Homemade Healthy Cranberry Bliss Bars
These Homemade Cranberry Bliss Bars are a homemade take on the coffee house classic! These Starbucks copycat bliss bars 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! They sound super delicious, so it’s a challenge I’m happy to accept. Just had to give the disclaimer that I’ve never had the regular version. So they might not 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. We top them with an orange zest-infused, cranberry-topped vanilla cashew frosting and a drizzle of cacao butter, for a bit of those white chocolate vibes.
Let’s make healthier cranberry bliss bars!
These Starbucks copycat cranberry bliss bars are a little bit cakey, a little bit chewy, and all sorts of delicious. We make them with cashew butter for a super-rich and buttery flavor that doesn’t taste overly nutty and sweeten with coconut sugar. They’re chewy, a little gooey, and full of flavor and texure.
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. They blanch the almonds before grounding them, so the flour is super fine and we are 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 need oranges and cranberries. We add orange zest 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. However, I do have a homemade white chocolate recipe in my cookbook that would work well for that! Just use regular white chocolate if you’re not sensitive to dairy.
How about that vegan frosting?
Next, we slather a cashew-based vanilla orange frosting on top of the bliss bars! We flavor it with vanilla bean powder, orange juice, and orange zest, and then garnish with more dried cranberries. Then, we drizzle 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! 🎄). I packaged them up in a cute box and brought them along to my aunt’s birthday dinner. I shared them with my dad’s side of the family. Everyone devoured them, 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 them with someone you love! Enjoy :)
Want more cranberry recipes?Print
Homemade Cranberry Bliss Bars
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 18 bars 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
These Homemade Cranberry Bliss Bars are a homemade take on the Starbucks’ holiday favorite! These cakey blondies are chewy and loaded with cranberry, orange, and white chocolate flavors. They’re gluten free, paleo and vegan.
- 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 ounces cacao butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8” 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.
Keywords: cranberry, bars, cashews, christmas, vegan, gluten-free
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!
Do you think you could sub oat flour for almond flour? Can’t wait to make these!
Hi Catherine, oat flour is more absorbent than almond flour, so I’d just use the 1 cup, but it should work fine here. I haven’t tried it though, so no guarantees!
Looks so good!! I hate baking because it’s always the same “ohhh, no…I’m going to have to run a marathon after this”, but these recipes completely take that issue away!! Love it!! Question how important is the Cacao butter in this I’m not sure I will find something else to use it in and I don’t find it in small amounts
Hi Kathryn, you can totally skip the cacao butter and it won’t be a big deal! Enjoy :)
I’m allergic to cashews. Any substitution ideas?
Hi Donna, I haven’t tried anything else here so I can’t make any guaranteed suggestions. You could try macadamias, but I’m hesitant to recommend that since they’re so expensive and I haven’t tried it.
To buy cashew butter is expensive. Is it hard to make at home. Do you have a Recipe?
You can make it at home pretty easily! Follow this recipe and just skip the strawberry & vanilla :)