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. all these cranberry recipes look great. I love the bars!

  2. looks so good.. i love the combo of cranberries and white chocolate, it’s like perfect for christmas. :-)

  3. The fluffiness of this cake is so obvious in your photos and I love that. I agree, there is nothing worse than dry cake–bleh! I can’t wait to make this for my family for the holidays!

  4. I’ve been seeing fresh cranberries everywhere and deciding what to make with them. Love the idea of combining them with white chocolate!

  5. You’ve got me thinking about Christmas with this post! Love the red accent of the cranberries with the powdered sugar on top, gorgeous!!

  6. I didn’t know that you could buy powdered buttermilk, what a good idea. I usually sour my milk, but sometimes hate waiting the extra time.

  7. This sounds absolutely divine, I love cranberries so much and like you I am a little fussy about my white chocolate. There is nothing more frustrating then only being able to buy something seasonally when all you want is it year round!

    • Amen to that – so I have to hoard it while I can, which is not great b/c I don’t have the space, but like I said, most other name brands of white choc chips taste like white wax to me…ha!

  8. Gorgeous photos as always, Averie! Actually, your cake photos are probably routinely my fav ones of yours! This is cake is so beautiful but I also love how simple it is to throw together!

    • Thanks for saying that about my cake pics b/c I struggle with photographing (large) cakes or pies. Anything big where you want to see the whole ‘big picture’ of the item is harder for me. Cookies and bars are easy, so thanks for the cake compliments!

  9. Oh how I wish I liked cranberries. This cake is gorgeous!!

  10. I love the combination of white chocolate and cranberry. Usually I see that combo with bark or cookies but cake! Now that is AWESOME!

  11. I am totally buying that buttermilk like I already clicked and bought it ;) I never have buttermilk, or if I buy it then it goes to waste or I am too lazy to wait 10 minutes for it to become buttermilk!!! So this is fabulous!! This cake is two of my favorite flavors !! We use dried cranberries on a salad at work and I can’t help but take a cup full and munch on the cranberries all day at my desk. You’ve done it again :)

    • or if I buy it then it goes to waste or I am too lazy to wait 10 minutes for it to become buttermilk! = EXACTLY!!! This is shelf stable, looks like yellow-ish powdered sugar. You basically use 1 tbsp per 1/4 cup of water. So 1/2 cup water = 2 tbsp powder, or 1 cup water = 4 tbsp of the powder. And then you have your half cup or cup of ‘buttermilk’. So simple girl. I thought there was a trick to it when I started using it about 18 mos ago b/c it was just way too easy. As you said, buying a jug only to have it go to waste is so frustrating. And sometimes even I who loves buttermilk and usually can find a use for it, I get to the point where I don’t need to make another cake, etc. JUST to use up my buttermilk :) Glad you already clicked on over$$ !

      And I could munch on dried cran’s all day. So addictive!

  12. Could this cake get any easier? It looks so light and fluffy too!

  13. I just recently became a white chocolate fan, and I don’t know why it took me so long! I think I was too addicted to dark chocolate to give it a try :). But Now I love it, and I feel like white chocolate goes perfectly with this winter/holiday season, right?
    This looks amazing, and the pictures are incredibly beautiful, as always!

  14. I love this cake! I think it’s great you’ve used these flavors in so many ways. I can’t way to try them, too! First up, bar form :)

  15. A teaspoon of finely grated (then let “sit” to dry) orange zest would be an awesome addition methinks!!…This offering is so very BRUNCH-WORTHY AVERIE!!!

    MUCH thanks from across the pond!

  16. Averie, I love it!! I can understand why he inhaled the cake… it’s gorgeous! You busted out the crans and white chocolate!! This makes me so happy! Holiday baking is ON! :)

  17. Oh yes I remember those cranberry bliss bars very well, they are such a great combination of flavors. I love that you’ve created all sort of variations on them!

  18. I love the combination of cranberries and white chocolate together, these bars look really delicious, like everything else you make ;-) Xx

  19. *Happy sigh* You’ve taken another one of my favourite recipes from you last year, the cranberry bliss bar, and gave it a new twist. Wow, does this cake ever look moist ‘n fluffy. My baking-list for this holiday season so far is full of your recipes, like this one.

  20. I seriously can’t even deal with this. YUM.

  21. I can’t even count how many jugs of buttermilk I’ve wasted for the sake of recipes calling for half a cup – I didn’t know it existed in powder form! Yes!!

    This cake is beautiful, love the festive flavours!

  22. Girl, these photos just made me think of Christmas!! ;) Gorgeous!! And I would like a big slice of this!!

  23. Oh wow, I bet this tastes incredible :) I love cranberries, this cake just looks perfect!

  24. I needed to use my dried cranberries that kept staring at me every time I opened the cabinet for something else. I was so happy to see this recipe on pinterest! I followed your directions to the letter and it came out absolutely divine – thank you!!!

  25. All nice recipes. Thank you.

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