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Cranberry Lemon Bars

We like these cranberry lemon bars so much that I load up my freezer with fresh cranberries heading into the holiday season, so this dessert can be enjoyed all year.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 3 tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Cranberry Layer:

  • 6 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest

Lemon Layer:

  • 2 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1/3 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • confectioners sugar, as needed

Recipe Direction :

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease an 8x8-inch pan or line with parchment paper on the bottom, leaving a little overhang to easily remove bars.

  2. Stir melted butter, 3 tablespoons sugar, almond extract, and salt together in a bowl. Add flour, and mix until well incorporated. Press dough mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer. 

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until edges start to turn a light brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set aside.

  4. Meanwhile, combine cranberries, 1/4 cup sugar, water, and 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often. Once cranberries start to pop, mash down with the back of a spoon, until cranberries break down into a smooth consistency, 9 to 12 minutes. Set aside.

  5. Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, flour, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest in a bowl until well combined.

  6. To assemble, spread the cranberry mixture evenly over the crust, and pour the lemon layer mixture over the cranberry layer.

  7. Return to the oven and bake until filling is set, 20 to 25 minutes.

  8. Cool completely in the pan, and run a knife around the pan edges. Cut into squares and dust with confectioners sugar right before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container.