A Healthier Take on Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss Bars

I think one of my favorite holiday treats is the Cranberry Bliss Bar from Starbucks. They’re so darn good, but once they’re gone–they’re gone!

My sweet girl Grace is home from college and I asked her if she thought she could come up with a healthier take on this perfect bar. Folks, she did it! And, today I’m sharing Grace’s recipe with you.

What You Need


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped


  • 4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Melted white chocolate (for drizzling), more cranberries, and orange zest for topping

What You Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly spray a 9 x 9 inch non-stick baking pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper if desired.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and stir to blend.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the sugars with the butter, egg white, applesauce, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two additions until the batter is very well blended. 
  5. Fold in white chocolate chips and 1/4 cup cranberries. Spread batter onto the baking pan using the back of a measuring cup to smooth evenly.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The texture of the top might look underdone or slightly sticky to the touch, but this will go away as it cools. Don’t over-bake or your bars will be dry. Let it cool completely on wire rack.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, almond extract, orange zest, salt, and vanilla until well-blended. Frost bars and sprinkle with remaining cranberries. Drizzle with the melted white chocolate and garnish with more orange zest if desired.

So good! Enjoy!

And if you need some dinner inspiration here are some of our favorites from past weeks:

Have a great week!


My name is Ann Marie Scheidler and I'm thrilled you've decided to check out my blog. I'm a pearl-loving yogi with a thing for travel, a weakness for beautiful bags, and a passion for storytelling. In this space, I'll be sharing stories about my family, go-to recipes, my wellness journey, fashion and beauty favorites, and my love for Chicago’s North Shore. I find new inspiration wherever I go. Thanks so much for coming along for the ride!


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Leave a Comment


  1. Stephanie Klein wrote:

    I can’t wait to try these!

    Posted 12.13.20 Reply