With this simple and easy Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe, you can enjoy this Starbucks holiday favorite all year round. Each bite is loaded with dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and an orange-scented cream cheese frosting.
Enjoy one of these cookie bars with another Starbucks copycat – our Homemade Mocha Frappuccino!
Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
These Cranberry Bliss Bars are a Starbucks holiday staple and now with this simple and easy Starbucks copycat recipe, you can enjoy them year-round. A blondie baked with tart, dried cranberries and smooth white chocolate chips, topped with a sweet, orange-scented cream cheese frosting and drizzled with white chocolate. Divine!
I love to make these cookie bars during the holiday season – they’re perfectly sweet and look beautiful on a cookie platter. This recipe makes 24 small triangle bars – just enough to satisfy the craving and leave plenty for sharing!
There are two parts to these bars – the blondie cookie bottom and the cream cheese frosting. Both parts require just a few ingredients.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
For the Cookie Bar
- Flour – Spooned and leveled for accurate measuring.
- Baking powder – Gives the crust some lift.
- Salt – For flavor.
- Cinnamon – Adds a warm flavor to the cookies.
- Butter – I used salted butter for the extra flavor. Be sure that it is softened but not melted.
- Brown sugar – Brown sugar sweetens the cookies while adding a warm molasses flavor.
- Eggs – Provides structure to the dough.
- Vanilla extract – For flavor.
- Dried cranberries – Also known as “craisins”. Avoid fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe.
- White chocolate chips – Use good high quality white chocolate chips for the best results. Ghirardelli, Lindt, Callebaut or Guittard are all high quality brands.
For the Frosting & Topping
- Cream cheese – Bring to room temperature for easier blending and a smooth consistency.
- Orange zest – Orange is a great complement to cranberry and really brightens up the frosting.
- Vanilla extract – For flavor.
- Powdered sugar – For a perfectly smooth frosting. Avoid granulated sugar.
- White chocolate chips – Melted to drizzle over the cookies.
- Dried cranberries – Chopped dried cranberries are sprinkled over the top of the cookies, to ensure you get a bit of cranberry in every bite.
Here are a couple ways to make this Starbucks copycat recipe your own.
- Make them gluten-free. These can be made gluten free by swapping out the all-purpose flour for a gluten free flour substitute. Make sure it’s a 1:1 gluten-free flour.
- Try a different flavor. While dried cranberries are a main ingredient, you can substitute dried blueberries and lemon zest to make a blueberry lemon version.
How to Make Cranberry Bliss Bars
Starbucks cranberry bliss bars are easy to make at home. You’ll just need to leave time for the bars to cool before adding the frosting.
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for details and measurements, and don’t miss the video below.)
- Make the bar mixture. Stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then add the flour mixture. Beat until well combined. Mix in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.
- Transfer to the pan. Transfer the batter to a greased pan lined with parchment paper. Use your fingers to press the mixture into the corners and create an even layer.
- Bake. Bake the cookie bars at 350F for 18 to 22 minutes, until very lightly browned. Do not overcook. Allow to cool.
- Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the cream cheese, orange zest, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in half of the melted white chocolate until smooth.
- Frost the bars. Frost the cranberry bliss bars. Drizzle the remaining white chocolate on top and finish off with the chopped cranberries.
- Slice and enjoy. Remove the bars from the pan, cut them into 12 squares, and then each square in half to form triangles.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips for making the best homemade cranberry bliss bars.
- Don’t skip the orange zest. The orange zest really makes the flavor in these bars. Cranberry orange is such a great combination (psst, I see you cranberry-orange muffins and pound cake) and the citrus brightens up the flavor profile.
- Be sure to line the pan. I recommend parchment paper with some hanging over the edges and using non-stick spray as well, to make these cranberry bars easy to remove from the pan.
- How to easily drizzle the chocolate? To make drizzling the white chocolate easier, place the melted chocolate in a sturdy disposable zip-top bag (such as a freezer bag, as thin sandwich bags may rupture). Use scissors to cut one corner off, and squeeze gently to create an even flow of white chocolate.
Video: Cranberry Bliss Bars
Serving and Storage
- Serving. You can serve these Starbucks cranberry bliss bars at room temperature or chilled. Since they are a very rich treat, cutting them into 24 triangles is recommended. Less is more with a treat this decadent.
- Storing leftovers. These cranberry bliss bars must be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and will keep for up to 5 days.
- To freeze. Cranberry bliss bars can also be frozen. Tightly wrap them in two layers, separated by wax paper or parchment paper, and freeze them for up to 3 months. Just thaw in the fridge before serving.
More Cranberry Desserts:
- Cranberry Fluff
- Apple Cranberry Crisp
- Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
- Cranberry Christmas Cake
- Upside Down Cranberry Cake
- Cranberry Honey Butter
Cranberry Bliss Bars
FOR THE COOKIE BAR
- 2 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cups regular salted butter , softened
- 1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar , lightly packed
- 2 large eggs , room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
FOR THE FROSTING & TOPPING
- 8 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cups powdered sugar , sifted
- 1 cup white chocolate chips , melted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries , chopped
For the Bars
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, creating an overhang on each side for “handles” for easier removal after baking. Spray with nonstick spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat until combined (mixture will be thick.) Stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
- Spread batter into the lined pan, using your fingers or a greased spatula pressing into the corners and edges to create an even layer.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until very lightly browned and a toothpick into the center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 1-2 hours.
For the Topping
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, orange zest, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. Gradually beat in half of the melted white chocolate (1/2 cup) until well blended and smooth.
- Frost the bars and drizzle with the remaining melted white chocolate and top with the chopped cranberries.Remove bars from the pan using the handles to help get them out, cut into 12 squares, then cut each square in half to form 24 triangles.