All the flavor you love from the Starbucks cranberry bliss bar lightened-up, and gluten-free! Sweet white chocolate and cranberry blondie topped with white chocolate cream cheese frosting, with extra cranberries and a white chocolate drizzle.
Hi everyone, I’m Ari and I blog over at Ari’s Menu where I share healthy(ish) recipes, and also a little bit about running, cycling, and my love for my jack russell and mini dachshund. I am a huge fan of Laura’s blog, and I’m thrilled to be over here sharing today!
So every year the Starbucks pastry case gets me around this time. I have to be honest, usually it’s those silly snowman cookies. I don’t know what it is about that frosting, and my friend Amelia says it tastes like melted crayons, but I just seriously love it. That cute little snowman smiling at me on top of a delicious sugar cookie–it just makes me crack every time. The other culprit? That cranberry bliss bar! I am a white chocolate fanatic, and especially with sweet and tart dried cranberries? I die. For the last two years, I’ve made a lightened up version that I am absolutely in love with. I found a great copy cat recipe, cut out some of the sugar, replaced the butter with apple butter, and used whole grain flour. The result was amazing. I ended up loving my at home version way better than that little triangle trying to tempt me from behind the glass case. 😉
A few months ago my husband discovered he had a gluten intolerance. He begged me to recreate these bars so that he could still enjoy them, so for Thanksgiving I added them to my dessert list, and 4 full batches were gone in a matter of days! They are the perfect alternative to the sugar over-load you see in the store, and you will love them whether you eat gluten-free or not!
Gluten-free Cranberry Bliss Bars
yield 8 bars
For the blondie:
- 6 tbsp pumpkin puree or apple butter (I’ve tried both and they both work really well)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp gluten-free baking blend
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- dash salt
- pinch ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
For the frosting:
- 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 ounces white chocolate, melted
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine pumpkin/apple butter, and brown sugar using a hand mixer. Add egg and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine baking blend, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder.
- Add dry ingredients into wet mixture and mix until incorporated. Fold in cranberries and white chocolate.
- Bake for 18-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, cool completely.
- Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar. Add in melted white chocolate. Spread cream cheese frosting across cooled bars and top with cranberries.
Thank you so much for sharing today, Ari! I am drooling! Ari shares so many delicious recipes at Ari’s Menu…. check it out if you don’t already follow her.
What seasonal treat tempts you? Do you try to re-create goodies you love at home?