Cranberry Bliss Bars (Lightened Up)

I’ve lightened-up this popular Starbucks favorite and you’ll never taste the difference! These Cranberry Bliss Bars are only 100 calories and still incredibly sweet, buttery, and stuffed with so much delicious flavor!!!

If you’ve ever had a Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar, you know that they are insanely good. However, they’re not exactly the healthiest treats and are pretty calorie dense. So, I set out on a mission to make my own lightened-up Cranberry Bliss Bar! And let me tell you—you’ll never tell the difference!

My version of the delicious Cranberry Bliss Bar calls for less flour and uses a natural sweetener alternative. I also used a whipped frosting. It’s easier to purchase than to make your own, and because it’s whipped, it’s lower in calories. I also used reduced-sugar dried cranberries, but normal dried cranberries work just as well!

All that to say, these bars are only 100 calories, coming in at 1/3rd the amount of the Starbucks version and just 4g of fat compared to the usual 15g! Believe me when I say, these bars do not sacrifice anything in the flavor department! The bars are sweet, buttery, and are peppered with hints of vanilla and orange. Not to mention, they’re stuffed with white chocolate chips and sweet cranberries and topped with delicious frosting and white chocolate drizzle!

You DO NOT want to sleep on these incredibly tasty bars!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THESE CRANBERRY BLISS BARS

  • Packed with sweet orange and cranberry flavor!
  • These are so simple to make at home. In fact, they’re actually perfect for beginner bakers and a great recipe to have kids help make.
  • You won’t be able to tell the difference between the Starbucks version and this homemade one!
  • These homemade bars are significantly lightened-up at 100 calories vs. the original’s 290.
  • Such a festive and fun treat! They make a great addition to a cookie tray or as a gift to friends and family.

INGREDIENTS

  • Flour – I used all-purpose to keep these bars as close to that *real* bakery taste as possible. If you need to make gluten-free bars, you can easily substitute Bob Red Mill’s 1:1 All-Purpose Flour.
  • Protein powder – I just used a tiny amount. You can’t taste it at all. If you want, you could easily replace with more flour or even omit completely.
  • Brown sugar – I used Swerve granular sweetener
  • Granular sweetener – I used Swerve granular sweetener.
  • Egg
  • Unsweetened applesauce – This is such a baking secret everyone needs to know! Applesauce adds such a nice sweetness and contributes to a moist, fluffy texture.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Orange extract
  • Whipped cream cheese frosting – I love this because you can just buy it and spread it!
  • Dried cranberries – I used reduced-sugar cranberries because I didn’t want them as sweet, but any dried cranberries work.
  • White chocolate chips
  • Coconut oil – Just a tiny amount to melt with the white chocolate for the drizzle!

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CRANBERRY BLISS BARS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9″ baking dish with parchment paper and/or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a regular mixing bowl if you’ll be using a hand mixer), add butter, brown sugar, sweetener, vanilla extract, orange extract, egg, and applesauce. Mix on medium-high speed until combined. Then, add the flour and protein powder and mix on low just until the dry ingredients are combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. 
  3. Pour batter into the prepared dish and even out so the top is smooth. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.  
  4. Let the bars cool to room temperature then place in the fridge for an hour, or until ready to frost. 
  5. When ready, spread the frosting evenly on top of the bars and sprinkle with remaining dried cranberries. 
  6. Microwave the white chocolate chips and coconut oil in 20-30 second increments until melted. Drizzle the white chocolate on top of the bars. 
  7. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes so the white chocolate hardens. Then, keep stored in the fridge covered until ready to eat.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make these Cranberry Bliss Bars gluten-free?

Yes! If you want to make them gluten-free, I recommend using Bob Red Mill’s 1:1 All-Purpose Flour. Not all gluten-free flour is the same, but this one works as a great substitute.

Do I need to use all-purpose flour?

I used all-purpose to keep this as close to real bakery taste as possible. Bob Red Mill’s 1:1 All-Purpose Flour creates a similar texture and flavor. Technically, you could use oat or almond flour, but the bars may have a more distinguished flavor and lack the traditional bakery taste.

How long do these cranberry bliss bars last?

Stored in an airtight container, they will last for 6-7 days in the fridge.

WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?

If you try these cranberry bliss bars and love them, please rate this recipe!

You can also tag me on Instagram, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!

Yield: 16

Cranberry Bliss Bars (Lightened Up)

Cranberry Bliss Bars (Lightened Up)

I’ve lightened-up this popular Starbucks favorite and you’ll never taste the difference! These Cranberry Bliss Bars are only 100 calories and still incredibly sweet, buttery, and stuffed with so much delicious flavor!!!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Blondies:

  • 1/4 cup light butter (56g)
  • 1/4 cup Swerve brown sugar (48g)
  • 1/4 cup Swerve granular sweetener (48g)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (122g)
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour (120g)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (15g)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (40g)
  • 2 Tbsp white chocolate chips (28g)

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese frosting (96g)
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries (20g)
  • 1 Tbsp white chocolate chips (14g)
  • 1/4 tsp coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9" baking dish with parchment paper and/or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), add the butter, brown sugar, sweetener, vanilla, orange extract, egg, and applesauce. Mix on medium-high speed until combined; then add the flour and protein powder and mix on low just until the dry ingredients are combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. 
  3. Pour batter into the prepared dish and even out so the top is smooth. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.  
  4. Let the bars cool to room temperature then place in the fridge for an hour or until ready to frost. 
  5. When ready, spread the frosting evenly over top and sprinkle with the remaining dried cranberries. 
  6. Microwave the white chocolate chips and coconut oil  in 20-30 second increments until melted. Drizzle the white chocolate over top of the bars. 
  7. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes for the chocolate to harden, then keep stored in the fridge, covered, until ready to eat.

Notes

MFP entry: LFF Cranberry Bliss Bars

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1 bar (39g)

Amount Per Serving Calories 102Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1.8gCarbohydrates 14.5gFiber 0.5gSugar 8.1gProtein 2.1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @LaurenFitFoodie! 

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