Starbucks Copy Cat Cranberry Bliss Bars

cut in the classic triangle Starbucks shape

My apologies to anyone who has made this recipe without the baking powder!  It was brought to my attention that I had omitted it when writing out the recipe.  The recipe has now been corrected. 

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?

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 had a cold glass of water 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 Cranberry Bliss Bars
topsecret recipes

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

4-ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup diced dried cranberries

Drizzled Icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 350°F.

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.

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.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced cranberries over the frosting on the cake.

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.

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.

Makes 16 bars.


  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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!”

  3. says

    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?

  4. says

    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.

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

    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.

  7. says

    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!

  8. says

    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. :)

  9. says

    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!!

  10. says

    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!

  11. says

    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??

  12. says

    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.

  13. says

    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.

  14. says

    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!

  15. says

    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.

  16. says

    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!

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