April 17, 2018

RECIPE: Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

I had a craving a few days ago for dried cranberries, so I converted my breakfast cookies recipe into Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Breakfast Bars--and they were delicious! I love the combination of cranberries and oranges. This makes an enormous batch (24 hearty bars), but they freeze really well. You can just pull one from the freezer and pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

(Make sure you read the notes under the recipe regarding pan size/oven time.)

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Breakfast Bars


1 cup oat bran
2-3 navel oranges (enough for 3/4 cup fresh juice + 2 Tbsp. orange zest)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup nonfat dry milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dates (or just use additional cranberries)


Preheat oven to 325 F. Grate the oranges until you have 2 Tbsp. orange zest. Squeeze the juice from the oranges until you have 3/4 cup fresh juice. Combine the oat bran and orange juice in a small bowl and set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange zest, and salt. In a separate bowl, sift the pastry flour, baking powder and baking soda together, then slowly add it to the mixer. Add the soaked oat bran, dry milk, oats, nuts, cranberries, and dates. Mix just to combine.

Line two 9x9 baking dishes with wax paper. Divide the batter between the two pans and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and the top is a light golden brown, approximately 30-40 minutes. (I baked one pan at a time in a countertop oven, and they took about 35 minutes each). 

Remove from the pan using the wax paper, and cut each batch into 12 rectangles. 


I have been using a countertop oven (like a toaster oven) for about nine months now, and I've learned I can bake just about anything in there that I would in my regular oven. I can't fit a 9x13 pan in the countertop oven, so I had to do these bars in two batches (using 9x9 pans). I think if you put it all in a 9x13 pan, the bars would be too thick. You could probably use a 9x13 AND a 9x9, for slightly thinner bars. Or for very flat bars, use two 9x13 pans. 

Alternatively, you could make these into cookies--dropping the batter by the tablespoon onto cookie trays and baking at 375 F for about 12-15 minutes. 

When making the bars, you want to bake at a lower temp (325) for a longer amount of time so that the center cooks through without burning the top. My first pan turned out a little too dark because I baked it at 375, so I made the temperature adjustment and it worked out well.

My point is, you may have to play around with the temperatures and times. Obviously, using a countertop oven is going to vary a little from a regular oven, as is a 9x13 pan versus a 9x9 pan. 

Hope you like them! My kids love these, which surprises me. 


  1. This looks delicious, thanks for sharing! It's almost like a healthier/less processed version of those Belvita soft breakfast cookies.

  2. These look so, so good! I'll have to remember this recipe once I have my oven back (kitchen remodel).

  3. Which ingredients have all the iron? Asking for my girlfriend with anemia, for whom I may make these.

  4. I made these yesterday, and they are delicious! I didn't have any dry milk powder, so I did some research and found that sometimes vegans use almond meal as a dry milk sub, so I did that and they came out fine. My mother loved them too! Thanks for the great recipe :-)


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