Cranberry-Pear Cake Bars

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hr

Sweet pears and an orange-scented crumb balance tart cranberries, making this cake delicious as an afternoon snack or as a dessert with whipped cream.


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 ¾ cups packed light-brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 orange)

  • 2 firm pears, peeled, halved, cored, and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 8 ounces fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (about 2 cups)

  • ½ cup walnut pieces

  • Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on sides; butter paper, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and zest until smooth. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in pears, cranberries, and walnuts.

  3. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan set on a rack. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan, and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 18 squares; serve with whipped cream, if desired.

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