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!!

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4.47 from 82 votes

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

By Averie Sunshine
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
Servings: 12
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Ingredients  

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 stick, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries, I used orange-scented cranberries from Trader Joe’s
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  • Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the flour and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
  • Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
  • Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  • 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.
  • 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

Serving: 1, Calories: 256kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 13mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. 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 :)

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

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

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

  6. 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!