These Homemade Cranberry Bliss Bars are a homemade take on the coffee house classic! These cakey blondies are chewy and loaded with cranberry, orange, and white chocolate flavors. They’re gluten free, paleo and vegan. This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.
Alright I’m going to start this post with a confession: I’ve never had one of Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss Bars in all of my 24 years. BUT! I was flooded with requests for a healthier version of them this year, and they sound super delicious, so it was a challenge I accepted. Just had to give the disclaimer that I’ve never had the regular version, so they might now be exactly the same.
I did, however, read numerous descriptions and copycat recipes for cranberry bliss bars before embarking on this journey, and the results were delightful, so I’m hoping I ended up somewhere in the ballpark of the original. Of course, none of my many taste testers had tried the original either, so they were no help in the matter, but they all did give these a wildly big thumbs up.
So even if they don’t turn out to be exact dupes, we still have some delicious cranberry cakey blondies, topped with an orange zest-infused, cranberry-topped vanilla cashew frosting and a drizzle of cacao butter, for a bit of those white chocolate vibes.
These blondies are a little bit cakey, a little bit chewy, and all sorts of delicious. They are made with cashew butter for a super rich and buttery flavor that doesn’t taste overly nutty and sweetened with coconut sugar.
I used Bob’s Red Mill Blanched Almond Flour, which is always high quality and makes some of the best dang baked goods I’ve ever had. Because the almonds are blanched before they’re ground, the flour is super fine and able to recreate the texture of all purpose flour incredibly well. I wouldn’t recommend subbing in something else for the almond flour here!
To recreate the classic cranberry bliss bar flavors, we of course needed some orange and cranberries. Orange zest is added to the blondie batter along with dried cranberries and some ground ginger. I did try out adding some homemade white chocolate chunks, but they melted into nothingness – that recipe isn’t quite ready yet. I haven’t found any good dairy-free white chocolate, but feel free to use one if you have (and let me know what it is!) or just use regular white chocolate if you’re not sensitive to dairy.
On top, I slathered a cashew-based vanilla orange frosting, that’s flavored with vanilla bean powder, orange juice, and orange zest. It’s garnished with more dried cranberries, and drizzled with melted cacao butter to replicate the look and flavor of white chocolate – swoon!
After I made these, I had to share them (in the holiday spirit! 🎄), so I packaged them up in a cute box and brought them along to my aunt’s birthday dinner, where they were shared with my dad’s side of the family. They were devoured and appreciated, even among my chocolate-loving family who had no idea what a cranberry bliss bar was.
These slightly cakey blondies have subtle tartness from the orange and cranberries, with a sweet note from the coconut sugar and a depth of flavor from the cashew butter and the ginger. The drizzle of white chocolate-like cacao butter ties it all together, and makes a cranberry bliss bar lover out of just about anyone. Hope you’ll give them a try and share with someone you love! Enjoy :)
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
Homemade Cranberry Bliss Bars
- ½ cup cashew butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- 1 large egg or flax egg for the flax egg, whisk 1 tablespoon flax meal with 2.5 tablespoons water, let set for 5 minutes
- 1 teaspoon orange zest from one orange
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (108g) almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup white chocolate chunks optional, and dairy-free if necessary
For the frosting
- ⅔ cup raw cashews soaked for at least 4 hours, and then drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice + zest of one orange
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or ¼ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 oz. cacao butter melted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8” square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the cashew butter, coconut oil, coconut sugar, egg or flax egg, orange zest, and vanilla extract until smooth and combined. Stir in the almond flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt. Fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate if using.
Spread evenly in prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
For the frosting, combine the soaked cashews, coconut cream, maple syrup, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract/powder in a high powered blender (I used my Vitamix). Blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until completely smooth.
Spread on cooled blondies before garnishing with chopped dried cranberries and drizzling with the melted cacao butter.
Let set in the refrigerator, and then cut the blondies in 16 squares or cut into 9 big squares and then cut each diagonally for a Starbucks-esque look.
Keep stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Thank you Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post! Check out more delicious healthy recipes, snag coupons and find stores near you at BobsRedMill.com!