Cranberry White Chocolate Bars - Soft blondies filled with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips and topped with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting (similar to Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars). A fantastic holiday dessert!
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Cranberry White Chocolate Bars (Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars)

Soft blondies filled with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips and topped with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting (similar to Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars). These Cranberry White Chocolate Bars make a fantastic holiday dessert!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 438 kcal
Author Allison - Celebrating Sweets

Ingredients

Bars:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Frosting:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • milk to thin (if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips melted (see note)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

For the bars:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9 square pan or 8 x11 pan with foil (I prefer an 8x11 for this recipe), and grease the foil.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk melted butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla extract, whisk until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until the ingredients are combined. Fold in 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips. Spread the batter in an even layer in the prepared pan (the batter will be thick).
  4. Bake the 9x9 pan for 18-20 minutes or the 8x11 pan for 15-18 minutes. The bars are done when they have puffed slightly, are light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. They will appear a little underdone but they will continue to cook as they cool. Be careful not to over bake them. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and salt and beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in half of the melted white chocolate and beat to combine. Add a splash of milk, if necessary, to thin the frosting. Spread the bars with the frosting (if you used the smaller pan, you might not need all of the frosting). Scatter the dried cranberries on top. Drizzle the remaining melted white chocolate over the top.

  2. Store the bars tightly covered in the refrigerator, I find that they cut cleanest once they have been refrigerated. Allow them to sit at room temperature for an hour or so before serving.

Recipe Notes

Melting white chocolate: You can melt it in the microwave or in a double boiler. If you use the microwave you have to melt it very slowly. I put it in for 10-15 seconds at a time and stir between each interval. I have the best luck with good quality white chocolate. I typically use Guittard or Ghirardelli.

I have made this exact recipe in an 9x9 square pan and an 8x11 pan. The 9x9 will make bars that are a little bit thicker, whereas the 8x11 pan will make thinner bars (my photos are from bars made in an 8x11, my preference). 

Optional: Add a teaspoon of finely grated orange zest to the blondie batter.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry White Chocolate Bars (Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 438 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 60mg 20%
Sodium 120mg 5%
Potassium 140mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 61g 20%
Sugars 48g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 10.7%
Calcium 8.1%
Iron 5.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.