Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars is the copy of the original Cranberry Bliss Bar with chunks of white chocolate and dried cranberries throughout blondie base, then topped with cream cheese frosting, a drizzle of white chocolate.
As I re-write this recipe, this time with Starbucks having discontinued selling the original Cranberry Bliss bars, I am twice as happy to share this recipe. A true holiday favorite, these white chocolate cranberry bars are one of the most delicious treats the famous coffee company used to carry. Each year when holidays come around and I make a batch of these wonderful Cranberry Bliss Bars I am thankful that my friend Olya who shared this recipe with me.
Being able to re-create the authentic flavor of the Cranberry Bliss Bars makes me giddy with excitement. These bars are as fun to make as they are to eat. I cut my bars into pretty small pieces, which makes them really cute in my opinion.
I am not sure why Starbucks decided to change up the recipe for the bars and replace their original cookie-like crust with a cake-like one, but I do not like the one they have right now. Or, should I say, I just like the ones they had before better.
So to replicate the base in the recipe for these bars the base is made to be a little more dense, holding well to the spread of the cream cheese frosting, cranberries and white chocolate.
The white chocolate in both the crust and the drizzle on top creates a nice balance for the tartness of the Craisins.
Even though the recipe has several steps involved, they are all pretty basic and simple to execute. See for yourself and enjoy a traditional holiday treat with a cup of hot cocoa or tea!
Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
Makes: One 12×16 baking sheet
Ingredients for the White Chocolate Cranberry Bars:
- unsalted butter (softened, not melted)
- brown sugar
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- minced crystallized ginger or finely grated fresh ginger
- vanilla extract
- Craisins (dry cranberries), chopped
- white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate bar
- Craisins (dried cranberries), chopped
- white chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- cream cheese
- vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
- lemon juice
- orange extract
How to make Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars:
- Preheat oven to 350F with the rack in the middle. Line a 12×16 inch baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Cream together brown sugar, salt & butter. Next, add eggs & vanilla extract, one egg at a time creaming the mixture in between. Add grated ginger, flour & baking powder and stir everything together. Now, Add cranberries & white chocolate and fold them in.
- Using wet hands or wet spatula spread the batter evenly in a 12×16 inch baking pan. Finally, bake for about 20 minutes or until the middle is baked through. Do not overbake or the bars will be very dry. Allow to cool.
How to make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, orange extract & vanilla extract to a bowl of a mixer. Using a beater or a whip attachment beat/whip everything together until creamy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Place the white chocolate in a cup and microwave for about 40-50 seconds in 7-8 increments stirring with a spoon in between, until it just starts to melt. Continue stirring until all chocolate is melted. Transfer it to a ziplock bag and twist the end around the chocolate. When ready to drizzle, snip the end with scissors.
How to Assemble the White Chocolate Cranberry Bars
- Spread the frosting over the cooled down crust, then sprinkle the craisins on top. Drizzle melted white chocolate on top. Allow the bars to set until the top of the cream cheese frosting is not sticky to the touch, about 2 hours. This will make it easier to cut the bars
- Trim the ends of the bars, for even edges. Cut the bars into squares, then cut the squares diagonally into triangles. The pictures below are of a half portion. Full portion will give you twice as many bars as you see below.
So are you a fan of Starbucks’? Do you like the new bakery they are using now or are you missing the old stuff, like me?
Also, checkout my updated VIDEO RECIPE of these delicious CRANBERRY BLISS BARS below.
Here are some more Desserts to try:
- Apple Coffee Cake – The best apple cake topped with a homemade streusel topping.
- Lazy Cheesecake Swirl Brownies – Delicious chocolate brownies with cheesecake.
- Cranberry Bliss Coffee Cake – Coffee cake loaded with Cranberries, White Chocolate, and a Cream Cheese Frosting.
Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars - copy of the original Cranberry Bliss Bar, it has a blondie cake base filled with white chocolate and craisins, then topped with cream cheese frosting, more cranberries and white chocolate.
For the White Chocolate Cranberry Blondie Base
- 1¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ sticks butter softened, not melted
- 3 eggs
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tblsp minced crystallized ginger or 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1½ cup flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ –1½ cups dried cranberries
- 4 oz. white chocolate chips
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 oz white chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tsp lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp orange extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle. Line a 12x16 inch baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
Make the White Chocolate Cranberry Blondie Base:
Cream together 1¼ cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt & 1½ sticks butter. Add 3 eggs & 1½ tsp vanilla extract, one egg at a time creaming the mixture in between. Add 2 Tbsp grated ginger, 1½ cup flour & ½ tsp baking powder and stir everything together. Add Craisins & white chocolate and fold them in. Using wet hands or wet spatula spread the batter evenly in a 12x16 inch baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until the middle is baked through. Do not overbake or the bars will be very dry. Allow cooling.
How to make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Add 4 oz cream cheese, 1½ cups powdered sugar, 4 tsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp orange extract & 1 tsp vanilla extract to a bowl of a mixer. Using a beater or a whip attachment beat/whip everything together until creamy, about 4-5 minutes.
Place the white chocolate in a cup and microwave for about 40-50 seconds in 7-8 increments stirring with a spoon in between, until it just starts to melt. Continue stirring until all chocolate is melted. Transfer it to a ziplock bag and twist the end around the chocolate. When ready to drizzle, snip the end with scissors.
Spread the frosting over the cooled down crust. Sprinkle the craisins on top. Drizzle melted white chocolate on top. Allow the bars to set until the top of the cream cheese frosting is not sticky to the touch, about 2 hours. This will make it easier to cut the bars
Trim the ends of the bars, for even edges. Cut the bars into squares, then cut the squares diagonally into triangles.
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I think 8 oz of cream cheese works as it was so runny with the 4 oz. Was this a typo? Next time I will half the icing sugar and liquid in the frosting and add only 4 oz. Now I have leftover frosting
You’re welcome to use 4 or 8 oz. – just know that with 4 oz the frosting will not be sticky after a couple of hours.
If you use more cream cheese the frosting will remain sticky on top. Either way it will be delicious!
Can this be frozen?
Yes, in an airtight container for up to a month. Leave at room temperature or in the fridge to thaw.
These were really easy and really delicious! I don’t know what the Starbucks bars tasted like, but made this for my boyfriend for Valentine’s day and he says they tasted exactly like them.
I baked them in a 9″x13″ pan because the dough seemed too thin on the recommended size, but it really poofs up as it bakes; it easily doubled it height. I would definitely make them again!
Thank you Kay for your feedback! Glad you liked them!
Made these bars for 3 years now- they are incredible. Always a hit! I use ginger powder instead of fresh ginger and they are divine!
The flavors are there, but problems are, too. I just made this recipe exactly as written with one exception, the baking time. The main issue is that the batter is too thin for the 12×16 pan & the baking time of 20 minutes is too long. I pulled it out of the oven at 18 minutes & it was overdone. The next issue is the frosting – it’s watery, not enough cream cheese & too heavy on the citrus flavoring. IF I make it again obviously I’ll adjust pan size or baking time, & make my own cream cheese frosting.
All in all, this recipe is only a starting point.
How do you store these once prepared. I am thinking of mailing these to my brother who LOVES the cranberry bliss bars at Starbucks.
You can keep them at room temperature, refrigerate or freeze them. If storing at room temp, make sure to keep them covered under a dome or something similar to keep them from drying out. If refrigerating or freezing, keep in an airtight container,
just made this! super delicious and festive:) and easy to make!
thanks Marina 🙂
I have never tried these at Starbucks so can’t compare to the originals but…they are very yummy. They taste wonderful. I did have a problem with them sticking to the pan though. I used foil on the pan, followed the directions 100% but yet it stuck so they turned out pretty messy (yummy but messy). Are you supposed to spray or butter the pan even if you use foil/parchment paper? Thanks for the recipe! I love your website.
I have used a both parchment paper and foil to bake these in and as long as used a thin spatula to lift the bars, I had no problem. Could it be that for some reason they were a tad underbaked, so that is what was causing the mess? The recipe has a good amount of butter, so even with the foil you shouldn’t have a problem lifting them up with a spatula. But, if this issue persists, it might be a good idea to just spray it with nonstick spray.
Thank you so much!
I made these back in June, and they turned out beautifully! Anyone making these should really invest in silicone baking sheets, they’re pretty reasonably priced on Amazon. The bars came off of the silicone sheet 100% clean without any breakage at all, so if you’re making these to sell at a bake sale and presentation/uniformity is your focus, go with silicone. I’ll be making these throughout the holiday season and probably once a month for the rest of my life. Thank you for this recipe!
Thanks for such a great review! Once for the rest of your life sounds like a good plan 😀
I agree, silicone mats are awesome! Just in case someone’s looking for one, here’s the link (affiliate link) for one one Amazon (12 in x 16 in). By the way, parchment paper works really well too and you don’t have to wash it when you’re done.
Yummy! Made several times over the holidays to rave reviews.
Thanks so much for posting this. I just recently stopped at starbucks for my annual treat. They were not what I remembered, and was very disappointed. Now I know I was not crazy. can not wait to make up a batch of these.
3 cups of sugar is a bit much. Anybody that likes that much sugar on anything won’t be alive for long!! But otherwise delicious:)
Thank goodness it is not meant for one person, right? lol
I make these every year and they are a huge hit with everyone who tries them…I use orange oil however in the frosting instead of lemon- the true Starbucks version is orange not lemon- and I don’t put the dried cranberries in the dough- only cut up on top… I also make mine in a 9×13 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes- They turn out perfect every time- I would think a bigger pan as you suggest would make the bars extremely thin – but what’s great about these is that you can change it to fit what you like best
Those are great tips! Thank you for sharing!
Can I freeze these? I can’t wait to make them for everyone coming home for Thanksgiving,
I think they would freeze just fine, just make sure to wrap them well.
They freeze beautifully, Terry. One gallon Ziploc bags, and use a straw to suck out a majority of the air that’s still in the bag. No more than one layer of bars per bag, but stack them however you want once they’re completely frozen. I timed the thaw, and they’ll take about an hour and a half on the counter at room temp.
Thanks for sharing your experience! This is good to know!
I make these every year and everyone raves. Was stopping by the comments to see if anyone has ever frozen (chocolate does not freeze well, but wasn’t sure about white chocolate). Thank you so much MJ for posting your freezing tips – was exactly what I needed!
And thank you, Marina, for this delicious recipe. It is an annual must bake and hit everywhere I take it!
Salted or unsalted butter?
Just made these but I had to change the icing a little as I had no lemon, added lime instead, and then… I added some ground fresh ginger to the frosting as well. OMG so so Good!
This recipe is a keeper. I made them yesterday and gave them as gifts to some of my neighbors. I used less brown sugar in the batter and less icing sugar in the frosting. Too be honest, I could even used less sugar in the batter. That is me. I do not like anything too sweet.
Thank you SO much for this recipe!
I gave 4 stars as too much sugar for me.
Just made these. I ended up putting 6oz of cream cheese instead of 4oz for the frosting. I also had to use dried, sweetened cranberries from Whole Foods bulk. The cranberries are really sweet. I think I also put slightly too much lemon juice. But they are still good! Thanks for the recipe.
Just had my first bite of these today! Truly wonderful. I’m making cookies for our homeless shelter and wondering if I can make this with a cake mix?! Sure would save some time if you know how! Thanks Cathy.
LOVE…LOVE…LOVE… these! Thanks for the recipe. I had a student in my bakery class make these about two years ago. When she gave me her supply list she asked for cranberries and craisins. She made the bars with whole fresh cranberries and used craisins on top for the garnish. I have since made them both ways and love them both. The fresh cranberries give a little tart flavor which is so delicious. I’ve never had the Starbucks version, but I brought them to my teacher friends at work who said they were better than Starbucks! Thanks again for sharing.
How much butter? In cups or TBSP
It is 12 tablespoons or 3/4 cup.
These were awesome! Just wondering the best way to store them since I want to eat them all but know I shouldn’t? Thanks for the recipe.
Thanks Beth! I know how tempting it is, but be strong! lol
Either in the fridge, or on the counter is fine -just depends if you like them really cold or room temperature.
This recipe nailed it. I tried the others (twice) and they were too “cakey”. Leaving out the white sugar, cutting back the flour and the butter makes them chewier and truer to the original. I adjusted to put a tsp of orange flavoring in the cake (along with the vanilla) and that seemed to bring the flavor out a bit more. Spreading the batter with a knife was easier (and less frustrating than a spatula….left all 3 cups of confectioners sugar in. Also it baking powder not baking sofa. The detailed instructions are great !
Best cranberry bliss bar recipe out there
So excited to make this reciepe for Thanksgiving dessert!
I would like to make Wednesday night in preparation for Thursday. I know you advise a cooling time. Do you recommend I let it set and then put in the fridge overnight or leave out and covered?
Thanks a bunch!!!
Hi Alison, you can leave it out uncovered to set and then refrigerate it, or cover and leave at room temperature. I personally like it from the fridge 🙂
Hi! Some of my family members are allergic to ginger. Should I not put any ginger? Or is there anything I can replace that with? Thanks!
Yes, you can totally just not use it for this recipe.
I have a 11 x 16 cookie sheet that’s 1 inch deep. I see you refer to a “baking pan” of the same size. Will my cookie sheet do or do I need something deeper?
This is perfect Kristen!
I made this last week. They were so easy and came out perfect. These go on my favorites list and I will definitely make them again! I did use the full amount of powered sugar for the frosting and it was sweet. I think next time I will use less (as advised in the recipe) and see which one I like better. Thank you for a wonderful and easy recipe!
This is a great recipe but i will agree the baking time is way off. I baked mine for 13 minutes and the middle was completely raw. I just tossed the whole thing in the trash. I would make this recipe again but will bake it twice longer as some of the ladies mentioned it. Also will agree with some of the reviews the frosting is way too sweet. Will do 8 oz of cream cheese and 2 cups of sugar.
I’m sorry it didn’t work the first time 🙁 What size baking sheet did you use?
In all of my recipes I try to give an approximate baking time, which is then followed by “or until it’s baked through” note, because for different ovens the baking time might vary (different ovens bake differently, same goes when you use a silpat or parchment paper).
For me it only took about 10-13 minutes to bake it, but because more people had the same problem, I increased the recommended bake time in the recipe.
I think adding more cream cheese and decreasing powdered sugar if you don’t like it this sweet is a great idea!
Thank you for your feedback Lanie!
I don’t know where you live, but Starbucks in Lexington KY still sells these every Christmas. I just bought a box of 6 today – they were on sale! Yum my favorite Christmas treat!
Oh we have Cranberry Bliss Bars here at Starbucks too, but it’s just not the same ever since they changed bakeries for their baked goods 🙂
Do you store these in the fridge or at room temp?
Either way is fine.
These look amazing and I’m in the middle of baking them right now and after 12 minutes in the oven they look raw still!! My sister told me she baked them for 17-20 minutes at her house as well. I didn’t know that before I took them out! Did I do something wrong? They were on the middle rack, at 350°….. I’m supposed to make these for a party next week and I’m glad I decided to test them today!!
This batter is like chocolate chip cookie batter, if you wait until they look done then they will be overcooked and not moist. I baked them in a preheated oven for not more than 12 minutes, but If you want to bake them for 15 and remove them. Next time you’ll feel more comfortable cooking them for less if they look too dry.
If the batter is puffed up all the way in the middle and is not runny when you take it out of the oven, it’s done.
The top recipe calls for Craisins and the bottom printable version calls for just cranberries. I was ready to use fresh cranberries until I noticed the discrepancy. Craisins for the batter and the topping worked fine although next time I’ll try fresh cranberries, halved. Also, I used 1 t ground ginger and the bars tasted great.
I corrected the discrepancy and you were right to use Craisins in both the dough and the topping 🙂
Baking these right now! Unfortunately I used baking powder as per the ingredient list then noticed now that it says baking soda in the directions. The batter tasted good though so hopefully it is OK… Also totally raw after 10 minutes. Fingers crossed they come out OK in the end!
Baking powder is right 🙂 I corrected it in the printed version 🙂 Hope they came out good 😀
Phew! They did. Had to freeze them to stop “sampling”. Thanks for the recipe, these are going into the regular Christmas rotation!
That’s awesome! Thanks for using my recipe Amanda!
So did you end up baking it for longer than 10 min, or were they ok at 10 minutes?
These are fabulous just the way the ingredients are as listed. Took a little bit (5 stores) to find the crystalized ginger but well worth it. I took it to work and had co workers asking to pay me to make it for them!!! THANK YOU! I am making my first batch for this year today!
Oh Deb, you’re my favorite person today! Thank you for making my day with your feedback 😀
Rainy day here in Myrtle Beach. I’m going to bake these and ignore the rain! Thanks
Baking is always a good idea for baking 🙂 Let me know how you like them 🙂
Hi! Great recipe, looking forward to try it! I have just one question, actually two. 🙂 You said you used minced crystallized ginger but I can’t find it here I live but I have ginger in powder as a spice for cooking (I hope I explained well), can I use that one instead?
And it came into my mind – instead of decorating bars with dry cranberries, could pomegranate seeds would do the trick? I don’t mind dry cranberries (as I’m going to use them in the dough anyway) just thought we have pomegranate season here and I have a lot of them at home, I’d like to use them in this recipe, like hey, why not? 🙂 Looking forward to hear what do you think of my interpretation!
I think you can use may be 1/2 a teaspoon of powdered ginger instead, or 1 tsp of fresh ginger.
I love the idea of using the pomegranate seeds instead of dry cranberries. I am not sure if it’s going to be the same thing, but I’m sure it will be delicious still.
Hope to hear from you once you make it 🙂
Thanks Paula for your questions!
How many bars do you yield from a recipe?
It really depends how small or how big you cut them. This recipe makes one 12″x16″ sheet. I hope this helps.
Made these last night as a Halloween treat for my coworkers. I love the sweet and tangy combination. Great addition to my Christmas cookie recipes. BTW I used baking powder – I didn’t see that you edited and suggested baking soda – oh well they turned out fine! Delicious!
That’s great Kim! Thanks for sharing your feedback!
These turned out fantastic! I added a little orange zest to the batter and sprinkled some on top and yum! Easy to make too.
That sounds awesome! I am glad it all worked and you liked the bars! Thanks for using my recipe!
Wld ground ginger powder work?
Hmm.. I am not sure, because I don’t know what ground ginger powder tastes like…
If you’re going to use ginger powder, scale back the amount A LOT. That’s what I used since it was already in my pantry and they ended up tasting like really strong gingerbread with cream cheese and cranberries. I’ll not skimp and get the fresh ginger next time.
These are awesome! I used a tiny bit of powdered ginger, just right.
Also, I had some tangerines and only one lemon so I mixed the juices for the base and the frosting…very good also! Tis the season again!
I want to make these. Can I use any dried fruit, like cherries you think? My kids are the biggest craisins fans:/
I guess if you don’t like crasins then any dried fruit with a bit of sourness will work. But I do think they’re best with Cranberries 🙂
I saw these on IG the other day, but came back to pin the recipe, since I love them! Definitely making them soon!
Thanks Lyubomira! they really are awesome 😀
i had to make a lot of changes to this recipe, luckily it was a huge hit. i recommend REAL cranberries for the mix, gives it that tart taste which is needed since this is a very sweet treat. i also found that the recommended pan size is waaaay too big and the baking time was off. it took me 25 min! for the frosting, i would recommend all 8 oz of cream cheese and maybe only 2 cups of powdered sugar (thats up to you). i also omitted the chocolate drizzle on top completely – would make it too sweet.
I’m glad you were able to adjust the recipe to your own taste!
While all of those changes are great, they would not produce the flavor of what we knew as the original Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar. That doesn’t mean that either one is less tasty 🙂
Oh my gosh, this is amazing!! I loved the cranberry bliss bars, so this is absolutely a must-have for my kitchen! Pinned!
Thanks so much!
I bought fresh cranberries but now notice in your photo that they dont look whole, they look a little smashed. Did you use whole cranberries?
The recipe uses Craisins (or dry cranberries), not fresh cranberry 🙂
Help! I’m right in the middle of making these delicious looking bars and I’m wondering if I’m supposed to use baking soda or baking powder? The ingredients list says “baking powder” and the directions say “baking soda”!
Thanks Kim! I already edited the post to reflect the correct ingredient.
I’m so thankful for all you did! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Many Blessings! 🙂
No problem Valya! Blessings to you and your family as well!
Marin these look so so amazing! I can eat that icing through the screen. And don’t even get me started on your shots! A-MAZING! What lens do you use if you don’t me asking?
Oh this looks delish!
These are so much better than from Starbucks!!!!
Why couldn’t agree more Natasha lol. Thank you 🙂