Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

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Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bars — Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there’s a chocolate overload in every bite!!

three cranberry bars stacked on a white plate

Easy Cranberry Bars 

I love cranberries and ’tis the season for them. And it’s always the season for chocolate recipes.

I have a copycat recipe for Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars that is spot-on and I love those things but they do take a little bit of time to make. These blondies are the faster, easier, semi-sweet chocolate alternative and just baking them reminded me of all the cranberry goodies my grandma and I used to make together around the holidays when I was growing up.

The soft, buttery, caramely, brown sugary, blondie base is the perfect complement to the chewy, tart cranberries. Dark chocolate is a perfect pairing and really balances the flavors.

When I want an easy, fuss-free recipe that I know will be a hit, I call upon my trusty blondie base. With 30+ versions and counting (including the Cranberry Bliss Bars), it never lets me down. 

four cranberry bars on a white platter

It’s an easy recipe to memorize because everything is ‘one’. In the 1 bowl used, melt 1 stick of butter, stir in 1 egg, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1 cup flour.

For this version, add 3/4 cup dried cranberries and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. I used McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract and McCormick Ground Cinnamon, which worked perfectly with the orange-scented cranberries. 

For a last-minute, fast, easy, and foolproof holiday entertaining recipe, whip up a batch of these. I literally made the batter and had it in the pan, baked, and out of the oven in 30 minutes flat.

close up of a dried cranberry bar on a white platter

What’s in These Cranberry Bars? 

To make these chocolate chip cranberry bars, you’ll need: 

two cranberry bars stacked on a white plate

How to Make Cranberry Bars 

Melt the butter, then whisk in the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix in the flour until just combined, then fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips. 

Turn the batter into a greased and foil-lined 8×8-inch baking dish, then bake until done. 

Can I Use Fresh Cranberries? 

I haven’t tested the recipe with fresh cranberries, but between their bulkier size and the relative flat nature of the bars, and the amount of juice they’ll leak while baking which would water down the batter, I’d save fresh cranberries for the best ever Cranberry Sauce or Cranberry White Chocolate Muffins.

Can I Double This Recipe?

Yes, you should be fine to double the ingredients list and bake the blondies in a 9×13-inch dish. 

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bars — Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there's a chocolate overload in every bite!!

Tips for Making Dried Cranberry Bars 

I used Trader Joe’s Orange-Flavored Dried Cranberries. They have a slighter brighter and more citrus taste than traditional dried cranberries but use your favorites, or try craisins.

Feel free to swap out the semi-sweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips if you love the white chocolate-cranberry combo. 

These blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bars — Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there's a chocolate overload in every bite!!

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 12

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

Super soft, buttery bars packed with chewy cranberries! And there's a chocolate overload in every bite!!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Additional Time 59 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used orange-scented cranberries from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
  5. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  7. Bake for about 24 to 26 minutes, or until done (I baked 24 minutes because I prefer very soft blondies). A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean (as long as you’re not hitting chocolate), or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
  8. Allow blondies to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Notes

Storage: Blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 2g

More Dried Cranberry Recipes:

Cranberry Bliss Seven Layer Bars — There’s a slightly crunchy graham cracker crust, extra crunch from the walnuts, with chewiness from the cranberries and coconut.

Cranberry Bliss Bars {Starbucks Copycat Recipe} — They taste just like the real thing & you can make them at home, year-round! Think of all the $ you’ll save. Spot-on and easy!

The Easiest Foolproof Fudge Recipe — Look no further than this recipe for the EASIEST and most FOOLPROOF fudge that takes less than 3 minutes to make!

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake — The flavors of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars in a Soft, Easy, No-Mixer Cake! 

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake - The flavors of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars in a Soft, Easy, No-Mixer Cake! Recipe at averiecooks.com

Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies – Cranberry Bliss Bar flavors, in cookie form. Tender, soft, pillowy centers and a personal favorite!

Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Trail Mix Protein Bar Cookies — Packed with your favorite trail mix goodies, even protein bars!! Soft, chewy, and accidentally healthy!

Post is brought to you by McCormick. Recipe, text, images, and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Comments

  1. Sooooo good! I had tons of dried cranberry packets leftover from school lunches during shutdown last year and didn’t know what to do with them. I used white chocolate chips instead. Everyone in household ate these up!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad the recipe is coming in handy for your unused packets of dried cranberries!

  2. Loved the simple and easy recipe. My oven runs hot so after 15 minutes they almost overbaked. Still tasty though! I have a question, do you happen to know the nutrition information for one of the blondies? I try to keep track as much as possible, due to at one point being pre diabetic, I changed a lot of how I ate but since holidays are around d the corner I am being more indulgent bakeries. Thanks so much for the recipe and cant wait to test out another!

    Rating: 5
    1. Wow you have a really hot oven! I don’t have the stats on this one. I’m in the process of converting all my recipes over to include them though. Glad these were simple and tasty for you!

  3. Thanks for yet another fabulous recipe.  I didn’t change a thing and they came out perfect.  

  4. Just wonderful biscuits. I made them in your recipe and now my children are asking their oven only. Thank you for the recipe.

  5. I LOVE your recipes and blog so much, I’m constantly trying them and I cant get enough of them! However I think I have a problem because I’ve done these blondies a couple of times but they always come out really buttery, and I’m looking at your photos and your blondies are slightly flakey on top but perfectly chewy in the middle. So what am I doing wrong? I’m using an exact stick of butter and everything.

    1. A few things come to mind. First, I live in a fairly dry climate, San Diego. When I travel and bake in other places that are more humid, things like blondies do just come out more buttery and dense. It’s just life I think. That could be one thing. Next is flour. I highly, highly recommend King Arthur brand all-purpose flour b/c it has a higher gluten level than other brands by about 1-2% and although that doesn’t sound like alot, in baking, it can matter. Use KAFlour and I think you’ll be much happier. Next, bake longer if you think that will help. Finally, you could just have some really juicy berries and the day I made these maybe mine weren’t and the extra moisture can alter the dough texture. So those are all my suggestions…LMK what you end up trying and how things go!

  6. Ooooh, this looks like an interesting combo!! :) Yes I never had cranberries and chocolate together!

    Are these baked in a 8×8 glass pan or metal pan? I only have 8×8 as a glass pan. Really want to make these.

    1. I baked in metal. I’m sure you can bake in glass but you may have to tweak the baking time. Not sure up or down, or if it will even be necessary, but keep an eye on them.

  7. Made these today, doubling the recipe ingredients (considering the source, I knew this would be an excellent recipe :) ), baked in a 13 x 9-inch pan for 35 minutes. Absolutely delicious! Next time I may cut back the chocolate and cranberries just a tadlet and add some toasted chopped walnuts. And there will be a next time.

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and glad it came out great for you and that doubling/9×13 worked great. And thanks for saying you knew it was going to be a great recipe considering the source :)

  8. Help! Tried your recipe today and could not get them to bake fully. They stayed very wet even after baking them almost double the baking time. Now they have cooled, the bottom is so greasy, almost dripping butter. The flavor is fine, but texture isn’t right. I followed the recipe exactly. Any ideas how I can save these?

    1. Interesting that you had trouble with this blondie base because I have made it and remade it in literally 25 different versions over the years and I have never had that. I feel like you possibly under-measured your flour OR there is something going on with your oven. That it’s just not running quite up to par and that would explain double the cooking time. Anytime I hear that, it’s almost a sure thing the oven is running on the cool side. Thanks for trying the recipe and sorry they didn’t set. You could chop them up into pieces, sprinkle on a baking sheet, and bake at 350F for 10-15 mins or so and turn it into granola!

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. I used the full cup of flour, so that can’t be it. The oven is only a year old, but who knows?! Thanks for the granola idea. I’ll give it a try. Merry Christmas!

  9. I’m looking for bar recipes to make as Xmas gifts, and these would be great I think. Would you publish a little list of good bars that are festive and pretty that we could make and give to others? They can’t have icing on the tops because they will be packed in boxes on top of each other. These are pretty because of the Christmas red cranberries.

  10. Love anything and everything cranberry! These are going on my must-bake list this year. Just beautiful Averie!

  11. These blondies will definitely be making an appearance on my Christmas to bake list – they look delicious Averie!

  12. I love cranberry and chocolate chip cookies. This sounds perfect!! Could it be doubled for a 13×9 pan? My b-day is friday and I have to bring treats for work.

    1. Someone should bring YOU the treats! Happy Birthday! :)

      And yes, I think they would double great in a 9×13 pan, although I haven’t personally done it, but I think you’ll be just fine. LMK how things go!

  13. The titles, the pictures, the recipe, it’s all amazing! These are so creative and different! YUM!! :)

  14. These look gooey and delicious! I am craving a gooey blondie right now…and you’re right. It’s always chocolate season!

    1. Thanks for pinning, as always, and yes, it’s always chocolate season – especially when you’re a dessert blogger :)

  15. These look awesome! What a great way to make blondies a bit more festive, with cranberries :) I also love that these look like they would ship well – perfect for sending to faraway friends and family!

  16. I JUST put 2 bags of cranberries in my slow cooker for cranberry sauce. I am surprised that I haven’t seen them at the stores more often this season. Too early, maybe?

    I don’t love the chocolate-cranberry combo, but i won’t turn down dark chocolate covered craisins or anything with white chocolate and cranberries. Man, me a nd white chocolate have done a 180!

    1. How could it be too early? Thanksgiving is in 8 days! But you’re totally right, I haven’t seen them very much either this year. Maybe crops were slow or something!

      Man, me a nd white chocolate have done a 180! <--- My thoughts exactly :)

  17. Cranberries and chocolate sound like an awesome combo :) I’ll definitely have to make these for my family with the holidays coming up!

  18. Whoa! Love cranberries with chocolate. What a fine looking bar.
    Pinned.
    Have an awesome Tuesday Averie!

  19. Oh my goodness these look amazing. Need to pick up chocolate chips and then I can make these :)

  20. best looking blondies I have seen lately and i love the cranberries with the chocolate and not the typical white chocolate

  21. Darn it! No dried cranberries in the house. The snow is blowing sideways and I am REALLY not in the mood to venture to the store. Guess I’ll have to peruse your other recipes … you know … the ongoing list of “someday I’ll try that” recipes … but I’ll be hankering after this one …

    1. You’re like the 3rd person in 5 minutes who’s comment has said the weather is horrid. Stay warm!!! I hope you were able to work on your ‘someday’ list at least! Ugh, winter storms and being almost snowed in, do.not.miss.it.

  22. Yay for chocolate and cranberry combo! I’ll be craving these bars for sure! Gorgeous! Pinned!

  23. Averie, I already made the starbucks version twice last month. I will def. do this one…my hubby actually told me not to put the cream cheese frosting on the other one. (I made it once without like this and he like it better). *So this recipe looks spot on as to something that will be loved here. :)
    Lots of hugs, enjoy your day

    1. Thanks for trying that recipe a few times already! And yes, this is sort of like that, minus the frosting and with dark, not white, chocolate. LMK what you think of this one compared to that if you make these!

      1. Hi Averie I know you just posted this recipe practically yesterday…but it was haunting me when I would fold clothes or cook, or drive my kid to school. So of course the ONLY solution was to bake these. So I did, and I’m so glad I did! :P BTW, my kitchen is smelling wonderful because they were being made.
        *I know I comment here a lot on your site and I make A LOT of your recipes. But I haven’t told you that I’m expecting a girl in under 3 weeks. :) I think that explains a lot of my sugary cravings. For sure for sure I am making the almond shortbread bars you made a week back on Saturday for my b-day too. Hope they turn out like yours did.

      2. I had no idea you were expecting and that you’re almost due…CONGRATS!!! How exciting and what a special time for you! And I cannot believe you’re BAKING!! Wow, I was not a baker while I was pregnant, at all!

        And Happy Birthday! Thanks for trying these bars as well as planning to make the almond bars this weekend! I hope someone at least cooks and bakes something for you! :)

      3. One last thing… THANK YOU for your well wishes. And thank you even more for having an amazing & down-to-earth personality. I’ve been following you for over a year and a half and you seem so approachable on your blog. I’ll let you know how the almond bars turned out. :) take care

  24. You have so many great bar and blondie recipes!! I always love the vivid color of cranberries in anything. That little bit of cinnamon with orange cranberries sounds like a nice layer of flavor–probably subtle but just enough to know something else is in there.

    1. subtle but just enough to know something else is in there. <--- Exactly! Just that little something to give them a winter vibe. Perfect comfort food!

    1. Thank you, Aimee! For the compliments, pin, and good luck on the contest. I was asked, I said no because I knew I’d end up competing against…like you! And your mint bars looked awesome!

  25. These blondies look fantastic, Averie! I’ve never had a cranberry chocolate chip kind before…I’m dying to try these! Pinned!

  26. You always have the best cranberry recipes at this time of year! These blondies are beautiful Averie! :) I love any dried, tart fruit with chocolate.

    1. I’ve been pinning (but not commenting, sorry!) on your last few Brussels sprouts recipes. I would love to eat nothing but those for Thanksgiving :) Ok and some of my boozy cranberry sauce and that’s all I need! LOL

  27. Decadent and chewy, this is what they look like, and that makes me happy! I am sipping on a cranberry smoothie this morning and never even thought to drop in some cocoa, but tomorrow, you better believe some will make an appearance. And I have to make these after Thanksgiving!

  28. Averie! What a great idea to add cranberries to chocolate chip cookie bars! I bet it adds such a beautiful tarty sweetness to the bars. I can’t wait to try these!

  29. I love everything you do with blondies, Averie. I’ll never get over how chewy they are! Or how much I can’t stop eating whatever flavor you come up with!

  30. I adore this recipe…cranberries and chocolate are one of my favorite holiday combinations. On the east coast (Cape Cod and Nantucket) they sell chocolate covered cranberries and make chocolate cranberry fudge which is so good. This bar has all those flavor components..I’m making these for Thanksgiving…I’ll decide later if I’ll put them out to share lol.

    1. chocolate covered cranberries = I’ve had but only once, ages ago, and can’t even remember where I got them.

      chocolate cranberry fudge = that sounds DIVINE. I’ve never had it, probably shouldn’t start. I do enough cardio as it is :)

      If you make these, LMK what you think! Or if you share :)