiving dessert offerings like Vegan Sweet Potato Pie and Pumpkin Cheesecake.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
You'll find tons of easy vegetarian recipes and easy vegan recipes here! Start with these delicious treats:
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip
- Edible Brownie Batter
- Dairy Free Banana Bread
- Sweet Potato Brownies
- Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Lemon Tart
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Cranberry Lemon Bars
- 9x13 baking dish
- medium saucepan
- 2 ½ cups gluten-free flour blend
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum if your blend doesn’t already contain it
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 12 ounces cranberries fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest from 2 lemons
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup gluten-free flour blend
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest from 2 lemons
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- ⅔ cup lemon juice from 3-4 large lemons
- powdered sugar for topping (if desired)
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum (if using), powdered sugar, and kosher salt. Stir in the melted butter.
- Add the dough into the prepared baking pan, breaking it into pieces. Then press the dough into the bottom of the pan until it is an even thickness.
- Bake at 350°F/177°C for 24-27 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let cool while preparing the fillings.
- To make the cranberry filling, place the fresh cranberries, granulated sugar, water and lemon zest in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries burst and turn into a jammy consistency, about 7-8 minutes. Set aside.
- To make the lemon filling, whisk together the granulated sugar, gluten-free flour blend, lemon zest, eggs and lemon juice until smooth and no clumps of flour remain.
- Spread the cranberry filling over the baked crust and spread until it’s an even layer.
- Pour the lemon filling over the cranberry layer.
- Bake at 350°F/177°C for 25-30 minutes, or until the lemon layer is mostly set but jiggles slightly when you shake the pan.
- Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before slicing. Dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired.
- The nutrition values here are based on cutting these cranberry lemon squares into 12 pieces. You can cut them smaller if you like.
- I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour for this recipe, which already contains xanthan gum. You do not need to add xanthan gum if your flour blend already contains it.
- You’ll need approximately 4 medium/large lemons for this recipe. You’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemons for various parts of the recipe.
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries in this recipe. No need to let frozen cranberries thaw before placing in the saucepan.
- Gently pour the lemon filling over the cranberry jam to try not to disturb it so that you get two distinct layers. Don’t fret too much over the cranberries popping up over the lemon layer though a bit. You’ll still have two separate layers.
- You don’t necessarily need the parchment paper to line the pan. You can instead grease your pan with butter or cooking spray. I prefer the parchment paper because it makes it easy to remove them from the pan and place onto a cutting board to slice the bars when ready.
All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.
Delicious! I made this yesterday and it's amazing. I might just have to make another one for my get-together at the weekend with my family!
Try it with some desiccated coconut or chocolate shavings on top!
Emily thanks for the feedback and letting us know you enjoyed the bars!
And extra thanks for the tip about coconut and chocolate - I'll definitely be using that trick sometime. YUM!