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Cranberry Bliss Bar Clone #1

by on October 16, 2008 · 13 comments

A few years ago, Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss bars were all the rage. Everyone was trying to copy them at home and a few different versions appeared on the Internet. This is one of them, which is why I’m designating it as Clone 1. I’m not sure who came up with this recipe. Even though it’s not identical to Starbucks and sort of tastes like cake, it’s pretty good. It calls for orange extract, but I used vanilla.

These were tasty and everyone liked them, but they weren’t the same as Starbucks. If the Starbucks down the street starts selling these again, I might try to clone them myself.

An almost identical recipe was posted on Recipezaar so you can read those reviews too.

Cranberry Bliss Bars

 

Cranberry Bliss Bar Clone #1
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A bar cookie recipe similar to the Cranberry Bliss Bars sold at Starbucks
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, softened **
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract (or vanilla)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • FROSTING
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 — 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract (or vanilla)
  • TOPPING
  • 1/3 cup craisins, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch or 15×10 inch metal pan with parchment paper or Release foil.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy; add eggs and extract (I used vanilla) and beat until combined.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, and ginger and stir until mixed, then add the cranberries and chips, stirring just to blend and being careful not to over-mix.
  4. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 350 (23-24 minutes for 10×15, 27 minutes for 9×13), until the edges are light brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Let it cool completely.
  5. Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add extract (again, used vanilla) and confectioner’s sugar and beat until frosting is fluffy and spreadable (adding 1 t. milk if needed). Spread evenly over cooled bars.
  6. Garnish: Use a zester to remove rind from an orange. Chop 1/3 cup Craisins coarsely. Sprinkle this garnish of orange zest and Craisins over frosted bars.
  7. For the final topping, mix white chocolate and oil in a glass measuring cup. Microwave 50% power for 1 minute; stir. Repeat 1 more minute at 50% power; stir. Use a fork to drizzle the white chocolate in thin diagonal strips across the bars (I didn’t use fork).
  8. Allow one hour for the white chocolate to set before cutting. **To make signature Starbuck triangles, cut jelly roll pan into 20 large squares
Notes
This recipe is adapted from on one Recipezaar. ** I used unsalted butter and didn’t add any extra salt. The bars were still okay, but I think they would have been better if I’d added a pinch of salt.

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Published on October 16, 2008

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer October 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Those bars were amazing and I am so excited that you have come up with a DAMN good interpretation. I am looking forward to further cloning :)

Emiline October 16, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Funny, as often as I visit Starbucks, I don’t ever buy any of their baked goods, though they look good. It would be fun to try and clone some of their recipes. Did you ever try the chocolate cinnamon bread? It was good.

The bars look wonderful!

Katrina October 16, 2008 at 2:13 pm

I’ve never had these, but whether they taste like Starbucks or not, they sure look good!

snookydoodle October 16, 2008 at 2:21 pm

I ve never tried the starbucks bars but these are surely pure bliss :)

Anne October 16, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Hey Anna – I came up with a knock-off of these bars about 3 or 4 years ago (whenever they came out) and I’ll send it to you tomorrow. I’m leaving work right now. Your’s look great (like mine) :)

Felicia Nguyen October 16, 2008 at 7:42 pm

I love them too…they come out during the xmas holiday. I just bought a box of 8 yesterday…They are called Cranberry Bliss and you can get them individual or a whole box for a little cheaper. They are YUMMY!!!I hope you could clone them b/c every year I spend so much money on them. I buy at least a box (8) every week.

Anna October 16, 2008 at 8:03 pm

The other version is made with all brown sugar and has crystallized dinger. I think it may be close than this one, but I’ll have to test it to be sure.

Anne, I can’t wait to see your knock-off! I won’t be able to make it until next week, but I will definitely try your version too.

Jessica October 17, 2008 at 12:57 pm

This looks good! Have you ever had/tried cloning Starbucks pumpkin loaf? Its soo good…

Kristen October 17, 2008 at 5:25 pm

I look forward to these every year. I tried making some a few years back and they didn’t come out so great. Maybe I’ll try these (or whichever one you find comes out best LOL) this year. ;)

Cakespy October 18, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I really enjoy these bars, which I had previously figured were filled with crack–but now I see it’s something that is possible to make by mere (non drug dealer) mortals! :-)

Anne October 20, 2008 at 9:41 am

As promised, here is my take on these scrumptious bars. I made this initially with the cake mix but prefer using the cookie dough recipe – it’s easier and more like a bar crust, not cake-like. You can, of course, make these with regular dried cranberries but I like to be different. Enjoy!

Cranberry-Orange “Bliss” Bars
(2 Methods)

Bars:

1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla (or plain vanilla) cake mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup dried orange-flavored cranberries
zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9”x13” pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray. In mixing bowl, fold cranberries into dry cake mix. Add eggs, oil, zest and orange juice and mix to blend. Pat dough evenly into pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a rack until bar layer reaches room temperature.

Or

Prepare a store-bought sugar cookie mix (I used Betty Crocker), adding 1 cup dried, orange-cranberries, the zest of 1 orange and 1/4 cup orange juice plus the egg and butter called for on the package. Mix together well and pat evenly into 9”x13” pan which has been lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a rack until bar layer reaches room temperature.

Frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
zest of 1/2 large orange
2 -4 T. orange juice
powdered sugar (2 cups +)
1/2 cup dried orange-flavored cranberries, chopped

1- 11-oz. bag white chocolate chips, melted with 1 t. butter

Mix together cream cheese, butter, zest and 2 T. orange juice until well blended. Add powdered sugar, using enough until you get the consistency of thick frosting. If it’s too thick, add more orange juice. Frost bars. Sprinkle chopped cranberries over the bars. Put melted white chips into zip bag, snip tip and drizzle chocolate over bars. Cover with foil. Let set up overnight. Cut into 32 squares.

Jen November 23, 2008 at 6:34 am

I made a test run of these for Christmas cookie trays yesterday. I really liked them (especially more so refridgerated – seemed less cakey), but not sure if they made the cookie tray “cut.” I am afraid that they would not hold up that well. Regardless, I would make them again as a special treat.

oh – and I used vanilla extract as well, but added orange zest to both the dough and the frosting and I loved the orange/ginger combo it gave the bars, so I would suggest doing that.

Wendy Clark February 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

These are DEADLY DELICIOUS! I made one tiny alteration and that was I used chocolate molding/melting wafers instead of trying to melt the white chips. The wafers melt at a lower temperature and stay smooth and creamy for drizzling. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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