Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar Recipe

If you're a fan of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars, you can officially start putting that money toward extra lattes. These copycat bars are nearly identical to the original, with a buttery, cranberry-studded blondie base, and plush, tangy cream cheese topping that perfectly balances the sweetness of the bars. White chocolate chips add extra richness to the interior, as well as a festive finish as a decadent drizzle over the finished bars. 

No preservatives, no ingredients you can't pronounce — 16 of these seasonal bars can be made with less than an hour of prep time, using mainly pantry staples. Recipe developer Katie Rosenhouse says, "Freshly frosted, there's just nothing better, and they also store beautifully in the fridge or freezer so you'll have them ready and on hand for whenever you get a craving. Grab a 9x13-inch pan, and two quick mixes is pretty much all it takes to bring these layered bars together." The hardest part? We'd bet that it's waiting for the bars to cool completely before frosting. But with bliss in the name, you know these copycat bars are guaranteed to ultimately bring happiness to everyone who tries one.

Gather the ingredients for copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

You probably have most of the ingredients to make these bars already on hand. Melted butter and light brown sugar give the blondie base richness and a chewy texture with subtle notes of molasses. Eggs bind the batter, and vanilla extract and orange zest add a perfumy quality that make this holiday season favorite surprisingly floral and bright. 

All-purpose flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and ground ginger or cinnamon round out the dry ingredients. Both ginger and cinnamon pair nicely with the orange zest, adding a warm spice to the bars, so choose your favorite or go with both for an even deeper flavor. To add interest and that classic bliss bar flavor and texture, white chocolate chips and chopped dried cranberries are folded into the blondie batter, to be evenly dispersed throughout the bars.

For the topping, cream cheese and butter are creamed together for a rich topping that sets up firm enough for clean slices. Confectioners' sugar sweetens and thickens the mixture, while orange zest and kosher salt amp up the flavor, looping in the flavors of the blondie base for a cohesive dessert. You'll finish off the bars with a garnish of chopped cranberries and a drizzle of melted white chocolate to really hone in on that classic Starbucks look.

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Line a baking pan

Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Step 3: Combine butter and sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the butter and brown sugar.

Step 4: Add wet ingredients

Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and orange zest and whisk until smooth.

Step 5: Add dry ingredients

Add flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger or cinnamon. Stir until combined.

Step 6: Add inclusions

Fold in white chocolate chips and cranberries.

Step 7: Pour into pan

Pour evenly into prepared pan.

Step 8: Bake until golden

Bake for 22 to 24 minutes until golden brown; transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

Step 9: Begin to prepare topping

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.

Step 10: Finish the topping

Add confectioners' sugar, orange zest, and salt; beat on low to medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 11: Top bars

Spoon topping over cooled bars and spread it out evenly to coat.

Step 12: Sprinkle with cranberries

Sprinkle with chopped cranberries.

Step 13: Melt white chocolate

Melt white chocolate and oil in a small bowl over a double boiler or in the microwave until smooth.

Step 14: Drizzle over bars

Use a piping bag or spoon to drizzle swirls of white chocolate over bars. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Step 15: Trim edges

Transfer bars to a cutting board and trim off edges.

Step 16: Cut into sections

Cut in half horizontally and vertically for four even sections. Cut each section in half.

Step 17: Cut into triangles

Cut each half diagonally into triangles.

Step 18: Serve

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

What's the best way to store cranberry bliss bars?

These copycat cranberry bliss bars are a delicious dessert to serve for just about any occasion, from a festive touch at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even Valentine's Day, to a sweet addition to the table for brunch or afternoon tea. They also make just about the perfect late-night snack. To make these bars ahead, bake and top the bars. Chill until firm, then wrap and refrigerate for up to three days before cutting and serving. This will help prevent them from drying out over time. For longer storage, cut and freeze the bars in airtight containers or freezer-safe zip-top bags for up to three months. They'll defrost quickly at room temperature when you're ready to serve.  

Leftover cranberry bliss bars can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Store in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator for up to five days, or freeze for up to three months. We'd be very surprised if they lasted that long before being gobbled up.

How can I change up these cranberry bars?

These blondies have a deliciously dense, buttery texture that can be customized in a variety of ways. Not a fan of orange zest? Flavor the bars with lemon zest or additional spices — a double dose of ground cinnamon or ginger, or a sprinkle of nutmeg or cardamom can add warmth and a seasonal touch. A splash of bourbon can be added to the blondie batter for additional flavor.  Dark brown sugar in the place of light will enhance the caramel-like notes of molasses, and dried cranberries can be substituted with any dried fruit you prefer, including figs, apricots, cherries, and more. If you find white chocolate to be too sweet for your liking, swap in bittersweet chocolate morsels for a darker twist on the original bliss bars, or opt for butterscotch or flavored chips for a creative change up. 

Rosenhouse says, "The one thing these bars are missing is a little crunch. Toasted pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds can solve that problem by adding that contrast in texture and a nutty flavor; whether added to the blondie base before baking, or sprinkled on top as a final garnish. A few flecks of coarse sea salt in the batter can also be a great addition."

Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
Fans of Starbucks' Cranberry Bliss Bars will surely love this copycat recipe, which is identical to the real thing and tastes just as good.
Prep Time
1.83
hours
Cook Time
23
minutes
Servings
16
Servings
Copycat cranberry bliss bars
Total time: 2 hours, 13 minutes
Ingredients
  • For the blondies
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ¾ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger or cinnamon
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • For the topping
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the butter and brown sugar.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and orange zest and whisk until smooth.
  5. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger or cinnamon. Stir until combined.
  6. Fold in white chocolate chips and cranberries.
  7. Pour evenly into prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes until golden brown; transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  9. Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  10. Add confectioners' sugar, orange zest, and salt; beat on low to medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  11. Spoon topping over cooled bars and spread it out evenly to coat.
  12. Sprinkle with chopped cranberries.
  13. Melt white chocolate and oil in a small bowl over a double boiler or in the microwave until smooth.
  14. Use a piping bag or spoon to drizzle swirls of white chocolate over bars. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  15. Transfer bars to a cutting board and trim off edges.
  16. Cut in half horizontally and vertically for four even sections. Cut each section in half.
  17. Cut each half diagonally into triangles.
  18. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 434
Total Fat 20.9 g
Saturated Fat 12.3 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 70.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 59.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 46.1 g
Sodium 212.5 mg
Protein 4.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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