Bar Cookies Desserts

Oatmeal Cranberry Sour Cream Bars

February 4, 2013

This post today is part of the Secret Recipe Club. Each month bloggers are assigned a blog and make something from it. For February, my secret blog is Ilona’s Kitchen! I knew I wanted to make a dessert and stopped instantly when I saw these Oatmeal Cranberry Sour Cream Bars. They look delicious and sound so unique with the sour cream. Ilona wrote on her blog that the next time she made these, it would be a double batch and I agree!

Oatmeal Cranberry Sour Cream Bars

So, how’s it taste?

I figured I would like these because I love oatmeal cookies, especially ones with dried cranberries, and anything that has pecans has my immediate attention. I must admit I was leery of the sour cream. I thought it would add too much of a sour flavor combined with the tart of the cranberries. Wrong! There’s sugar, vanilla, and orange zest in the sour cream and it turns into this ooey, gooey, citrusy center. I substituted orange peel for the lemon peel that was in the original recipe, and that was a great decision! Orange and cranberry play so well together and I think the lemon would have been way too tart. The sour cream middle is such a great texture change to the chunky oatmeal and crunchy, nutty topping. I had a hard time stopping after eating one bar. I think I could have devoured the entire pan in one sitting! Definitely a double batch every time I make these. Thanks Ilona for introducing me to these awesome dessert bars!

Oatmeal Cranberry Sour Cream Bars

adapted from Betty Crocker via Ilona's Kitchen
makes 16 bars


1 pouch (1 lb. 1.5 oz.) oatmeal cookie mix
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 9-inch square pan with foil, leaving 1 inch of foil extending up over sides of pan. Spray foil-lined pan with cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, cinnamon, butter, and egg until stiff dough forms. Reserve 1/4 of the dough. Press remaining dough in bottom of foil-lined pan. Bake 15 minutes.

3. In small bowl, stir sour cream, sugar, orange peel, vanilla, and egg yolk until well blended. Stir in cranberries. Spread over crust. Stir pecans into reserved oatmeal dough; crumble over cranberry mixture.

4. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until top is light brown. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate 2 hours. Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.

Secret Recipe Club

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  • sarah k @ the pajama chef February 4, 2013 at 11:37 am

    these bars sound seriously good. great pick for SRC!

  • melissa@IWasBornToCook February 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    These look delicious!

  • Lisa~~ February 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    The flavors in your bars sound wonderful and I love the sour cream in there, going to save this recipe.

    I’d love for you to check out my SRC entry Lemon Almond Biscotti.


  • Noelle (@singerinkitchen) February 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    These look delicious. I wonder if they could be made without the oatmeal mix.

  • angela@spinachtiger February 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I can say from personal experience, these are great. Leah, I’ve been waiting for the recipe. It was nice to see you the other night.

  • Sawsan @chef in disguise February 5, 2013 at 2:38 am

    I love oatmeal and cranberries and I think these would be an instant hit in my house.
    I am new to the SRC and I am really enjoying the experience of exploring what every one made on reveal day 🙂

  • Ilona t February 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Glad you enjoyed them!!

  • Karen February 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Looks so delicious, definitely want to try soon! I love the combo of cranberry and orange

  • Isabelle @ Crumb February 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Great pick! I love the combination of flavours in these bars, especially that awesome-looking sour cream layer. I don’t normally buy cookie mixes because I usually just bake from scratch, but I might actually make an exception just so I can have these bars for my very own. I’m such a sucker for anything made with cranberries.

  • Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings February 7, 2013 at 9:18 am

    all my favs are in this recipe– can’t wait to try!

  • NO REASON NEEDED February 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Coming over from group B SRC. These look devine. Going to pin them now. Mmmmmm!!!

  • Margaret February 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    These look sooo good. That creamy center sounds wonderful.