Starbucks cranberry bliss bars are a festive favourite. This easy cranberry bar is a copycat recipe from Starbucks boasting vanilla, white chocolate, cranberries, orange, and more. Homemade bliss bars are easy to make and offer the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavours. Just like you would find in your favourite coffee shop, these are a chewy blondie with cream cheese frosting that is a hit of the holiday season.
As easy recipes go, this Starbucks cranberry bliss bar recipe is really simple. Ideal for this time of the year, homemade Starbucks cranberry bliss bars make a tasty favourite treat with a cup of hot chocolate. The white chocolate drizzle on top of the bars is one of the best parts of this Starbucks cranberry bliss bar recipe.
I find the white chocolate cranberry bars from Starbucks a little too sweet. When I make DIY cranberry blondies with cream cheese icing I don’t put white chocolate into the bars, only the topping. I find this way offers a better balance. A drizzle of white chocolate on top adds a nice touch making these a perfect addition to your Christmas cookie trays. This Starbucks copycat recipe will get you in the holiday spirit because it is a great way to celebrate this time of year.
Homemade Bliss Bars Ingredients
You only need 7 ingredients for the Starbucks cranberry bliss bars plus 5 for the topping. The bars call for sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, flour, cranberries, and orange zest. The topping is made with white chocolate chips, cream cheese, vanilla, icing sugar, and cranberries. I bet the idea of Starbucks cranberry bliss bars is already making your mouth water, especially since they’re nearly identical to the true Starbucks version.
All the ingredients listed above are pretty self-explanatory. Icing sugar is the same thing as confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar. As for the vanilla, use real vanilla extract for the tastiest result. I like to use full-fat cream cheese because it gives a richer-tasting cranberry bar. You probably have most of the ingredients in the pantry, along with a baking pan or baking sheet, parchment paper and piping bag.
Don’t be tempted to omit the orange zest if you don’t have any because it adds such a festive flair and complements the cranberries beautifully. You could probably sub a few drops of orange extract if you don’t have a fresh orange to get zest or even a splash of Grand Marnier or Cointreau for a luxurious touch!
How to Make Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
There aren’t a lot of steps to making this easy cranberry bar. First of all you will melt the butter before mixing in the egg, sugar and vanilla. Next mix in the flour along with cranberries and orange zest. Spoon this mixture into a pan and bake.
For the topping, mix melted white chocolate chips, chunks of white chocolate or white baking chocolate with cream cheese, icing sugar, and vanilla. Start on this while the bars are baking and cooling. Then you can frost the bars and sprinkle cranberries and white chocolate chips on top.
The finishing touch for these white chocolate cranberry bars is to drizzle over more melted white chocolate. This adds another layer of sweetness and also looks pretty. You don’t have to be super-accurate with the drizzling. A random pattern is fine! Although these might not look exactly like the original recipe, they are really yummy bars with a a blondie base and sweet cream cheese icing.
DIY cranberry blondies with cream cheese icing are so delicious. Enjoy one with a cup of coffee or even some festive eggnog! The cranberries are a seasonal treat and these are sweet without being too sweet!
Cut the finished bars into triangles, squares or whatever shape you want. You can make between 8 and 12 depending how large you want them. Since this is a copycat recipe I like to cut mine into triangles like they do at Starbucks.
What Kind of Cranberries to Use
Use any type of dried cranberries for these DIY cranberry blondies with cream cheese icing. You can use Craisins which are basically sweetened dried cranberries if you want. Or you can use unsweetened ones if you prefer more of a tart taste from your homemade bliss bars.
Either one offers a lot of vitamins and minerals although Craisins do tend to be very sugar-laden if that’s a concern for you!
Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars Variations
You can make little tweaks to these, such as using Craisins instead of plain dried cranberries or using orange extract instead of orange zest. You can also make larger changes like swapping the cranberries for dried cherries or raisins or the white chocolate for milk chocolate.
If you want the most authentic copycat recipe for Starbucks cranberry bliss bars then make the recipe the way it is. Otherwise have fun trying new add-ins. Almond bark on top would make a change from the white chocolate drizzle. Try using gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour for a gluten-free result.
A pinch of ground ginger would probably also be good in this easy cranberry bar. You could also add green food coloring to the topping for a festive Christmas look or just do that with some of the bars.
How to Store White Chocolate Cranberry Bars
These should keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Alternatively you can freeze them for a couple of months. Wrap then tightly first in plastic wrap and then in foil.
So if you’re looking for a festive copycat recipe for homemade bliss bars, these DIY cranberry blondies with cream cheese icing are sure to make you smile. You don’t need to head out to Starbucks when you can make your very own Starbucks cranberry bliss bars at home!
Starbucks Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars Recipe
Cranberry Bliss Bars
For the Bars
For the Bars
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8 inch pan with cooking spray.
- Melt the butter in the microwave for about 90 seconds. Let the butter cool for a minute and then add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add the flour and stir until just combined.
- Fold in 1/2 cup cranberries and orange zest and stir to combine.
- Scoop the batter into the pan, smoothing if necessary.
- Bake for 18 to 21 minutes. Allow bars to cool before frosting them.
For the Topping
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute, reheating in 10 second intervals, or until it can be stirred smooth.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese, about 2/3rd of the melted white chocolate, 2 cups icing sugar, vanilla and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add additional icing sugar if necessary.
- Frost the bars and then evenly sprinkle cranberries and un-melted white chocolate chips over the top of the frosted bars. Drizzle bars with remaining melted white chocolate, reheating in the microwave if necessary.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
You have got to try this recipe. It is perfect for holiday entertaining. I have many more holiday baking recipes that I will be sharing with you over the next few weeks. I have been baking up a storm!
Let me know if you try this Starbucks Bliss bars recipe.