This paleo Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars Copycat Recipe features a vanilla and orange cake that’s studded with cranberries, and topped with a rich coconut frosting.
I’ve only joined the ranks of citrus-loving dessert folk in the last couple years. Before that, I wouldn’t be caught dead with things like Lemon Meringue Pie, Orange Chiffon Cake, Lime Meltaways, and even Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars on any dessert plate of mine.
I don’t know how it happened, but now I can tolerate just about any citrusy treat you want to send my way. And I’ll even go out of my way to indulge in some of them, like those Starbucks bars.
So I figured instead of treating Cranberry Bliss Bars an indulgence, why not remake them into something nourishing?
When I was originally developing this recipe, I was aiming more for bars rather than cake. However, it came out cake-like and was so darn good I had to share it as-is.
Do you ever eat cake for breakfast? Confession: this cake may have been my breakfast a couple days this week. ;)
This Paleo Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars Copycat Recipe
The cake is moist and dense, probably a bit denser than most cake, so it’s really more like a cross between bars and cake. It’s aromatic with mahlab (a spice made from the ground seeds of the St Lucie cherry) and fresh orange zest, and isn’t overly sweet.
The coconut butter frosting is rich and slightly sweet, adding a lovely hint of coconut to the overall cake experience.
What is in Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar?
Starbucks describes their Cranberry Bliss Bar as follows: “A blondie cake base topped with sweet cream cheese icing, tart dried cranberries and white orange drizzle.”
And according to their website, the ingredient list includes the following:
- Enriched Flour [Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Enzyme, Folic Acid]
- Brown Sugar
- Cream Cheese [Pasteurized Milk And Cream, Cheese Culture, Salt, Carob Bean Gum, Guar Gum], Butter [Cream]
- White Confectionary Coating [Sugar, Palm Kernel And Palm Oils, Whey Powder, Nonfat Milk Powder, Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier), Natural Flavor, Vanilla]
- Cranberries [Cranberries, Sugar, Sunflower Oil]
- White Confectionary Coating [Sugar, Palm Kernel And Palm Oils, Whey, Nonfat Milk, Soy Lecithin, Pure Vanilla]
- Icing Sugar [Sucrose, Maltodextrin]
- Ginger [Ginger, Cane Sugar]
- Canola Oil
- Palm Oil
- Sugared Orange Peel [Orange Peel, Sugar And Orange Oil]
- Vanilla Extract
- Coconut Oil
- Maltitol Syrup
- Baking Powder [Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cornstarch, Monocalcium Phosphate]
- [Sodium Bicarbonate]
- Soy Lecithin
Do Cranberry Bliss Bars Need to be Refrigerated?
You can keep Cranberry Bliss Bars at cool room temperature (around 70F) for up to 2 days. After that, store them covered in the fridge for up to 3 days more.
Can you Freeze Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars?
Yes! This recipe freezes quite well for up to 2 months.
More Healthy Cranberry Baked Goods Recipes:
- Cranberry Pumpkin Pie Spice Seed and Nut Bars
- Paleo Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread
- Low Carb Cranberry Almond Cookies
Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars Copycat Recipe (Paleo)
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mahlab optional
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries chopped
- 3/4 cup full-fat unsweetened canned coconut milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons freshly-grated orange zest
Coconut Butter Frosting:
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried cranberries chopped
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 by 8-inch pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides.
- Whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot starch, coconut sugar, salt, baking soda, mahlab (if using), and cranberries in a large bowl. Whisk together the coconut milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and orange zest in a small bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry all at once and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs, about 24 to 26 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
- Beat together all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until the mixture is slightly stiffened, about 6 to 8 minutes, and then beat again until fluffy. Spread onto the cooled cake and immediately sprinkle on the cranberry topping (if using). Refrigerate until the frosting stiffens a bit, about 10 minutes.
For the Glaze:
- Whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate a few minutes until the mixture stiffens slightly, then whisk again and drizzle the glaze on top of the cake. Let the glaze set before serving.
- Store leftovers at cool room temperature, or wrapped in the fridge because the frosting will melt at warm room temperature (about 73F). Let the cake sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving so the frosting can soften.
- Look for unsweetened dried cranberries if possible. If you can’t find unsweetened cranberries, you can use sweetened dried cranberries. If you prefer not to use sweetened cranberries, you can substitute 1/2 cup (55 g) fresh cranberries chopped in the cake.
- To freeze these bars, arrange them in a freezer-safe container layered between parchment paper.
This post was first published on Healthy Sweet Eats on December 15, 2014. It was updated with more information on December 18, 2019.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products we believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, Healthy Sweet Eats will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items.