White Chocolate Cranberry Blondie Bars
Let’s learn how to make Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars at home and even better! They’re super festive and a favorite every year during the holiday season. That combination of white chocolate and cranberry is a match made in heaven nestled in the softest blondie base and topped off with a decadent cream cheese frosting.
If you haven’t tried a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks yet, here is how they describe it:
“A blondie cake with dried cranberries, finished with a layer of cream-cheese icing flecked with orange zest and a sprinkle of dried cranberries—a holiday extravaganza of undeniable yum.”
The base is a buttery and chewy blondie, which is basically a softer, more cake-like version of a cookie. The blondie is then packed with sweet white chocolate chips and tart dried cranberries for the perfect balance of flavor. To top it off, orange zest adds a beautiful floral citrus note to these festive bars. That alone is delicious but it’s taken to the next level with a cream cheese frosting on top, an elegant drizzle of white chocolate, and a sprinkle of more dried cranberries.
How to Make the Bars
If you ever made a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, the process is super simple for making the blondie base.
In one bowl, you will mix together all the dry ingredients. This includes all purpose flour, salt, and baking powder.
In another bowl, whisk together brown sugar, white sugar, eggs and an egg yolk, melted unsalted butter, and vanilla extract. Light or dark brown sugar works in this recipe but I used light.
Combine the wet with dry and mix together with a rubber spatula. The dough will be somewhere between a cookie dough and cake batter – not too runny and too firm.
Then we’ll add white chocolate chips, orange zest, and dried cranberries. Starbucks also adds a little bit of ginger in them but I opted out. Feel free to add some for a more festive spice taste.
Transfer it to a 9×9 or 9×13 pan depending how thin or thick you’d like them. I used a 9×9 pan. Pop it in the oven to bake for 22 to 25 minutes. If using a 9×13 pan, it will cook a lot faster since it is thin so make sure to keep an eye out on it and take it out when a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
Once it’s out of the oven, allow it to cool to room temperature.
How to Make the Frosting
The frosting is super simple to make and has only 4 ingredients – just cream cheese, unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. The most important thing is for the cream cheese and unsalted butter to be at room temperature. If they are not softened, the frosting will turn out chunky.
Just use a hand beater or stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat it all together until fluffy, smooth, and creamy.
When the blondie base is cooled completely, frost the top all over. Feel free to use as little or as frosting as you’d like depending how you like it.
Then chill it in the fridge until the frosting is firm to the touch. This step is optional but highly recommended as it helps to get clean cuts.
Cut into small triangles, add chopped dried cranberries on top, and drizzle melted white chocolate on top to enjoy!
Other Holiday Sweet Recipes to Try Out
- Cinnabon Copycat Cinnamon Rolls
- Starbucks Copycat Sugar Cookie Latte
- Crumbl Copycat Twix Cookies
- Churro Cookies
If you tried this recipe and loved it, drop by down below and let me know how you liked it with a rating and comment! Feel free to also leave a question there about this recipe and I’ll get right back to it.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 to 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 to 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Dried cranberries chopped to sprinkle on top
- Melted white chocolate
- 8 ounce cream cheese room temp
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temp
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, salt, and baking powder.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk together unsalted butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and bring together with a rubber spatula. The consistency will be between a cake batter and cookie dough, not too thick and not too runny.
- Mix in the orange zest, white chocolate chips, and dried cranberries.
- Line a 9x9 or 9x13 pan with parchment paper. I used 9 x 9 for thicker bars but use 9 x 13 for thinner bars.
- Transfer the batter to the pan and spread evenly across.
- Pop in the oven to bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Just like cookies, you don’t want to overbake it. It will continue baking after you take it out of the oven. Thinner bars will cook faster if using a 9x13pan.
- Let it cool for 10 minutes and then take it out of the pan to finish cooling to room temperature.
- While it cools, make the cream cheese frosting. Add cream cheese, unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl. Use a hand beater or stand mixer with the paddle attachment to beat until fluffy and smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Once it’s at room temperature, frost. Use as little or as much or as you’d like depending on how thick you want the frosting layer to be.
- Pop it in the fridge to chill until the frosting is set. This step is optional but it makes the cutting a lot easier.
- Once the frosting is firm to touch, cut the bars into large squares and cut the squares in half diagonally to create triangles.
- Drizzle melted white chocolate on top of each triangle and sprinkle chopped cranberries on top! Enjoy.