Cranberry Bliss Bars were all the rage a few years ago, and everyone was trying to clone them at home. The ones served at Starbucks were hit or miss — sometimes they’d be fresh, and sometimes they’d be dry. This is one of the clone recipes so you can make your own, guaranteed-fresh, Cranberry Bliss Bars. I’m not sure who came up with this recipe. It’s not identical to Starbucks and is a bit cakier than theirs, but it’s still pretty good. It calls for orange extract, but I used vanilla.
An almost identical recipe was posted on Recipezaar so you can read those reviews too. Update: Since posting, I’ve changed the frosting a bit by adding a little more cream cheese and less sugar. Also, I don’t recommend using a 9×13 inch pan otherwise the bars come out too thick and cakey. It’s important to stick with the 15×10 inch pan.
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, softened (use salted!)
- 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
- 1/2 pack (4 oz) softened cream cheese (114 grams)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (42 grams), softened
- 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar (210 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 3/4 tsp vanilla and 1/4 tsp orange extract
- 1/3 cup craisins, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoon grated orange rind
- 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15x10 inch metal pan with parchment paper or Release foil.
- Beat the butter and sugar until creamy; add eggs and extract (I used vanilla) and beat until combined.
- 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.
- Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 350 for 23-24 minutes or until the edges are light brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Let it cool completely.
- Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add extract and confectioner’s sugar and beat until frosting is fluffy and spreadable. Spread evenly over cooled bars.
- 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.
- 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).
- Allow one hour for the white chocolate to set before cutting. **To make signature Starbuck triangles, cut jelly roll pan into 20 large squares
** 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.