Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake

I love Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. I’ve made them, and I’ve made them into cookies.

I took those flavors and made a cake, using my favorite foolproof, one-bowl, easy cake base.

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

The batter comes together like muffin batter in 5 minutes flat. A bowl of dry ingredients and a bowl of wet. Pour the wet over the dry, stir, pour into a pan, and bake. No mixer, nothing complicated or fussy.

I loathe dry cake and used a trifecta of tricks to keep it super soft, moist, and tender. Buttermilk, Greek yogurt, and oil.

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

If you don’t routinely keep buttermilk on hand, I highly recommend this Powdered Buttermilk. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t use buttermilk much, but you’ll see a recipe that needs a half cup, but because you feel you won’t use the rest of the jug before it goes bad, you opt of trying the recipe. This powder is your new best friend. Shelf stable, keeps for ages.

For this recipe that calls for 1/2 cup buttermilk, use 2 tablespoons of the powder placed in the bowl with the dry ingredients. Use 1/2 cup water, added with the wet ingredients.

You can also make buttermilk by souring your own milk. Add about 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk, wait for 10 minutes for it to curdle, then use as indicated.

Why obsess over buttermilk? Because it makes cakes soft, springy, bouncy, tender, with the perfect balance of density and fluffiness. The results are unparalleled and so worth it.

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

I used Trader Joe’s dried cranberries, which are slightly sweet with plenty of tartness. Dried fruit like Craisins or dried blueberries will work, but of course the flavor of the cake will be different.

For those who are wondering if the cake will work with fresh or frozen cranberries, feel free to experiment. Fresh or frozen berries will release their juices into the batter, thereby watering it down, and you may need to add more flour; and/or bake longer. They’ll also be prone to sinking and you’ll want to follow these tips to prevent it. Additionally, they may be on the tart side and you may need to increase the amount of sugar in the cake to compensate. Lots of variables, which is why I used dried.

I’m a huge white chocolate fan, but most of the year I don’t love my choices for white chocolate chips. A popular namebrand tastes like white wax to me. Blech.

Every fall Trader Joe’s gets white chocolate chips in for the season. I literally buy about 25 bags, but no matter how many I buy, by June I’m usually out. I was thrilled to see them back in stock. I’ve been told by readers that they’re stocked year-round in other parts of the country, but not in San Diego.

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

After folding the cranberries and white chocolate chips into the batter, I sprinkled on 2 tablespoons of each on the top of the batter. This gives a nice visual pop and makes your cake look pretty and more inviting. Some of the white chocolate chips sunk slightly, leaving these cool moon crater-ish divots on the top of the cake.

I dusted it with confectioners’ sugar because I was going for a snowflake, wintery vibe, but you could glaze it. In the recipe section, I provided links to 3 different whisk-together, easy glazes.

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

The cake is light, soft, fluffy, and moist. It’s springy and bouncey, with just enough density to give it some heft and dimension.

The tartness of the dried cranberries, coupled with their chewiness, are great little surprises to bite into amidst the tender cake crumb.

The white chocolate chips add another burst of texture, while providing a pop of sweetness, in the way that only white chocolate can do.

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

With all the baking I do, most weeks it feels like I’m running a bakery out of my kitchen, and my family has become increasingly picky over the years. With most recipes, I have to coax or prod for some feedback other than, ‘Yeah, it was good.’

My husband said this is the best cake I’ve ever made. He says that about every 6 months, so I don’t necessarily put that much stock into those statements anymore. However, he also said it about this blueberry cake and this one, which are clones of this cake, so at least he’s consistent.

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

He hoarded this cake. I got my 1 piece and the other 8 disappeared.

I guess I’ll have to make another one. There are worse things.

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 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. The flavors reminds me of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars, which I love. The tartness of the dried cranberries, coupled with their chewiness, are great little surprises to bite into amidst the tender cake crumb. The white chocolate chips add another burst of texture, while providing a pop of sweetness, in the way that only white chocolate can do. I provided tips for two alternate buttermilk options in the body of the blog post.

Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk (or Powdered Buttermilk, use 2 tablespoons with the dry ingredients + 1/2 cup water added with the wet)
1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (plain Greek yogurt or sour cream may be substituted)
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup  + 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 cup  + 2 tablespoons white chocolate chips
confectioners’ sugar, optional for dusting (or see glaze suggestions below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, optional salt; set aside.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the next 5 wet ingredients (through vanilla).
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a spoon until just combined. Small lumps will be present and this is okay. Don’t overmix or try to stir them smooth; set aside.
  5. Fold in 1 cup cranberries and 1 cup white chocolate chips.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan.
  7. Evenly sprinkle 2 tablespoons cranberries and  2 tablespoons white chocolate chips over the surface, pressing them down very lightly with a spatula or your fingertip.
  8. Bake for about 36 to 38 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter (I baked for 36 minutes). Watch your cake, not the clock, and always bake until done, whatever that means in your oven with the brands of ingredients you used.
  9. Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Optionally, dust with confectioners’ sugar or a simple glaze. This vanilla cream cheese glaze, this buttery vanilla glaze, or this browned butter glaze are all excellent, quick, and easy glazes. Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Only Eats

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Fan of cranberries? White chocolate? Cranberry Bliss Bars?

93 comments on “Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake”

  1. Can I use fresh cranberries do you think or frozen? Not a fan of dried :)

  2. The combo of cranberries and white chocolate is so perfect, no wonder people have tried to create this at home. I might not have star bucks in Australia but I am sure going to try these.

  3. These look so good. I went to Trader Joe’s last week and picked up the dried cranberries and 2 bags of the white chocolate chips. The funny thing was I ultimately did not know what I was going to do with them. Now I know :) Thanks for the recipe.

  4. I AM a fan of all those things-although I am on a mission to rename white chocolate since it isn’t chocolate, haha.
    This cake looks deeeeeelightful:)

  5. I remember those cranberry bliss bars–and now a cake! I’d be very tempted to pour the vanilla cream cheese glaze over it. I have used Saco powdered buttermilk–it’s great to have on hand when you just need a little. I also remember you saying white cc’s are seasonal in your area. My husband was in Indy on Fri. and called to tell me TJ’s was right down the road so he decided to stop in. I couldn’t think very fast at that moment but should have had him get me a bag of those. He did surprise me with some random goodies, salsa, and coconut oil spray.

    • That’s pretty remarkable he brought home coc oil spray and salsa. I’m impressed! And if I wasn’t taking pics of this cake, a cream cheese glaze all over it would have been awesome. But a thick, white, gloppy liquid is a photography nightmare that I wasn’t in the mood for…haha! But it would have been amazing :) And yes, stock up on those white choc chips. They’re light years ahead of other brands!

  6. I love cranberry bliss bars too! I can’t believe how fast these come together! Great recipe!

  7. White chocolate and cranberries are one of my favorite combinations EVER <3

  8. Starbucks immediately popped into my head when I read this title. Deliciousness!

  9. I recently bought some KAF buttermilk powder, and it’s been so handy to have in the kitchen! Perfect for recipes like this that call for it. Cranberry and white chocolate is always a fabulous combo, and it certainly looks amazing in this cake! Love the look of powdered sugar sprinkled over top.

  10. This cake is gorgeous, Averie!! So festive for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It kind of makes me really excited for things to come! I too love using buttermilk, oil and greek yogurt in my cakes. It always keeps everything so moist! And cranberries and white chocolate are made for each other. Such a perfect cake!

    • Didn’t love the pics, but thanks for saying you think it’s gorgeous. And yes to buttermilk, oil and greek yogurt! Oh and just saw 2 of your recipes on Tasteologie. Speak of the devil :)

  11. I am imagining this on Christmas morning. Maybe warm out of the oven, the tree lit. You officially have me in the holiday spirit!

  12. I love you version,… I too cannot get enough of the starbucks version

  13. Love this cake! It looks easy enough that even I could maybe pull it off and I’m notoriously bad at cake!

  14. I’ve never tried Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars but this cake looks beautiful. The color is gorgeous, perfect and festive for the holidays!

  15. This cake is beautiful Averie! So festive. I’ve never had the cranberry bliss bars at Starbucks, but I know, just looking at this, that this wins hands down. Oil and buttermilk definitely are the best for producing moist, tender cakes!

    Love it.

  16. I love those cranberry bars – but this cake looks even better – now I need to find that buttermilk powder

  17. I remember your bars from last year but I think I like this cake even better – it looks so fluffy and delicious!

  18. Hi Averie–

    I too am a huge fan of buttermilk–it’s a trick I learned in my Weight Watchers days to give baked products the moistness and texture I wanted with less fat. I have found that buttermilk freezes well. I have tried the powdered version and the adding-lemon-juice-to-milk version and haven’t been as happy with the results. Thought I’d throw that out there if anyone is interested. :)

    • I like the powdered buttermilk and get good results with it. I rarely (almost never) curdle my own just b/c I always have either real buttermilk or the powder. And yes, it’s paradoxical but ‘butter’milk is quite low fat!

  19. This looks fantastic! I have been loving cranberries lately; they scream November to me. Over the weekend, I made cranberry dark chocolate scones. So yummy! :)

  20. I love the combo of cranberries and white chocolate. Cranberries are fantastic in baked goods – like you said, that unexpected tartness to offset the sweet.

  21. You’re right, the cranberries give this cake a nice visual pop! I love the sprinkles of them throughout all that cake and powdered sugar. Gorgeous photos!! I usually force myself not to look at the baked goods at Starbucks so I won’t buy them all, but I’ll have to try these. Or just make your cake version. :)

  22. I’ve made the bars before and absolutely love them so I know this cake is a keeper. Pinning!

  23. I’ve made the bars – they rock. HAVE to now try the cookies and this cake!!! Love :)

  24. I seriously LOVE cranberries and I can’t wait to start eating them in EVERYTHING this season!!! EVERYTHING. Dried cranberries, covered in white chocolate, with pistachios, just might be the best combination of flavors in the world. PERIOD.

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