November 21, 2016

Sour cream cranberry bars

Stack of three sour cream cranberry bars.

These delicious bars combine sour cream and dried cranberries with a bit of lemon zest and are sandwiched in a buttery crust of oats, flour, and brown sugar for a delicious dessert. 

Fresh cranberries are a seasonal favorite of mine. But, these bars are made with dried cranberries so they can be made anytime. These bars make a great dessert in place of a pie at Thanksgiving. They are terrific for Christmas and holidays, and they make enough to bring to a party or potluck.

I love bar recipes like this because they crust and the topping are made together and then used in two different ways. The bottom is pressed into the baking dish to form the crust, and then the remaining mixture is crumbled on top for a crisp or crumble topping.

The filling here is creamy, tart, and sweet. I love using sour cream in desserts. Sour cream adds a delicious creamy tang to desserts and that helps them from being overly sweet, which I love.

Some other dessert recipes made with sour cream on the blog are Sour Cream and Raisin Oatmeal Squares, Sour Cream Apple Pie, Sour Cream Blueberry Pie, and Rhubarb Sour Cream Bread.

Sour cream cranberry bars on a serving plate.

Bars always seem to be a hit at parties and potlucks. You can slice them up and you don't need a fork to eat them. They are like a fancier cookie, but easier to eat and make than a pie. 

The addition of cranberries makes them festive for the holidays. You can use orange zest in the filling instead of lemon to bump up the festive flavor as well. Orange and cranberry go together so well.

These bars don't contain any spices like cinnamon, but you can add a teaspoon or so to the crust/topping mixture of you'd like. This also makes them a bit more festive. However, they are perfectly delicious just as they are here. The butter, brown sugar, and cranberries really shine.

Baking pan of baked sour cream cranberry bars and some cut on a plate.

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Yield: 15-18 bars
Author: Amy (Savory Moments)
Sour Cream Cranberry Bars

Sour Cream Cranberry Bars

These delicious bars combine sour cream and dried cranberries with a bit of lemon zest and are sandwiched in a buttery crust of oats, flour, and brown sugar for a delicious dessert.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sour cream (full fat preferably)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light an fluffy. Mix in the oats, 1-1/2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt until combined. Firmly press half of the mixture into an ungreased 13x9" pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk the filling ingredients (cranberries through egg on the list), plus remaining 2 tablespoons of flour, together in a medium bowl.
  4. When the crust has finished, spread the sour cream mixture on top. Then crumble the remaining crust on top.
  5. Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, until the filling is set and the top is golden.
  6. Let cool before cutting into squares.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let come to room temperature before serving.
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I hope you give these sour cream cranberry bars a try! Let me know in the comments below.

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Side view of the layers in sour cream cranberry bars.

This recipe was originally published in 2016 and has been updated in 2021 with new text, a recipe card, and more to improve reader experience. 

Check out these other cranberry dessert recipes:

Glazed Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins

Cranberry Cornmeal Cookies

Cranberry Curd Tart

Cranberry Orange Bread


  1. Sweet, tangy and loaded with my favourite cranberries...a divine sweet treat, Amy.

  2. I forgot about this recipe. I will also miss the fun of SRC, and seeing what recipe my assignment chose. You picked a good one, I may have to re-visit it this holiday season.

  3. Oh, I love this kind of bars... And I am so sorry too that SRC has come to an end.

  4. oooh, sounds like a great SRC choice! i'm so sad src is ending too. :( p.s. i think i'm trying your sour cream apple pie this week! at least that's the plan, as long as i have time.

  5. I love bars like these with oats and dried fruits. Sounds like your SRC was a wonderful group to belong to, will miss these posts.

  6. I love nutty fruity bars like this, especially for a quick breakfast or road trip. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

  7. These bars are great for a quick breakfast or for snacking... amazing pick for the last SRC post...

  8. Oh this looks delicious! Great SRC recipe!

  9. i've never seen sour cream incorporated into bars like this--what a great and delicious idea!

  10. These bars are so perfect for the holiday season! Such a great treat and definitely a wonderful last pick.

  11. Love cookies with soft interiors and these beat them all! Lots of textures, flavors and just overall goodness! Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. Neat recipe! This looks like a fun one, and I'll bet the flavors of this are wonderful. Great choice. And Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. I really like this idea for using dried cranberries as I always have some in the house at this time of year!

  14. These look amazing, I'll have to try them for christmas dinner!


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