Cranberry Bliss Bars
Cranberry Bliss Bars, like the ones you see in Starbucks, only better!
Cranberry Bliss Bars

Cut them in the classic triangle Starbucks shape or into squares! It won’t matter, they taste the same, only better than bought! Isn’t homemade always better?

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Last week when I was in Albany we went to the Barnes & Noble at the Colonie Center mall. While there I got my first eggnog latte (pretty darn good!) and eyed the Cranberry Bliss Bars. The baker in me looks at these goodies and thinks to myself – I can’t eat that storemade dessert – I can make that and it would probably be better! lol. Is that food snobish?

Cranberry Bliss Bars
I got lazy and started cutting them in smaller squares

These were so good, it would be easy to eat more than just one if you have a hot cup of coffee to wash the sweetness down…..they are pretty darn sweet! I have a few things to mention about the recipe.

  1. Everything seemed fine while mixing the recipe together and it spread in the 9×13 pan just fine. However, when it came out of the oven I thought it was going to stick terribly to the pan. I worked some prying magic however and was able to salvage the cake. I would maybe bake it 5 minutes less than called for and put parchment paper in the cake pan to help alleviate the sticking.
  2. The recipe mentions using shortening. Shortening is a solid – its not the same thing as oil. It needs to be melted but the recipe does not state that. I also suggest using a disposable pastry bag to pipe the drizzles over the cake. The suggestion to drizzle it in a sweeping motions is NOT going to work. The icing drops off in big clumps when you do that and its not as pretty!


Starbucks Copy Cat Cranberry Bliss Bars
Author: Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Serves: 16 bars
  • For the Cake:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup diced dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks
  • For the Frosting:
  • 4-ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup diced dried cranberries
  • For the Drizzled Icing:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Make cake by beating butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in baking powder and flour until smooth. Mix 3/4 cup diced dried cranberries and white chocolate into the batter by hand. Pour batter into a well-greased 9×13″ baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake is light brown on the edges. Allow cake to cool.
  3. Make frosting by combining softened cream cheese, 3 cups powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. When the cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread frosting over the top of the cake.
  4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced cranberries over the frosting on the cake.
  5. Whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and shortening. Drizzle icing over the cranberries in a sweeping motion or use a pastry bag with a fine tip to drizzle frosting across the top of the cake.
  6. Allow cake to sit for several hours, then slice the cake lengthwise (the long way) through the middle. Slice the cake across the width three times making a total of eight rectangular slices. Slice each of those rectangles diagonally creating 16 triangular slices.


About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. Lisa December 15, 2008 at 6:12 am - Reply

    Yummy! I bet yours is much better than Starbucks.

  2. Debbie December 15, 2008 at 7:02 am - Reply

    I don’t think you ever sleep! You are a baking fool this season. and it all looks so good.
    I am waaaayyyy behind.

  3. Vera December 15, 2008 at 7:06 am - Reply

    These look yummy! I’m sure they tasted way better than store-bought.

  4. Cristine December 15, 2008 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Those look too good for words! You know I am obsessed with craisins!!! I am making these this week. No ifs, ands, or buts about it! MUST MAKE NOW! 🙂

  5. Meg December 15, 2008 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    It looks better than Starbucks, so I bet it tastes better too!

  6. Sabrina December 15, 2008 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    It’s not food snobish, it’s ingenious!!!
    Very lovely!!!

  7. Mari at Once Upon a Plate December 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Get Out! 🙂

    Just when I think you’ve dazzled us with the BEST and there cannot possibly be anything else, well, there you GO again! FANTASTIC! You are amazing HoneyB.

    This goes to the top of the short list this week, without a doubt.

    Thank you for the wonderful inspiration (and the extra tips.)

    Hope you have a great week! xo~m.

  8. RecipeGirl December 15, 2008 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Wonderful! I just saw these at S’bucks the other day and was wondering about a recipe 🙂

  9. Jessie December 15, 2008 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    OH waaaaaay better than starbucks! Looks great!

    a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse

  10. Natashya December 15, 2008 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    I am just like you! Always thinking I can make it at home better and cheaper too!
    They look great – I will have to check out this “Top Secret Recipes!”

  11. Megan December 15, 2008 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    I tried to make these last year because I’m obsessed with Starbucks’ cranberry bliss bars! I found that they came out too gingery and cakelike. The Starbucks ones are pretty moist and dense, and they don’t have a strong ginger taste. What was the texture like on yours? Could you taste the ginger?

  12. Barbara Bakes December 15, 2008 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I love white chocolate and cranberries together. I’m not a huge ginger fan, so I’d probably leave that out.

  13. Robin Sue December 15, 2008 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    You can say that again! Starbucks pastries are always dry. We should all revolt and make Starbucks sell your Cranberry Bliss Bars! Much better for sure!

  14. nicisme December 15, 2008 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    These are gorgeous, I love dried cranberries!

  15. emily December 15, 2008 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    You are a fabulous prolific baker! These look incredible.

    Emily @

  16. J.Danger December 15, 2008 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    totally NOT food snobbish- you are right! They always do taste better. I miss these, I think I might try them. Thanks for the tips too.

  17. Pam December 15, 2008 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    You are one of the best bakers I know. These look FANTASTIC! They are sooo pretty.

    Aren’t egg nog lattes so yummy? A special treat for sure.

  18. Ingrid December 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    That’s funny that you just made these! Last Friday night I eyeballed them while in line with my Honey at Starbucks! Like you I thought to myself that I could (in theory, LOL!)make then myself.

    I’m certain yours tasted waaaaaay better than theirs. You know they weren’t lovingly baked that morning.

  19. Bunny December 15, 2008 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    These look sooooo good!! i bet they’re terrific, that cream cheese frosting is calling my name!!

  20. Dawn December 15, 2008 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I always eye these bars too. Glad someone finally made it and it was a hit.
    I drink way too many egg nog latte’s…I recreate them at home using egg nog. I mean that’s what they use is egg nog and one of the syrups.

  21. Debbie December 15, 2008 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Looks delicious. Just like the ones at Starbucks. When I see cookies and cakes in bake shops I always think how much cheaper it would be to make it rather than buy it already made….and fresher!

  22. Maria December 15, 2008 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try this one!

  23. Laura December 15, 2008 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    I have never eaten one of these–I am afraid I react similarly to Starbucks’ baked goods! Yours, on the other hand, looks quite yummy.

  24. Amanda December 15, 2008 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Oh how fabulous, I love these at Starbucks and it bums me out they only have them at the holidays!

  25. Stephanie December 15, 2008 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Oh yum, those look so delicious!

  26. The Food Librarian December 15, 2008 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    I’ve seen these at Starbucks but never had…and yours look 100 times better!!!

  27. Jaime December 15, 2008 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    i made these last year and love them. they’re not exactly like the starbucks version, but i actually like the homemade version better 🙂

  28. Gabe's Girl December 15, 2008 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    Just too awesome for words. I love it when homemade trumps the big boys’ version! Very pretty.

  29. Christy December 15, 2008 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    Shelby-these look absolutely beautiful! I just saw these yesterday at Starbucks, but didn’t want to spend the $$$ on a little sliver of “sweetness”! Thanks for posting the recipe, I can’t wait to try these from my own kitchen. 🙂

  30. Tartelette December 16, 2008 at 1:12 am - Reply

    I know I could easily eat more than my share of these! Well done!

  31. Reeni December 16, 2008 at 1:22 am - Reply

    I love these!! Yours look so much more beautiful than Starbucks. I’ll take these over theirs anyday! YUM!

  32. Melissa December 16, 2008 at 1:56 am - Reply

    These look super schweet! I love things with cranberries and white chocolate.

  33. Linda December 16, 2008 at 3:37 am - Reply

    These sound good…and a gold star for trying it yourself. No problem being a food snob…I do the same thing myself! That is the beauty of knowing you CAN do it yourself!!

  34. noble pig December 16, 2008 at 4:16 am - Reply

    Oh yeah these are nice…love them! I know your are better.

  35. Olga December 16, 2008 at 4:33 am - Reply

    These look delicious!!!

  36. Megan December 16, 2008 at 5:30 am - Reply

    These look delicious-I’m certain they rival the ones at Starbucks! I must try these out-yum!

  37. Sharon December 16, 2008 at 5:40 am - Reply

    Move over Starbucks is absolutely right! These look even better than the storebought.

  38. Foong December 16, 2008 at 5:43 am - Reply

    Yep, I agree. Homemade is def better than Starbucks anytime!

  39. shellyfish December 16, 2008 at 7:25 am - Reply

    You are a non-stop goodie making machine! I can just imagine how delicious your home must smell at the holidays!

  40. honeyb December 16, 2008 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    I just made these and posted them recently, too. Very good! A newer “trick” I always do now, no matter what I’m baking, is foil line the pan and spray lightly. It’s so easy to just lift things right out of the pan to cut them and they never stick!

  41. Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer December 16, 2008 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    WOW – move over Starbucks is right – These look better than Starbucks. Thanks for sharing the recipe of one of my favorite holiday indulgences!!

  42. Flourchild December 16, 2008 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Your so funny…move over Starbucks is right! I think sometimes Im a food snob too. I will look at different baked goods in shops and think..hmmmm I could do that better…HA! I think your bars look fabulous..Im sure they taste really good…Im going to copy that recipe and try them. Thank you…is your TWD up??

  43. creative one December 16, 2008 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    These look delicious. I am sure they tasted better than Starbucks!

  44. Brownies for Dinner December 16, 2008 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Yum! I made this recipe last year. They were sooo good. Thanks for posting this! And for reminding me its time to make another batch 🙂

  45. dharmagirl December 16, 2008 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    I know just what you mean about looking at baked goods in stores and wondering if they can possibly be as good as they would be made at home:) excellent job!

  46. Lynnylu December 17, 2008 at 11:31 am - Reply

    My sister and I had these at the Barne’s and Noble Starbucks, too. She was disappointed in the recipe. What would you change? Yours look delicious, better than the Starbucks ones.

  47. Maggie December 18, 2008 at 2:37 am - Reply

    These look fantastic! I know what you mean. I see gorgeous looking baked goods at stores and then I think how many calories are in them and how they never taste as good as they look. I just can’t waste the calories on something not delicious and homemade.

  48. to2sassy December 18, 2008 at 2:58 am - Reply

    I also make a version of these Called “Better than Starbucks” Cranberry Bliss Bars”
    I did not compare the recipes side by side but the main difference is that I add 2 tsp of orange extract to the batter and 1 tsp to the icing. I also grate orange zest on top and they look so pretty along with tasting amazing. The orange just puts them over the top!
    Starbucks stuff always looks so yummy but usually does not taste NEARLY as good as they look!

  49. Kevin December 20, 2008 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Those look so good!

  50. Diana December 22, 2008 at 4:06 am - Reply

    I made these on my blog too! I used to work at Starbucks, and it’s actually melted white chocolate drizzled on top, trust me I sampled a ton for 3 years of Christmases 🙂

    I figured mine out with lots of experimenting but it’s pretty similar to the Top Secret recipe. Yours look delicious.

  51. Megan December 23, 2008 at 5:09 am - Reply

    Now I want a pumpkin lattee and a cranberry bliss bar!!!

  52. Jeni January 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    I don’t know how I missed this before but it looks sooooo good! I want to try it!

  53. mrskimmyl January 9, 2009 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    I am so excited about making these! Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this recipe!!! =D

  54. Andrew's Mom October 16, 2011 at 11:27 am - Reply

    I love these!

  55. Barbara Bakes October 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I've always wanted to try these bars. Yours look fantastic.

  56. Pamela October 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    I never go to Starbucks, so I don't know anything about what they sell in there in the way of treats. These, however, look incredible!

  57. Occasional Cooker November 21, 2012 at 1:21 am - Reply

    These look great. I will have to give these a try.

  58. Aaron John September 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    These look amazing! I have to add this recipe to my "to-do" list. Do you remember if these came out cakey or chewy? It seems all the recipes I've tried so far has come out too cakey and not exactly like the starbucks version. Hopefully these aren't the same!

  59. Miriah October 25, 2019 at 9:59 am - Reply


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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. We started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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