Cranberry Bliss Bars

Published Date: November 29, 2021

Homemade Cranberry Bliss Bars are the perfect sweet delights to serve your loved ones this holiday season. These sinfully good blondies are double-loaded with white chocolate and chewy raspberry raisins and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting! All these great flavors with no complex preparation—just pure bliss!

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The Best Cranberry Bliss Bars!

These luscious bars crammed full of dessert delights taste just like the ones you get from Starbucks, or may I boldly claim – even better! They are so, so good they have to come with a warning. Because one blondie bar will never be enough. Just a friendly piece of advice, get your running shoes ready because my diet went straight out the window with this one! But every bit was well worth it, as I kept telling myself with each bite. You can easily make an entire batch of these holiday treats for you and your loved ones. These are great for winter lunchbox treats, holiday gift-giving, and of course, for celebrations!

The Perfect Holiday Dessert!

This dessert’s red and white color combination makes it perfect for the holiday season. They will look fantastic stacked on your holiday dessert bar together with my Linzer Cookie recipe or my friend, Paula’s Chocolate Peanut Dried Cranberries! Just imagine how adorable they would all look together! Place this assortment of holiday treats in decorative boxes, and you have a thoughtful, made-with-love Christmas gift that will be a huge hit with everyone.

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Why We Love These Cranberry Bliss Bars

  • The blondie batter and frosting can be made in just 20 minutes, which is the only time you will have your hands busy with this recipe. You can sit back, relax and enjoy the delicious aroma while it bakes and chills.
  • Enjoy these cranberry blondies at a fraction of the cost when you buy them at a coffee shop. The ingredients used in this recipe are your everyday pantry staples, and you make 24 heavenly pieces in just one go!
  • These sweet bliss bars are freezer-friendly, so they can be made weeks ahead of time. You can have dessert ready anytime you want.
  • Plus, this homemade version uses dried cranberries, so you can make it any time of year! So if you are craving this popular Starbucks seasonal treat in the summer, go make one! 

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • For the blondie base:
    • Butter
    • Brown sugar
    • Eggs
    • Vanilla extract
    • Orange extract
    • All-purpose flour
    • Cornstarch
    • Baking powder
    • Salt
    • Dried cranberries (Craisins)
    • White chocolate chips
  • For the frosting:
    • Cream cheese
    • Vanilla extract
    • Orange zest
    • Salt
    • Cornstarch
    • Powdered sugar
  • For toppings:
    • Dried cranberries (Craisins)
    • White chocolate chips (whole)
    • White chocolate chips (melted)
    • Vegetable oil
Cranberry Bliss Bars Ingredients
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Kitchen Tools you’ll Need

  • 9X13 baking pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Hand mixer or standing electric mixer

How to Make Cranberry Bliss Bars

Preparations:

  • Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees.
  • Line a 9 x13 baking pan with parchment paper.

Steps:

1.     Cream the Butter. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together, then add eggs, vanilla extract, and orange extract. Mix well and set aside.

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2.     Add the Dry Ingredients. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a separate medium bowl.

3.     Combine the Flour and Butter Mixture. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stirring as much as necessary to blend it well.

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4.     Mix in the Craisins and White Chocolate. Gently fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.

5.     Bake. Spread the batter in the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.

6.     Let them Cool. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the bars to cool completely.

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Cranberry Bliss Bars Baked
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7.     Prepare the Frosting. While the bars are cooling, work on your frosting. Beat the cream cheese until creamy; incorporate the icing sugar and cornstarch. Then add in vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Beat the mixture until well blended.

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Cranberry Bliss Bars Frosting
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8.     Assemble the Bliss bars. Spread the icing on top of the bars. Evenly sprinkle the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.

9.      Melt the Chocolate. Melt the white chocolate chips with the vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl. When fully melted, beat with a fork to smoothen it before drizzling it over the frosted bars.

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Cranberry Bliss Bars Final
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10. Chill the Bars.  For best results, place the pan in the fridge and chill the finished cranberry bars for an hour before cutting.

11. Cut, Serve, and Enjoy! Cut them into 3 long rows with 4 squares each. This will give you 12 squares, then you cut each square diagonally to produce 24 triangle-shaped bars. Enjoy!

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Tips when Making Cranberry Bliss Bars

  • Before getting started, line your pan parchment paper and leave some overhang. This will help for easier removal of the bars from the pan and easier clean-up too!
  • Do not overbake the blondies. We want the top of it to be crisp and golden brown and the center to be just slightly underdone because it will continue to bake as they cool. Remember: we want soft and tender bliss bars—not hard and dry ones.
  • Check doneness with a toothpick. You want there to be just a few crumbs stuck on the toothpick, which means it is ready to come out
  • Ensure that you allow the blondies to cool completely before putting the frosting, or it will just melt into it and make them soggy.
  • When making your white chocolate drizzle, make sure to stir it every 15 seconds to prevent burning. You can also melt the chunks of white chocolate by placing the bowl over hot water. 

Serving and Storage Instructions

Serve these cranberry bliss bars slightly chilled or at room temperature. These bars will last up to 5 days when kept chilled in an airtight container. You can freeze the bars in freezer bags for up to 3 months when making in advance. Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

FAQs for Cranberry Bliss Bars

Could I use baking chocolate instead of chocolate chips in this recipe?

Yes! You could chop up 5 squares of white baking chocolate, which will work fine for the bars. Then melt 2 for the drizzle on top.

I don’t have any orange extract – what else could I use?

You could substitute 1 teaspoon of orange zest and 1 teaspoon of orange juice for the orange extract.

I want to make these ahead and freeze them – any tips?

Yes. These do freeze really well. You can freeze them for up to 3 months. Allow them to cool completely (give them a few hours in the fridge) before cutting them (it is much easier to cut them before freezing). Then wrap them in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil or place them in an airtight container.

Is there something I could use instead of dried cranberries?

Sure, dried cherries are delicious in this recipe as well.

I only use unsalted butter for baking- how much salt would I need to add to the recipe?

You need to add ¼ teaspoon of salt for each ½ cup of butter. So, in this recipe, you will add ½ teaspoon more salt than called for in this recipe. Since the bars call for 1 cup of butter, you will add a ½ teaspoon salt to the bars plus the ¼ teaspoon already in the recipe.

Can I make them gluten-free?

es, feel free to use the gluten-free flour blend on this recipe and swap out the all-purpose flour, ensuring that all other ingredients used are acceptable for your dietary needs.

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If you’ve tried these CRANBERRY BLISS BARS  or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how they turned out. We love hearing from you! You can also follow along with me on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM to see more colorful recipes!

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Cranberry Bliss Bars

Homemade Cranberry Bliss Bars are the perfect sweet delights to serve your loved ones this holiday season. These sinfully good blondies are double-loaded with white chocolate and chewy raspberry raisins and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting! All these great flavors with no complex preparation—just pure bliss!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cranberry Bars, Cranberry bliss Bars, Cranberry Blondies, Cranberry Squares, Startbuck’s Cranberry Bliss Bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
ChillingTime: 1 hour
Servings: 24 pieces
Calories: 326kcal

Ingredients

Blondie Bars

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 ¾ cup brown sugar tightly packed
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries craisins
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips

Frosting:

  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened 8- ounce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Topping:

  • ½ cup dried cranberries craisins, chopped
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips whole
  • cup white chocolate chips melted
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” by 13” baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and orange extract. Mix until combined and set this aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring only as much as necessary to blend.
  • Then gently fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Check with a toothpick. You want there to be just a few crumbs stuck on the toothpick which means it is ready to come out. If it is still quite wet, give it another 5 minutes.
  • Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the bars to cool completely.
  • While the bars are cooling you could prepare the frosting.
  • Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Beat in the icing sugar and cornstarch. Add in the vanilla extract, orange zest, and salt. Beat this until well blended.
  • When the bars are cooled, spread the icing all over the top. Then sprinkle evenly with the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips with the vegetable oil. (Melt and stir in 15 second intervals – chocolate can burn very quickly.) When this is fully melted, use a fork to beat it smooth, then use the fork to drizzle the melted chocolate over the frosted bars.
  • For best results, place the pan in the fridge and allow the finished bars to cool for an hour before cutting and removing from the pan.
  • To cut the triangle shaped bars, cut the pan into 3 rows of 4. (3 long rows cut into 4 squares each) This will give you 12 large squares. Then cut each square diagonally and you will have 24 triangle shaped bars.

Notes

Serving and Storage Instructions

Serve these cranberry bliss bars slightly chilled or at room temperature. These bars will last up to 5 days when kept chilled in an airtight container. You can freeze the bars in freezer bags for up to 3 months when making in advance. Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

FAQs for Cranberry Bliss Bars

  1. Could I use baking chocolate instead of chocolate chips in this recipe?
Yes! You could chop up 5 squares of white baking chocolate, which will work fine for the bars. Then melt 2 for the drizzle on top.
  1. I don’t have any orange extract – what else could I use?
You could substitute 1 teaspoon of orange zest and 1 teaspoon of orange juice for the orange extract.
  1. I want to make these ahead and freeze them – any tips?
Yes. These do freeze really well. You can freeze them for up to 3 months. Allow them to cool completely (give them a few hours in the fridge) before cutting them (it is much easier to cut them before freezing). Then wrap them in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil or place them in an airtight container.
  1. Is there something I could use instead of dried cranberries?
Sure, dried cherries are delicious in this recipe as well.
  1. I only use unsalted butter for baking- how much salt would I need to add to the recipe?
You need to add ¼ teaspoon of salt for each ½ cup of butter. So, in this recipe, you will add ½ teaspoon more salt than called for in this recipe. Since the bars call for 1 cup of butter, you will add a ½ teaspoon salt to the bars plus the ¼ teaspoon already in the recipe.
  1. Can I make them gluten-free?
Yes, feel free to use the gluten-free flour blend on this recipe and swap out the all-purpose flour, ensuring that all other ingredients used are acceptable for your dietary needs.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 389IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweettea_and_sprinkles or tag ##sweetteaandsprinkles
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  1. I appreciate how well the recipes are laid out. They are so easy to find and follow. The pictures are so good are each step is pictured. Even children could follow the recipe. My favourite place to look for recipes !

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