Cranberry Bliss Bars

Cranberry Bliss Bars – a knockoff of the Starbuck’s treat. A blondie dotted with white chocolate and cranberries with a slight hint of orange.

While this is the time of year all about giving, I feel in the last week and a half since I’ve had the baby I’ve been on the receiving end of everyone’s generosity. I’ve been blessed with extremely giving (and stubborn) friends who lined up people to bring me meals even though I said I would be fine without them; friends who take my boys for playdates so that I can get in a nap and a shower; and friends who offer their gift of conversation.

Life with four kids, now I may be jinxing myself here, seems more balanced. It seems as though it was always meant to be this way…that we were just waiting for baby girl to fill this spot in our family.

These are supposedly a knock off of Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss Bars. I’ve never had Starbucks’ version, but these were really good and oh so pretty. I’ve seen different versions of these all of the Internet and I opted for this one because it was supposed to be chewier and less cake-like than the other versions. It’s a buttery blondie base (try not to eat all of the dough) with flecks of white chocolate and cranberries throughout. I’m not a huge lover of white chocolate but I loved these. The frosting is cream cheese and white chocolate with a hint of orange if you want. Or leave it out if you’re not a fan.

Cranberry Bliss Bars - a knockoff of the Starbuck's treat. A blondie dotted with white chocolate and cranberries with a slight hint of orange. the-girl-who-ate-everything.com
Cranberry Bliss Bars - a knockoff of the Starbuck's treat. A blondie dotted with white chocolate and cranberries with a slight hint of orange. the-girl-who-ate-everything.com
Cranberry Bliss Bars - a knockoff of the Starbuck's treat. A blondie dotted with white chocolate and cranberries with a slight hint of orange. the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Ingredients

    Blondie Layer:
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Frosting:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. 2. Prepare the blondie layer: In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave or until melted; stir in brown sugar. Pour the butter and sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (batter will be thick).
  3. 3. Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. 4. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with chopped cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Let the frosting set (speed this up by throwing them into the fridge) then cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Notes

Source: RecipeGirl

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Comments

  1. I am obsessed with cranberry bliss bars. I seriously get so excited when they arrive at Starbucks. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ve tried a few over the years. Will definitely try these.

  2. from the moment I saw Lori post these, I have had them open on my computer, bookmarked, emailed to myself..I NEED to have them.

    You just reinforced that….yum :)

    And congrats again on your baby!

  3. First, congratulations on your new baby! I amazed you are up at and at the whole baking thing so soon afterwards… with four little ones to take care of. These look amazing!

  4. I was just at Starbucks and saw these today… yours look EXACTLY like theirs! Cannot wait to try this recipe, thanks so much!

  5. these always look so wonderful and festive.

  6. Love these! Merry Christmas!

  7. So many delicious treats, so little time! Maybe I’ll make these for new years :) Congrats on the new baby!

  8. These look wonderful! I love cranberries. Have a great Christmas!

  9. These look tasty, and so festive! Merry Christmas!!!

  10. oh, this reminded me of starbucks, i used to love these & their chocolate brownies. looks so pretty… just like i remember them :)

  11. Looks great! I baked these yesterday but found that I had to bake them twice as long. By 20 minutes only the edge had set. It’s a great recipe nonetheless

  12. Beautiful! I’ve got these on my to-make list.

  13. @Andy,
    I almost stuck mine back in the oven after 20 minutes too because i thought they might be too gooey in the middle but after they cooled they were perfect, moist, and chewy. Also every oven is different so it could vary.

  14. I made several batches of these to give as Christmas gifts to our neighbors…ALL of the wives have called wanting to know how I made them ;) Thanks for a great recipe! It will become a Christmas regular for us!

  15. Great recipe and my nieces love them with the craisins!!!!

  16. I just found this recipe and am planning on making them on Saturday. I just have one quick question…. Could you use Almond Bark instead of white baking chocolate? I already have some and am wondering if I can use that instead of buying other stuff. Thanks!

  17. @Shanna,
    I can never tell a huge difference in taste between almond bark and white chocolate so I think it will work fine. White chocolate has a slightly stronger taste to me but that’s about it. Good luck!

  18. I know this is an old post, but I just made these this weekend (found on pinterest of course!). They were delicious! Tasted very much like Starbucks, and in my opinion, even better because the bars were nice and soft. They came out looking just like yours, and Starbucks.

  19. ABout how many bars does a batch make ? Im doing a cookie exchange and have to make six dozen so just trying to figure it out !

  20. Can these be frozen? Also, you mention the orange zest in the frosting is optional. Would you mix that in the frosting or sprinkle on top? They look so amazing!

  21. Trying these with dried tart cherries. I like cranberries, but LOVE cherries, so I think these will be amazing! :)

  22. I found your recipe on pinterest and made them tonight. I took my pan out when the toothpick was clean, but now that we’ve cut into them, they’re underbaked. Oh well! Extra chewy! These are some seriously rich bars; thanks for sharing!

  23. These look great and I’m rarin’ to get baking! Before I do – are these dried SWEETENED cranberries (like Craisins) or do I need to hunt down an unsweetened variety? Thanks!

    • @cristina,
      Honestly I don’t think it matters either way. I think I used sweetened here because that’s what I had. Not a big difference.

  24. I made these last night and they are fantastic! They have been on my short-list at Christmas to make for the past couple of years but I just never made the time for them and I vowed this year I would. Thanks for sharing!!

  25. I did make these last night and was so very excited however after 20 minutes in the oven (a brand spankin new Kenmore which is very efficient and awesome-always cooks a couple minutes quicker than most suggested recipies) only the edges were set. I tested the middle with a toothpick every 2 minutes as I didnt want to overcook them or have them hard. I checked about 14 times before it came out clean and that was setting our timer to go off every 2 minutes. Now that I have just cut into them today, they are hard as a rock. Not good…maybe next time I just pull them at 20 with a gooey center that hasnt set and see what happens?

  26. I just found your this recipe (and your blog) through Pinterest and made these! They are FANTASTIC and taste exactly like, if not better than, the Starbucks version (which I adore!). I used dark brown sugar, since that’s what I had on hand, and don’t think it made much of a difference. The orange zest is neccessary, in my opinion, to get the true Starbucks taste. I baked these in a glass baking dish for exactly 18 minutes. They were done around the edges but still slightly goey in the center. After about 30 minutes of cooling, they had set perfectly. I didn’t even bother testing with a toothpick, since I use this same baking method (underbaking then letting set) for cookies and it works perfectly every time. Thank you SO much for sharing these! This will be a new staple in our dessert repetoire.

  27. I’ve made them with a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie as the base and cranberries only in the cream cheese frosting. Love them!

  28. I was skeptical on the salted butter so I used unsalted, and they were soooo sweet, I will definitely use salted butter next time! Otherwise they were sooooooooo good!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Or you could add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt if you only have unsalted butter. Glad you liked them.

  29. My brother and I made these on Christmas Eve. They turned out great. So delicious! Everyone enjoyed them. I really like that they are chewier than cake-like. And the orange zest is a wonderful addition. Thank you!

  30. These are delish, better than starbucks. Thank you for the recipe.

  31. Can I change the white chocolate for semi sweet (brown) baking chocolate or even bittersweet chocolate. If so are there any changes to the recipi. I am trying to use up what I have at home :-). Thank you

  32. Could these be done with fresh/frozen cranberries vs the dried? I have some fresh that are in my freezer on hand.