Cranberry, Ginger, Orange, Cream Cheese Crumb Bars

Do you guys have your Thanksgiving plans/menus all figured out? This year, Hubby and I are celebrating with his family. When we moved in together back in 2003, I laid out a holiday rotation plan for us. It’s worked well since then because everyone knows where we’ll be so there’s no family drama. We rotate for Thanksgiving and Christmas on a three year rotation.

One year in Connecticut with his family, one year in Illinois with my family, and on the third year we don’t travel. Anyone is welcome to join us wherever we’re living at the time, but we’re not leaving our home.

I wanted to get this routine going up front so that some day when we have kids, they’ll wake up in their own bed on Christmas every couple of years. Growing up, we were always at my grandmothers and my siblings and I always wondered how Santa knew where we were to bring our gifts.

The plan has served us well and I’m looking forward to a quiet Christmas at home this year with just me and Hubby. Since we’re spending the week of Thanksgiving with his family, I’ll be heavily involved with putting the meal together and all the prep work leading up to the big day. But Hubby’s mom is really taking the lead on this.

The good thing about having adult siblings is that everyone brings something, so really Hubby’s mom doesn’t have a whole lot of work to do. There will already be an apple and pumpkin pie at the table and I’m in charge of another dessert. So I’ve been trying out a couple recipes to see what I want to go with. As of today, these bars are in the lead.

They have a burst of tartness that only cranberries can provide. The orange and ginger provide sweetness and spiciness that round out the flavors. And the cream cheese layer gives a great creamy texture. These bars will make a great addition to any holiday spread.

One Year Ago: Sour Cream Coffeecake Bundt and Cranberry Turtle Bars
Two Years Ago: Caramelized Butternut Squash and Spicy Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese and Lentil Salad
Three Years Ago: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars and Apple Cranberry Cake-Pie
Four Years Ago: Two Pies in One Pie Pan Experiment Results and Pie Crust

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Cranberry, Ginger, Orange, Cream Cheese Crumb Bars


For the Crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 Tbsp), softened

For the Cranberry Layer
2 cups cranberries
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
zest from one orange
1 Tbsp corn starch

For the Cream Cheese Layer
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, chopped


For the Crust
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a 8x8 pan with foil and grease.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, salt, and walnuts. Stir until completely mixed.

Add vanilla and butter. Use a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture is crumbly.

Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan.

For the Cranberry Layer
Mix together all the ingredients for the cranberry layer and spread evenly on top of the crust.

For the Cream Cheese Layer
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla, salt, and egg. Stir until smooth. There might be a few clumps from the cream cheese. That is ok.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cranberries with a spatula.

Sprinkle the crystallized ginger over the cream cheese layer.

Spread remaining crumble over the top of the ginger.

Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.

Recipe inspired by Yammie's Noshery

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20 Responses to “Funfetti Oreo Cupcakes”

  1. #
    Christina — August 28, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Happy blog birthday!! I love the idea of making these for Halloween with orange and black sprinkles…and black or cute pumpkin cupcake liners. I’m all excited to make these now. Fabulous job!

    • beantownbaker — August 28th, 2013 @ 7:25 am

      AND, you could use the Halloween Oreos that have orange filling in them if you wanted 🙂 Oh, now I’m thinking orange Oreos to get the orange/black colors. Then use just purple sprinkles. Or maybe purple and green to round out the festive Halloween colors.

  2. #
    JulieD — August 28, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Happy blogiversary, Jen!!!!!!!!!! More exclamations! 🙂 these cupcakes look amazing! Congratulations on 6 great years! You’re one of the blogs I followed before starting my own! You’re amazing!

    • beantownbaker — August 28th, 2013 @ 7:27 am

      Thanks Julie! And thanks for all the exclamation points 😉 It’s crazy to think I’ve been doing this 6 years now…

  3. #
    steph@stephsbitebybite — August 28, 2013 at 8:09 am

    6 years of blogging!!! These cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate!

  4. #
    Krystal R {Mrs. Regueiro's Plate} — August 28, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Happy 6th Blog-verisary!!! I can’t wait to see what the next 6 years will bring ya!! Been a loyal fan for the past 6 years or so!!

    • beantownbaker — August 28th, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

      Thanks! Who knows where life is going to take me in the next 6 years, but I hope I’m still enjoying blogging. I know I’ll still love baking 🙂

  5. #
    Shannon — August 29, 2013 at 9:06 am

    what a great way to celebrate 6 delicious years!! congrats 🙂

  6. #
    Melanie — August 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Do you think I could make these cupcakes in advance, freeze them, and then decorate them the day of a birthday party? Or do you think the oreos inside the cupcakes would be compromised by freezing?

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2013 @ 9:41 am

      I’ve never put these Oreo cupcakes in the freezer, so I’m not sure how they’d work… If you try it, please let me know how they do.

  7. #
    Tracy | Pale Yellow — August 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Happy Blog-o-versery! I couldn’t imagine making oreo cupcakes more festive, but you certainly did so! Sprinkles are a fantastic idea!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2013 @ 9:42 am

      Thanks 🙂

  8. #
    Karen - Cinnamon Freud — August 29, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Happy blogiversary! I love any dessert with an Oreo in it: these cupcakes seem like an excellent choice to celebrate with!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2013 @ 9:42 am

      I love Oreos in desserts too!

  9. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — August 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Okay, funfetti AND oreo, just stop it please 😉 this is a dream dessert!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2013 @ 9:43 am

      My thoughts exactly 😀

  10. #
    Sarah C — August 30, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Happy blogiversary! I can’t remember who recommended your blog to me, but I’m so glad they did! And I think I will definitely make these cupcakes next weekend for the first weekend of the NFL season. Last year I bought a package of black and gold sprinkles (GO STEELERS!) and I’ve been saving them for a good occasion. I also have friends who request the mini ham & cheese sandwiches every single year on kick-off weekend, though we call them butter sandwiches. These cupcakes will be a great addition to the no-diet day, haha. Thanks!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2013 @ 9:44 am

      Thanks! Great idea calling those sandwiches butter sandwiches. I’m going to have to adopt that name as well 😉 These cupcakes would be great for NFL kickoff next weekend (even if I don’t agree with your choice in teams to root for…)

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