Cranberry Bliss Bars

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 bars

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These Cranberry Bliss Bars are made with a blondie base, with cranberries and white chocolate chips, they’re topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting and white chocolate drizzle! A Starbucks Copycat Recipe, they’re perfect for the holiday season!

three cranberry bliss bars stacked on top of each other.

This easy Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe (a Starbucks copycat!) is always a huge hit on our holiday cookie trays!

The best thing about homemade Christmas recipes though, is that you can make them any time of year.

While most have to wait to enjoy these seasonal Starbucks treats, we have them whenever we want!

We love baking up a batch as soon as the weather starts to cool off, or even on a rainy summer day.

They’re also great for giving as edible gifts, though I won’t blame you if they don’t actually make it to your friend’s house…

Try my Seven Layers Magic BarsCream Cheese BrowniesCherry Cheesecake Brownies, my Millionnaire Shortbread recipe, and these Caramel Nut Bars for more dessert bar ideas!

Ingredients Needed:

Top view of ingredients for cranberry bliss bars in glass bowls.
  • Brown Sugar: brown sugar (packed) adds more richness and flavor than white granulated sugar.
  • Salted Butter: use salted butter in this recipe for the base and topping, as it helps enhance the flavors.
  • Egg: to bind the ingredients of the blondie together.
  • Vanilla Extract: adds a warm, sweet flavor to the blondies and the cream cheese frosting.
  • Flour: use all-purpose flour for these bars.
  • Salt: helps to enhance the flavors in the bar base and the frosting.
  • Cranberries: dried cranberries add flavor and texture to these bars in the blondies, and on top of the frosting.
  • White Chocolate Chips: use white chocolate chips to add sweetness through the bars, and then melt some to drizzle on top of the bars.
  • Cream Cheese: use your favorite brand of cream cheese. Full-fat cream cheese will give you the creamiest flavor and texture in the frosting, but low-fat cream cheese will work too.
  • Powdered Sugar: to add sweetness and substance to the cream cheese frosting.
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How to Make Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss Bars

This recipe is quick and easy to make! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.

  1. Whisk sugar and butter: Combine brown sugar and melted butter. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Add egg, vanilla, and salt: Next, add the egg, vanilla, extract, and salt and whisk until combined.
  1. Mix in flour: Add flour, and stir just until combined.
  2. Add add-ins: Gently stir the cranberries and white chocolate chips into the base of the bars.
  1. Put in pan and bake: Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
  2. Add topping and chill: Spread frosting over the cooled bars and sprinkle with dried cranberries. Chill and serve.

Homemade Cranberry Bliss Bars FAQs

How do I store Cranberry Bliss Bars?

Store your Cranberry Bliss Bars in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap on the counter for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Can I freeze Cranberry Bliss Bars?

You can freeze these bars after they have been decorated, or before adding the frosting and any toppings! Wrap them in plastic wrap, or put them in a freezer-safe container with parchment paper between each layer, and freeze for up to 3 months. If you’re freezing them with the frosting on, flash-freeze them on a tray or allow the frosting to set before stacking them. Allow them to defrost at room temperature before adding the frosting. 

white plate filled with cranberry bliss bars with cranberries in foreground.

Tips and Notes

  • Electric Mixer. You can use an electric mixer to make these bars, but you’ll want to use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to gently stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
  • Cutting the bars. Be sure to let the bars cool completely or chill before cutting them. This will help them hold their shape better.

Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars Variations

  • Mix up the fruit. You can substitute dried cherries, or even raisins, for the cranberries. Any dried fruit would work, chopped into small enough pieces.
  • Use another chocolate. You can use any kind of chocolate for these bars. Try milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate for a different flavor. You can also use small chunks of chocolate instead of chocolate chips in the bars too.
  • Add other flavors. Add a swirl of caramel or raspberry jam before chilling the bars for an extra layer of flavor!
two cranberry bliss bars on a grey surface with more in the background.

Serving Suggestions

Serve a delicious Cranberry Bliss Bar with a hot cup of coffee or tea for an afternoon pick-me-up!

These bars make the perfect addition to your holiday cookie trays alongside my No Bake Mint Chocolate BarsPeppermint Bark, and my Triple Chocolate Raspberry Brownies!

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Cranberry Bliss Bars

5 from 13 votes
These Cranberry Bliss Bars are made with a blondie base, with cranberries and white chocolate chips, they're topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting and white chocolate drizzle! A Starbucks Copycat Recipe, they're perfect for the holiday season.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 16 bars
Calories 292cal

Ingredients

Cranberry Bliss Bars

  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup salted butter melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour 130 grams
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

Frosting

  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ package cream cheese
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

Instructions

Blondies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ pan with foil or parchment and spray with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and melted butter. Whisk until smooth.
  • Add the egg, vanilla, and salt, and whisk until combined.
  • Add flour and salt, and stir just until combined.
  • Stir in the cranberries and white chocolate chips. Spread into the prepared pan or cookie sheet and bake for 20–22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Set aside to cool completely.

Frosting

  • In a small bowl, melt white chocolate in the microwave on medium-high heat in 30-second intervals, stirring each time until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and most of the white chocolate (leave about a tablespoon to drizzle on top).
  • Spread frosting over the cooled bars. Sprinkle with dried cranberries, and drizzle the remaining white chocolate over the top.
  • Chill for 1 hour, or until frosting and chocolate are set. Slice and serve.

Notes

Ingredients and Substitutions:
  • Butter: I use salted butter when baking, but unsalted butter works just fine. If you are using unsalted butter, you could increase the added salt by ⅛ teaspoon to compensate if desired. 
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour in this recipe, but whole wheat flour works just as well. You can combine the two or use 100% whole wheat flour.
  • White chocolate: I have the best luck melting white chocolate chips in the microwave rather than on the stovetop. If you can adjust the temperature of your microwave to 50–60%, that is even better. Heat in small increments and stir each time; don’t overheat it or it will burn!
  • Optional add-ins: a touch of orange zest, orange extract, or almond extract would be great in here!
Frosting swap: 
This cream cheese frosting does not set firmly like a traditional buttercream, so I would avoid stacking them unless frozen and store them in the fridge or freezer. If you prefer a firmer frosting, try this Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies frosting recipe.
Storage
  • Store: Store your Cranberry Bliss Bars in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap on the counter for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Freeze: Freeze these bars before adding the frosting and any toppings! Wrap them in plastic wrap, or put them in a freezer-safe container with parchment paper between each layer, and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow them to defrost at room temperature before adding the frosting.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 292cal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 164mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 381IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords cranberry bliss bars

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Rachel says

    These taste like butter and sugar, the butter brown sugar taste over powers the bars. Then add more butter tasting frosting.

  2. Claudette Ann Hennan says

    Made this twice now…. the absolute best! Our friend who was at Starbucks, said these were much much better! Wow.

  3. Debbie C says

    Looking at the picture of ingredients, I’m guessing you mean 1/2 of an 8 ounce package of cream cheese. Is that correct?

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