These Cranberry Bliss Bars are the copycat version of the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. Creamy white chocolate, tart cranberries, and hints of orange and ginger make this blondie the perfect holiday treat!
Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
These Cranberry Bliss Bars are simply amazing! They are soft and chewy and FULL of cranberry and white chocolate flavor. The addition of orange and ginger amplifies the flavor and ties everything together, plus it makes them even more like the Starbucks version. If you’ve been looking for easy Christmas desserts this season, go no further. These blondies are simple to make but deliver big on flavor.
This recipe is inspired by the classic white chocolate cranberry cookie that’s so popular on Christmas cookie trays. I have several desserts inspired by the flavor combination on my site – White Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies, White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge and Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes. There’s a reason why. These flavors are a classic pairing that just works.
Fair warning… these cranberry white chocolate bars are so addicting you may not want to share them! At the very least, put a few bars aside for yourself before your guests gobble them up!
What You’ll Need
The flavors in these blondies are complemented by the flavors in the cream cheese frosting. Scroll down to the recipe card for actual amounts.
For the Bars
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Ground Ginger: You could leave this out, but it’s subtle flavor really adds to these bars.
- Unsalted Butter: We’re going to melt the butter, so you don’t need to bring it to room temperature.
- Brown Sugar: I used light brown sugar in this recipe.
- Vanilla Extract
- Oranges: We’re going to use both the zest and the juice of fresh oranges. I find it easier to zest first and then juice the orange.
- White Chocolate Chips: Use your favorite brand.
- Dried Cranberries
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese: Leave the cream cheese on the counter for about an hour to bring it to room temperature.
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Orange Zest
- Dried Cranberries: We’ll chop these up in small bits for toppings.
- White Chocolate Bar: I recommend a good quality white chocolate baking bar, such as Ghirardelli or Bakers.
How to Make Cranberry Bliss Bars
This recipe comes together really quickly and doesn’t require any fancy equipment. All you need is a mixing bowl, whisk, and spatula!
- Prepare to Bake. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Leave enough parchment paper sticking over the long sides of the pan so that you can use it to remove the bars from the pan later.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients. To make the blondie base, add the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk everything together and set it aside.
- Mix the Butter and Sugar. Melt the butter in a large bowl and add the brown sugar to it. Whisk together until well combined.
- Add Remaining Wet Ingredients. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest, and orange juice to the butter mixture, and whisk until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Finish the Batter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently fold them together to combine. Take care to not over mix the blondie batter.
- Fold in the Chocolate and Cranberries. Add the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries to the batter and gently fold in until incorporated throughout.
- Bake. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 18-22 minutes or until set in the middle and golden around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the blondies to cool completely.
- Make the Frosting. To make the frosting, add the cream cheese to a mixing bowl and beat until it’s smooth and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and orange zest and mix until well combined.
- Frost the Cake. Spread the frosting evenly on top of the cooled blondie base.
- Garnish. Sprinkle the chopped dried cranberries evenly over the bars and drizzle with the melted white chocolate.
- Serve. Slice the bars prior to serving. I find it easiest to refrigerate them until the topping is firm before slicing. To get the triangle-shaped bars, cut the bars into 3 sections lengthwise. Then cut each of the 3 sections into squares and cut each square in half on a diagonal.
Tips for Success
- Use the Right Pan. I prefer using a 9×13 pan (a rimmed baking sheet) for these blondies. The thickness is perfect for me. But if you’re looking for a thinner bar, you can also use a 15×10 pan. Keep an eye on the cooking time, so they don’t burn.
- Don’t Skimp on the Parchment. Make it easy on yourself, and use parchment paper for this recipe! You’ll be able to lift the entire thing off the baking sheet and slice them easily.
- Fresh Oranges Make all the Difference. My recipe uses fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest. These ingredients add brightness and great flavor to the blondie and the icing.
How to Store Cranberry Bliss Bars
You can store cut-up blondies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Don’t leave them on the counter since the cream cheese frosting can spoil if not refrigerated.
Can I Freeze Them?
These Cranberry Bliss Bars freeze really well. Since these have frosting on top, I recommend placing individual bars on a cookie sheet in the freezer until they’re completely frozen. Then, wrap each in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container or freezer bag. They’ll stay fresh for up to three months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to enjoy them.
Watch How To Make Them
Cranberry Bliss Bars
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 24 bars
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
These Cranberry Bliss Bars are the copycat version of the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. Creamy white chocolate, tart cranberries, and hints of orange and ginger make this blondie the perfect holiday treat.
Cranberry White Chocolate Bars
- 2 1/4 cups (293g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups (337g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 cup (169g) white chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup (120g) dried cranberries
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups (288g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 cup (80g) dried cranberries, chopped
- 2–3 oz white chocolate bars or almond bark, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Leave enough parchment paper sticking over the long sides of the pan so that you can use it to remove the bars from the pan later.
- To make the blondie base, add the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt to a medium-sized bowl, whisk together and set aside.
- Add the melted butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and whisk together to combine.
- Add the eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest, and orange juice and whisk together until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently fold them together to combine.
- Add the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries and fold them together until incorporated throughout.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 18-22 minutes or until set in the middle and golden around the edges. Remove from oven and allow the blondie to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, add the cream cheese to a mixer bowl and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and orange zest and mix until well combined.
- Spread the frosting evenly on top of the cooled blondie base.
- Sprinkle the chopped dried cranberries evenly over the bars and drizzle with the melted white chocolate.
- Slice the bars prior to serving. I find it easiest to refrigerate them until the topping is firm before slicing. To get the triangle-shaped bars, cut the bars into 3 sections lengthwise. Then cut each of the 3 sections into squares and cut each square in half on a diagonal.
Store bars in an airtight container in the fridge. They should be good for up to 5 days.
The recipe is slightly modified from Belle of the Kitchen.
Keywords: cranberry bliss bars, white chocolate cranberry cookies, blondie, best blondie recipe, easy christmas desserts
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These are delicious. The only thing I would change is baking in a 9×9 pan. I thought the cookie part was a bit thick. How do you know if the crust is done. I baked for another 8 minutes waiting for the top to look brown. Only my edges got brown. Anyway very close to the Starbucks Bliss Bar😊
Did you bake them in a 9 x 9 pan? The recipe calls for a 9 x 13. These would certainly be pretty thick if they were baked in a 9 x 9 pan without adjusting it. That would also cause them to take longer to bake. That said, you can tell when they’re done if the top is no longer glossy and looks more matte. Mine also needed to brown on top just a touch, but ovens can vary.
I’m making this recipe right now and so far I’ve been baking it an extra 9 minutes without any luck on it setting. i used the 9 x 13. Could the oven temperature or baking time be a typo?
It’s not a typo. That said, there can be variation between ovens. Assuming all ingredients were measured correctly, I might wonder if you used a glass pan? Glass pans conduct heat differently and the bars would take longer to bake.