These Cranberry Bliss Bars are blissful, indeed! A moist, chewy blondie packed with tart, dried cranberries and chunks of white chocolate topped with a sweet, cream cheese and white chocolate frosting with a hint of zesty orange, then topped with more tart dried cranberries and a drizzle of white chocolate.
While Starbucks' Cranberry Bliss Bars are a seasonal treat showing up only during the holiday season, you can indulge in them year-round with this quick and easy, homemade recipe.
The key to moist, chewy Cranberry Bliss Bars is not over-baking them. They should be golden brown around the edges, and the tops should be just set, shiny, and beginning to show small cracks. They will seem a bit under-done inside, but when they cool they will firm up and be dense and chewy.
Browning the butter gives a richer, nuttier flavor to the blondie base. Once the butter begins to bubble, don't take your eyes off of it. It will go from a rich, nutty golden brown to a bitter, burned black in a matter of seconds. Using a light colored pan to brown the butter in allows you to see the color of the milk solids as they change color. The butter will foam as it bubbles; as you stir move the foam out of the way so you can see the milk solids changing color.
Cranberry Bliss Bars (Starbucks Copycat)
A moist, chewy blondie packed with tart, dried cranberries and chunks of white chocolate topped with a sweet, cream cheese and white chocolate frosting with a hint of zesty orange, then topped with more tart dried cranberries and a drizzle of white chocolate.
- 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour ((7.5oz, 213g))
- 1 teaspoon baking powder ((3g))
- ½ teaspoon table salt ((3g))
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter ((6oz, 170g))
- 1½ cups packed light brown sugar ((10.5 oz, 298g))
- 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest ((3g))
- ¾ cup dried cranberries (loosely packed (3.5oz, 100g))
- 1⅓ cups white chocolate (chopped or white chocolate chips (8oz, 227g))
For the frosting:
- 1⅔ cups white chocolate (melted (10oz, 283g))
- 8 oz cream cheese (softened (227g))
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar (sifted (6oz, 170g))
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest ((3g))
- ½ cup dried cranberries (loosely packed (2.3oz, 65g))
- ⅔ cup white chocolate (melted (4oz,113g))
For the Blondie:
- Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Brown the butter
- In a light colored saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. As you continue heating the butter, it will begin to bubble and foam. Stir continuously, pushing the foam out of the way so that you can see the milk solids as they change color. When they turn a golden brown, turn off the heat and transfer the butter to a bowl so that it stops cooking. Let cool.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl.
- Combine the cooled, melted butter (including the browned solids) and brown sugar together in medium bowl until combined. Add eggs, vanilla, and orange zest and mix well.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in chocolate and dried cranberries and turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.
- Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes; do not overbake. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan.
For the frosting:
- Combine the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until well mixed and fluffy.
- Spread frosting on the cooled bars.
For the topping:
- Sprinkle dried cranberries over the frosting. You can roughly chop the cranberries if they are too big.
- Drizzle melted white chocolate over the frosting and dried cranberries *see note
- Cut into triangles.
*To drizzle the melted chocolate over the frosting there are several options: Use a piping bag with a plain, round, small tip. Put the melted chocolate into a ziplock bag and cut a very small hole into the corner and use like a piping bag. Dip a fork into the melted chocolate and drizzle it on.
*Plain melted butter can be used instead of browned butter.
KAREN S says
So are you going to add the frosting and topping ingredients to the recipe?
Somehow I deleted half of the ingredients. Such a rookie mistake. I have made the corrections. Thanks for pointing that out, Karen!
Rebecca Lovatt says
These look delicious, I'm on the look out for things to do with cranberries now they're in the shops for Christmas. Thanks!
becky at http://therecipebible.com
Thanks Becky! They're so festive for this time of year. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I had dried cranberries. I thought they would be so sour but they are just a bit tart.
Can you freeze these? I thought that Starbucks freezes them. These are delish but I’d like to make and freeze them to give was gifts!
I haven't tried freezing them, but I'd love to know how it turns out.
Tracey Curry says
They freeze beautifully.
Thanks so much, Tracey!
Can you use regular all purpose flour?
Hi Dh! Yes, regular all-purpose flour is fine.
Aimee Thibodeaux says
These have become a family favorite! Recipe is spot on, I was actually accused of trying to pass Starbucks bars as my own!
Thanks so much, Aimee! That's wonderful to hear! So glad you enjoyed them!
How many bars does this recipe make ?
I cut mine into 16 triangles.
Luda Miller says
Oh boy!!!!!! It turned out so good, better than Starbucks Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.
Aw, thanks so much, Luda! So happy you liked it!
This is one of my traditions to get these every year from Starbucks. I’m thrilled to find a recipe! Thank you for sharing!!!!
They're so good! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Mandie!
Terra Parsinen says
Do you think I could incorporate some lemon juice into this? Maybe replace the OJ with lemon juice?
Hi Terra! Sure, if you want a hint of lemon instead of orange, just swap out the orange juice and zest for lemon.
Cody cakes says
I’ve never tried this at Starbucks but decided to make it based on the reviews. I was making a dessert platter for my neighbors for the holidays. I followed the directions to the T. Only thing I did differently was to cut them into squares and ended up with 24 pieces, which was the exact amount I needed if I put 4 on each platter. Needless to say I didn’t get to try it, however the texts are coming in as the favorite! Everyone says they are delicious!! Thank you for sharing your recipe! Happy holidays!!
So happy everyone liked them, Cody! Thanks so much!
So I found this recipe last year and I love the Starbucks cranberry bliss bars so I thought I would try it and I loved it but honestly I’m really the only one that eats them so it made too much and this year I just cut the recipe in half and it gave me a much smaller pan which was perfect but there was one thing I did a little bit different… The pan that I used to brown the butter in, I used that same pan with some of the residue to melt my white chocolate and it basically took some of those bits that were still in the pan and incorporated it into the frosting. It made the frosting have a brown butter taste to it and it’s Absolutely amazing… I am going to do this every year from now on
Sounds fantastic, Lynn! Thanks so much!
Deborah Larsen says
these are one of my favorite bars to make. and for those who are asking yes you can freeze. If I didn't I would have to keep making them.
Thanks so much, Deborah! So happy you liked them!
Do you know if these will still be good with allergy friendly substitutes? We can usually tweak the ingredients, but sometimes we find a recipe that won't allow for the modification.
Hi Becky! I've never tried using substitutes in this recipe. I'd love to hear how it goes if you try it. Happy New Year!
Do you think I could use frozen blueberries?
Hi Bobbie. My concern with adding frozen blueberries is the amount of moisture they would add to the dough which would change the texture. If you did try them, I might thaw and drain them first to get rid of any excess liquid. Let me know how it turns out!
Curious your thoughts on substituting cream cheese pudding mix for the cream cheese in the frosting.
Hi Mel! I'm not sure if the consistency of pudding would be thick enough to serve as a frosting.
This recipe really does taste like the original & satisfied my craving!
So happy you liked it, Bethany! Thanks so much!
Yvette Hegler says
Just made these today and they are delicious. The frosting was more than what you need to cover the bars but I’m going to use the frosting to cover cookies because it’s delicious. Thank you for such a great easy recipe.
So happy you liked them, Yvette! Thanks so much!
I cant wait to try!! My co workers are excited too! lol
Hope you like it, Alicia!
How long do they keep in a fridge?
Hi Trysta, They keep for about 5 days in the fridge.
Momma J says
Made these today with my son , who flew in from university for the holidays . We had lots of fun, we followed recipe . Note: used mandarin zest and juice it made the frosting a light orange and a bit sweeter. We browned the butter . Wow, what a great difference it made instead of just melted butter . Instant hit!!
So happy you liked it!
My youngest daughter mentioned how much she enjoyed this Starbucks treat but they were often out of stock when she went in. I found your recipe and she was delighted at the results and the $$$ she’ll save. This will be a new Christmas tradition in our house.
So happy you liked it, Penny! thanks so much!