Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Cranberry Date Bars

How did we ever live without the internet, with its instant access to information? It was essential to help me decipher this vintage recipe card for Cranberry Date Bars which was written in a way that was impossible to follow.  By searching other similar recipes, I was able to interpret it, and was glad I did. This dessert is delicious and, with the fruit and oats, is almost a health food. The orange glaze is literally the icing on the cake, and adds yet another, albeit rather sweet, flavor note. Some of my tasters felt it was a bit too sweet with the glaze, but others thought it was the best part!

These bars are great for school lunches and stay fresh for days, if they last that long.

Begin by cooking the dates and cranberries.  Chop the dates first, which I failed to do.

When the mixture looks like this, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

While that's cooling, begin the pastry. You can do this in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

 Pour in the melted butter.

Mix together well.

Put about half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 12 or 13 inch pan, and pat down to form a crust.
Bake for about ten minutes.

Remove from oven and spread the cranberry-date mixture on top of the crust, spreading it to the edge with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle the remaining crust on top of the filling, and gently distribute and press to cover the filling. Bake for about 20 minutes.

 When the cake is cooled somewhat, mix the orange juice and confectioner's sugar to form an icing and spoon atop the cake.

And voila!

This is so delicious, it won't last long.

Production notes: Please follow the recipe I've written out below for clarity.

Cranberry Date Bars

Preheat oven to 350 F

12 oz bag of cranberries
10 oz dried dates (chopped)
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 c. rolled oats
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. butter (two sticks) melted

2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. orange juice

Combine dates and cranberries and about 1/2 cup of water in a medium saucepan over low heat. (If it seems too dry, add a bit more liquid) Cover, but stir often, and cook for about ten minutes (or longer) until the cranberries crack and the dates disintegrate. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in melted butter until well blended.

Pat half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch ungreased pan.  Bake ten minutes.
Remove from oven and spoon filling on top, smoothing it with an offset spatula or back of a spoon.
Sprinkle remaining flour-oat mixture on the filling and gently pat down until completely covered.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool and enjoy!


  1. Just came across your post about your Grandma`s challah and your son`s Bar Mitzvah! It was really touching!! Glad to see your blog and wishing you happy baking and blessed days!! Shalom from Japan!!

  2. These are delicious! Thank you for resurrecting the recipe. I may try to sub the sugar with date paste. I used almond flour and it seemed to work well. It’s going to be one of my fave go-to recipes I think. I plan to try other recipes on your site. Like the lemon snow cake.