For a sophisticated twist on the humble crumb bar, you must try these cranberry pecan crumb bars. Maple syrup and a splash of brandy soften the edge of the cranberries, resulting in a balanced, jammy filling. Brown butter elevates the crust and crumbs to dessert nirvana as it always does, and toasted pecans lend the topping a buttery crunch.

Cranberry Pecan Crumb Bars | Tutti DolciServe a platter of these beauties at your next holiday gathering or simply enjoy them yourself next to a cozy fire (though beware, the stray crumbs may give you away!).

Cranberry Pecan Crumb Bars | Tutti Dolci


Cranberry Pecan Crumb Bars

  • Yield: 24 bars


Crust & Crumbs

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and halved


  • 2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated apple
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp brandy
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp water


  1. Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour into a glass measuring cup and chill in the freezer until solid, about 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Dice and sprinkle solidified brown butter over flour mixture and use a pastry cutter to cut in evenly until mixture resembles coarse meal. Fold in egg until combined. Reserve 1 cup of dough for topping; press remaining dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish. Bake for 17 to 18 minutes, until crust is lightly golden; cool on a wire rack.
  3. For the filling, combine 2 cups cranberries, grated apple, sugar, maple syrup, brandy, and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until cranberries begin to split open. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk cornstarch and water together in a small bowl; stir into cranberry mixture and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and fold in remaining 1/2 cup cranberries. Spread mixture in an even layer over crust.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining topping and pecans; bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until golden and filling is bubbling. Cool completely in baking dish on a wire rack. Just before cutting, chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Carefully lift parchment to remove bars from pan and place on a cutting board; cut into squares with a sharp knife.


Inspired by Fine Cooking


  • Calories: 190



  1. These look absolutely delicious! Will be making some for my mother-in-law the next time she visits — she loves cranberries and so do we!

  2. Made these and midway was running out of time so in my rush I totally missed the 17 min pre bake step. Was a challenge to spread the filling but was able to do it. They came out beautifully and were a huge hit at the baby shower. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you!

    1. Hi, for this recipe I would stick with fresh cranberries. For the filling, you cook the fresh cranberries down until they begin to split open. Dried cranberries don’t have enough moisture to create a nice filling as the recipe is written. Hope that helps!

  3. Oh I have to make these ASAP!!! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love them. I have a day off tomorrow so it will be a fun project for me and my girl! Thank you for sharing this goodness, Laura!!

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