Cranberry Bliss Bars (Starbucks Copycat)

If you remember my cranberry white chocolate muffins then you remember how much I love cranberry and white chocolate. Starbucks sells cranberry bliss bars starting in late November through the holiday season every year, and they are addicting. They’re also $4.00 a pop..and frozen, but delicious none the less.

But these homemade copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars are just as blissful as the Starbucks ones (maybe even more)! A soft, chewy blondie bar packed with tart, dried cranberries and  chunks of white chocolate topped with a sweet, cream cheese and white chocolate frosting with zesty orange, then a few more cranberries and a drizzle of heavenly white chocolate…..are you drooling yet?

The best thing about these, I think, is that unlike their seasonal companion you can make these any time of the year, which is perfect when those cravings hit mid-summer.

A good trick to these is to not over bake them. They will harden up as they cool, even if the blondies seem a little soft when you take them out of the oven. I like my icing a little runnier, because I really like the orange flavour in the icing, so I use a bit more orange juice. If you like your icing a bit thicker, which is more traditional for these bars, then use only 1 tbsp of juice in the icing or add more icing sugar. The dried ginger I think gives it a nice flavour, but leave it out if you want!

They make a 9 x 13 pan, so they’re group friendly since they make quite a few!

These are one of my favourite treats for a reason. They are:

  • Sweet;
  • Creamy;
  • Tart;
  • Tangy;
  • Full of white chocolate;
  • Make-ahead;
  • Super easy to make; and

These bars stay true to their name!

Cranberry Bliss Bars (Starbucks Copycat)

Blondie base:

  • 1½ cups AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon table salt 
  • 12 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1½ cups packed brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest 
  • 1 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1⅓ cups white chocolate chopped or white chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 1⅔ cups white chocolate melted
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1½ cups icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest 

For topping:

  • ½ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • ⅔ cup white chocolate melted

For the Blondies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Melt the butter, then take off the heat and let cool.

Combine the cool, melted butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl until combined. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and orange zest and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder & salt.

Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined to avoid overmixing.

Fold in the chocolate chunks and the cranberries. Pour batter into baking pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until the top is shiny and light golden brown. Remember to not overbake, the blondies should still be a little soft when you take them out.

Let bars cool in the pan.

For the frosting:

Combine the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until well mixed and fluffy.

Spread frosting on the cooled bars.

For the topping:

Sprinkle dried cranberries over the top of the frosted bars. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top. You can do this by using a piping bag with a small tip, a ziploc bag with a small part of the tip cut off, or simply drizzle with a fork!

Cut into triangles (or squares, triangles are the more traditional) and share!

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