Cranberry Bliss Bars – a homemade version of the popular Starbucks treat! These taste just like the original, and are easy to make right at home!

This is my absolute favorite dessert to make for the holidays. They are fabulous for parties, gift-giving, and everything in between during the festive season. For even more holiday recipes, check out some of our other favorites like The Best Chocolate Pecan Pie and Candy Cookie Bark!

a marble tray full of cranberry bliss bars cut in triangles

Y’ALL! I am so so SO excited to share this recipe with you today!

It’s been a labor of love for the past few weeks. At this point I’d say my family is pretty cranberry-bliss-bar-d out, but I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel until I got them just right.

a marble tray full of cranberry bliss bars cut in triangles

With some little tweaks made to each batch, I finally did it! I even set up a side-by-side taste test with a bar purchased from my local Starbucks and these taste just the same, if not better!

I find these to be slightly more chewy in texture, which I actually prefer!

The real game changer is the orange extract. A little goes a long way, but it really gives these bars that authentic flavor. Don’t leave it out!

a stack of cranberry bliss bars cut in triangles

With this recipe, you can have them anytime of the year, not just at Christmas anymore. They are also much cheaper to make at home and make a lot, so it’s perfect to take with you for your next holiday gathering.

Ingredients for Cranberry Bliss Bars

ingredients laid out on a marble background for cranberry bliss bars

unsalted butter / brown sugar eggs

orange extract / vanilla extract / ground ginger

baking powder / salt / all purpose flour

white chocolate chips / dried cranberries / cream cheese

powdered sugar / almond bark

How to Make Starbucks Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars – Step by Step

progress of making cranberry bliss bars on a marble background

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15×10 or 13×9 inch jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Beat together melted butter and brown sugar over medium speed with an electric mixer. Add in eggs, 1 tsp orange extract, and 1 tsp vanilla extract and beat until mixed well. Add in ground ginger, baking powder, salt, and flour, beating until just blended. Don’t overmix.
  3. Stir in white chocolate chips and Craisins by hand. Spread evenly into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes until set and golden brown at the edges. Don’t overbake or bars will be hard. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool. Allow bars to cool completely before topping with frosting.
  4. To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add 1/2 tsp orange extract and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and mix well. Top cooled bars with frosting. Sprinkle with chopped Craisins and drizzle white chocolate over the top with a fork. I dip my fork into the chocolate then shake it gently over the top of the bars to create little streaks. You can either slice right away and enjoy, or place the bars in the refrigerator for about an hour (what I like to do) to help them set up before cutting. Cut into triangles as shown below.

How to Slice

slicing progression for cranberry bliss bars

  1. Remove the bars from of the pan by gently lifting the sides of the parchment paper and placing it on a cutting board. Slice the bars lengthwise into long strips.
  2. Next, slice the bars horizontally to form squares.
  3. Finally, slice the bars crosswise to create triangles.

a marble tray full of cranberry bliss bars cut in triangles

 

Tips and Notes

  • What pan works best: I’ve made these successfully using two sizes of pans; a 15×10 jelly roll pan, or a 9×13 jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet.) The larger size pan will lend to thinner bars, and the smaller pan will make thicker bars which are more similar to the true Starbucks version. Either will work, but the 9×13 pan is what I prefer to use. If you don’t have a 9×13 jelly roll pan, you can also use a regular 9×13 pyrex casserole dish.
  • Line your baking pan: for easier removal and cutting of your cranberry bliss bars, line your pan with parchment paper that overhangs on the sides. This will allow you to “lift” the bars out of the pan and slice them easily.
  • Orange extract is essential! Don’t skimp on it. It really brings out the true flavor of these bars! If you don’t have orange extract or are unable to find it, you can  substitute with 1 teaspoon of orange zest and 1 teaspoon of orange juice.
  • Frosting: The frosting on these is slightly thinner than the Starbucks version, but will set up well once refrigerated. If you prefer a thicker frosting, feel free to add an additional 1/2 cup of sugar.
  • Topping: You can use either white baking chocolate or almond bark for the topping. Both are easy to melt in the microwave. To make the pretty streaks on top of the bars, dip a fork into the melted chocolate then shake gently over the top over the bars.
  • How to store: once the bars are sliced, place them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.

a stack of cranberry bliss bars cut in triangles

Can I freeze these Cranberry Bliss Bars?

Yes! Prepare and slice as directed. Place the bars in the refrigerator for at least four hours, then cover tightly in a container with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving. 

a marble tray full of cranberry bliss bars cut in triangles

Can these Cranberry Bliss Bars be made gluten free?

Yes! In order to make these bars gluten free, all you need to do is swap out the all purpose flour for your favorite gluten-free flour. I would recommend one of the blends from either Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour. 

a marble tray full of cranberry bliss bars cut in triangles

More Amazing Holiday Treats

a marble tray full of cranberry bliss bars cut in triangles
4.91 from 246 ratings

Cranberry Bliss Bars {Starbucks Copycat Recipe}

Yield: 24 bars
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Cranberry Bliss Bars – a homemade version of the popular Starbucks treat! These taste just like the original, and are easy to make right at home!

Ingredients

Bars:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup Craisins

Frosting and Topping:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese,, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Craisins,, roughly chopped
  • 2 squares baking chocolate or almond bark,, melted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15x10 or 13x9 inch jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. *see notes
  • Beat together melted butter and brown sugar over medium speed with an electric mixer. Add in eggs, 1 tsp orange extract, and 1 tsp vanilla extract and beat until mixed well. Add in ground ginger, baking powder, salt, and flour, beating until just blended. Don't overmix.
  • Stir in white chocolate chips and Craisins by hand. Spread evenly into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes until set and golden brown at the edges. Don't overbake or bars will be hard. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool. Allow bars to cool completely before topping with frosting.
  • To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add 1/2 tsp orange extract and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and mix well. Top cooled bars with frosting. Sprinkle with chopped Craisins and drizzle white chocolate over the top with a fork. I dip my fork into the chocolate then shake it gently over the top of the bars to create little streaks. You can either slice right away and enjoy, or place the bars in the refrigerator for about an hour (what I like to do) to help them set up before cutting. Cut into triangles and enjoy!

Notes

  • What pan works best: I've made these successfully using two sizes of pans; a 15x10 jelly roll pan, or a 9x13 jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet.) The larger size pan will lend to thinner bars, and the smaller pan will make thicker bars which are more similar to the true Starbucks version. Either will work, but the 9x13 pan is what I prefer to use. If you don't have a 9x13 jelly roll pan, you can also use a regular 9x13 pyrex casserole dish.
  • Line your baking pan: for easier removal and cutting of your cranberry bliss bars, line your pan with parchment paper that overhangs on the sides. This will allow you to “lift” the bars out of the pan and slice them easily.
  • Orange extract is essential! Don't skimp on it. It really brings out the true flavor of these bars! If you don't have orange extract or are unable to find it, you can  substitute with 1 teaspoon of orange zest and 1 teaspoon of orange juice.
  • Frosting: The frosting on these is slightly thinner than the Starbucks version, but will set up well once refrigerated. If you prefer a thicker frosting, feel free to add an additional 1/2 cup of sugar.
  • Topping: You can use either white baking chocolate or almond bark for the topping. Both are easy to melt in the microwave. To make the pretty streaks on top of the bars, dip a fork into the melted chocolate then shake gently over the top over the bars.
  • How to store: once the bars are sliced, place them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • How to freeze: Prepare and slice as directed. Place the bars in the refrigerator for at least four hours, then cover tightly in a container with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving. 
  • How to make gluten free: In order to make these bars gluten free, all you need to do is swap out the all purpose flour for your favorite gluten-free flour. I would recommend one of the blends from either Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur Flour. 
UPDATE 12/13/2017: I have made these using a 13x9 inch rimmed baking sheet and it is now my preferred size of pan to use. The bars bake slightly thicker, which is even more like the Starbucks version! The baking time and ingredients all remain the same. Mine are ready to come out of the oven right at 22 minutes. I did another side-by-side taste test today and they are identical, y'all!!
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Calories: 289kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 163mg, Potassium: 89mg, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 385IU, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 0.8mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know! Mention @TheBelleoftheKitchen on Instagram or tag #BelleoftheKitchen.