Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars — For anyone who loves the Starbucks version, these are can be made year-round at home for pennies on the dollar and taste every bit as fabulous and then some!! I like to call them Better-Than-Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars!!
Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
I love Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars but they’re a seasonal item and as fast as magically appear in the bakery cases this time of year, they can disappear just as fast, never knowing if, or when, they’ll return.
Something about seasonally-available items makes me yearn for them them even more. Just think of the pandemonium that surrounds the first few days of Pumpkin Spice Latte season.
I don’t have to worry about being bliss-less anymore because I can make these at home now, which is both good and bad. Good because these are a dead ringer for Cranberry Bliss Bars, bad because they are a dead ringer for Cranberry Bliss Bars. Better lace up those running shoes.
Cranberry Bliss Bars are really just blondies that have been amped up with white chocolate, cranberries, and then frosted with white chocolate-infused cream cheese frosting.
I am both a blondie lover and a white chocolate lover and for anyone who likes white chocolate as much as I do, it’s used three times in the recipe. As chips baked into the bars, melted and incorporated into the frosting, and lightly drizzled on top of the frosted bars.
I have two white chocolate blondie recipes, this one, which uses a bit of baking powder in the base, creating a fluffier and more cake-like blondie. And then my preferred blondie recipe, which doesn’t use any leavening.
As with brownies, I like my blondies denser and less cakey. So I tweaked my preferred recipe by adding cranberries and kept the white chocolate chips to create the Bliss Bar base.
Hands down, I prefer these to Starbucks. My family also loves Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars but they preferred the homemade version. When we tried to analyze why we liked these better, all we could come up with is that they have a homemade taste, rather than a commercialized, mass-produced taste. Sometimes the exact nuances why one item is preferred over another isn’t always perfectly well-defined and you just like what you like.
Subtle differences are that my blondie base is slightly denser and less cake-like than Starbucks. If you prefer a cakier base, and one that leavens just a bit more, when making the batter add one-half to one teaspoon baking powder when adding the flour, depending on how cakey you want to go. I prefer density as opposed to cakey in all blondies or brownies, so omit chemical leaveners entirely when making either.
The amount of white chocolate chips and cranberries baked into the bars is slightly more abundant in the homemade version. Within each bite, there are plenty of chunky and sweet bits of white chocolate chips, interspersed with chewy and slightly tart dried cranberries, and who would ever complain about slightly more white chocolate or cranberries. With the final sprinkling of cranberries over, I’m sure I sprinkled with a slightly more generous hand.
Homemade frosting always reigns supreme to store-bought and with the Bliss Bars in particular, the frosting really makes them. I adore cream cheese frosting, especially when it’s been beat to submission with the inclusion of melted white chocolate.
Layering this heavenly goodness on just a bit thicker than Starbucks does is the beauty of making these, or anything, at home. You can customize it to your liking, and for me, that will always mean extra frosting. I’m one of those people who likes a little cake with my frosting or a few crackers with my bowl of dip.
We inhaled these and I cannot wait to make them again. They are so easy and came together in about a half hour. A little too easy and so authentic. Between the Outback Steakhouse Wheat Bread and these, I’ve thoroughly been enjoying restaurant-style copycat recipes lately.
I don’t want to burnout on these so am waiting a bit before making another batch, but they’re one of best things I’ve made in ages and I highly recommend blissing out with them.
What’s in Cranberry Bliss Bars?
To make this cranberry bliss bar recipe, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- White chocolate chips
- Dried cranberries
- Orange zest
- Cream cheese
- Confectioners’ sugar
How to Make Cranberry Bliss Bars
It’s a very simple batter that comes together in less that 5 minutes by hand based on ‘ones’. Melt one stick of butter, add one cup brown sugar, one cup flour, one (and a half) teaspoons vanilla, and stir. Stir in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips and it’s ready to be baked.
While the bars bake and are cooling, make the white chocolate-spiked cream cheese frosting. The frosting is where the magic happens and catapults this recipe from white chocolate and cranberry blondies to copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars and it lends so much authenticity to the bars.
To make it, melt one cup white chocolate chips. Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, heat on high power for about 30 seconds, stop and stir. Then heat in 10-second bursts, stopping to stir after each, until the chocolate can be stirred smooth, being patient with it and not allowing the mixture to get too hot or it will seize up and you’ll need to start over.
You can also melt white chocolate over a double boiler, however I find this to be more work and have no issue using the microwave, but to each her own and melt it in whatever way you’ll have success.
Add about three-quarters of the melted white chocolate to a fluffy pile of confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and four ounces of cream cheese that’s waiting in a mixing bowl. You may use whipped or light cream cheese, you know, to save calories so you can eat more.
Beat this mixture together until it’s very fluffy, playing with the confectioners’ sugar ratio as necessary, adding an additional dollop of cream cheese or splash of milk if it becomes too thick. The mixture will start out thick but keep beating, for at least three minutes, and it will magically fluff up. Spread the fluffy, creamy goodness over the cooled blondies.
Then, sprinkle generously with dried cranberries and drizzle the remaining white chocolate over the top. The beauty of adding both dried cranberries and a parting white chocolate drizzle on top of the frosting is that any imperfections in the frosting will be masked.
I didn’t bother sifting the confectioners’ sugar used in the frosting because I knew that any tiny lumps would be concealed. Sift if you prefer or are serving these to royalty who may chastise you over a miniscule lump of confectioners’ sugar.
How to Slice the Bars
It’s best to allow the bars to set up for about 30 minutes before slicing into them, because it will make the job easier, neater, and they’ll look prettier and more authentic.
To slice the bars, lift them out using the aluminum foil overhang, because yes, you were smart enough to line your pan with foil before beginning, making this stage of the game a cinch and it makes cleanup effortless, too.
Slice the bars by making a cross, creating four small squares or quadrants. To each of the four quadrants, slice on the diagonal to create two triangles, for a yield of eight triangular-shaped bars. They’re generously-sized, very similar in size and shape to the Starbucks version, but the beauty here is that this recipe makes just eight bars, since it’s baked in an 8-by-8-inch pan.
Can I Double This Recipe?
I have not tried doubling the recipe, and in theory, doubling and using a 9-by-13-inch pan would probably work, but I haven’t tried. Eight of these puppies in one batch was plenty, eating 16 of them before the frosting gets a little too crunchy or dried out would have been overkill for our family of three.
Tips for Making Cranberry Bliss Bars
The batter is fairly shallow in the baking pan and it bakes up quicker than you may think, about 18 to 20 minutes. Even a few extra minutes of baking time will create a much more dried out bar, ruining the bliss.
I find the secret to commercialized chain-store successes like Mrs. Field’s cookies, Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, orStarbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars is that none are overbaked; all are ooey, gooey, and chewy. Keep that in mind and pull the bars from the oven as soon as the top is set. It will be a pale golden hue.
When melting white chocolate — I cannot stress this enough — it scorches easily and melts twice as fast, if not faster, than milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips so go slowly and in little bursts.
Pin This Recipe
Cranberry Bliss Bars
For anyone who loves the Starbucks version, these are can be made year-round at home for pennies on the dollar and taste every bit as fabulous and then some!!
For the Bars
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, loosely packed
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, optional and to taste (edited to add this on 12-9-12)
For the Frosting and Topping
- 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted and divided
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (whipped or light may be used)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar (I used about 2 3/4 cups)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, loosely packed (optionally, roughly dice them if the pieces are larger)
For the Bars:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 90 seconds.
- To the melted butter (allow it to cool slightly so you don't scramble the egg), add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and stir to combine.
- Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or the bars will be tough.
- Fold in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips, 1/2 cup cranberries, optional orange zest, and stir to combine.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary.
- Bake for 18 to 21 minutes, and center is set and golden or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan, or a toothpick comes out clean; do not overbake.
- Allow bars to cool before frosting them. While they cool, make the frosting.
For the Frosting and Topping:
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate on high power, about 1 minute, reheating in 10-second intervals, or until it can be stirred smooth. White chocolate is notorious for scorching so melt it very carefully, and slowly, heating in quick bursts, and keep a watchful eye; use a double boiler if that's easier.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese, about three-quarters of the melted white chocolate (about 3/4 cup, just eyeball it), 2 cups confectioners' sugar (I don't sift it because any tiny lumps will be covered up by sprinkled cranberries and white chocolate drizzle), vanilla, and beat until smooth and fluffy.
- Start by mixing on low speed so sugar doesn't spray, and then beat on medium-high for about 3 minutes. Mixture will seem stiff at first but will loosen and fluff up after 2 to 3 minutes of beating on medium-high; stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add additional confectioners' sugar (I used about 2 3/4 cups, I like it on the thicker side) based on taste preference and desired frosting consistency.
- Frost the bars; if you have excess, it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.
- Evenly sprinkle 1/2 cup cranberries over the top of the frosted bars. Evenly drizzle bars with remaining melted white chocolate, reheating for a few seconds in the microwave if it has set up.
- Allow bars to set up for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Storage: Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To keep gluten-free: use your favorite gluten-free flour blend, taking care that all other ingredients used are acceptable for your dietary needs.
Base of bars adapted from Coconut White Chocolate Blondies and White Chocolate Chip Blondies. Frosting and Topping inspired by Taste of Home.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 659Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 162mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 1gSugar: 82gProtein: 6g
More Cranberry Dessert Recipes:
Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake — This fast, easy, no-mixer cake is light, soft, fluffy, and moist. It’s springy and bouncey, with just enough density to give it some heft and dimension.
Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies – Cranberry Bliss Bar flavors, in cookie form. Tender, soft, pillowy centers!
The bars were very good. I backed for 19 min and turned out fine. I didn’t have a paddle mixer stand and used a hand mixer. I was worried the frosting wouldn’t smooth out but it finally did. I liked the addition of the orange zest.
I’m glad you liked them and the addition of the orange zest, too.
Hi, I baked my bars at 350 degrees for 18 mins, then added an extra min at 360, but the center still seems raw so I left it in the oven for just 4 mins, and it’s still a bit undone when I cut into it.
Why is that? Also, when you say 1 cup of flour, do you mean 125g (using a scale) or 150g (using a scoop then weight it)?
All ovens vary, as well as ingredients from brand to brand, so that could have had something to do with it. An extra 4-5 mins sometimes is necessary, depending on oven, etc.
1 cup for me is dip my measuring cup into a bag of flour that I recently fluffed up, and loosely shake off the cup, and level it off flat, so that the flour is lightly placed in the measuring cup, but not packed. Honestly I just don’t weigh things because my recipes are not sensitive enough that an extra 25 grams (probably a couple tablespoons of flour) should likely impact the outcome of the recipe.
Averie, I just wanted to let you know that through all of my research and dozens of recipes- you are the ONLY one who dared to negate the leavening and embrace the dark gooey underbelly of the blondie world. I can literally eat a whole 8×8 tray in <1week, if I use some restraint!! In many cases I have felt felt that leavening is just dilution of a perfectly dense, fudgy recipe. Of course there are times that call for a bit of the fluff, and I suspect my aversion may be linked to my loathing for dry, hard, or stale baked goods& as with anything sporting more air volume, comes about sooner than inventions involving less room to dry out. As for people claiming that there is crystallized ginger in this recipe I say only this- go buy yourself a $7 bar from Starbucks and break it down, nibble by nibble& I guarantee you there will be no “Eureka!” Moment when you find the candied gem hidden away in the base- I know because I have done this. I made them utilizing my remaining candied ginger last year& of course it tastes fine- but what it REALLY is(and why you can actually taste that little zing accumulatively- is because it is ground ginger in the batter. It can be done either way I’m sure- just as the citrus can be omitted if needed- it’s very flexible& forgiving. But if you’re trying to nail the EXACT formula- which I know you’re not too concerned with- ground ginger at appy 1/2 tsp per 8×8 does it:)
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that you love these bars! I totally hate leavening in bars, blondies, and brownies and never use it.
And you are correct, there is definitely no candied ginger whatsoever in the Starbucks version although I could see maybe a bit of powdered. Although I have not bought one from Starbucks in a good 5 years at this point, so maybe it’s more pronounced now than it used to be.
Found it! Definitely going to try this! I’ve been looking for this recipe for a while! Thank you so much for sharing!
Glad you found it!
You forgot the main ingredient that makes them an exact replica. Candied ginger. Try that and then you will realize that is what is missing from them and is in the cranberry bliss bars.
I don’t think I’ve ever tasted candied ginger in the real version, maybe if I’m ever tempted to buy one again I will specifically check for it, but from memory I’ve never noticed it before.
They came out fine doubled. I did part of the batter in a 8×8 square stoneware and the rest in my Pampered Chef Brownie Pan. Awesome! Thanks.
Sounds like a hit! Glad they came out great!
Just found this recipe and am excited to try it for Thanksgiving. I read through the comments and apologize if I missed the answer to this. I was wondering if doubling the recipe and baking it in a larger pan would work. I’m thinking 35 – 40 minutes. Averie, do you think that would work?
I have never doubled this one but you probably could. I don’t know if I would change baking time all that much. Use your best judgment on that, you don’t want to overbake. LMK how it goes!
They. Were. Awesome! 2 batches. And, yes, I agree wholeheartedly, better than Starbucks :)
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And that you like mine better than Starbucks!
Hello and Seasons Greetings from Canada. I enjoy your blog and love the way you describe your tips, tricks and the photos are awesome. One question regarding this recipe – when you make cookies, you like to use a half & half BF & AP to keep them soft. Do you recommend this for the cranberry bliss bars as well? Thanks for the great recipe. Can’t wait to make this today with my grandsons.
Just make this recipe exactly as I have written it out and you’ll be in heaven! Enjoy!
I made these over the weekend for a party and they were a huge hit! I had several people ask for the recipe so I referred them right to your blog. I’m thinking I will make them again for a party next weekend. Thanks for all the great recipes!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And thanks for sending people over to my blog!
I’m really excited to try these! I’ve always thought the Starbucks version looked delicious but unfortunately I’ve never been able to try them because I’m allergic to citrus and there’s orange peel in the ingredients. One question though: can these be frozen?
You probably could freeze them although I haven’t tried personally. Sometimes frosting doesn’t always hold up the best upon being frozen/thawed but you can give it a try.
SO good! As all of your recipes are :)
Hai Averie, I’m Wiwied from Indonesia. I’ve tried this and so happy with the result. I brought them to my colleagues and got rave reviews. Thank you for the recipe and I can’t wait to try other recipes. Keep up the good work and stay amazing!! :)
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!
I made these last night and indeed followed your recipe as written. I have an accurately calibrated oven and an oven thermometer I use all of the time because I bake/cook for my family daily. This recipe’s baking time is not accurate with an 8 x 8 pan. Note: you previously cited/linked your recipe from a Taste of Home recipe, which when compared reflects the 18-21 minute bake time for a 13 x 9 pan. Perhaps this is where the error occurred? All told, I baked mine for 35 minutes, they did not burn or blacken because the excess foil used to line the pan was in fact folded over the edges to prevent burning. I did find them delicious, if a bit too sweet (frosting wise). I used 2 cups powdered sugar, next time I will try a 13 x 9 dish and compare. When removed from the pan to frost I was surprised how “greasy” they appeared, but I did not think they tasted greasy at all.
The baking time was accurate for me, but all ovens, climates, ingredients, etc. vary. Glad you found them delicious!
I almost want to hate you for absolutely nailing this recipe. Now that I can have cranberry bliss bars at home that taste exactly the same if not better than my favourite Starbucks treat, I’m worried at how large I’m going to get by this time next year. Amazing recipe, and I couldn’t agree more with the addition of orange zest. A lot of copycat bliss bar recipes I’ve tried before add things like ginger and lemon and I always felt is was orange I was tasting in the real ones. You. Nailed. It. I love you and hate you (in the best way possible). THANK YOU!
Glad there’s a love-hate relationship going and that these are your new BFFs :) I agree, it’s quite dangerous to be able to have these around, year-round. I totally love them too!
I used a 8×8 inch. I like the bars thinner, so I used a 9 x 12 inch pan. The original Starbuck’s recipe is thinner then this recipe. Other than that, they were delicious ..
I made these last week and absolutely loved them! You are right, they were so easy and quick to make. Now I can get my Cranberry Bliss Bar fix at home!:) Thank you so much for posting this, and all of the details in your directions. I really appreciate it!
So glad you enjoyed these and thanks for saying that all my details in the directions help you! Isn’t it nice to know you can always have your Bliss fix at home now! :)
Made these today and they were a big hit. I agree that they are even better than Starbucks as they taste like homemade rather than mass produced. The only thing I would do next time is make them in a 9×9 pan so the base woud be little thinner and cut them a little smaller as they are pretty sweet. Thanks for the great recipe!
Glad they were a huge hit and I totally agree with ‘better than Starbucks as they taste like homemade rather than mass produced.’ Amen :)
I’m gearing up for my holiday baking/freezing frenzy. I’d love to include these in my baskets this year… they look fantastic! How do you think they would freeze?
Very well! You may want to do the final touches of frosting at the very end, like just make the bars, freeze, and then frost them after you thaw them, but if you can’t swing that, I think just freezing them totally ready to go would be fine. Enjoy!!
Found you on Pinterest. I am baking as I type for a work potuck tomorrow! I’m actually going to cut them into smaller triangles to make the recipe stretch (I’m thinking 16ths). I am super excited because cranberry bliss bars are my Starbucks faves! I’m feeling pretty positive from all the great reviews. I did reduce the amount of white chocolate in the blondie batter only because that is my least favorite part but everything I followed to a T :0) Hopefully it all works out!
Enjoy and I’m sure they’ll be a hit!
Averie these are divine. I am making it for the 2nd time in 3 days. I hate paying $$ at starbucks for them. These hit the spot! Havea great week
So glad you love them and are going on round 2 in 3 days…love that! And yes, so much better than paying for $tarbucks. :)
hey averie :) from reading the comments, and my experience today – you may want to leave a note for people at the beginning of this recipe and in the directions.
i absolutely positively followed this recipe to a t, and while my oven hasn’t recently been calibrated – i know it’s fairly close to actual temperature from other things i’ve made recently.
i suspect i’m at the opposite end of the spectrum as you are humidity wise – today humidity is at 93.6% for example – and these absolutely positively would not set.
if i had more spare time i would work on this more and offer up suggestions as to making a recipe like this work in the high humidity of the pacific northwest.
i think for future i will take comments seriously about high cook times for recipes – and consider baking blogs in the pacific northwest as they are apt to have conditions that are similar humidity wise.
Thanks for trying the recipe, Amy, and if you read through the comments you’ll see glowing reports from dozens of people, and these are one of my fave recipes and I’ve never had that issue with them but I’m sorry you did!
I would say just bake them longer, 5 minutes or so (maybe 10?), until they set. Or, add an extra 1/4 cup of flour, give or take, I think either of those two things would do the trick for your humid climate.
I will say, though, that I vacation in the Caribbean a few times a year and I do cook for my blog when I’m there and recipes that I make there are a totally different animal than in San Diego. I also have a bad oven there but the humidity does change things. There’s a ‘rule of thumb’ to not bake on humid days but I realize that can’t always be avoided. So for anyone in an extremely humid climate I would add more flour and bake longer. Thanks for trying these!
Thanks Averie! I have no doubt the recipe works well in lower humidity! I tasted some of the bits on the edges that did harden and they were delicious. I was up over 40 minutes when I had to give up on the recipe. I just think you may want to add a note re flour and humidity over 90% to the recipe – as it sounds to me other people have experienced what I did. I’m chalking it up as a learning experience. I know now I have to consider what recipes to make more carefully because of how it is here. I would have loved if I had known up front.
Unfortunately I can’t made a headnote on all 1000+ recipes in my archives that if someone is baking at altitude, in extreme humidity, baking with GF flour, etc. that their results may very well vary from mine. I do my best to share the recipes I created in my kitchen, and share exactly what I did in extreme detail, but I can’t be a ‘short order cook’ to accommodate every possible scenario that my readers may have in their personal situations. If you’re baking at altitude reduce the baking soda, if you’re baking in humidity add more flour and here’s how much, if you’re baking GF add more brown rice flour…you get the point…that would be a FT job right there! Thanks for understanding!
Can’t wait to make these. Thinking of making for Christmas gifts. Do this need to be refrigerated? What’s their approximate “shelf life”? Thanks
It’s discussed within the recipe, near the end. Enjoy them!
These are AMAZING! I really love cranberries, so I decided, why not try it. It is definitely one of the best things i have ever made! The frosting was a bit too sweet for my liking, so as a personal preference, i would reduce the sugar in the future. Other than that, these turned out amazing and beautiful! Thank you so much for the recipe, Averie :)
Thanks for trying them, Jemima, and glad you loved them! You could always just go with less frosting next time, halve that portion of the recipe. Or just drizzle it on, rather than fully spread it on. The Starbucks version is pretty dang sweet and that’s what these are like but I have a big sweet tooth :)
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE these bars! They came out perfectly! I’ve made them twice already and I’m sure I’ll be making them MANY more times, they’re absolutely fantastic. And that white chocolate cream cheese frosting. OMG that stuff is absolutely out of this world! Thank you for sharing this recipe Averie!
This is one of my fave bar recipes on my whole site! Glad you love them so much too! :)
I have made the bliss bars for Christmas gifts and people love them. I changed my bliss bar recipe and use orange zest and orange extract in the frosting, which makes them extra yummy and have a very festive presentation in my opinion.
I’ve been craving these bars lately but didn’t want to make them so “seasonal.” Now I’m thinking about using dried blue berries (Ocean Spray Craisins type) and have been wondering about sub’ing the orange extract in my recipe with vanilla and a tiny dash of lemon extracts in the frosting. Am I on the right track here?
My recipe calls also for 1/4 c. minced crystalized ginger as well as 1/4 tsp. of ground ginger. Do you think the ginger should remain if I use blueberries? Just looking for an excuse to celebrate spring and use a different berry.
PS: My recipe calls for the orange zest to be added to the frosting and not the base. Interesting to see all the variations.
Really just make them according to your taste and what you feel like – you can’t go wrong with blueberries, craisins, ginger, etc. Enjoy! :)
I made the bars as written, but put 1/2 t. baking soda as I do like them a bit cakier and also included satsuma zest (as I had them instead of oranges). They were exceptionally greasy. I took out too early (10 minutes), so put them in for another 20 (checking after the first 10 and thereafter at 5 minute intervals). The middle still didn’t seem to be 100% done, but since the edges were a bit crispy, out they came. Still, hubby said it tasted only partially done.
The frosting made as is would have been absolutely way off for us. I only used 1/2 c. Guittard chips, 4 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 t. vanilla, and ~1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar. This was entirely sufficient, and the bars did not need any additional white chocolate drizzled over them.
By the by, I used my microwave’s melt chocolate button for 1/2 c. and put it on below “recommended.” It really looked as if it hadn’t melted, but when I stirred (per the microwave’s instruction), it was absolutely perfect.
Delicious? Absolutely! Not as sweet as the original (thank goodness!) and rather greasy.
I don’t find them to be greasy at all, but I also make them as written and you used baking soda, which maybe altered the texture. Some brands of butter, climates, etc all vary so it’s hard to say. And have you tried the real ones? They’re pretty moist and soft and loose, i.e. ‘greasy’, but that’s just the way they are. A very soft, supple, tender bar. Thx for trying the recipe.
These were spot on! Thank you so much for sharing these. I live in Colorado and all of the Starbucks here are actually completely sold out the past week or two because of a shipping or purchasing error , so these were a huge hit for several of my friends and coworkers who were going through withdrawals! Thanks again!!
So glad you love them and find them to be spot on! Wonderful to hear!
I am thinking about making these for a bake sale — does the frosting harden enough to wrap them individually? If not, any tips for making a frosting that would not stick to the wrapping? Thanks!
The frosting marginally hardens. I mean, it will likely come off onto saranwrap. Some of it will be lost to the plastic. You could wrap them in parchment but I find parchment doesn’t get airtight and things dry out. If you’re okay with wrapping in saranwrap, I would just do that. They are wonderful bars – one of my fave recipes of all time!
This recipe is awesome! For a first time baker, this was so easy to follow and replicate. I did replace the orange zest with minced candied ginger, so it tasted a little different, but was still great. Thank you!
Glad to hear that for a first time baker (WOW!) that these were great for you. I am impressed because they’re not ‘hard’ but if it’s literally your first time baking something, and you chose these – I am impressed! Thanks for LMK you found the recipe easy to follow & replicate!
I made these exactly as written (except for the frosting!) and they’re soooo insanely good. Honestly, one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. And I think the other people who tried them agreed. They’d take a bite, and then just look at me and shake their heads in disbelief. I made these and two other bars and while the other bars were good, people just couldn’t stop eating these. It got to the point where people were saying, “Keep them away from me!” because they couldn’t stop inhaling the bars.
I made these for a dinner party (which only Germans would be attending and they don’t like things too sweet) so I left the powdered sugar out of the frosting and they were still plenty sweet. I’m sure the texture isn’t the same but it’s not like we have Starbuck’s cranberry bliss bars over here so who cares. :D
And if you’re in Germany, use half Type 405 and half 550 flour. They won’t come out properly if you don’t! And drain your cream cheese. :)
Thanks a ton for the amazing recipe! I usually like to make things healthier but no way am I going to mess with this recipe. ;)
Just one quick glance at your website and I know I will LOVE trying your recipes! Can’t wait to carve out more time to look thru everything (especially these copycat recipes!).
Just a thought, I have an old Cranberry Bliss copycat recipe from the Oregonian newspaper and it calls for diced candied ginger. Maybe something to try?
Thanks for your great site — Becky in OR
I’ve seen some recipes call for it, and it’s not actually ginger that is likely in the real ones; I am pretty sure it’s a teeny tiny bit of orange zest or orange extract. Although ginger couldn’t hurt, I don’t know if it’s as ‘authentic’ if you’d include it. That said, I love love love these bars as written and everyone who makes them seems to be super happy! So before I started messing around with tweaks and twists, I thought I would just leave well enough alone – and they’re one of my fave bars ever :)
Delicious!! I have been wanting to make your recipe for these bars for 4 months now…and finally got a chance to a couple days ago. They are fabulous!!! LOVE the blondie/cranberry/white chocolate chip base, and the frosting is so yummy! I can’t wait to make these again (and I am not waiting another 4 months this time!). Thank you for the well written and delicious recipe!
So strange (in a good way!) to get a comment on these bars now b/c it’s not ‘holiday season’ but they are good enough to make year-round, I agree!! Thanks so much for trying the recipe, glad you felt it was well written with delish results! Thanks for coming back to tell me you made them after having your eye on them for 4 mos :)
I am so excited about this recipe! A friend just forwarded to me. Love your blog (I’m now a follower) and love this recipe. Your food photography is stellar.
Thanks for finding me and the compliments…these bars…are one of my fave things I made in 2012. I highly!!! recommend them. Especially if you’re familiar w/ the Starbucks version, you will love these!
Made these twice during Christmas. They were Great. Thanks.
I finally made these tonight after bookmarking them the day Averie posted the resume. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the bars to cool so that I can frost and dig in! Trick to heating white chocolate in the microwave without burning is to heat at 50% power. That typically saves it from seizing. Thanks so much for the recipe-I will be making these frequently for friends and family. Absolutely delicious!
So happy to hear you made them, Jennifer, and that you love them so much! I do too! Good tip on the 50% power, too. I am an old pro at melting chocolate – don’t know if that’s good or bad – and can melt it in my sleep but good for people who aren’t as familiar to save them from a mess. So glad you love the bars & thanks for LMK!
The cranberry bliss bars were my favorite homemade treat this year. Thanks so much for posting this, the recipe was spot on (but SO much better than the store bought!)
I am so glad to hear they were your fave treat of the YEAR! That’s such high praise and thank you – and I agree way better than storebought! Thanks for coming back to LMK!
These are so good! But I wanted to share that I’ve made them 3 times, and it’s taken them a full 40 min (yes, forty!) to set up in the middle. Not sure why. All my other recipes have come out according to the recommended baking time, so I don’t think it’s my oven. Regardless, they turned out delicious, which explains why I’ve made them 3 times in the past month. Thank you for sharing!
Baking them FORTY minutes would cause them to be burned to a black state of nonrecognition in my oven. Same with all my blondie recipes – even when I bake them in my other oven in my other house, it’s always in the range of maybe 20-25 mins. Never ever past 30. And 40 would ruin them. They do sell oven thermometers for like 5.99 at most grocery stores or Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. May be worth it just to check yours. I check mine every couple months and it’s right where it should be but that’s interesting to me the big variance. But hey, at least you’re getting the results you want!
I made these a few days ago and I had the exact same problem. When I checked the bars at 20 minutes, the center was so raw, my toothpick was completely wet with batter.
I have two oven thermometers so I can verify it was at the correct temperature.
I ended up covering them with foil and I’m sure they baked for 35+ minutes which then resulted in the bars being over-baked on the edges.
The end result was good but next time I will add orange (omitted this time) and be more careful about the baking time. I might try a larger pan next time for a thinner bar / shorter baking time.
With any baking, you always have to bake until done in your oven, with your ingredients, and in your climate – and sounds like somewhere between 20 and 35 mins is the magic number for you. Sounds like you enjoyed them though and sometimes recipes can take more than once to get down pat and tweak a little, i.e. the orange or the baking times. Thanks for trying the recipe.
Baking mine too now – and it’s taking about 40 min too! Maybe my oven needs a checkup…
I think your oven does need a tuneup. 40 mins is a very long time…get a $5 oven thermometer and see what’s going on. I suspect it’s running very cold.
AMAZING, you’re awesome. I have one brother who hates peanut butter and one who hates milk/dark chocolate…bizarre. I made these bars following your recipe almost exactly (a little less sugar in the icing) and they both told me it was the best dessert they’ve EVER had!! thank you so much! Very close to starbucks but better!
So glad that you loved them and that they were a hit with your brothers, too. For people who hate PB and chocolate, the fact that they love cranberries and white chocolate, hey, that’s awesome. Normally it’s the other way around! But regardless, thanks for making these, glad you ALL loved them, and thanks for coming back to give such a successful report!
Averie…thanks for your reply about the white choc chip brand. So sorry I called you Zoe. Wrong blog…too much going on! Can’t wait to make these..they sound fabulous.
Thank you for your quick reply. At the store just now buying the ingredients. :)
ENJOY! Lmk how they go!
These look delicious. I’m looking at the ingredients and I don’t see any baking soda or baking powder. Is that correct?
That is correct – no baking powder or soda. They are a denser bar that doesn’t call for chemical leavnening agents.
Hi Averie! I just made this for my holiday Yankee Swap tomorrow and I wanted to thank you for this recipe! I only had whole-wheat flour in the house but these still came out amazing…in fact better than Starbucks!!! I’m totally going to sneak the leftovers in as breakfast over the next few days. Thanks again! :D
So glad you made them and that they were a hit – even with WW flour! And yes, I think better than Starbucks, too :) I think your idea for breakfast sounds like a plan – thanks for making them and for taking the time to come back with a field report, I appreciate it!
Thanks for the advice! I will give that method a try. I am writing again to say the bars tasted even better the next day. I am going to make another batch this week. Thanks again!
Made these last night and they were great! Your directions are PERFECT and so helpful. I added the zest of half an orange to the cake batter. The bars cut really well too. These are going into my permanent Christmas cookie rotation. My only change was using wilton white candy melts rather than chips. I find white choc chips so difficult, even with extra careful melting. So glad i made these! Thanks Averie
Michelle – thanks for the field report, what you did, and for taking the time to write – glad you loved them! I just actually updated the post to reflect an optional addition of orange zest because many have told me they have used it with success and so I included it now, too. The reason I didn’t call for Wilton melts is because not everyone has access to them whereas white chocolate chips/bars are more universal; and yes, they can be tricky. If you heat them for like 15 – 30 seconds, let them sit for 5 minutes and really soften, then re-heat in 15 sec bursts, it makes the job a lot easier, just for the future for other recipes if you need them. But sounds like you’re set :)
I made five batches of the Cranberry Bliss Bars to share at one Women’s event and I had so many enquiries about getting the recipe that I spent more time talking to these women than listening to the speakers at the event! These are very good especially if you like cranberries and white chocolate. Since the Women’s event, I now have to make these whenever I visit someone and I am now “ordered” to take them to family events. NOTE: Regarding the recipe just for your information, I followed the instructions to make the extra thick topping. I also made the triangles into 16 smaller pieces rather than making them into 8 pieces. They are rich, but if you are serving them along with other sweet treats, the smaller pieces are the way to go. I AM SO GLAD THAT I FOUND THIS RECIPE!
Five batches and they’re disappearing like crazy – that’s awesome and I am so glad you love them (and apparently everyone else does, too!). Oh and yes, if I was serving these in conjunction with other treats, cutting them into half the size of the original wedges, i.e. 16 rather than 8, would be the way to go because yes, they’re rich and filling. Thanks for the feedback and great comment!
Zoe….what brand white chocolate chips have you found to be the best? Thanks.
I’m Averie :) but I use Trader Joe’s white choc chips or Nestle; the other brands are far too rich$$ for my blood!
I’ve been wanting to make your bars all week, finally got the time today. I actually even ate a real Starbucks cranberry bliss bar yesterday in the name of research. I difinatly tasted the orange zest, so I added it to the frosting I made, and it was DELISH! I only added like 1/2 tsp or so, but it was fab. The bars I made today were totally better than Starbucks. I could seriously eat the whole pan myself. So glad it only makes an 8×8. Here’s the bad news. I am in a family of freaks, and they are all looking at them like–“am I supposed to eat this?” I guess the cranberries seem “heathy” or something. So I actually may get my wish and get to eat the whole pan myself.
I am so glad you loved them and that they were a huge success! I know now that the Starbucks version has a pinch of orange zest in it (others have told me) and glad you were able to work that in – and glad that you may be able to make another pan, for yourself :) Just tell your family they’re red raisins. Lol Everyone eats raisins, right! Don’t answer that b/c yes I know, some people don’t like those either!
Averie, these look absolutely magnificent! I’m making my shopping list right now! But one question… just so that I don’t do the horrific deed of eating them ALL AT ONCE, can these be frozen? I’d like to double or triple the batch and save some for Christmas guests (that’s the plan anyways… if they make it that far!) :)
Thanks for the gorgeous recipe!
The batch size is just 8 bars. So it’s not really a ‘big’ batch. It’s one 8-by-8-inch pan and although they can likely be frozen and then thawed, I am not quite sure what the cream cheese-white chocolate layer on top will do. Honestly, the recipe is VERY do-able in less than 1 hour – so I may recommend just baking a day or two ahead of time? Or trial the frozen bars first before the big holiday and guests! LMK what you end up doing!
These look amazingly delicious, the tiniest thing that may be missing is that the Cranberry Bliss Bars contain a small amount of orange zest. I used to work at Starbucks and that is their ‘secret’ addition.
Ah-hah! Thanks for the info and I had a feeling. I was leary of including it because I didn’t want to overpower the dough base but now I know, straight from an ex-employees’ mouth :) Thanks!
Thank you for posting this recipe. So I attempted to make these last weekend but my topping came out to be too sugary. granted I did not mix the topping with electric mixer. Could that be why?
In order to get the topping smooth, you really need to beat it, very well. Either in a mixer, stand or hand-held, or whip it like crazy using some good old-fashioned elbow grease. You say ‘sugary’ but I am taking a guess that you mean sugary-grainy, or sugary-granular. If that’s the cake, you need to dissolve and work in the sugar more; and I would suspect that a few more minutes of beating would have done the trick. Not sure if that’s what you mean but thanks for trying the recipe!
I have not tasted my cranberry bliss bars yet, but found them to require a much longer baking time of about 25 minutes!
Everyone’s oven temperatures can vary – I calibrate/check mine every 6 mos or so, but bake yours til they’re done :) Plus here in San Diego, it’s so dry that everything bakes/dries out very fast. Just don’t overbake them – you want them *just* set up or they won’t taste like a real Bliss Bar!
These look delicious! I will be making these for my Thanksgiving spread. If I am making a 9×13 pan, do I need to adjust the cooking time at all?
You know I’ve never made them in a 9×13 pan so I don’t know. Is it at all possible for you to make two pans of 8×8? If not, I’d say maybe increase baking time by 1-3 mins, but it will really depend on your oven, the batter, thickness of it in the pan, etc. LMK how it goes!
P.S. I would not double the frosting portion because as it is, it makes plenty. If you do increase it, I would maybe do 1.5 times the batch but not a double batch!
Thank you for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to try baking them this year.
Thanks Jan and if you do try them, LMK how it goes!
I made the cranberry bliss bars. They were TERRIBLE. Took them to a party for 35 people… nobody liked them and I was embarassed! By the way, there wasn’t a little bit of extra frosting, there was more than twice what would be necessary. And yes, I did follow the recipe correctly.
I am sorry that you didn’t have success with them. I just had a woman write to me a couple hours before your comment came in (above yours) saying they were the best thing she’s ever made. My recipe is adapted from a very popular Taste of Home recipe, that I linked in the post, so I am not sure what to say other than sorry you didn’t like them
Are you sure one of your ingredients wasn’t sour or bad? Maybe you used old/nasty flour or something?
I find it absolutely impossible to follow this recipe with fresh ingredients and have 35 people dislike them? That is, of course, unless you took them to the “We hate white chocolate and cranberries!” convention :p.
As far as the extra frosting, maybe you didn’t use a proper 8×8 pan?
It just doesn’t make sense. This is the absolute best Christmas recipe I’ve made for a very long time. It has filled my gap in life! I’ve been trying to find something that looks/sounds seasonal for Christmas, yet still easy and delicious to bake . This – is – it!
Victoria – thank you for your comment! I have had many people write to me privately and tell me how much they love these and how easy they were to make and I find them one of the best-tasting desserts I’ve made in ages based on how awesome they are vs. time investment/difficulty of recipe. And I am not sure why a person would bring a batch size of 8 bars to a party with 35 people there….you just never know….
But glad you loved them and thanks for writing in!
I made these and all I can say is that these are quite possibly the best things I have ever baked thanks to your recipe! For those who are considering baking them, I have one thing to say—don’t do it unless you are extremely disciplined!!! They definitely got the best of me!
I am so happy to hear that they are quite possibly the best thing you’ve ever baked! Wow, such high praise and thank you and I’m glad you had such success!
And there is a REASON I made them in an 8×8 pan, rather than a 9×13, because we didn’t need any more than 8. 16 would have been…well…dangerous :) Thanks for the feedback and taking the time to write – I appreciate it!
These look amazing :) I love this time of year…all the yummy baked goods! New follower :)
I think the difference you’d taste is because there is ginger in the Starbucks original version. Gives it a lil zing spice taste.
And feel free to toss it in! I bet it would be great I just didn’t want to start adding all kinds of things and then wonder, hmmm, should that have gone in – or not, and clutter it up. Whereas now I have a great base recipe and can always add to it if I’m feeling like some zing :)
Yes, very true. And some people don’t like ginger…
I added 1/4 cup diced crystallized ginger pieces as per another recipe of this that I found on pinterest and they taste identical to the Starbucks version.
Do I like Cranberry Bliss Bars? No, I don’t. I love Cranberry Bliss Bars. They are one of the best parts of the holiday season.
I’m just seeing this post today, Monday, but I went to Starbucks last Saturday hoping they would be available. Alas, not yet at mine anyway.
I found a couple copycat recipes for the bars last December but never got around to making them. I will have to try your recipe.
These bars are the only thing I really like cranberry in besides a cranberry salsa I make with leftover cranberry relish at Thanksgiving.
those came out really good!
I made these 4 years ago?
And I was not that good at slicing them (bad knives then).
So, I’m impressed with yours.
I used to love these, now since I’ve cut way back on sugar I don’t like them as much.
Still pretty though…
Have good night doll!
If you blogged about them, send me a link! Would love to see them! Ive learned to really take my time with slicing. That can make or break the pics!
Looks totally yummy and I want to make them!
I’ve seen those at Starbucks, but have never tried one. Yours look better :-)
I just wanted to THANK YOU for the easy-to-follow instructions. I am fairly new in the kitchen and the little pointers on melting the white chocolate and what to look for when the bars are cooked were HUGE helps. Thank you again for a great recipe – my house smells awesome right now, I can’t wait to try them!!
Well thank you for making them and for telling me the tips and pointers were helpful. I take nothing for granted anymore in terms of what people’s skill levels are; and to me melting white chocolate is something I’ve done thousands of times but for someone else, it may be her very first time. And rather than have that person waste $3.99 worth of chocolate and scorch it, I try to point things out that I know may be potential pitfalls to newer cooks in my recipes and in this case, having you tell me this helped you validates that it’s good I keep doing this (sometimes I wonder if anyone even cares or reads the stuff or just looks at the pics – ha!) So thank you for this feedback, Maureen! Enjoy the bars!
Im wondering if the subtle difference you spoke of might be the orange zest? I think (but am not positive). I might taste orange zest in the original bars…just a thought but am definitely making these because I love them sooooo much and look forward to them with a steamy hot gingerbread latte every year :)))
You know the orange could be it. I have seen variations using orange in them for cranberry bars but was worried to use it b/c I don’t ‘love’ orange extract or orange zest in things as it tends to overpower so quickly and really wanted to keep the focus on the white choc and cranberries, but…to each her own and if you try orange zest, LMK how it goes and how prominent (or not) it becomes and how it works with the other flavors!
I taste orange in the Starbuck’s bars too. I found at least one copycat recipe last year that called for orange zest, a teaspoon I think. I really love orange and cranberry together so if I make Averie’s, I’ll probably add a little zest.
And feel free to toss it in! I bet it would be great I just didn’t want to start adding all kinds of things and then wonder, hmmm, should that have gone in – or not, and clutter it up. Whereas now I have a great base recipe and can always tweak. I also find that citrus, i.e. lemon or orange, really can take over, very quickly. And I wanted these to be all about the cranberries + white chocolate, so omitted any citrus on purpose but if you try it, LMK how it goes!
Oh. My. Gosh. I am dying looking at these photos right now! Averie, you have surpassed even yourself with this bar, I believe! I have never actually had one of those bars from Starbucks, but I can see now what I have been missing! Your recipe looks fantastic and you are so right: homemade frosting always reigns supreme. I am going to make this for Thanksgiving. My boys love cranberry and white chocolate and I was drooling over that pic in the middle – the little, buttery bite – OMG!! Gorgeous! :-)
Make a batch sooner than TG. Like, today. Michele, knowing you, what I know you love, this is your PERFECT dessert. Run, don’t walk, into your kitchen. You know I don’t normally say this, but yeah, you will LOVE these. They’re on par with the cake bars you love. They’re thinner, not quite as decadent, but same overall uber-satisfying nature to them!
I love the cranberry bars at Starbucks too! A friend of mine brought them to a cookie exchange we did last year. They were my favorite cookie of the swap. Can’t wait to work these for high altitude! Have a great weekend!!
These look awesome Avery!
Oh Averie, I love those bars and am in desperate need of one now! I miss all home cooked meals, both savory and sweet (surprised I wrote that) :) I have to do a lot of catching up here, hopefully next week I’ll be back to “full time” blogging… :) I missed you!
have been thinking about you and hoping life is settling in and calming down for you – thanks for saying hi!!
I’ve never had one of these from Starbucks (I’ll admit I don’t go there very often) but I love yours! I love the vibrant color and they sound simply wonderful.
Jen I bet you’d love them! They are rich and decadent and soft and gooey. They are the bar equivalent of a Crack Pie so to speak!
I LOVE Cranberry Bliss Bars, but I rarely indulge. However, I am thinking this homemade version might be the perfect breakfast on Christmas morning!
These bars look like pure bliss to me!! Better than Sbux :) Beautiful work!
I’m not a white chocolate fan but for some reason I love Starbucks cranberry bliss bars. These look dangerously close to the real thing! I think I’d eat half the pan!! :D
And thanks for the Pin my friend!
Homemade definitely is better than the mass produced store ones. I love that you added extra white chocolate and cranberries AND under baked them…exactly how I would do it too:-) They are absolutely incredible looking (but then what picture of yours isn’t:-)
More is better when it comes to white chocolate, that’s for sure :)
These look amazing, and I know when a blogger who makes so many amazing-looking things says these are her favourite thing in awhile it is time to get into the kitchen!! These are now on my list to make next week, I love the dense gooey blondie base you chose.
What a fabulous flavor combo, these look perfect for Thanksgiving and beautiful colors!
Where have these bars been all my life? Never heard of them before. I always make blondies without leavening and never have issues melting white chocolate in the microwave. Less dishes!
Well you’d be surprised just how many people do have issues or recipes of mine I see on blogs where the person writes…and I can’t melt chocolate to save my life. So I know it’s a problem, white especially, but both kinds.
I use leaveners in cake or muffins or banana bread and try for everything else to not to! Ok cookies, smidge too.
There is just something about the white chocolate and cranberry combo that I love. Don’t know what it is, btu they just….go. LIke pb and chocolate.
So glad you posted this recipe! Last year I was going to try to duplicate it, but it never happened. Now I don’t have to, I’ll just use yours! :) Thank you!!!
Ha! Well LMK how these and the Outback bread go!
I’ve never actually had the Starbucks ones but I totally want to try these homemade ones! Although I gotta be honest – I’m not sure if can wait the whole 30 minutes for it to set!
Can’t remember if I replied to you about making that blueberry cake but so glad you tried it! Sorry you ate yourself sick. Eat yourself sick on these…they blow that cake AWAY! :)
Holy foodgasm these look amazing. Love the white chocolate and cranberry combo!
Cranberries and white chocolate is my fav combo for winter treats! Add blondies and I’m in heaven!
Oh my goodness Averie, those are just gorgeous!
OMG…these look delicious! So yummy I am afraid to make them cause I will probably be making them ALL the time!
You are evil yet awesome all at the same time!
Well the beauty is it’s just an 8×8 pan so 8 wedges, which is at least a salvation :)
Running shoes indeed! I have never ever tried a Starbucks cranberry bliss bar–and I guess (although maybe you’ll disagree, in the name of novelty?) I’ll never have to with this recipe. Thanks for sharing, Averie!
Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Averie! :) These bars look like heaven – I love the cranberries!
I’m totally drinking Starbucks right now, and I completely need one of these.
I love those Starbucks bars too! These could be dangerous! ;)
OMG. I’ll take 25 million.
I LOVE the cranberry bliss bars!!! They’re the only baked item at Starbucks that I actually love. Can’t wait to try these! :)
I love lots of things, but these especially are a fave!
Gotta love copycat recipes! They save some money AND taste better. Homemade always tastes better. :) These look absolutely amazing! I’m a sucker for frosting, so I really appreciate that the bar to frosting ratio is 50/50. I also love the combination of cranberry and white chocolate. Perfect for the upcoming holiday season. And your pictures…total perfection. Makes me want to reach into the computer and grab a few.
They save some money AND taste better. Homemade always tastes better. <-- agreed! I like a nice 50/50 ratio, too :)
So I totally made a knockoff version of these this week, too!! Except yours look way, way better haha. You have that glorious frosting that looks SO stinkin’ good, and that luscious, buttery blondie base. I die! I’m so making your version which, by the pictures, is already 1234682734 x better than mine!
Okay I missed those…off to check your site now!
With nighttime temps in the low to mid thirties around here, a holiday recipe feels in order! I’ve never had a Starbucks cranberry bliss bar, but what’s not to love about cranberries and white chocolate? I didn’t realize the frosting was made with cream cheese until I read this post….so that makes them extra yummy in my book! These photos look great–I love the vibrant red cranberries against the snow white frosting…these really capture the holidays!
Okay well now you have to try a Bliss Bar of theirs and then make these and do a taste test :) If you like cranberries and white choc, you’ll love them. And cream cheese frosting, yes! The 30s? I am not out for that weather any more!
These are great—after all the years I’ve been pumping $$ into Starbucks, it feels so good to create copycat versions of my faves. I’ve actually never had one of these bars, but now I guess I never need to, I’ve got yours, which I’m sure are much better!
I don’t go there any more because their bakery treats are so expensive (I can buy an entire bag of flour for 1 bar) and I can suck down a $5 latte in like 37 seconds. Not good for my wallet!
Wow! Dead ringer. They’re just perfect.
I don’t know how I’m going to be able to stand waiting the half hour for these to cool! You are totally right–what is it about seasonal things that makes them that much more irresistible!? These turned out so beautifully, and now I can put all that bakery $ I’ll be saving towards a latte once they come out with the prized holiday cups!
Please LMK if you try them!
Yum, I’m drooling! These are going on my holiday baking list for sure!!
Wow, when I ate gluten… these bars were my favorite! I need, need to make them gluten-free. Ah, I miss them like crazy!
They would be incredibly easy to make GF. Just use almond flour or a Bob’s Red Mill GF blend, done! You just need 1 c flour for the whole batch and that’s it. Trace gluten only in all other ingredients, i.e. white chocolate :)
Yep, I think these are appropriately named. I love cranberries and those just look divine! Not sure I could wait 30 mins for them to set up LOL
I have made these before and everywhere I bring them, people rave about them. I’ve actually never tried the real thing at Bucks, but I’m not sure how they could be any better than the homemade variety!
You’ve never tried the real thing? Do it once and then do a taste test by making these :)
YUM!!! I love making these homemade — such a great winter treat! :)
gorgeous looking bars… bring on the wintertime recipes!
When this popped up on my screen my 5yo immediately asked me to make them! And I loooove cranberries so it just might have to happen ;)
You have a wise 5 y.o.
LMK if you try them!
These look delightful! I think I will add pistachios as well (have a bunch lying around waiting to be used!). Thank you for this post! xx
oh my goodness Averie! WHAT a way to start November. I have only had a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks once maybe? Twice if I’m lucky. However, I have no doubt that these bars would taste exceptionally better – first, because I have complete control of all the chunks. YOU KNOW the chunks are the bread and butter to my cookies/blondies/etc. The combo of white chocolate/cranberries makes one of my favorite Xmas cookies – i love those two together. You also have control over the amount of that glorious white chocolate frosting here – i’d for sure layer it on nice and thick. The density in blondies, brownies, etc. yes yes yes! I know you’ve stressed how easy your go-to blondie is before and WOW yes… so easy! The bottom layer almost looks like dough – and yes, I’ve found that the reason all those commercial baked products are so darn addicting is b/c they are not overbaked/hard/dry. Soft, moist, and dense. I am IN LOVE with this recipe! I’m making it this season, no doubt. :)
Knowing you, Sally, you would love love love these. The white choc, the buttery blondie base and with all brown sugar, dense; the texture of the cranberries and white choc both in the bar and on top, the cream cheese frosting – and the overall flavor. Seriously on a work/reward ratio that get 5 stars and on taste they do too. For a half hour project these are SO worth it! Thanks for all the pins and linkups, too :)
These look awesome! I’ve made Lori’s (Recipe Girl’s) version before and they were a hit!
Glad you like your Bliss Bars, too!