These Gluten-free Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Cookie Bars are a gluten-free twist on Starbucks Cranberry Bliss bars. A rich blend of sweet, dried cranberries and a white chocolate blondie with an orange, cream cheese, and white chocolate frosting. They’re the perfect way to indulge a sweet tooth any time of the day.
If you’re looking to impress guests, these Gluten-free Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Cookie Bars are the way to do it! They taste like cranberry white chocolate blondies but are topped with a refreshing orange-flavored cream cheese frosting. Drizzle them with a bit of extra white chocolate and you’ll have everyone coming back for more.
Though it looks like a lot of steps to whip them up, these gluten-free cookie bars are worth it. They’re light, indulgent, and have a refreshing burst to them that will lift your energy.
Bring a burst of color to the dessert table or enjoy these with neighbors over coffee. These gluten-free cranberry cookie bars are perfect for every occasion.
- Ingredients For Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
- How To Make Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Bars
- Substitutions and Variations For Bliss Bars
- What flour should I use?
- How To Store These Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar Copycats
- Pro Tips
- How To Cut Cranberry Bliss Bar Recipe
- Gluten-free Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Cookie Bars
Ingredients For Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
- Unsalted butter
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Orange zest
- Gluten-free flour
- Baking powder
- White chocolate chips
- Dried cranberries
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
See the recipe card for quantities.
How To Make Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Bars
There are three parts to the cranberry orange bliss bars. Each area is pretty straightforward but read the expert tips later on to make sure they come out perfectly.
How To Make the Blondie Bars:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together melted butter and brown sugar until it’s fluffy using either a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer. Add in the eggs, orange zest, and vanilla, beating until smooth.
Add in the following dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt, and continue to beat on low until just blended.
Fold in the chopped, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Place the batter into a prepared pan.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until soft, golden brown, but not overdone. Use a toothpick in the middle of the pan, which should come out clean. Let it cool in the pan for one hour before moving the bars to a cooling rack.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on high using an electric hand mixer until light, fluffy, and clump-free.
Melt the white chocolate chips in intervals in the microwave and add them to the cream cheese along with the orange zest and vanilla extract.
When it’s all well combined, add in the powdered sugar slowly. Place the bars on a wire rack to frost.
Spread the frosting onto the cranberry bars evenly and then sprinkle extra chopped cranberries over the frosting and lightly press them down.
Melt ⅓ cup of white chocolate chips in intervals in the microwave. Pour it into a plastic baggie, snip off the end, and drizzle the melted chocolate over the gluten-free bars in a zig-zag pattern.
Place the bars into the fridge for 1 hour to set.
Substitutions and Variations For Bliss Bars
You can easily switch up the flavor combination of the gluten-free cranberry bars to make them unique each time you serve them.
- Dried fruit - though they’re called cranberry bars; they also taste delicious with dried cherries or dried blueberries instead.
- Lemon - if you love a burst of fresh flavor, substitute the orange juice and zest for lemon. This is wonderful in the summer months especially paired with fresh blueberries.
- Chocolate - white chocolate gives a lovely, rich, and indulgent taste. However, dark chocolate and cranberries are a popular combination as well.
- Dairy-free cranberry bliss bars- substitute the butter in the bars with dairy-free butter or solid vegetable shortening. Substitute the cream cheese with a dairy-free alternative, such as Kite Hill Almond Milk Cream Cheese, and substitute the white chocolate chips with a dairy-free alternative, such as Enjoy Life Foods Mini White Baking Chips.
- Vegan cranberry bliss bars - in addition to the above dairy-free substitutions, you could try a flax or chia egg as an egg replacer (for 2 eggs, it would be 2 tablespoons of ground flax meal or chia and 6 tablespoons of warm water).
- Non-Gluten-free - you can substitute regular all-purpose wheat flour for the gluten-free flour in this recipe.
What flour should I use?
My favorite gluten-free flour is King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-free 1:1 Baking Flour. It lends to a great texture and is very much like regular all-purpose flour. You could also use oat flour or almond flour if you want to keep this gluten-free, or regular all-purpose wheat (not gluten-free) flour would work too. However, I would not recommend using coconut flour as it has a very different absorption.
How To Store These Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar Copycats
Once the bliss bars have been set, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.
This makes a great recipe to whip up in advance.
To enjoy the bars, pull them out of the refrigerator for 10 minutes before serving.
You can also freeze the cranberry orange bliss bars as well. Let them chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before placing them in a freezer-safe container. Separate the bars with parchment paper. You can store them like this for up to three months.
To enjoy the bars, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
The white chocolate and cranberry bliss bars will taste best with the best quality chocolate you can find. Often, unnecessary ingredients are added to white chocolate, so for this reason I like to use Callebaut or Valhrona chocolate.
Prepare your 9 x 13 baking pan by cutting a layer of parchment paper and applying it to the bottom of the pan going both vertically and horizontally. This will help to release the bars more easily.
Make sure not to overbake the bliss bars in the oven. Check them at 18 minutes to see if a toothpick comes out clean. If you overbake them, they’ll be hard.
How To Cut Cranberry Bliss Bar Recipe
You want to cut the bars into triangles to serve them as they’re most presentable this way.
- Start by cutting down the middle of the bar vertically, to create two equal sides.
- Then vertically cut each side in half, creating 4 long pieces.
- Each piece can be horizontally cut into thirds and then cut diagonally to create triangles.
Essentially, Starbucks Bliss bars are a cranberry and white chocolate blondie topped with cream cheese frosting and then drizzled with more white chocolate.
You can freeze cranberry bliss bars for up to three months even with the frosting on. Make sure to separate your layers between sheets of parchment paper though so that they don’t stick together and break.
Yes, you can substitute the butter and cream cheese with dairy-free alternatives and the white chocolate chips with allergen-free white chocolate chips.
Using simple ingredients, this easy recipe will have you creating gluten-free copycat bar cookies that are a sweet treat with delicious white chocolate chunks in no time. They are the perfect chewy texture and an easy-to-serve bar form of dessert that will transform your holiday table.
Lastly, if you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating. Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram. I really enjoy looking through the photos of recipes you all have made!
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with [this recipe]:
Gluten-free Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Cookie Bars
White Chocolate Cranberry Blondie Bar
White Chocolate Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup white chocolate melted for drizzle
White Chocolate Cranberry Blondie Bar
- Preheat the oven to 350 ℉.
- Grease a 9x13 baking pan. Cut an even layer of parchment paper and apply it to the bottom of the pan going both vertically and horizontally. This will help release the bars easily.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together the melted butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until smooth.
- Add in the gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low for about 30 seconds until just combined. Do not over blend.
- Chop the dried cranberries into fine pieces, then fold the cranberries and white chocolate chips into the blondie batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake or the bars will be hard.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bars to cool in the pan for an hour.
- Transfer to a cooling rack before frosting.
White Chocolate Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a medium-sized bowl, and using an electric hand mixer, add the cream cheese and beat on high for about 2 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Place the white chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, and melt the chocolate for 30-second intervals, stirring in-between.
- Add the white chocolate to the cream cheese, along with the orange zest and vanilla extract.
- Mix until combined.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar. Continue mixing until combined.
- Once the bars have completely cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the bars.
- Sprinkle the roughly chopped cranberries over the frosting.
- Gently push the cranberries down to secure them.
- In a small separate bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave using 30-second intervals and stirring in between.
- Pour the chocolate into a zip lock bag or pastry bag, snipping off the end.
- Drizzle the melted chocolate on the top of the cranberry bars in a zig-zag pattern.
- Place the bars into the refrigerator for an hour.
- Remove the bars from the refrigerator and cut them into triangles. Start by cutting down the middle of the pan horizontally to create two equal sides. Turn your pan and cut each side into half vertically creating 4 long pieces. Each piece can then be cut horizontally into thirds and then cut diagonally to create triangles. This will give you 24 bars.
- Place the bars in the refrigerator overnight and serve them the next day. Bars can be store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.