This past Christmas I became a bit obsessed with re-creating Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. These delicious treats are one of Starbucks most popular holiday desserts. The Starbucks version consists of a chewy, cake base (similar to a blondie) studded with white chocolate chunks and cranberries, then a delicious cream cheese frosting, topped with more cranberries and a drizzle of white chocolate. Sounds delicious, right? This is why I had to learn to make them!
After purchasing two Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks (in the name of research), reading the ingredient list of the original (from Starbucks) and then reading through at least a dozen different recipe claiming to be the “top secret recipe”, I headed to the kitchen and worked up a recipe that I’m really happy with. I made several batches over Christmas and the bars received rave reviews from all of my “taste-testers” (the official panel includes my friends, neighbors and my husband’s co-workers). Now to be fair, the end results of my recipe tests did not create an exact copy of the original Starbucks version. Although I know this recipe has most all of the same ingredients, the Starbucks version is a bit chewier, and this recipe is a bit more cake-like. But the flavor is right on. And everyone who tasted my version said they were as good, if not better than the “original”.
Cranberry White Chocolate Bars
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (slightly softened)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup dried, sweetened cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips
~ Frosting ~
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2- 2/3 cup dried, sweetened cranberries, chopped
2 ounces white chocolate, melted
~ Directions ~
1.) Preheat oven to 350 (F) degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan then set aside (I also like to line the pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the two long sides- this allows the bars to be pulled out of the pan after baking for easier cutting).
2.) In a medium bowl add the flour, powdered ginger, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set bowl aside.
3.) In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, and orange zest and mix well. Gradually add the flour mixture and blend until combined.
4.) Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
5.) Bake 25-30 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6.) Prepare frosting by beating the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and orange extract. Beat about 1 minute until fully incorporated.
7.) Assemble dessert by spreading the frosting onto the baked and cooled bars. Sprinkle additional cranberries on top. Drizzle melted white chocolate on top as desired.
Recipe Source ~ Final recipe by Glorious Treats
(Adapted from Mr. Breakfast, based on the original recipe from Starbucks)
Share these delicious treats with someone you love!
To make heart shaped bars, I used a heart cookie cutter.
You could also cut the bars into triangles, and then argue with your friends that you did in fact make them (and didn’t just buy them from Starbucks).
How to Make Cranberry White Chocolate Bars
Cranberry White Chocolate Bars
Cranberry White Chocolate Bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, slightly softened
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup cranberries dried, sweetened , chopped
- 6 oz white chocolate chips about 3/4 cup
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1/2- 2/3 cup cranberries dried, sweetened , chopped
- 2 ounces white chocolate melted
- Preheat oven to 350 (F) degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan then set aside (I also like to line the pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the two long sides- this allows the bars to be pulled out of the pan after baking for easier cutting).
- In a medium bowl add the flour, powdered ginger, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set bowl aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, and orange zest and mix well. Gradually add the flour mixture and blend until combined.
- Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Bake 25-30 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Prepare frosting by beating the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and orange extract. Beat about 1 minute until fully incorporated.
- Assemble dessert by spreading the frosting onto the baked and cooled bars. Sprinkle additional cranberries on top. Drizzle melted white chocolate on top as desired.
~ Shopping notes ~
Cute red and white straws from Shop Sweet Lulu.
The little milk bottles were a gift from a friend. Similar ones are available from Sharnel Dollar Design.
I have had this recipe pinned for a while, but just didn’t want to tackle it. I am glad that I did! Wonderful and like the “cake like” texture. Thanks
Reviews are to give opinions on the recipe. To my knowledge that means making & tasting it . ….not saying how good it looks or I want to try it. In fact one defination is to evaluate !!!!!!
Linda, I welcome review of my recipes, but this is not a “review” format. Any recipe or photos posted her are made and photographed by one single person, me. Nice comments on my posts are my “reward” for spending my days baking and preparing treats to share with my readers…. recipes I hope people will try, and love. This site is where I share my ideas, experience and expertise. Comments to my posts are labeld as such (“comments”) not reviews.
I wanted to let you know that I featured this on my blog (and your cookies!) http://www.sweet-raisins.blogspot.com
I Want To Make This says
These look delicious! I wanted to let you know that I linked to this post on my blog post "21 Delicious Desserts for Your Valentine".
Thanks for sharing your recipe!
I just love cranberries and white chocolate. These looks so delicious. I featured them in a Valentine's Day collection today!
Candy and Cake says
Ooh…thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!!! Love these from Starbucks…will definately try this christmas and maybe fool others too..:)
I am thrilled to find your recipe … I just had my first cranberry bliss bar at Starbucks! Thank you for stopping by my site!
Can't wait to make these….how far in advance can these be made? Can I freeze them?
Laura S. says
I'm not really big on cranberries but these look delicious. Gonna have to try these. My daughter and granddaughters made your candy corn parfaits yesterday, they came out great!
THANK YOU!!! Thank you for figuring out a recipe for these. I love them, but can't afford to buy them too often. I'll have to try this recipe. You are awesome!