Cranberry Shortbread Bars with Meyer Lemon and Apples



cranberry shortbread bars.jpg


Hope all of your Thanksgiving preparations are going well so far :)

Cranberry sauce is sure to make an appearance at many holiday tables this Thursday.  It’s great for adding a pop of color to the table as well as providing a burst of flavor to contrast with some of the richness from the other holiday dishes.




If you happen to have any leftover cranberry sauce, it not only gives your pancakes, waffles and oatmeal a boost of flavor the next morning but it’s also great for baking in fruit cobblers, muffins and even cookie bars.



I mentioned yesterday that I couldn’t resist making a batch of this Meyer Lemon Apple Cranberry Sauce since I wanted to use it to top off some shortbread bars I had made.

The buttery shortbread base turned out to be a great support for the sweet and slightly tart cinnamon berry topping.

The dough is also infused with some Meyer lemon zest giving the shortbread base a sweet hint of citrus.


These Cranberry Shortbread Bars have a great mixture of flavors and textures. The cranberry topping is tart but still balanced with sweetness and offsets the richness of the citrus shortbread crust creating a nice pleasing treat..


These bars are not only great for using up any leftover cranberry sauce you may have but you can also serve them as a fruity dessert option at your Thanksgiving table.  Bars are always a hit at parties since they are so easy to eat and transport

Happy Monday and enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving week everyone!




Cranberry Shortbread Bars with Meyer Lemon and Apple

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 23 minutes

Yield: 8 x 2 square pan - 9 squares

Cranberry Shortbread Bars with Meyer Lemon and Apple


    Shortbread Bars
  • * 2 cups white whole wheat flour (can substitute with all purpose flour)
  • * 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • * 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • * 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • * zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • * juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
  • * 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Topping
  • * 3 cups Meyer Lemon Apple Cranberry Sauce


  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 F Degrees.
  2. Grease and line a 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside
  3. Cream butter and sugars on high speed with your hand mixer or in a bowl with your stand mixer, for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat for another minute.
  5. Slowly mix flour in a few additions until just combined.
  6. Press shortbread dough in to prepared dish and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
  7. Let cool slightly before adding topping.. IMG_9801.jpg
  8. Spread cranberry topping smoothly over cooled shortbread with spatula or butter knife. IMG_9811.jpg
  9. Return to oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
  10. Cool completely in pan prior to cutting into bar or placed in fridge to speed up the cooling process. Lift out of the pan using parchment paper. Place on a cutting board and cut into squares before serving.
  11. Stored in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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Shortbread Bars adapted from: Taste of Home

Cranberry Sauce


  1. Kelly, these bars look so yummy and I love the sauce! Pinned. Thanks for joining us at Marvelous Mondays.

  2. Kelly, I love these! They are so bright, colorful and festive looking! They look absolutely amazing and delicious too! Pinning!

  3. Gorgeous..I love the bright red color of these shortbread bars. Hope you have a good Thanksgiving Kelly!

  4. Gorgeous, Kelly! These would not only be awesome at Thanksgiving but Christmas too. And you are so right about bars being ideal at parties…so convenient and delicious. Have a great week!

  5. These bars are gorgeous, Kelly, and I’d be all over them! What a perfect way to use up leftover cranberry sauce. I’ll bet these are so tasty with the apples and Meyer lemon.

  6. I love that you used your own cranberry sauce for these bars! I’ve been really into bar desserts lately, they’re so pretty and yours look delicious. Perfect way to use leftovers.

  7. Oooo what a great way to use up cranberry sauce! I’ve never thought to use it in desserts! I love a good shortbread – with that melt-in-your mouth awesomeness!

    • Hehe thanks Ashley :) I loved how you used up your cranberry sauce in that grilled cheese sandwich – just brilliant! Hope you have an awesome week and a very Happy Thanksgiving friend :)

  8. Love shortbread, especially meyer lemon ones! Sounds delicious! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Now, I need to get back to my Thanksgiving planning. :P
    Lokness @ The Missing Lokness recently posted…Apple Crumbles

    • Thanks so much Lokness :) Hehe, good luck and hope your Thanksgiving planning goes well :) Thanks so much for stopping by and wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

  9. What a great use for fresh cranberries! Bar desserts are perfect for parties!
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction recently posted…Lighter Maple Pecan Sweet Potatoes

  10. Cranberry + citrus = heaven! Even though I’ve been abusing the cranberries, my mouth is watering for this!

  11. I’m a big fan of citrusy dessert and I’m sure that cranberries make such a lovely addition! These bars look spectacular, thanks for sharing!
    And I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, Kelly ;D

  12. I never would have thought to add cranberry sauce to shortbread bars but these look amazing! I definitely need to make these the next time I make the sauce. Great job, Kelly!

    • Thanks so much Ashley :) Your cranberry sauce looked amazing and it definitely inspired the creation of these bars since I was craving the sauce but no turkey or side dishes to go along with it hehe :) Hope you have a wonderful week and Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Happy Thanksgiving week. I hope you have a great day. Cranberry sauce is my job this year at our meal and I cannot wait for all the leftovers to make these!! They look delicious and I love the lemons in the shortbread too :)

  14. What a pretty bar recipe Kelly! Great way to use up any extra cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  15. What a great way to use leftover cranberry sauce! I’d make a batch just so I could make these bars!

  16. Beautiful bars Kelly, I love the idea of so many fruits on it…cranberry, apple and lemon…perfect to share.
    Have a wonderful week :D

  17. This is such a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce, which I always have every year. I love these bars, Kelly! Thanks for sharing this lovely and delicious recipe with us. Have a great T-Day! :) xo

  18. I don’t think reading your blog today while my oats were cooking was a good idea…now I want one of these shortbread bars with cranberry topping! These look ridiculously delish!

    • Hehe, thanks so much Shashi, you’re so sweet! Sorry about that – that’s how I felt after I saw your amazing pancakes yesterday :) Hope you have a wonderful week!

  19. These are absolutely gorgeous looking! I love the contrast of the cranberry sauce with the shortbread bars!

  20. Beautiful ruby-red and scrumptious looking, Kelly! I just adore the cranberry and citrus flavor combination. And, on shortbread? Swoon! Sheer heaven. :) Thank you for sharing and enjoy the rest of your week! xo

  21. Lovely photos! I want to make these, NOW!
    Nichole C recently posted…Mini Pumpkin Pie {Bites} for #SundaySupper

  22. What gorgeous shortbread bars, Kelly! Perfect for the Thanksgiving table!!! Have a wonderful holiday!

  23. Oh, these sound so amazing and what a fab use of cranberry sauce! I love anything with a shortbread crust AND I love lemon, so I know I’d love these bars. Do you deliver? =) Hope you have a fab Thanksgiving!

  24. These look so tart and tasty! I love your photos. Thanks for paying me a visit earlier. It’s really nice to meet you!
    Andi @ The Weary Chef recently posted…Learn to Create Tablescapes and Other Style Lessons with Skillshare

    • Thanks so much Andi :) I’m so glad I stopped by your wonderful site and it’s so nice to meet you as well :) Thank you again for hosting a great party and hope you and your family have a wonderful week!

  25. Wow, the color of the cranberries is beautiful! These bars looks delicious! Just gotta Pin these :D

    • Glad you like them Cindy and thank you so much for the pin! Thank you for stopping by and hope you have a great weekend and a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

  26. Oh, yum! I always see recipes for Meyer lemons, but I can never seem to find them in our local grocery stores. Such a shame, because I’ve heard they are so much tastier and sweeter than regular lemons. But I might just have to try this recipe anyway. I LOVE shortbread, and I will definitely have a surplus of cranberry sauce this year.
    Jamie@Milk ‘n’ Cookies recently posted…Pumpkin-Peach Rugelach

    • I usually have a hard time finding them here too since they’re only in season for a few months and people tend to snatch them up so quickly. I was lucky to spot some the other day and grabbed a few bags hehe. Hope you are able to find them but if not, this recipe works with half an orange and half a lemon too :) Thanks for stopping by during your holiday prep and hope you have a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving Jamie :)

  27. I’m purposely making sure I have leftover cranberry sauce so I could make these for the weekend…we have another party then. These are so gorgeous! Hope you have a happy Turkey day with your cute little family, Kelly. (=
    Gloria // Simply Gloria recently posted…How To Host A Holiday Cookie Exchange

    • Haha, aaw, thank you so much Gloria – you are always so sweet and make me smile :) Hope you and your beautiful family have an amazing week and a wonderful Turkey Day as well :) xo

  28. What a pretty little dessert…so colorful and I’m sure delicious.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted…Spinach And Sausage Rolls

  29. The cranberries look gorgeous on top and so festive. Love the sweet/tart contrast! Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

  30. Hi Kelly,

    We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and sad too that fresh cranberries are not easily available. However, we do love to celebrate Christmas with many cranberry cakes and sweets.

    Your cranberry shortbread bars look lovely with their vibrant red colour.


    • We already celebrated our Thanksgiving last month in Canada as well but I was just craving more cranberry sauce after seeing it around everywhere on the blogisphere hehe. Yum, I am looking forward to Christmas cakes and sweets here as well :) Thank you Zoe and hope you have a wonderful week :)

  31. Great bars! Look very appetizing! Thanks!

  32. My mom used to make cranberry sauce all the time, and this is making me miss it. These bars look fantastic!

  33. These look so good and I love a recipe that uses left overs, I hate waste! The colour of these are just so amazing and I bet people will be attracted to them on any party table, you are right bars are so good for parties and the like so much easier to eat. As always another lovely recipe and an amazing sounding topping, we don’t celebrate thanksgiving in the UK but I shall definitely be trying your cranberry sauce for Christmas :)

  34. Finger licking good dessert!!!
    You always know hot to photograph the simple shortbread in a fancy way….
    loving the staged scene……

  35. Oh my gosh these look amazing! Perfect for holiday baking! I love anything in bar form, definitely bookmarking the recipe :)
    Lillian @ Sugar and Cinnamon recently posted…Wholemeal Cinnamon and Rhubarb Muffins

  36. Wow!! These look amazing!! What a great combo of fruits!! YUM!
    Cailee @ recently posted…Thankful Thursday: Home Sweet Home!

  37. I love the combination of bright colors and flavors! These sound amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing at the Saturday Night Fever link party!

  38. Happy Thanksgiving (belated) to you, Kelly and your lovely family! Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite side dishes for a Thanksgiving feast, sadly we didn’t celebrate one yesterday, but we will later tonight. Love how you used cinnamon sticks in these precious bowls of cranberries!

    • Thanks so much Rika :) Happy belated Thanksgiving to you and your family as well :) Hope your celebration feast tonight is wonderful and you enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend!

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