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Homemade Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

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This homemade Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe is a copycat version of the popular coffee shop treat. It’s a blondie with delicious cream cheese icing and chewy cranberries, and it’s easy to make at home. It’s a seasonal treat that comes out during the holiday months but with this recipe, you can make it all year long!

cranberry bliss bars stacked on top of a blue floral towel in front of a metal baking rack with more cranberry bliss bars on top

My favorite time of year is most definitely Christmas time. I love everything about the seasonal desserts, the decor, and all the feels! Arguably, the holiday season is the best season for treats and baked goods. I think majority of people look forward to it. It’s the whole scarcity mindset — the seasonality of these desserts is what gets people in a frenzy.

Technically they’re just simply white chocolate cranberry blondies but of course in order to make something popular, it’s all in the name and how you get people to remember it! When Starbucks came out with these cranberry bliss bars “back in the day.” They were so popular and everyone wanted a slice of these bars. The name “cranberry bliss” is so clever!

cranberry bliss bars on top of a blue floral napkin in front of metal baking rack with cranberry bliss bars on top

What are cranberry bliss bars?

Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss Bars are a popular seasonal holiday treat at this corporate coffee shop. They come out at the same time when Starbucks releases their winter holiday seasonal drinks. They’re a delicious chewy blondie with cream cheese icing and chewy cranberries. They’re also easy to make at home, so you can save money and time by making them yourself. Whether you enjoy them as a holiday treat or an occasional dessert, you’re sure to love this recipe.

Why you’ll love these Starbucks copycat bars

  • Easy to make – staple pantry and refrigerated ingredients that you likely already have on hand make these cranberry bliss bars easy to make! Get the kids to join in on the fun!
  • Taste just like Starbucks – copycat status unlocked. Yep, these bars taste just like the ones from Starbucks and you don’t have to wait for them year after year!
  • Festive and fabulous – they literally scream HOLIDAYS!
cranberry bliss bar ingredients: flour, salt, butter, white chocolate chips, baking powder, salt, dried cranberries, cream cheese, eggs, cornstarch, brown sugar, powdered sugar, orange zest, orange extract, and vanilla extract

Ingredients You’ll Need

For exact measurements, be sure to scroll to the bottom for the recipe card.

  • Salted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Orange extract – a combination of both vanilla and orange extracts really help bring out the bright flavor of the blondie base.
  • Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Dried cranberries – while the namesake of this recipe is cranberry, if you don’t have them you can use dried cherries as well!
  • White chocolate chips

For the frosting, you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese – you’ll want this at room temperature so it’s easily spreadable!
  • Vanilla extract
  • Orange zest
  • Salt
  • Cornstarch
  • Powdered sugar
  • Dried cranberries
  • White chocolate chips

For the topping, you’ll need:

  • Dried cranberries
  • White chocolate chips
  • Melted white chocolate chips – for that gorgeous drizzle on top.
  • Vegetable oil
side image of cranberry bliss bars with large pieces of dried cranberry and white chocolate in the shortbread base

How to make Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks at home!

For full instructions, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the recipe card.

Set the oven and prepare a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine butter and sugar. Cream together butter and sugar then add in the eggs and extracts. Mix this together and set aside.

Whisk the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.

Combine dry and wet ingredients. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stirring just enough to combine. You don’t want to overmix.

Add in cranberries and chocolate chips. Gently fold in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.

cranberry bliss bar dough spread evenly in a large pink baking sheet with parchment paper overhanging

Time to bake. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Let the base cool and prep the frosting. As the base is cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting by beating the cream cheese until it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar and cornstarch then the extracts and salt. Beat until well-combined.

frosting layer of cranberry bliss bars being poured on top of the baked shortbread base

Spread on the base. When the base has cooled completely, spread the frosting all over in an even layer then sprinkle dried cranberries and white chocolate chips on top.

Microwave white chocolate chips. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate chips and vegetable oil together.

Drizzle. Using a fork or plastic bag, drizzle the melted chocolate on top of the bars then sprinkle more dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Cool and cut. Let the bars cool for an hour before cutting then slice into squares then diagonally to create triangles.

an entire sheet of cranberry bliss bars cut into triangles on a metal baking rack with a bead necklace around the tray

Common questions

Are these cranberry bliss bars seasonal? Yep! They come out the same time as when Starbucks releases their holiday drinks!

Can you freeze these? Yes! They actually freeze really well. You can freeze them for up to 3 months.  Allow them to cool completely (give them a few hours in the fridge) before cutting them, (it is much easier to cut them before freezing). Then wrap them in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil or place them in an airtight container.

Could I use baking chocolate instead of chocolate chips in this recipe? Yes! Chop up 5 squares of white baking chocolate and that will work fine for the bars. Then melt 2 for the drizzle on top.

I don’t have any orange extract – what else could I use? Substitute 1 teaspoon of orange zest and 1 teaspoon of orange juice for the orange extract.

cranberry bliss bars cut into triangles sitting on top of a metal baking rack

Serving suggestions

Why not pretend you ARE Starbucks? These seasonal coffee drinks that are also Starbucks copycats (haha, do you sense a theme here?) would be the perfect addition to your morning cup!

cranberry bliss bars on top of a blue floral napkin in front of metal baking rack with cranberry bliss bars on top

Homemade Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

This homemade Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe is a copycat version of the popular coffee shop seasonal treat!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 24 bars
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 ¾ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

For the topping:

  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips, whole
  • cup white chocolate chips, melted
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a 9” by 13” baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and orange extract. Mix until combined and set this aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring only as much as necessary to blend.
  • Then gently fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Check with a toothpick. You want there to be just a few crumbs stuck on the toothpick which means it is ready to come out. If it is still quite wet, give it another 5 minutes.
  • Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the bars to cool completely.
  • While the bars are cooling you could prepare the frosting.
  • Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Beat in the icing sugar and cornstarch. Add in the vanilla extract, orange zest, and salt. Beat this until well blended.
  • When the bars are cooled, spread the icing all over the top. Then sprinkle evenly with the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips with the vegetable oil. (Melt and stir in 15 second intervals – chocolate can burn very quickly.) When this is fully melted, use a fork to beat it smooth, then use the fork to drizzle the melted chocolate over the frosted bars.
  • For best results, place the pan in the fridge and allow the finished bars to cool for an hour before cutting and removing from the pan.
  • To cut the triangle shaped bars, cut the pan into 3 rows of 4. 3 long rows cut into 4 squares each) This will give you 12 large squares. Then cut each square diagonally and you will have 24 triangle shaped bars.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 bar | Calories: 330 kcal | Carbohydrates: 51 g | Protein: 4 g | Fat: 13 g | Saturated Fat: 8 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0.3 g | Cholesterol: 38 mg | Sodium: 216 mg | Potassium: 112 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 40 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry bliss bar, starbucks copycat recipes, starbucks recipes
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