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. postedDec 8, 2013 1:05 PM
    Meagan Mary

    I love these! I had to increase the cooking time to about 30 minutes. I also highly recommend the orange zest in the frosting (I put the zest of 1/2 an orange in the batter too). Turned out great. Thanks!!! I am going to be selling these for my roller derby team, I hope they are a hit!

  2. postedNov 10, 2013 7:02 PM

    Hi Lori! I’m here looking at your old recipes 🙂 This one looks really yummy!

  3. postedNov 9, 2013 12:43 PM

    Can I use good white choc chips instead?

    • postedNov 11, 2013 4:53 PM

      You can try!

  4. postedMay 30, 2013 2:58 PM

    I lov these! Baked several times & here is a short cut I used
    I used Philly White Chocolate cream cheese to icing them, saved 2 steps & just as good!

  5. postedMar 29, 2013 1:16 PM

    I made these bars and they are excellent. I found that a night in the fridge was the best thing. The next day the bars were exactly like the ones from the coffee place that is not Tim Hortons.

  6. postedJan 20, 2013 8:47 AM
    Heather H.

    And yes, I agree, 18-21 minutes wasn’t enough I think I cooked mine at least 30.

  7. postedJan 20, 2013 8:46 AM
    Heather H.

    Took these for dessert to a dinner last night. Everyone just raved over them. They are delicious!!! I didn’t bring any home!

  8. postedDec 14, 2012 2:37 PM

    Thank you for the lovely recipe. I am adding orange zest to mine as Starbucks has an orange flavor. But I bet the ingredients are better quality at home! I also periodically check my oven temp with a thermometer. Until my last repair, my temperature ran 25 degrees lower than it should have, so I would add 25 degrees to my oven setting.

  9. postedDec 2, 2012 7:44 PM

    Just a word of warning…18-21 minutes is not NEARLY enough time to make sure these are done ( even though a toothpick came out clean ). I baked mine for 31 minutes and now they seem firmed up. Did anyone else have this issue? My oven works perfectly fine! These are delicious though. 🙂

  10. postedNov 29, 2012 5:41 PM

    These are amazing! Thank you and Happy Holidays!!

  11. postedNov 21, 2012 9:56 AM

    These are great! I split the recipe, and made half as the recipe described and used huckleberries for the other half. The huckleberries were amazing in this recipe!

  12. postedNov 20, 2012 10:15 PM

    One question – how did you get them out of the baking pan to cool without them breaking? I’m having issues…

    • postedNov 21, 2012 6:32 AM

      I lined my pan with parchment so I could lift out the whole thing, but without you’ll likely have to let them cool in the pan, then remove.

  13. postedNov 15, 2012 2:51 PM

    SO excited to have found this recipe! I just had my first one of the season at Starbucks, and it’s like some kind of addictive drug: I NEED MORE!!!

    I can’t wait to make these this weekend!

  14. postedNov 15, 2012 7:57 AM

    Tried the Cranberry Bliss for a potluck dinner last night & they were a hit!
    I added 2 T of minced crystallized ginger to the base & used white chocolate chips (cause I couldn’t find bars) Will definitely make them again. Saw a hint to use chopped pistachios & cranberries as top sprinkles for a nice red & green Christmas effect. Found them easy to make except I had problems melting the chocolate for the top drizzle – the chocolate seized and now looks like feta cheese LOL

  15. postedNov 3, 2012 12:03 PM

    These turned out so well!! My moms weakness/fav treat is starbucks cranberry bliss bars. First thing she said when she bit into one was “how could u do this to me” LOL. They’re fanstic and I will be making lots of them over the christmas season that’s for sure . Did only get 32 small bars, but they were nice and dense. 🙂

  16. postedNov 3, 2012 9:52 AM

    Making these bars right now! The batter is amazing, the smell is amazing, can’t wait for the finished product 😀

  17. postedSep 9, 2012 11:34 AM

    Your bliss bars or cranberry blondies are far superior to Starbucks. I just made a batch and they look and taste amazing. Thanks!

  18. postedFeb 14, 2012 10:24 AM

    Wow! Thank you so much for the recipe! I made these for Valentine’s Day and they turned out great!

  19. postedDec 25, 2011 7:30 AM

    The recipe is awesome. I have made two batches in the last day. The first I baked at the recommended 18 minutes but it was a little hard for my preference. The second batch I baked for 15 minutes and I liked it much better. Either way they taste great and was a huge hit in my basket of goodies that I give away each year. Thanks!

  20. postedDec 24, 2011 2:15 PM

    Thanks so much for this recipe!! They are amazing. Thank you SO much!

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