Every year, at Christmas, my sister makes cranberry bars, which my daughter loves. Unfortunately, my sister's recipe isn't vegan, and my daughter is. So, I set out this Christmas to make a vegan version of my sister's cranberry bar recipe.
Although these vegan cranberry bars are far from fat-free or sugar-free, they are delicious. Sometimes, during the holidays, we all splurge a little and indulge.
I did, however, find ways to avoid extra sugar and calories. And, when they finished baking, the taste testers approved my vegan cranberry bars.
Not only did the recipe taste fabulous, but the bars looked just like my sister's recipe.
What ingredients are in vegan cranberry bars?
To 'veganize' my sister's cranberry bar recipe, I first switched out the non-vegan ingredients with vegan ones.
- Apple sauce
- Coconut Sugar
- Vegan butter (I used Earth Balance sticks)
- Flour (all-purpose or gluten-free)
- Almond Extract
- Fresh Cranberries
Another great part of this recipe is the mixing all happens in one bowl.
Steps to making delicious cranberry bars:
First, I creamed the apple sauce and the sugar. For this recipe, I chose coconut sugar. Although a sugar substitute, coconut sugar is similar to table sugar but not as processed and contains some nutrients.
Even though I attempted to replace the sugar with maple syrup, it was an epic fail.
Once the apple sauce (used to replace the eggs in the original recipe) is creamed, I added the melted vegan butter, flour, and almond extract.
Then, following my sister's instructions, I stirred, not mixed the ingredients. Next, I added the fresh cranberries and folded them into the batter.
Choosing the pan and cooking:
Since I don't own any cooking spray, I opted for my 8 X 8 Silicone Baking Pan. I love silicone baking pans, but feel free to line a pan with parchment paper to avoid sticking as well.
The batter is somewhat thick and sticky, like a brownie batter, and must be spread in the pan.
As a result, the batter does expand while cooking in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.
Another tip is to allow the bars to cool completely and then transfer the pan to the refrigerator for about an hour before cutting.
Because I chose the silicone baking pan, the entire 8 X 8 pan of vegan bars came out in one piece.
Storing the cranberry bars and serving
Once cut, I placed the vegan cranberry bars in a sealed container in the refrigerator before taking them to my daughter's house.
My sister's recipe also called for an icing made of a large amount of powdered sugar, but I skipped this step. The bars, once baked, were sweet enough and didn't need additional sugar.
My husband, who has a sweet tooth, snagged a couple of cranberry bars from the container on my way out the door. And, my daughter, who loves my sister's cranberry bars, was grateful to have a vegan version of her Aunt's recipe during the holidays.
OTHER VEGAN DESSERTS YOU MAY ENJOY...
- Chocolate Vegan Pudding
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
- Simple Vegan Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Vegan Apple Crisp
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂