Cranberry Bliss Bars

There is nothing redeeming about this recipe. It is a slab of comfort food, for getting through trying times. However, unlike its counterpart at Starbucks, you won’t pay a small fortune for a tiny piece. Nope. You get an entire 9×13″ pan to indulge in. Well, they do freeze well also, so you can make them last all season!

I originally developed this recipe back in 2011, for my previous food blog I wrote in those years. The photos show two versions you will see, one has plenty of orange zest in it, the other (below) I left it out. Both are equally delicious. If you have an orange on hand and orange extract, add it. But otherwise, it’s still equally addictive.

Cranberry Bliss Bars


Bars –

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure orange or vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips

Frosting –

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure orange or vanilla extract

Topping –

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 orange, zested (save the orange for snacking on)
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ tsp avocado oil


Preheat the oven to 325° and spray a glass 9×13″ baking pan with cooking spray or lightly oil.

In a stand mixer bowl add the butter and sugars, beat until light, about 5 minutes. Turn to low and add in the eggs and vanilla, the batter will be lumpy. Add the flour, baking soda and ginger, beat in till smooth. Take the bowl off the mixer and add the cranberries and chips by hand.

Spread the very thick batter into the prepared pan and bake till golden brown on the edges and a toothpick comes out clean in the center. My pan took 39 minutes, I would start checking at 25 minutes to make sure it doesn’t over-bake.

Let cool on a wire rack completely, then run a spatula around the edges to loosen.

For the frosting and toppings:

Beat the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth, add in the flavoring and the powdered sugar, beating till smooth. If needed add milk 1 teaspoon at a time till spreadable. Frost the pan evenly.

Distribute the orange zest evenly over the top, sprinkle the cranberries on top, pressing down gently.

In a small bowl combine the white chocolate and oil, microwave for a minute, stir until fully melted. Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate all over the top.

Let sit for at least an hour for everything to set up.

Cut into squares and then into triangles, if you want. Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator, or cut, wrap, and freeze.