posted in Cookies and Bars

Cranberry Bliss Bars

This week, I baked Cranberry Bliss Bars.  The recipe originally comes from Taste of Home.

They call them “White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies,” but if you’re a Starbuck’s fan… they’re clearly Cranberry Bliss Bars.

You can view a short video showing you how to make these bars toward the end of this post, then scroll to the bottom to print out the complete recipe so you can make them yourself at home!

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe - from

I love to bake.  And if I’ve been baking, then you should know that it’s because of one of these 5 reasons:
1. I’ve developed or discovered a recipe that I have to try ASAP.
2. It’s raining
3. I’m falling off the diet wagon
4. I’m baking for something or someone
5. I’m depressed, and baking cheers me up!

Lucky for me, 98.9% of the time it’s #1.

The past week has been a roller coaster of emotions. I attended to my Mother in the hospital post-surgery each day. I watched my 10 year old get an opportunity to play quarterback and throw an exciting touchdown pass.

I lost a parking structure voucher and had to pay the maximum fine. I received emails with great opportunities attached.

I got a flat tire. I managed to create a handful of really yummy recipes for my cookbook.

I gained a pound. And I got in some good snuggle time with my 10-year-old boy, who made me pancakes on Sunday morning.

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe - from

I hate being emotional. I guess it makes me human. It makes owning DiorShow Waterproof Mascara absolutely essential.  

For some reason, feeling all weepy and weird usually makes me feel like baking (which is probably why I gained a pound).

This is a bar that is sort of the ultimate in comfort.  I kind of wanted to just pick up the whole SLAB and just take one big, fat, messy bite.

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe - from

These bars are topped with a white-chocolate-cream cheese frosting.  They’re sprinkled with dried cranberries and drizzled with white chocolate squiggles.  

Starbuck’s version adds an orange zest element to it.  I’m not into that, so I left it out.

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe - from

The first layer is blondie-like- so sweet, soft-ish, but firm- and a great base for this bar.  There’s white chocolate and dried cranberries mixed into the base too.

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe - from

Triangles seemed like the obvious shape to cut these into.  They’re much prettier than “squares,” and they have three syllables instead of one.  

I don’t know why I said that, but it seemed like something I needed to point out.  See?  I told you it’s been a strange week.

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe - from

I must say that these bars might cheer up even the gloomiest of people.  I’m not even a huge fan of white chocolate, and I could have eaten a whole bunch of this stuff.  

So yeah, they’re really, really good.  Starbucks Good.  Maybe better than SBux.

I forgot to mention a few more bright sides of my week- that the barking dog neighbors are moving out and our good friends are moving in, that I got 8 beautiful new cookbooks in the mail, and that I brainstormed some delightful new ideas for recipes coming up soon on the blog.  

Life is good, it’s just sometimes full of roller-coaster moments.  I just need to remind myself of that when life gets weird- make a cup of hot chocolate overflowing with marshmallows (spike it, if need be), relax, and accept the oodles of hugs and love that my husband showers me with daily.  

I’m one lucky girl.  And I love to bake!   If you lived near me, you’d get stuff.  

Good stuff.  Yummy stuff.  Stuff I don’t want to eat but I do, and then I’m desperately looking for someone to give it to (like these bars).

Click below to watch a short video showing you how to make this recipe, then scroll to the end of this post to print out the complete recipe.

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen bars

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes + cooling time

Cranberry Bliss Bars

A white- chocolate cranberry blondies recipe that is very reminiscent of Starbuck's Cranberry Bliss Bars.



  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Prepare the blondie layer: In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave; stir in brown sugar. Scrape the butter & sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (the batter will be thick).
  3. Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well-blended. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


  • If you'd like to add an orange flavor to these bars, add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest to the frosting.
SOURCE: (Adapted slightly from Taste of Home)

Here are a few more holiday bar recipes you might enjoy:


  1. postedMar 28, 2018 4:40 PM
    Lesli Marshall

    This recipe is amazing, but made even better with some ground ginger and some chopped candied ginger added to the batter! I have done it and they are even better than the bars you pay a small fortune for at Starbucks!

  2. postedDec 20, 2017 8:17 PM
    Tia T.


    Thank you for an AMAZING recipe! Thank you thank you thank you because I made these for the homeless ladies of the shelter and they loved them. I did add ginger and 1 drop of doTerra Wild Orange essential oil (as my citrus element) to the base and it was spot on with the cinnamon!

    Thank you!

  3. postedJan 9, 2017 10:03 AM

    I’m wondering if these can be frozen. I need to bake for my niece’s wedding in a few weeks and I’d like to get them done ahead of time.

    • postedJan 20, 2017 5:31 PM

      I think they’d probably freeze just fine if you wrap and seal them well in the freezer.

  4. postedNov 27, 2015 8:42 PM
    Chef Brit

    The Starbucks version is much more festive tasting. They add a variety of spices, more than only cinnamon. I added pumpkin pie spices as well as grated orange and/or lemon to the batter. Putting it in the batter is more flavorful as you get a more lasting aeromatic flavor. The results were fantastic! Great starting point, thank you! They taste like Christmas!

    • postedNov 28, 2015 11:14 AM

      Good to know- thanks for the tips!

  5. postedDec 23, 2014 2:44 PM

    These were borderline impossible for me. Every time I tried to put them on a wire rack they either melted through or turned into a crumbly mess. I tried multiple times as well.

  6. postedDec 20, 2014 11:45 AM

    can’t wait to try these.

  7. postedDec 10, 2014 11:02 PM


    Ok, tried them and DELISH!!!!! I’ve never had the Starbucks Bliss but think I need to just for a comparison. But honestly I can’t imagine it tasting any better. Our local store carries orange-flavored cranberries which was a great addition.

    Thanks again and keep the inspirations coming!!


  8. postedDec 10, 2014 8:34 AM

    These were really amazing! The reason I actually made these were because my sister is obsessed with them and I wasn’t sure why. I first tried them at Starbucks and wasn’t a big fan of them. I decided to make them for her and when I tried one I really loved it!! Definerly taste better than Starbucks cranberry bliss bars. Thank you for sharing!

  9. postedDec 8, 2014 5:49 PM

    Live in Seattle and can so relate to all, especially #2. Was looking for some new inspiration and look forward to giving this a try, thanks for sharing!!!

  10. postedDec 8, 2014 2:56 PM

    I love this recipe. Turns out terrific everytime. So simple and delicious and a genuine crowd pleaser. Thank you for this winning recipe!

  11. postedDec 3, 2014 11:38 PM

    Have an early XMas party tomorrow and they came out perfectly! So close to the starbucks taste! If you’re having issues melting the white chocolate for the drizzle, put the chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in increments of 30 seconds at 50% power on your microwave. I burned some of the chocolate my first go round. Thanks for a great recipe!

  12. postedNov 16, 2014 1:09 PM

    Thank you so much for having your recipes here so I could find them! I am not working right now, my back is hurt and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go back. I’m worried about Christmas so I’m thinking I may be baking my presents instead! You mentioned living close to you would be beneficial to us, and right now that sounds good to me! Wish I did, cause I could sure use someone to talk to! Thanks for the next best thing! These all sound so yummy, can’t wait to try them!

  13. postedNov 12, 2014 8:16 PM

    These were soo good! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  14. postedJun 22, 2014 11:21 PM

    I just made these Cranberry Bliss Bars and they turned out AMAZING!!!!! Im only 16 years old and i have a great passion for baking and I am constantly looking for great recipes and your blog has it all! One problem i encountered while making these bars was that the frosting was not as thick as i thought it would be, so i added more powdered sugar and it did the job! Thanks so much Lori for sharing this recipe, it tastes even better than the one in starbucks<3

  15. postedJan 4, 2014 5:38 PM

    I just made these and the blondie part is excellent. The frosting only calls for 1 cup of powdered sugar for 8 oz of cream cheese (?!). These measurements seem off–that would be only 1:1 for cream cheese to sugar. When I made the frosting , it just seemed to need more. I wound up adding 3 cups of powdered sugar and my frosting is still kind of droopy. As I type this I realize that I used the lower fat cream cheese–so that could have something to do with the texture–but I think even with the right cream cheese that 1 cup of sugar would not be enough.

  16. postedDec 31, 2013 8:04 AM

    I know you posted these AGES ago, and may not even see this comment now. But I have to say that I adore these cookies. I made them two years ago and they are now the most-requested holiday cookie that I make. I just made another batch last night for our New Year’s Eve party and plan to make more for a cookie exchange this weekend. Thanks for such a fantastic recipe!!

  17. postedDec 30, 2013 8:27 AM
    Jean H

    I made 3 batches of these before Christmas. Everyone I gave them to absolutely loved them (as do I)!
    A few minor changes:
    I had trouble melting the white chocolate (Ghiradelli chips) for the first batch to a drizzling consistency so I sprinkled the white chips on top. Not as pretty but still tasty.
    I microplaned the rind from an orange and added to the frosting. Wonderful!
    Since a lot of these were gifts and I wanted them to be consistent, I trimmed all the edges off and kept them for myself! Since they’re only about 3 bites each, I can justify nibbling frequently. Yum!
    This recipe has definitely earned a place in my baking repertoire. Thanks!!

  18. postedDec 22, 2013 7:32 PM

    We made these as part of our Christmas cookie baking and they are SO GOOD. They really do taste just like the ones at Starbucks! Totally in love – such a great recipe! 🙂

  19. postedDec 21, 2013 5:04 AM

    I’m waiting for my first pan full to cool so I can frost them. I’ve been dreaming of these bars since someone recommended them on my facebook page. I’ll let you know how they turn out. I already have an idea for the frosting, melt the 6 oz of white chocolate in two batches – one to add to the cream cheese/sugar mixture and then melt the other for drizzling. Anyone tried this? And how long would these keep in an air tight container in a cool place?

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