Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 24 bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


This twist on the classic Matrimonial Squares (also called Date Squares) uses cranberry sauce as a filling instead of a date purée. They’re super easy to make and are a fabulous use for leftover cranberry sauce. Note that this recipe originally called for cold butter but I have retested it and it now uses softened butter, which is much easier to work into the dry ingredients. The taste of the finished bars are not affected by this change. Enjoy!


  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups flour (2 cups of all-purpose white or 1 cup of all purpose white and 1 cup of whole wheat)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (14 oz.) can whole berry cranberry sauce or 1 and 1/2 cups homemade cranberry sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Use your fingers to rub in the butter into the dry ingredients. Then keep rubbing until you can’t really find any butter in the mixture anymore because your fingers have melted it quite a bit and it has mixed in so well into the flour and oats.
  4. Spoon three-quarters of the oat mixture into an ungreased 13″x 9″ cake pan. Press down on it firmly everywhere to form a firm layer that evenly covers the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the cranberry sauce in dollops and spread it in a thin layer over the oat layer.
  6. Sprinkle with the remaining oat mixture. Press down lightly on the oats so that they adhere to the wet cranberry sauce a bit.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Note that the topping will not change color but it is still done.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 8 strips along the length of the pan and 3 strips along the width yielding 24 bars. Use a spatula to remove the bars from the pan.