Cranberry Coconut Lemon Squares


I can’t remember the first time I made these. I make them every year – and now, on the verge of cookie month, when I went to look up the recipe here, I couldn’t believe I haven’t shared it yet. Sorry, guys.

For fans of the sweet-tart, these are it – a double whammy of pucker, with a layer of cranberries suspended in lemon filling. A smattering of coconut adds some sweet chewiness. I like that I can make them ahead of time and stack them in the freezer – in fact, freezing them first makes it easy to cut them cleanly, and they thaw nicely while sitting out on a plate. All they need is a shake of icing sugar.

Sorry to keep this short and sweet, but it’s important that you have this recipe ASAP.

Cranberry Coconut Lemon Squares


November 29, 2016



6 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

pinch salt


1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

grated zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

icing sugar, for dusting


1Preheat oven to 350°F.

2In a medium bowl or the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, sugar, flour and salt, blending with a pastry cutter or fork or pulsing in the food processor until well-combined and crumbly. Press into the bottom of a buttered or parchment-lined 8x8-inch pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges.

3In the same bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir until well blended and smooth.

4Sprinkle the cranberries and coconut evenly over the base and pour the lemon filling over top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden and set. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into squares; freeze them first for a cleaner cut. Once cooled, sprinkle with icing sugar before serving. (If you want to cut them really cleanly, cool and freeze, then cut them frozen.)

5Makes 16 squares.


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34 comments on “Cranberry Coconut Lemon Squares

  1. Cassie
    November 29, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Wow, these look amazing! Can’t wait to try them out. 🙂

  2. Anonymous
    November 29, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Julie, your blog should have a warning about protecting keyboards from drool. Or maybe you need to joint venture with a tech wizard to market a “kitchen-(and drool) friendly laptop. Seriously, this made me drool! Thanks for sharing. I think these will become a tradition in my family.

    • Julie
      November 29, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Waterproof! I think you may be on to something…

  3. Caroline Csak
    November 29, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Going to try these – may even try them with sour cherries, as I have bagfuls in the freezer.

    • Julie
      December 1, 2016 at 7:40 am

      Ooh, brilliant idea!!

  4. Carolyn
    November 30, 2016 at 9:52 am

    These are the same/very similar as the recipe in One Smart Cookie, except the butter content in the crust is increased a bit? If yes, they are super yummy!

    • Julie
      December 1, 2016 at 7:40 am

      Yes! I use a bit more butter now – partly because it’s not as feared now as it was in the nineties, and to make it easier to handle – people tend to panic a bit when the crust mixture seems dry. 🙂

  5. Sue D
    November 30, 2016 at 11:36 am

    What a timely reminder – one of my absolute favourites! Thanks Julie!

    • Julie
      December 1, 2016 at 7:39 am

      I know – I had almost forgotten!

  6. Heather
    December 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Could I use raspberries instead of cranberries??

    • Julie
      December 6, 2016 at 10:23 am

      ABSOLUTELY. That would be delicious!

  7. Valarie
    December 6, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    As soon as I saw this, I had to rush home and make it. So good! I want to try it with orange and cranberry next.

  8. Meta4
    December 6, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Made this today. Fantastic…Amazingly good…these are a keeper.

  9. Heather
    December 11, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Oh my goodness! These are fantastic!

    • Julie
      December 14, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      SO glad you liked them heather!!

  10. Tegan
    January 7, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Just baked and now cooling – they look amazing!!

  11. Beth
    October 20, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I just made these and they are DELICIOUS. I added extra cranberries for extra tartness. Thanks for the amazing recipe!!

  12. Jennifer
    December 13, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Just made these for guests last night…perfect dessert! They are fabulous.

  13. Steph
    December 17, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    So good and not tricky at all to make! I added white chocolate chips since I had some left over in my pantry. And it freezes so well. Great for making ahead and bringing to a holiday party later!

  14. Dee
    December 19, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Can these be doubled and made in a 9 x 13 pan

    • Julie
      December 19, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      I think it should work?

  15. Vicki
    November 29, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    These are as easy as you claim and even more delicious.

  16. Rosemary Killeen
    December 11, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Made these for the annual cookie exchange at work – were a hit!

  17. Amanda
    January 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    I was looking to use up some fresh cranberries we had left-over from Christmas and decided to try this recipe. It comes together quickly and is delicious. I can definitely attest to that since I ate about half the bars 🙂

    Next time I make this recipe I’d like it to be just a little more tart – I’m thinking of upping the cranberries to 2 cups, but Julie I was wondering if you had any ideas on how to make the lemon curd itself less sweet? I hesitate to reduce the sugar or add more lemon because I don’t want to throw off the consistency, but maybe that’s not too much of a concern?

    Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Julie
      January 14, 2019 at 10:08 pm

      So glad you liked it! definitely up the cranberries, and you could reduce the sugar a bit for sure, but I wouldn’t go more than a third on your first try.

  18. Elise
    October 9, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Coconut sweetened or no?

  19. Paula
    December 1, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Julie! Should the coconut be sweetened or unsweetened?

    • Julie
      December 5, 2019 at 6:36 am

      Either works fine!

  20. Sera
    December 2, 2019 at 5:17 am

    Am I understanding correctly, the cranberries fresh and not precooked ?

    • Julie
      December 5, 2019 at 6:35 am

      That’s right!

  21. Wendy Krs
    December 19, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    A friend brought these to a party and sent me the recipe. I just made them and they are divine!!!

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