Cranberry Bliss Bars

published Dec 17, 2021
christmas
Cranberry Bliss Bars Recipe

This popular Starbucks treat is even better homemade.

Makes18 pieces

Prep20 minutes

Cook35 minutes

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Cranberry Bliss bars (blondie cake with dried cranberries, finished with a layer of cream-cheese icing flecked with cranberries on top)
Credit: Stephanie Loo

Starbucks’

Cranberry Bliss Bar

The bars have a soft, chewy, brown sugar blondie base studded with tart, dried cranberries and subtle hints of ginger and orange. They’re topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting, more dried cranberries, and a drizzle of melted white chocolate. The triangles are sweet and indulgent, and would make a great addition to any cookie box or holiday party. Our cross-tester has also confirmed that they taste excellent paired with a cup of hot coffee.

What Are Cranberry Bliss Bars?

Cranberry Bliss Bars are blondies loaded with dried cranberries and hints of orange and ginger. They’re topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting, a sprinkle of dried cranberries, and a drizzle of white chocolate.

Can I Freeze Cranberry Bliss Bars?

Yes, Cranberry Bliss Bars freeze nicely! Place the bars in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to two months. Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving. 

Credit: Stephanie Loo

How to Store Cranberry Bliss Bars

Cranberry Bliss Bars are best stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The bars will keep, chilled, for up to five days. 

Cranberry Bliss Bars Recipe

This popular Starbucks treat is even better homemade.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes

Makes 18 pieces

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the bars:

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1

    medium orange

  • Cooking spray

  • 12 tablespoons

    (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 1 1/4 cups

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup

    white chocolate chips

  • 1/3 cup

    dried cranberries

For the frosting:

  • 4 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 1 cup

    white chocolate chips

  • 2 cups

    powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup

    dried cranberries

Instructions

Make the bars:

  1. Let 2 large eggs and 4 ounces cream cheese sit on the counter until eggs are room temperature and cream cheese is softened, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of 1 medium orange until you have 1/2 teaspoon.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom and two sides with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides like a sling.

  3. Place 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Whisk the eggs, one at a time, until well-combined. The mixture should look glossy and smooth.

  4. Add the orange zest, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger, and whisk to combine.

  5. Add 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and use a large flexible spatula to mix until just combined. Add 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and 1/3 cup dried cranberries and fold to combine. Transfer to the baking pan and smooth the top.

  6. Bake until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan pan to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 1 hour. Grasp the excess parchment and lift the slab out of the pan and onto a cutting board.

Make the frosting:

  1. Place 1 cup white chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Continue to microwave in 10-second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate is smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or create your own double boiler with a saucepan and heatproof bowl.) Transfer 1/4 cup to a small bowl and set aside for drizzling.

  2. Place the softened cream cheese and 2 cups powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined, about for 1 minute. Add the remaining melted white chocolate, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the the bowl with a flexible spatula and mix on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

  3. Spread the frosting evenly onto the cranberry bar slab with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup dried cranberries, then drizzle with the reserved 1/4 cup melted white chocolate. Cut the slab into 9 squares, then cut each square in half diagonally to create 18 triangles.

Recipe Notes

White chocoolate: Keep a careful eye on the white chocolate as it melts, as it has a tendency to seize if overheated

Storage: Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Freezing: Wrap the bars tightly with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving.