This is the best cranberry pecan dessert recipe ever for Thanksgiving, Christmas or a holiday party! Less sugar and just a few ingredients, use fresh or frozen cranberries and chopped pecans. This simple, straightforward, amazingly delicious, cranberry dessert turns out perfect every single time.
Cranberry Pecan Dessert is an easy, delicious Christmas recipe you can make if you need a dessert in a hurry. And if you want to minimize your sugar intake. Simply throw cranberries and pecans together with flour and sugar, then bake and serve with ice cream or whipped cream on top for a treat your family and friends will love.
The sweet and tart taste of these cranberry pecan squares will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth! I make this simple dessert for Christmas and during the holidays, as well as whenever I want to. Because it is so delicious and healthy, try it for yourself any time of the year, not just during the cold weather.
Tips for Using Cranberries in Your Recipes
- No Need to Thaw Your Cranberries. You don’t need to thaw frozen berries before using in a recipe. Any time berries are being baked or cooked, they don’t need to be defrosted first. The baking process will take care of that for you.
- Freeze Your Fresh Cranberries if running out of time to use them. To freeze cranberries and enjoy them throughout the year, place berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once completely frozen, you can transfer them to freezer-safe bags or airtight containers. This will prevent them from becoming a sticking together. Remember, you can always cook them from frozen!
Tips on making cranberry pecan dessert
Like I said, this cranberry pecan squares dessert are crazy easy to make, and below is the proof.
- Use the right size pan. If you are planning on making this, prepare a 10 inch cake pan to make it look flat like mine does. However, if you want to make your cranberry dessert look more like a cake, use a pan smaller in diameter, such as 8 inch or even less! The smaller the diameter, the thicker the cake batter will be.
- Use either fresh or frozen cranberries. Fresh cranberries are great, but frozen ones work as well, so don’t hesitate to use them. If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw them for this recipe.
- DO NOT over-bake this cranberry pie dessert! These cranberry pecan bars will not look or taste right if over baked. Make sure to use a toothpick to check for doneness!
- Use plastic wrap or airtight container. To store, wrap carefully in plastic wrap or use in an airtight container and keep for several days at room temperature.
- Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Freezer-friendly! Whenever I make a cranberry pie dessert, I cut it into squares, and freeze what we don’t eat right away individually.
Can I make it gluten free?
Gluten Free Flour. I recommend using ⅔ cup brown rice flour and ⅓ cup tapioca starch instead of regular wheat flour.
Can I use different berries or fruit?
No cranberries? Blueberries make an excellent substitute, whether fresh or frozen. Alternatively, you can combine apples with cranberries.
More delicious Cranberry Recipes
Cranberry Walnut Spinach Salad
Cranberry Pecan Squares
- 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar, (for cranberry mixture)
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar, (for batter)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon confectionary sugar, (for decoration)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine cranberries, ⅓ cup sugar and pecans; and stir to combine. Pour the cranberry mixture into a generously buttered any cake pan or a 10" pie plate.
- Combine the butter and ⅔ cup sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and almond extract and beat again until fluffy. Add the flour and beat once more.
- Spread the thick batter over the cranberry mixture in the pan. It might look uneven, and that's ok.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, test doneness with a toothpick to make sure the batter is cooked through.
- Once done, the cake needs to be removed from the pan shortly after it has been taken from the oven or the cranberries will stick.
- Place a flat plate over the cake and, using hot pads, flip it over to invert the cake. Set the plate on the table or counter and carefully remove the cake pan.
- Once slightly cooled, sprinkle with confectionary sugar.
- Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. This information comes from online calculators. Although whatsinthepan.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
I used an 8×11 oblong. It turned out perfectly. All we need to do now is eat these!
That’s the best part! I hope they are all gone by now.
I’m so excited to try this but ran into an issue finding the cranberries at my grocery store, so I opted for peaches. I’m thinking how could that not work?! However, we shall see!! I really love cranberries but I’m too lazy to go in another store….🍑🥜🥧
I would recommend using apples instead. Or, increase amount of flour! If you use peaches, this dessert can be made with more flour than indicated IF there is more liquid in the ingredients.
your picture shows the cranberries on top, the recipe says they go on the bottom. Please confirm which it is. I followed the recipe and the batter part was a bit dry, but still good. Definitely easy. Thank you.
The cranberries do go on the bottom.
Janet Klein says
Well, do you turn it over like an upside down cake or does the fruit rise? You are very unclear!
You are right – I updated the instructions.
Why does the recipe have two amounts of granulated sugar? Is one of the sugars supposed to be brown sugar? This sounds really easy and good. Just want to make sure the recipe is posted accurately. Thanks.
One is for the cranberry mixture; the other one is for the batter. You will be using sugar twice in two different steps:). I hope you enjoy this!!
I followed the recipe as printed, using the 10″pie plate. I wish I had used a cake pan – square or rectangle – to cut into squares. Why did you say pie plate, which is round??
You are right about being able to use square or rectangle pan. I personally used a 10 inch pie dish and know for sure that the ingredients listed would fit into that size – that’s why I lsited it.
I followed your recipe exactly, except I also added lemon zest! So good!!!!