Cranberry Bliss Bars

Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas Treats!

Oh my. These are good. Very very good. This is another recipe I found last Christmas and have been waiting a whole year to make. When it came down to it, I almost lost interest in this recipe and substituted it with another. But at the last minute I realized I had all the ingredients, so I figured I might as well make it. And let me say it again – these are good!

Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

If you’ve ever had a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks (do they still sell them?), then you may know what to expect from these delightful treats. I, myself, have never had the Starbucks version, so I can’t attest to the authenticity of these. I can only attest to how good they are (are you sensing a theme? These are good!). It’s basically a dense cake/bar with a subtle ginger flavor, studded with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. The topping is a delicious cream cheese frosting sprinkled with dried cranberries and drizzled with a sugary glaze. Just describing them makes me want to eat one! I was pleasantly surprised when I took my first bite and realized just how good these were, and from the reactions I got when I served these, I’m pretty sure everyone else enjoyed them as well. They’re very rich so it’s probably best to cut them into small pieces. These would be perfect paired with a cup of coffee for an afternoon snack. And to be honest, I’ve been quite tempted to eat one for breakfast!

Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

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Cranberry Bliss Bars


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Drizzling Icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1-2 tablespoons milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and mix well. Gradually add flour and mix until smooth. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into the greased pan, using a spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until completely smooth. Spread on the completely cool cake. Sprinkle the top with cranberries.

Drizzling Icing:
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp of milk, powdered sugar, and vegetable shortening. Gradually add more milk until the icing has a thick but drizzly consistency. I used closer to 2 tablespoons. Put the icing into a ziploc bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner. Drizzle the icing on top in zig-zags.

Cut into squares or triangles and enjoy!

see on Brownies for Dinner, originally from My Little Mochi

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69 Responses to “Cranberry Bliss Bars”

  1. 1

    Lisa — December 10, 2010 @ 11:00 am

    I've heard so much about these bars and one day I aim to try them for myself. I don't think I'll be able to resist much longer, especially after seeing how great yours came out.

  2. 2

    Estela @ Weekly Bite — December 10, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    Oh my! These look perfect!

  3. 3

    Jenn — December 10, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

    Oh my is right, Megan!! lol These look wonderful! I loved the cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks..can't wait to try these!

  4. 4

    allieksmith — December 10, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

    HOLY CRANBERRY BLISSS :)))))))))))) Yuuuuum! I haven't heard about these but now I really want to try them!

  5. 5

    CaSaundraLeigh — December 10, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    I am pretty sure I've bookmarked all your sweet recipes within the past week..I better get baking! 😉

  6. 6

    Olya Nikol Pishcheva — December 10, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    Lovely!.. I want it right now!.. :))

  7. 7

    Maria — December 10, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

    I might make these today! they look great!

  8. 8

    Danielle — December 10, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

    They look so good! I've never had the starbucks version either. I love the pictures though! So clear.

  9. 9

    Camille — December 10, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

    These are just stunning. I definitely plan to make these!

  10. 10

    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — December 10, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

    Yep they still sell them! But oh my do these homemade cranberry bliss bars look a million times better. I'm drooling over your pictures, YUM!! :)

  11. 11

    Medifast Coupons — December 10, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

    I have had these at Starbucks, and they are wonderful, thanks so much for the recipe, can't wait to make myself.

  12. 12

    Anonymous — December 10, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    I get these from Starbucks and eat them for breakfast…..Not sure I see the problem with that! :)

  13. 13

    happywhennothungry — December 10, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

    These bars look amazing and perfect to share with my co-workers at our office holiday party. Thanks for sharing! Yum!

  14. 14

    Paul Jennette — December 10, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

    The look good, very good!! Love all the holiday treats you are doing. Keep them coming.

  15. 15

    thedelishdishblog — December 10, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    whoa! cream cheese frosting AND icing!! that does sound very decadent. these certainly do look festive!

  16. 16

    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — December 10, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

    I've moved on from my mint obsession to a cranberry one – thanks for sharing this! I love holiday flavors!

  17. 17

    Simply Life — December 10, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

    Oh those do look really really good! :)

  18. 18

    Sean Grey Hanson — December 11, 2010 @ 1:31 am

    Look so pretty!!! Well, I've been craving cranberry so hard.

  19. 19

    Jen @ BigBinder — December 11, 2010 @ 1:45 am

    Oh, I've made these before. They're AMAZING!!! It was for a Christmas Cookie Exchange and I had to try and fit this recipe on a little index/recipe card.
    I ended up having to use three.

  20. 20

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — December 14, 2010 @ 3:41 am

    These look fabulous… I love all things cranberry! Great recipe!

  21. 21

    Margot — December 14, 2010 @ 7:03 am

    I just made these tonight, and was really pleased with how they turned out. Perfect colors and flavors for the holiday. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. 22

    Eliana — December 14, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

    This looks waaay better than the store-bought ones. Love them :)

  23. 23

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — December 16, 2010 @ 11:43 am

    Jen – Aren't they wonderful?? Thanks for leaving a comment confirming how good they are! :)

    Margot – I'm so glad you liked these! Thanks for stopping back and leaving a comment. These are one of my favorites :)

  24. 24

    Suzanne — December 17, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

    Megan these look sinful! I found you on foodgawker, congrats on the awesome photo.

  25. 25

    LunaCafe — December 18, 2010 @ 12:35 am

    They look GREAT! I've never actually tasted the Starbuck's version. I'll make yours instead. :-) …Susan

  26. 26

    Staar84 — December 22, 2010 @ 4:45 am

    Oh, I love these! My dad always buys some for Christmas! Would this recipe work with fresh cranberries?

  27. 27

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — December 22, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

    Staar84 – I wouldn't use fresh cranberries in this. They would be too tart and have a much different texture.

  28. 28

    Linds — December 29, 2010 @ 4:34 am

    These are great! I made them today! Thanks for the recipe!

  29. 29

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — December 29, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

    Linds – Glad you liked them! Thanks for taking the time to stop back and comment :)

  30. 30

    Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging — January 8, 2011 @ 5:09 am

    I actually have the Starbucks ones in my freezer, you can buy them in bulk. This I know. :) I'm wondering if these taste like the real ones, because I have a serious addiction and the sun has set on their time at Starbucks for the year.

    This is my first visit to your blog and I'm already hooked!

  31. 31

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — January 9, 2011 @ 5:33 am

    Amy – I've heard that these do actually taste similar to the Starbucks version. If you try them, let me know! :) I've never actually tried the ones from Starbucks, but I want to!

  32. 32

    Becki nudge — November 29, 2011 @ 12:35 am

    These are soooooo goooooood! And they’re not even chocolate! The perfect blance of sweet and tart and textures.

    • megan replied: — November 29th, 2011 @ 5:54 am

      I’m so glad you liked these! Your comment made me so happy. These are some of my favorite Christmas treats and I want everyone to like them as much as I do! :)

  33. 33

    Homemade Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars :: Money Saving Mom® — December 1, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    […] shows you how to make homemade Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. […]

  34. 34

    Noellle — December 1, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    Yes, Starbucks still sells them! I LOVE these at Starbucks, and I can’t wait to try out this recipe. Yay, for a new kind of cookie to make for Christmas parties.

  35. 35

    Sheila — December 1, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to taste them :)

  36. 36

    Annie — December 1, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    Cranberries are my FAVORITE! I am printing this out to make this week.

  37. 37

    Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars « annarjohnson — December 1, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

    […] shows us how to make cranberry bliss bars! These taste amazing and are half the price! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first […]

  38. 38

    Lyn GG — December 1, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    These are my favorite at Starbuck’s and yours look so yummy! The ones at Starbuck’s have a bit of an orange taste to them though. I will try making your this week.

  39. 39

    Kristen — December 2, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    Ohmygosh. I just made these. I don’t know how I am going to keep myself from eating all of them. They are fabulous!

    • megan replied: — December 3rd, 2011 @ 5:56 am

      I’m so glad someone has the same struggles as me! :) I had to give these away to keep from eating them all. Thanks for the comment, I’m so glad you liked them. :)

  40. 40

    Jenney — December 3, 2011 @ 10:13 am

    I am dying to make these. I bought one from Starbucks yesterday to see if I would like it. It was wonderful. Can’t wait to bake! Thanks for sharing. It seemed like their frosting might have Orange peel/zest in it, not that it matters.

    • megan replied: — December 3rd, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

      Thanks for the update on what the Starbucks version tastes like! Good to know about the orange taste in the icing. I will have to try the real version and compare. :)

  41. 41

    Susan — December 13, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    Do they need to be refridgerated? I’m planning to make them this weekend and cut them small to add to my Christmas cookie trays I’m giving out – but I’m not sure if they can be kept at room temp. They look so good!

    • megan replied: — December 19th, 2011 @ 6:41 am

      Sorry for such a late reply – somehow your comment got lost in my inbox! I’m probably way too late to help you, but I figured I’d answer for future reference. I refrigerate them to store them, but I think they’d be fine to be at room temperature for awhile. I’ve heard that cream cheese frosting is fine at room temp, but I always refrigerate to be on the safe side.

  42. 42

    Courtney — December 14, 2011 @ 11:56 am

    I keep them in the fridge and they are wonderful! Baking my third batch this season. Everyone LOVES them! Thanks for the recipe!

  43. 43

    Melanie — December 14, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

    Is there something I could use instead of the lemon juice? I don’t like anything citrus… Otherwise these look great!

    • megan replied: — December 16th, 2011 @ 6:55 am

      You could probably just leave the lemon juice out. You might have to add a little milk or something to replace the liquid, but then you would just have a plain flavored cream cheese frosting, rather than the slight lemon flavor you’d get from the juice. If you try it, let me know how it turns out! :)

  44. 44

    Kerrie — December 15, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    These are absolutely wonderful, I will definately be making this recipe again! I’m glad I took them to church to share because it’s really hard to stop eating them once you’ve started. Such a yummy taste sensations to have in your mouth! :)

    • megan replied: — December 16th, 2011 @ 6:50 am

      I love when I get comments like this! I’m so glad you liked these – I think they might be my favorite Christmas treat out of all the ones I shared. And I agree – not safe left at home! :)

  45. 45

    A Little Update | Vera Christian | Mom University — December 16, 2011 @ 1:44 am

    […] with each of the kids, making different treats to share with our loved ones.  We have tried making cranberry bliss bars (a takeoff from the Starbucks version), snowballs, peppermint biscotti, cinnamon bun cookies and […]

  46. 46

    Christmas Cheer « Pink Laundry — December 16, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

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  47. 47

    Natalie M. — December 21, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

    Made these last night…delicious! I took your advice and gave them away as gifts – they were a big hit. Thanks for sharing!

    • megan replied: — December 22nd, 2011 @ 10:43 am

      Awesome! I’m so glad you liked them :)

  48. 48

    Melissa J. — December 22, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    Yummy…yummy…yum! Better than the original!

    • megan replied: — December 22nd, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

      So glad you liked them!!

  49. 49

    NanaSherry — December 22, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    Should these be refrigerated after baking?

    • megan replied: — December 22nd, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

      I don’t think they technically “need” to. I read somewhere that cream cheese frosting is actually fine to have sit out. But…I am overly cautious and I always refrigerate these. Plus they taste really good cold. :)

  50. 50

    Laura L. — December 22, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

    Wow! Just cut a corner piece for us to share…these are supposed to end up on gift trays…don’t know if they will make it there! My oldest daughter was telling her sisters, “I don’t think you’ll like it. Just let me eat your sample.” My husband is at work. I am thinking he and I should enjoy a late-night snack when he gets home and after the girlies are in bed…

    • megan replied: — December 22nd, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

      I’m so glad you liked them! Funny story about your daughter, but I have to say I might have tried the same tactic :)

  51. 51

    Nanasherry — December 22, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

    Just sampled my first bite. Yummy! Maybe I should keep these to myself. I wouldn’t want to get anyone else hooked on these!

    • megan replied: — December 24th, 2011 @ 6:36 am

      ha, good idea! Glad you liked them :)

  52. 52

    Rachel — December 24, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

    I made a gluten-free version of these today and they turned out wonderfully! I replaced the flour with 1 and 1/2 cups of the following flour mixture: 1 cup millet flour, 1 cup sorghum flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 cup potato starch. I also added 1 teaspoon guar gum to the recipe. Thanks so much, I can’t wait to try some more of your recipes!! Merry Christmas!

  53. 53

    Cranberry Bliss Bars | Recipe Diaries — December 28, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

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  54. 54

    Laura — May 24, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

    Made these tonight and they are great! I always buy one of these from Starbucks with my coffee in the winter-time. So I had hoped these would live up to my standards. WIN! So thanks for posting this recipe.

    • megan replied: — May 28th, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      So glad you liked these!! :)

  55. 55

    heather kinser — October 25, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    The first step in the directions tells you to add ginger. But the ingredient list doesn’t list ginger… I want to go get stuff to make these but dont want to have to make two trips

    • megan replied: — October 28th, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

      1 tsp of powdered ginger is listed in the ingredients – hope that clears up any confusion! :)

  56. 56

    Kimmie — November 20, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

    I just made my second batch of these….yummy. I do make some changes. I use 1 tsp. of vanilla and 1 tsp of orange flavoring. I omit the drizzle (too much sweetness). After icing with cream cheese and sprinkled with chopped cranberries I zest a little orange on top. WOW….so good!!

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