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Vegan Cranberry Crumb Bars (Paleo)

Paleo Cranberry Crumb Bars made grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free are a healthy and delicious dessert recipe that requires minimal ingredients!

Use your leftover homemade cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving or prepare the easy cranberry filling provided in this recipe. Either way, these healthy gluten-free crumb bars are a breeze to make and a pleasure to share!

Vegan Paleo Cranberry Crumb Bars can be made using leftover cranberry sauce. Recipe includes instructions for making bars without leftover cranberry sauce too. Grain-free, dairy-free, and healthy!

The holidays have been interesting this year for everyone. We had our Friendsgiving in October and Thanksgiving almost a week early, then decided to make the most epic chili EVER on actual Thanksgiving. 

I’m naturally resistant to change and used to get my feathers all in a tussle when plans changed, but 2020 taught me I must go with the flow…or drown.

So flow it is! I find embracing new traditions to be the best way we can heal from the past, keep moving forward and forming new meaningful memories to keep ourselves content.

All this to say, I had leftover Maple Bourbon Cranberry Sauce from my Friendsgiving celebration, and rather than let it go to waste, I put it to the best possible use: Dessert!

My Paleo Blueberry Crumb Bars  and Vegan Strawberry Crumb Bars were such a hit in the past that my mind instantly crumb bar-ed the sauce.

You guys…these are the easiest, most delicious little dew drops of joy you will ever encounter. If you already have cranberry sauce on hand, they require basically zero effort. 

If you don’t already have cranberry sauce on hand, no worries! I have included a recipe for cranberry filling, so you can still enjoy these treats. And they’re still ultra easy to make!

What makes this dessert recipe extremely easy is the fact that both the crust and the crumble topping are made with the same mixture. Mix once, use twice! 

AND the mixture couldn’t be any simpler to make: it’s a combination of almond flour, melted coconut oil and pure maple syrup. BAM! Geniusness!

Vegan Cranberry Crumb Bars - paleo, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free and healthy

Let’s talk ingredients:

Ingredients for Paleo Cranberry Crumb Bars:

Homemade Cranberry Sauce: Use 1 1/2 cups of leftover homemade cranberry sauce for these bars OR you can start fresh by preparing my recipe for cranberry filling (included in the recipe card).

My sauce is usually nice and sweet already, so if your sauce doesn’t seem sweet enough to turn into dessert, consider adding pure maple syrup to it (1 tablespoon at a time) until you find it sweet enough.

If you don’t have leftover sauce, follow my instructions below to make the cranberry filling. All you will need is fresh or frozen cranberries, pure maple syrup, and cinnamon!

These crumb bars require a thick cranberry mixture. If your sauce is thin or if it is more of a jell (like canned cranberry sauce), it is best to start fresh and make the filling using the recipe below.

Almond Flour: Both the shortbread crust and the crumble topping are the same mixture! The base is almond flour, which yields a buttery, delicious crust and topping. It is full of healthy fat and fiber, so I like to look at it as a healthier option.

Coconut Oil: Melted coconut oil helps hold the flour mixture together and gives it buttery flavor without the need for dairy. 

Pure Maple Syrup: We use pure maple syrup to sweeten the crust and crumble. This sticky sweetener also helps bind the mixture together so that we can get away without needing to use eggs. In this sense, we have a vegan, dairy-free crumb bar that is perfectly healthful.

Sea Salt: I always say this, but…sea salt enhances all the flavors and brings out the sweetness without the need to add more sweetener! Don’t forget to use it!

How to Make Cranberry Crumb Bars:

Prepare the Filling:

If you don’t have cranberry sauce on hand, you can prepare the cranberry filling from scratch. However, if you already have cranberry sauce, go straight to preparing the crust and topping.

Maple Bourbon Cranberry Sauce with cinnamon and orange zest - a flavorful unique approach to homemade cranberry sauce for your Thanksgiving feast!

If you don’t have cranberry sauce, here’s the recipe for the cranberry filling:

Heat 1 ½ cups of cranberries (fresh or frozen), 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, ¼ cup of water, a pinch of sea salt and cinnamon cinnamon a saucepan and bring it to a full boil. 

How to make homemade cranberry sauce

Once boiling, mash the cranberries with a fork until the mixture resembles more of a sauce or jam. Continue cooking until the mixture is very thick, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Set mixture aside until ready to use (note: the cranberry filling will thicken as it sits). If need be, you can add 2 teaspoons of tapioca flour to the sauce to make it very thick and gooey. You want it to be as thick or thicker than jam.

Prepare the Crust & Crumb Topping:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8” x 8” baking pan with parchment paper.

Stir all of the ingredients for the crust and topping together in a bowl until well-combined – it will form a thick, sticky dough.

Measure out ½ cup of the almond flour mixture and set it aside to use later for the crumb topping.

Transfer the crust dough to the parchment-lined baking pan and press into an even layer using your hands. Poke many holes in the crust with a fork to ensure it bakes evenly and does not bow up while baking.

How to make vegan crumb bars on shortbread crust

Bake for 12 to 18 minutes on the center rack of the preheated oven, until the sides of the crust are golden-brown. Remove crust from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes. 

Evenly spread the cranberry sauce / cranberry filling over the pie crust and sprinkle the reserved crumb topping mixture over the cranberry sauce.

How to make vegan crumb bars using leftover cranberry sauce

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (still at 350), until the cranberry mixture is bubbly and the topping is golden-brown.

How to make vegan crumb bars - paleo, grain-free, dairy-free, healthy

Remove crumb bars from the oven and allow them to cool to cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Paleo Cranberry Crumb Bars (Vegan, grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free) healthy dessert recipe

How to Store Crumb Bars:

Store crumb bars in a sealed container in the refrigerator or in a zip lock bag in the freezer. They keep in the refrigerator for over 1 week (if they last that long), but I would say they are freshest within a 10-day window.

More Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes:

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @TheRoastedRoot on Instagram!

Vegan Paleo Cranberry Crumb Bars can be made using leftover cranberry sauce. Recipe includes instructions for making bars without leftover cranberry sauce too. Grain-free, dairy-free, and healthy!

Paleo Cranberry Crumb Bars

Yield: 12 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Grain-Free Paleo Cranberry Crumb Bars made dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce, see note*

For the Crust & Crumb Topping:

Instructions

Make the Cranberry Filling:

  1. Note: If you are using 1.5 cups of leftover cranberry sauce, skip this step. If you don't have leftover cranberry sauce, heat 1 ½ cups of cranberries (fresh or frozen), 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, ¼ cup of water, a pinch of sea salt and cinnamon cinnamon a saucepan and bring it to a full boil.
  2. Once boiling, mash the cranberries with a fork until the mixture resembles more of a sauce or jam. Continue cooking until the mixture is very thick, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set mixture aside until ready to use (note: the cranberry filling will thicken as it sits). If need be, you can add 2 teaspoons of tapioca flour to the sauce to make it very thick and gooey. You want it to be as thick or thicker than jam.

Make the Crust and Crumble Topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8” x 8” baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Stir all of the ingredients for the crust and topping together in a bowl until well-combined - it will form a thick, sticky dough. Measure out ½ cup of the almond flour mixture and set it aside to use later for the crumb topping.
  3. Transfer the crust dough to the parchment-lined baking pan and press into an even layer using your hands. Poke many holes in the crust with a fork to ensure it bakes evenly and does not bow up while baking. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes on the center rack of the preheated oven, until the sides of the crust are golden-brown.
  4. Remove crust from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

Make the Cranberry Crumb Bars:

  1. Evenly spread the cranberry sauce / cranberry filling over the pie crust and sprinkle the reserved crumb topping mixture over the cranberry sauce.
  2. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (still at 350), until the cranberry mixture is bubbly and the topping is golden-brown.
  3. Remove crumb bars from the oven and allow them to cool to cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

*If you don't have leftover cranberry sauce, use these ingredients: 1 ½ cups of cranberries (fresh or frozen), 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, ¼ cup of water, a pinch of sea salt and 1/4 tsp cinnamon cinnamon.

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1 of 12
Amount Per Serving Calories 199Total Fat 10gUnsaturated Fat 0gCarbohydrates 22gNet Carbohydrates 19gFiber 3gSugar 14gProtein 5g
Vegan Cranberry Crumb Bars (Paleo!) - grain-free, dairy-free crumb bars made egg-free! Use leftover cranberry sauce or make the cranberry filling in the recipe. Easy, healthy, delicious!
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