Cranberry Bliss Bars

Starbucks copycat recipe

It is that time of year again.

  • Bright coloured lights shining on rooftops
  • Christmas trees  up and decorated
  • Holiday specials on TV
  • Parties with family, friends and staff

On top of all those things that happen during the Christmas season, there is also plenty of baked goods that are made and also eaten. I love Christmas baking and I do more during November and December than any other time of year. Just look at my recipes on this site and you will quickly see that most of my baked goods happen in the last two months of the year.

I am thrilled to start the second year of 24 Days of Christmas Baking. This year, I am sharing a bunch of original recipes along with some classics. To start things off I want to share with you a copycat recipe of my favourite holiday treats from Starbucks.

Once Halloween is over and all the stores get their Christmas products up, I quickly head over to Starbucks for two things: Christmas Blend Coffee and Cranberry Bliss Bars. These bars are so amazing, and I am actually quite happy that they do not sell them all year long. If they did, I would buy way too many of them. This blondie with cream cheese frosting and lots of dried cranberries is totally delicious to me and it goes perfect with a mug of Christmas Blend.

My brother-in-law works at Starbucks and he said that Cranberry Bliss Bars are so popular that some people buy a whole tray of them. Wow – I never thought of that. As with everything at Starbucks, these bars are pricey, and there must be a way to make this at home at a fraction of the cost. Making these bars, I slightly adapted the recipe from Top Secret Recipes.

After tasting them, it amazes me how similar they are to the original from Starbucks. Actually, this version does taste better. The cake in the blondie is lighter and there are far more flavours. The white chocolate and dried cranberries taste great in the bar, but it is the lemony flavour in the cream cheese frosting that I just loved! I will be making these again.

Cranberry Bliss Bars

4.20 out of 5
5 reviews
This copycat recipe of the Starbucks classic is a blondie with white chocolate and dried cranberries. This top secret recipe has it topped with a lemony cream cheese frosting, more dried cranberries and a light drizzle.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 24 servings


  • 3/4 cup butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries , chopped
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 brick of cream cheese (4 oz)
  • 2 1/2 cups icing/powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries , chopped
  • 1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk


  • Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter with the brown and white sugars until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, salt and baking powder. Slowly pour the mixed dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture while beating. Stop beating once the mixture looks fairly smooth and there are no lumps. Stir in the 3/4 cup chopped cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter in a greased 13x9 cake pan and bake in a 350F oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  • Make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup dried cranberries on top of the frosting.
  • Whisk together the icing sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle the icing on top of the cake.
  • Cut into triangles or squares.
  • These bars can be kept in the fridge for a couple weeks in the freezer for up to 3 months.



Starbucks copycat recipe

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating


  • 3 stars
    Followed your recipe and I find it has too strong a lemon taste. IF I make it again I will cut the lemon in half. In retrospect I ought to have tasted the icing as I made it.

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  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice was too overpowering. Is this really the right amount?

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  • These bars turned out really well, I did line my pan with parchment which allowed me to lift the bars out, I also precut them while they were soft. I did want to mention that the second tsp. of vanilla was missed in the instructions 🙂 thanks so much for sharing!

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  • I can’t tell you how happy I am that I came across your recipe. The past two times I’ve been to Starbucks in my town they were out of cranberry bliss bars. I look forward to them every Christmas. Evidently, there is a shortage and they won’t be getting anymore this year. I was so bummed, until now 🙂

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  • 5 stars
    My favorite bars ever! Beautiful pictures!

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  • 4 stars
    I made these over the weekend, and they are good – but I am going to make a few adjustments next time. First, the tsp. of ground ginger was a little overpowering for me. I’ll reduce it to 1/2 tsp. next time. Second, my icing didn’t turn out too great. I think I probably softened the cream cheese too much in the microwave, and even though I added a lot of powdered sugar to make up for it, it really never firmed up as much as I would have liked. And third, I have kept the pan on the refrigerator (because of the runny icing), and the bars are very hard to cut and they also stick to the bottom of the pan really bad! I just used pam to grease my pan, but next time I think I will use butter or shortening! Thanks for posting this recipe though, cranberry bliss bars are my favorite!!

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  • 5 stars
    Gotcha Starbucks!! Thanks for this, I’ll be making my own version of my Starbucks favorite. Very excited for now plus frap, Perfect!

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  • I LOVE these at Starbucks and I’m so excited to give these a try at home, thanks so much for this recipe!

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  • Love anything to do with cranberries – specially at Christmas. This looks really good! Thanks, Steve.

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  • 4 stars
    I’ve never had a cranberry bliss bar but I do believe I should take a chance and make this recipe. They look so good and the photos are to die for.

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