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Cranberry Orange Gooey Butter Bars

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  • Prep 25 min
  • Total 3 hr 5 min
  • Servings 12
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These Cranberry Orange Gooey Butter Bars are an indulgent treat with a rich, buttery crust and a gooey, melt-in-your-mouth filling. They're the perfect dessert for the holiday season and are guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. The tartness of cranberries pairs perfectly with the sweet buttery filling and the fresh orange zest. You’ll be enjoying these bars for years to come.
By Hayden Jordan
Updated Nov 15, 2023
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Cake Base

  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest


  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries

Toppings, as desired

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sifted powdered sugar, for dusting


  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • 2
    Place the cake mix and melted butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed, until just combined. Add the egg and 2 teaspoons orange zest; mix for 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Lightly pat the dough evenly on the bottom of the lightly greased baking pan.
  • 3
    In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. On low speed, slowly add 1/2 cup melted and cooled butter, mixing until combined. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon orange zest and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Use a large spatula to fold in the fresh cranberries. Spread the cranberry filling evenly over the cake base.
  • 4
    Bake for 35-40 minutes until the center is set. Make sure not to overbake. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before slicing.
  • 5
    If serving with whipped cream, place the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until fluffy and stiff peaks form. Dust the bars with powdered sugar and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I add even more flavor to this recipe?

Add freshly grated orange zest to the cake layer and filling. Pure vanilla extract and fresh cranberries are the perfect additions for this staple recipe.

Any tips for using cream cheese in this recipe?

It’s super important to use room-temperature cream cheese or the batter will curdle. A shortcut is to cut up the cream cheese in small cubes or microwave for about 15 seconds to soften.

What is the best way to serve this recipe?

Serve the bars alongside freshly whipped cream for an extra wow factor.


Nutrition Facts are not available for this recipe
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