Delicious maple infused dessert bars with a soft texture and sweet, tart, cranberry flavor.
Paleo Cranberry Walnut Bars are a delicious treat that straddles the line between cake and cookie. The interior texture is soft and tender with a pleasant chew and just a tad of golden brown crispy-ness around the edges. These bars are a nice alternative to cookies, and because they are cut into bars after they’re baked, they require much less time to make than drop cookies. Made with delicious, nutritious, gluten-free ingredients, it’s bars like these that give “healthy baking” a good name!
People who follow a paleo diet typically don’t eat dried fruit because it usually contains added sugar and because it is often processed with refined oil to prevent it from clumping. The good new is, there are now brands of dried fruit on the market that are sweetened naturally. The most common way to sweeten cranberries naturally is with apple juice concentrate and there are several companies that produce apple juice sweetened cranberries. Most of these, however, still spray the cranberries lightly with oil as a processing agent and that oil is usually a refined oil such as sunflower oil. So, if you are strictly paleo be sure to use juice sweetened cranberries that are not processed with oil. Here is one brand I’m familiar with.
Cranberries and walnuts is one of my favorite food combination and it works so well in Paleo Cranberry Walnut Bars. The base flavor of these bars comes from the maple syrup, which imparts a mild sweetness, but, you get a little burst of tart cranberry flavor, along with some walnuts, in almost every bite. Yum! If you like cranberries and walnuts together as much as I do check out my Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad post.
Paleo Cranberry Walnut Bars make a perfect snack along with a glass of milk or an afternoon cup of tea. They also make a great dessert. If you’re not strictly paleo try them topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1¼ cups (142 grams) finely ground almond flour
- ¼ cup (28 grams) tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (grain-free)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup apple juice sweetened dried cranberries (without oil) or conventional dried cranberries if you’re not strictly paleo
- ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a non-stick, 8 x 8-inch baking pan, or a 14 x 4½ inch non-stick tart pan with removable bottom, very liberally with olive oil cooking spray.
- Whisk the almond flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt together. Add the maple syrup, egg yolk, and vanilla and combine thoroughly. Mix in the cranberries and walnuts.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press the dough evenly out to the edges. (Wet your hands or use a piece of plastic wrap to prevent sticking.)
- Bake on the bottom rack of the oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
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