Gluten-Free Cranberry Shortbread Bars

These are NOT "healthy" or hacked to be lower in sugar or anything like that - they are just dessert!

Enjoy that once in a while, would ya'? :)

I love to make these at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the fact that my husband hates cranberries means more for me. Here’s to the season of giving!

Makes 16 squares


For the crust:

1 c. Pamela's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix

1/4 c. coconut sugar or Sucanat

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 stick of chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes

For the filling: 

10 oz. fresh cranberries

1/2 c. coconut sugar or Sucanat

1/4 c. orange juice

1 tsp. orange zest


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Line an 8x8x2" pan with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 opposite sides.

3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine whisk flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt. Blend until mixture resembles coarse meal.

4. Transfer to prepared pan, pressing evenly onto bottom of pan [TIP: Use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to flatten and spread the dough). Prick dough all over with a fork.

5. Bake shortbread until cooked through and pale golden, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely in pan.

6. Bring remaining 1/2 cup coconut sugar, cranberries, and orange juice to a simmer in a small saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and mixture is thick and syrupy, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in remaining cranberries and cook until skins begin to split, about 3 minutes. Let cool.

7. Spread cooled cranberry topping over shortbread. Scatter zest over. Refrigerate for easy cutting. Using paper overhang, lift shortbread from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut shortbread.


Both shortbread and filling can be made 3 days ahead and stored separately. Cover pan with Saran wrap and store at room temperature. For cranberry topping, cover and keep chilled until ready to assemble bars.  I kept the crust refrigerated as well for easier, cleaner cutting.


Nutrition Info (for 1/16th)

120 calories, 17 g. carbs, 6 g. fat, 0 g. protein