These cranberry bliss bars are soft and chewy, full of flavor, and topped with the creamiest cream cheese frosting. They taste exactly like the ones from Starbucks but for a fraction of the cost!

Cranberry bliss bars on a black piece of slate

What is a cranberry bliss bar?

Cranberry Bliss Bars are a beloved holiday dessert known for their delightful combination of sweet, tart, and creamy flavors. Originating as a seasonal offering at Starbucks, these bars have become an iconic treat associated with the festive season.

The bars consist of a blondie-like base, enriched with brown sugar, butter, and vanilla, and studded with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Topped generously with a luscious cream cheese frosting, often infused with vanilla and orange extract, the bars are then adorned with a sprinkling of chopped dried cranberries and a drizzle of white chocolate.

cranberry bliss bars on red plates on piece of black slate

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Tastes festive and luxurious – These bars are a perfect balance of sweet and tart with a fresh hint of orange. They’re topped with a rich cream cheese frosting and white chocolate drizzle that take them to a whole new level.
  • Fancy but easy to make – These cookie bars may look complicated to make, but they are not! Simply mix the wet and dry ingredients separately by hand, combine, and bake. Top them with an easy cream cheese frosting then finish them with some dried cranberries and a drizzle of white chocolate.
  • Feeds a crowd – This recipe makes 24 good-sized bars. You can even cut them smaller to make 48 bite-sized treats.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • cake flour
  • baking powder & salt
  • ground ginger
  • unsalted butter & cream cheese
  • light brown sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract & orange extract
  • white chocolate chips
  • dried cranberries
  • powdered sugar

How to make cranberry bliss bars:

(the ingredient amounts are listed in the printable recipe card further below)

image collage of how to make cranberry bliss bars
  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth and glossy. Add in the eggs and extracts and whisk again until well combined.
  3. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13″ baking pan lined with parchment paper. Evenly spread out the batter with an offset spatula. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and extracts and mix again until smooth.
  6. Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly on top of the cookie bars using an offset spatula.
  7. Top with dried cranberries and drizzle with melted white chocolate.
  8. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes for the white chocolate to harden. Cut into 12 squares and cut each square diagonally to create triangles.
image collage of how to top and cut cranberry bliss bars

FAQ:

Can I omit the orange extract?

Not if you want it to taste exactly like the Starbucks version. The orange extract is key to matching the exact flavor.

Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour?

You can, but the texture won’t be as soft as the Starbucks version. Another option would be to make your own cake flour by mixing AP flour and cornstarch. See recipe card below.

Do cranberry bliss bars need to be refrigerated?

Yes, they do because of the cream cheese frosting, but bring them to room temperature before serving.

How long do cranberry bliss bars last?

They can last 5-7 days stored in the fridge tightly wrapped or placed in an airtight container.

Can you freeze cranberry bliss bars?

Yes, they freeze well. Cut them into individual portions or leave the entire batch intact. Wrap each bar tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the wrapped bars in a single layer in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. Label and date for reference and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.

A cranberry bliss bar in a red plate with a piece on a fork.

You might also like:

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Cranberry Bliss Bars

  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These cranberry bliss bars are soft and chewy, full of flavor, and topped with the creamiest cream cheese frosting. 


Ingredients

Cookie base:

  • 2 cups (240g) cake flour (or 1 & 1/2 cups (210g) all-purpose flour mixed with 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (300g) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 3/4 cup (135g) white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup (90g) dried cranberries

Cream cheese frosting:

  • 8oz brick cream cheese, softened
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract

Toppings:

  • 1/3 cup (40g) dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line and grease a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper with overhang sides for easy removal.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth and glossy. Add in the eggs and extracts and whisk again until well combined.
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Evenly spread out the batter with an offset spatula.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set and golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely before frosting.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and extracts and mix again until smooth.
  8. Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly on top of the cookie bars using an offset spatula. Sprinkle the dried cranberries on top.
  9. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds at a time until completely melted. Transfer the melted chocolate to a piping bag (or ziplock bag). Cut a small part of the tip (or corner) and drizzle in a zig-zag or swirl motion all over the cookie bar.
  10. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes for the white chocolate to harden. Cut into 12 squares and cut each square diagonally to create triangles.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or tightly wrapped and stored in the fridge for 5-7 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Keywords: cranberry bliss bar recipe, Starbucks cranberry bliss bars

Recipe adapted from Live Well Bake Often