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White Chocolate Cranberry Bars

Dessert bars filled with white chocolate chips, pecans and cranberry sauce, a festive treat for the holidays.

Close up of white chocolate cranberry bar.

I'm not a huge baker and usually do the minimum required for the holidays.  Always kolachkes and buckeyes, and occasionally something new, like these white chocolate cranberry bars.  They are rich and gooey and festive and nutty. The perfect combination in my book.

Do your favorite grocery stores have cooking magazines each month?  Mine do, and I usually look but don't make anything.  But these dessert bars caught my eye and just sounded so dang good.  They are my kind of sweet treat, not too chocolatey and overly sweet.  They would be a great addition to any Christmas dessert table.

Bars on board cut into squares.

How to make white chocolate cranberry bars

These bars are fairly simple but there are several steps, mainly involving par-baking the base.

Chopped pecans and white chocolate chips on cutting board.

Process collage photo showing steps for making dessert bars.

  • Chop your pecans and measure out and divide the white chocolate chips.
  • Make the dough in a stand mixer, reserve some dough for the topping, spread the rest in a prepared pan and bake.
  • Mix the reserved dough with the pecans and remaining white chocolate chips.
  • Spread the cranberry sauce evenly over the par-baked crust, dot evenly with the pecan mixture and back to the oven to finish baking.
  • Let cool completely on wire rack, then remove from pan and cut into bars.

Dessert bars cooling in pan on wire rack.

White chocolate cranberry bars on serving plate.

These dessert bars are pretty gooey and crumbly.  I recommend cutting on a board and serving from the board to plates.  If cut small and cooled completely, they can be eaten handheld.

You can't go wrong with cranberries and white chocolate for the holidays, this dessert or treat will impress everyone.  Enjoy, Kelly🍴🐦

White chocolate cranberry bar close up on dessert knife.

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UPDATED: Originally posted in December, 2015, and updated in 2019 with new photos and copy, recipe is the same with minor clarifications.

Close up of white chocolate cranberry bar.

White Chocolate Cranberry Bars

Dessert bars filled with white chocolate chips, pecans and cranberry sauce, a festive treat for the holidays.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 269kcal


  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10-12 oz white chocolate chips divided
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 14 oz whole cranberry sauce


  • Line a 9 X 13 baking pan with foil, extending 1 inch above the sides of the pan. Lightly coat with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350º.
  • In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • In standing mixer, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until well mixed. Reserve 1 cup of dough mixture and set aside.
  • Stir 1 cup of white chips into dough in the mixing bowl, then spread dough into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 15 - 17 minutes.
  • While crust is in the oven, combine reserved dough, remaining white chips, and chopped pecans until evenly mixed. I used my hands, easier. In small bowl, stir cranberry sauce to loosen. Carefully spread cranberry sauce over partially baked crust. With your fingers, dot pecan mixture over top.
  • Return pan to oven and bake until set and golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Use foil to lift bars out of pan to cutting board. Cut into bars.

Recipe Notes

Makes 2 dozen bars
These freeze really nicely! Slice first, then freeze.


Calories: 269kcal Carbohydrates: 36g Protein: 3g Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 6g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 33mg Sodium: 88mg Potassium: 94mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 26g Vitamin A: 213IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 54mg Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!


*Adapted from Dierbergs Everybody Cooks Holiday 2015

5 from 2 votes
Recipe Rating


Friday 27th of December 2019

Gooey, crumbly and damn delicious.

Dolores Bologna

Saturday 7th of December 2019

This deserves a comment. These ingredients together are perfect. I used a homemade cranberry sauce with a little cayenne pepper kick to it instead of canned. love this!


Thursday 12th of December 2019

I'm getting ready to make these in the next few days! Going to update the post. Thanks so much for the kind words, much appreciated. I like the cayenne pepper kick!