Holiday Recipe Exchange: Cranberry Bliss Bars

Do you ever becoming obsessed with making something, but it just never actually transpires into the finished product?

Last year, I became slightly enthralled with the Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks. I’m fairly certain that they are a holiday selection, but let me tell you they are amazingly delicious.

After my first bite, I knew I had to find a knock-off version of this sweet and festive treat, so I immediately googled the recipe. I’m really great about the bookmarking and printing parts, it’s following through that I am lacking.

Another obsession I have developed is my love for Kerrygold butter. Ever since I first tasted this amazing Irish butter back in October, I have been smitten with it. I am really excited that they are our sponsor this week and can’t wait to giveaway another Kerrygold Basket! If you haven’t tried Kerrygold butter, you need to. All butters may resemble one another in form and color. But get into the taste and texture and you’ll start to notice the difference. Kerrygold butter is a soft and creamy in texture, while the taste is full in flavor. In my experience, using it in baked goods, results in exceptional buttery goodness and a more tender crumb.

This year remembering my obsession for Starbuck’s cranberry bliss bars, I pulled up my bookmarks and pulled out my Kerrygold to make treats you see here. I found the base recipe for these bars via Mr. Breakfast and I of course added my spin to it. This Cranberry Bliss Bar recipe came out amazingly well. In fact, I kinda think I prefer this version over Starbuck’s! This festive bar is loaded with white chocolate, orange zest, dried cranberries and pistachio and sure to the perfect addition to your holiday parties.

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Yield: 15 servings


For Cake Base:

1 cup Kerrygold Unsalted butter; softened
1 cup brown sugar—packed
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
1/2 cup minced dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

For Frosting:

8 ounce cream cheese -- softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons butter -- softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one orange

For the Garnish:

dried cranberries
chopped pistachios
white chocolate shavings


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes. Add eggs, orange zest and vanilla; beating until well combined. Sift together the dry ingredients and then add to the butter/sugar mixture beating well. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate. Spread thick batter in pan and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.

3. When cake is cooled, mix all frosting ingredients together and spread over the cake. Garnish with dried cranberries, pistachios and white chocolate shavings.

adapted from Mr. Breakfast

27 Responses to “Holiday Recipe Exchange: Cranberry Bliss Bars”

  1. Blog is the New Black — December 15, 2010 at 7:14 am

    I keep seeing these pop up everyone, each one better than the last! :)


  2. The Blue-Eyed Bakers — December 15, 2010 at 7:42 am

    YUM! What a fabulous combo! White chocolate, cranberries and pistachios?! Sounds delicious! Perfect holiday-time breakfast treat!


  3. Katrina — December 15, 2010 at 7:42 am

    These look so tasty. Great recipe!


  4. Heather (Heather's Dish) — December 15, 2010 at 7:54 am

    i used to work for starbucks for several years, and when i first started i was a svelte college grad…until Christmas rolled around and i tried cranberry bliss bars for the first time. i blame them for any/all the weight i gained after college :)


    • Sydney — December 21, 2010 at 10:39 am

      I just had my first bliss bar from Starbucks…the only reason I allowed this to happen was because they claim to have 280 calories in them (the lowest of any baked food item Starbucks had)…
      Was that calorie count just a lie?? How could this be?

  5. CaSaundra — December 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I am loving all things cranberry this time of year! I made a cheesecake last week, but I haven’t gotten around to making any bars with cranberries yet. Your recipe looks fabulous!


  6. Cheryl — December 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Definitely a winning, and colorful, combo!


  7. Steph@stephsbitebybite — December 15, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I love Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss Bars!! I actually amde a knock of version too, but I love that yours has pistachios!!


  8. Kristin — December 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Looks delicious! Could I sub fresh cranberries for dried? I know you would need to increase by 1/4 c. if using fresh instead…and I’m guessing add a little sugar?? What would you recommend? Thanks :)


  9. Jaime ( Sophistimom ) — December 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Looks yummy, Jamie. . . and I think we have the same napkins—but I only bought one, on sale at Pier 1.


  10. Medifast Coupons — December 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks so much, one of my favorite treats to get at Starbucks this time of year, can’t wait to see if these measure up.


  11. Kate @ahealthypassion — December 15, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    wow those look delish. what a great holiday treat!


  12. Sylvie — December 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    My husband would absolutely love these, cranberry bliss bars are one of his favorite holiday treats!


  13. Brooke (Baking with Basil) — December 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    These look soo wonderful! I need to make them now!


  14. Jun — December 15, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Yummy! Thank you for sharing! I love cranberry bliss bars!


  15. Chris — December 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Ha! Great minds! I just posted these last week ( . I used ginger in my base, but love the orange idea…:)
    The pistachio addition is fabulous, too!


  16. Kristen — December 16, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Don’t those look amazing?? Yum!


  17. Caroline — December 16, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I love cranberries during the holidays! These bars seem like a wonderful change of pace from the typical cookies and candies that grace our table. Great recipe!


  18. Beth — December 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    These look incredible!! So yummy with a cup of coffee…


  19. Kara — December 18, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I love the combination of flavors, and they look so pretty too!


  20. Jennifer — December 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I made these last weekend and they were delicious! Next time I would cut the frosting in half though, as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and it was pretty thick :)


  21. Tess — December 23, 2010 at 2:20 am

    I made these with my friend yesterday and they are absolutely AMAZING. I added extra white chocolate to the batter and frosting, then made the frosting without the butter. Everyone LOVED them and were gone 3 hours after they were done! I would definitely recommend making these for the holidays.


  22. Brandy K — December 23, 2010 at 10:30 am

    These were really good. I made them last week, and featured them on my blog–with full credit to you. Thanks for posting such a yummy recipe!


  23. Joanne — December 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I love the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar! I have got to make these!!! thanks for posting the recipe!


  24. Melissa — February 9, 2011 at 12:57 am

    I love the kerrygold butter too!!!



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