Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Bars (Dairy-Free Option)

Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Bars, a homemade version of the popular Starbucks cranberry bliss bar! Cranberry white chocolate blondies, drizzled with a zesty sweet cream cheese frosting and topped with extra cranberries and white chocolate drizzle!

gluten free cranberry bliss bar on plate

You’ll know the holiday season has officially begun once the famous cranberry bliss bars roll out. This popular dessert is one of our holiday favorites, and now you can make them gluten-free! They taste exactly like the Starbucks version, maybe even better! The combination of cranberry and orange is a match made in heaven. These bars are very easy to make and perfect for holiday gifts and entertaining.

gluten free cranberry bliss bar segments

Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Bars Ingredients

These bars are tender and moist with bits of cranberry and white chocolate throughout. Make sure to watch the baking time! 20-22 minutes is perfect timing to avoid hardened bars. 

White Chocolate Cranberry Blondie Bars

  • Unsalted Butter: You can use unsalted butter for best results.
  • Brown Sugar: I love using dark brown sugar for a rich molasses flavor. It not only sweetens the bars but helps hydrate them.
  • Eggs: Three large eggs at room temperature will help the blondies to rise.
  • Vanilla Extract: Try to choose a high-quality vanilla extract for the best results.
  • Orange Zest: Fresh orange zest from a navel orange gives this recipe an authentic flavor. You could also use a pinch of orange extract.
  • Gluten-Free Flour: Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour is my favorite gluten-free flour to use in this recipe. Make sure to measure any gluten-free flour with a food scale at (240g) for best results.
  • Baking Soda: Just a pinch to help the bars to rise.
  • White Chocolate Chips: Guittard and Ghirardelli are my favorite chocolate brands.
  • Dried Cranberries: Make sure your dry cranberries, fresh cranberries will not work.

Orange Cream Cheese White Chocolate Frosting

  • Cream Cheese: I recommend full-fat cream cheese.
  • Powdered Sugar: This helps to sweeten the frosting. Granulated white sugar is not recommended.
  • White Chocolate:  Guittard and Ghirardelli are my favorite chocolate brands.
  • Orange Juice/Zest: For flavor.
  • Vanilla: Helps to sweeten.
  • Salt: Brings out more of the sweetness.

Topping

  • Extra Cranberries: This is what really dresses up the bars. They provide great texture and flavor.
  • White Chocolate Drizzle: The white chocolate drizzle helps secure the cranberries, and makes for a beautiful presentation.

gluten free cranberry bliss bars stacked

Can I make Gluten-Free Vegan Cranberry Bliss Bars?

I have not attempted to make these bars egg-free, but here are some options that others have reported successful. You can make these bars dairy-free by substituting a few ingredients below.

  • Egg Replacer and WaterBob Red Mills has a Vegan Egg Replacer, which is a powdered mixture consisting of potato starch, tapioca, baking soda, and fiber. You will use 3 tablespoons of the powder with 6 tablespoons of water for this recipe. You will also want to increase the flour to 2 cups, and substitute the baking soda for baking powder.
  • Butter: Vegan Baking Sticks such as Earth Balance is a great substitute.
  • White Chocolate: Looking for gluten and dairy-free white chocolate chips? Nestle’s brand makes gluten and dairy-free white chocolate chips. You can use them inside the bars, in the frosting, and melt them for the dairy-free white chocolate drizzle
  • Cream Cheese: Brands such as Kite Hill and Daiya make good vegan cream cheese options.

gluten free cranberry bliss bar being eaten

How to Make Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Bars

These festive gluten-free cranberry bliss make are one of our favorite holiday recipes!

Gluten-Free Cranberry White Chocolate Bar Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9×13 inch square 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 to release the bars more easily.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the large bowl, and continue to beat until smooth.
  4. Slowly add in your dry ingredients: orange zest, salt, baking soda, and gluten-free flour. Mix until well combined.
  5. Chop your dried cranberries into fine pieces, then fold the cranberries and white chocolate chips into the blondie batter.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Watch the bars carefully to avoid overbaking.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bars to cool in the pan for 1 hour. Bars should be completely cooled before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting and Topping Directions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl add the cream cheese and beat on high for 2 minutes or until light, fluffy, and clump-free.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips for 30-second intervals, stirring in-between. At medium speed, add the melted white chocolate, orange juice, zest, and vanilla extract.
  3. Slowly add the powdered sugar to the bowl and continue to mix until combined.
  4. Once the bars are completely cool, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top of the bars.
  5. Sprinkle extra cranberries on top of the frosting. Gently push down the cranberries to help secure them to the top of the bars.
  6. After the frosting, add the white chocolate drizzle. In a small separate bowl that’s microwavable, melt 1/3 cup of white chocolate chips in the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring in-between. Pour the chocolate in a zip lock bag or pastry bag, snipping off the end. Drizzle the melted chocolate to the top of the cranberry bliss bars in a zig-zag pattern. Place the bars in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  7. After 1 hour, remove the bars from the refrigerator, and cut them into triangles. 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. This will create around 24 bars in total.
  8. Place the bars in the refrigerator overnight to firm and serve the next day.
  9. Bars will store for 5 days.


gluten free cranberry bliss bars stacked

Tips For The BEST  Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Bars

This easy homemade gluten-free version is even better than the classic seasonal Starbucks version. Follow these tips for the best results!

  • Do not overbake! You will want to watch these bars closely, as they tend to easily overbake and become hard. Remove the bars from the oven once they turn golden brown around the edges, and are cooked through the middle. Everyone’s oven is different, but I find these bars are ready around 20-22 minutes.
  • Store these bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving. After storing the bars in the refrigerator overnight, the blondie base will start to soften. I prefer to serve these bars at least 24 hours after baking.
  • Bring all of the ingredients to room temperature: This will help make the bars set properly and the frosting lump-free.
  • How to store these bars: Once the bars are sliced, place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to five days.

cranberry bliss bars aerial view

For More Tasty Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes Click The Links Below

Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Bars (Dairy-Free Option)

Recipe Author : Rebecca Taig
Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Bars - a homemade version of the popular Starbucks treat! Cranberry white chocolate blondies, with a zesty orange cream cheese frosting, topped with extra cranberries and white chocolate drizzle!
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Prep Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Servings 24 people
Calories 293 kcal

Ingredients
  

White Chocolate Cranberry Bars

  • 1 cup dairy-free butter or unsalted butter room temperature
  • cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • cups gluten-free flour (240g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup melted white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • cups dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup melted white chocolate, drizzle

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9×13 inch square 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 to release the bars more easily.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the large bowl, and continue to beat until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the dry ingredients: orange zest, salt, baking soda, and gluten-free flour. Mix until well combined.
  • Chop the dried cranberries into fine pieces, then fold the cranberries and white chocolate chips into the blondie batter.
  • Pour the batter into the lined pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Do not overbake or bars will be hard.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bars to cool in the pan for 1 hour. Transfer to a cooling rack before frosting.

Frosting and Topping Directions

  • In a medium-sized bowl add the cream cheese and beat on high for 2 minutes or until light, fluffy, and clump-free.
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips for 30-second intervals, stirring in-between. Add the white chocolate to the cream cheese, along with the orange juice, zest, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar. Continue to mix until well combined.
  • Once the bars are completely cool, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the tops of the bars, then sprinkle extra cranberries over the top of the frosting. Gently push down the cranberries to secure them.
  • In a small separate bowl that's microwavable, melt 1/3 cup of white chocolate chips in the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring in-between. Pour the chocolate in a zip lock bag or pastry bag, snipping off the end. Drizzle the melted chocolate to the top of the cranberry bliss bars in a zig-zag pattern. Place the bars in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour, remove the bars from the refrigerator, and cut them into triangles. 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. This will create around 24 bars in total.
  • Place the bars in the refrigerator overnight and serve the next day. Bars will store for 5 days. Bars will store for 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 293kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 3gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 163mgPotassium: 72mgFiber: 1gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 102IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Christmas, gluten free, gluten free cranberry bliss bar
Pin Recipe
Did You Make This Recipe?Share your recipe photos with me @rebecca.taig
Did You Enjoy This Recipe?Please give it a star rating in the comments below. Thank you!

About Me

Hi, I'm Rebecca the voice and creator behind this blog, filled with inspiration for entertaining, home design, and delicious gluten-free recipes.

Leave A Comment Below

Recipe Rating