Gluten-Free Vegan Cranberry Bliss Bars

 The Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar.

Gluten-Free Vegan Cranberry Bliss Bars - Fork & Beans

It’s visibility to those of us standing in line, waiting for our favorite fall hot beverage, is a signal that a new holiday is approaching.  One that brings magic and wonderment…and Cranberry Bliss Bars.

I’m rather shocked at the fact that I am already passing over another great holiday full of good food that is approaching first and am skipping straight for Christmas. This is rather unusual behavior on my part because I love all holidays but this year I was already over Halloween before it even got here and have been waiting like crazy for candy canes to go on sale. I even heard my first Christmas song this weekend while shopping I snorted with glee.

Gluten-Free Vegan Cranberry Bliss Bars - Fork & Beans

I cannot remember the last time I had one of these Cranberry Bliss Bars. It’s been years but no matter how much time that goes by, the combination of the tart cranberries and sweetness of the Blondie cookie bottom packed in each bite is never forgotten. It is etched forever in my memory.

The 2 important aspects about this recipe are: #1: How you prepare your (non-dairy) butter and sugar. Only use melted (non-dairy) butter and only use brown sugar. The combination of the 2 creates a beautifully moist Blondie Cookie base. And #2: Non-dairy white chocolate chips. Where did I find them, you ask? I’ve been having a blast utilizing my 4 packs of these bad boys:

whitechoco

You can buy them HERE like I did.

Gluten-Free Vegan Cranberry Bliss Bars - Fork & Beans

 

Gluten-Free & Vegan Cranberry Bliss Bars
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For the Blondie Cookie Bottom
  1. 1/2 c. brown rice flour
  2. 1/2 c. sorghum flour
  3. 1/4 c. potato starch
  4. 1/4 c. arrowroot powder
  5. 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  6. 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. salt
  8. 3/4 c. vegan butter
  9. 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  10. 1 Tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer + 5 Tbsp. warm water, mixed until frothy
  11. 1 tsp. vanilla
  12. 1/2 c. non-dairy white chocolate chips
  13. 1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  2. 8 Tbsp. vegan cream cheese (approx. 4 oz.)
  3. 1/4 c. non-dairy white chocolate chips, melted
  4. 4 Tbsp. vegan butter, softened
  5. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. 1 tsp. orange zest
Toppings
  1. Sweetened dried cranberries
  2. Non-dairy white chocolate drizzle
For the Blondie Cookie Bottom
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together flours, starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt together.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar, whisk on medium-low heat. Allow to sit to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add the Ener-G egg replacer and vanilla into the brown sugar butter mix.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mix.
  6. Fold in non-dairy white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
  7. In a 9x13 pan, line with parchment paper and then pour batter inside. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until slightly browned (the cookie base will continue to cook once you take it out of the oven so make sure you don't let it sit longer in the oven because then it will get too crispy on the inside).
  8. Allow to cool just enough so you won't burn your fingers. Pull parchment paper out of the pan and allow the Blondies to rest on the cooling rack until fully cooled.
For the Frosting
  1. With an electric mixer, combine the butter, melted white chocolate and cream cheese until fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar and completely mix.
  3. Fold in vanilla and zest.
Assembly
  1. Once the Blondies have cooled, coat with Cream Cheese Frosting.
  2. Top with dried cranberries and gently press them down into the frosting.
  3. Cut bars into 16 triangles.
  4. Frost with melted white chocolate drizzle.
Fork and Beans http://www.forkandbeans.com/
Who said that eating gluten, egg, and dairy-free meant that you couldn’t indulge in your favorite Starbucks treats?! Let the Christmas celebrations begin…

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Comments

  1. Help help help! I just pulled these out of the oven and they’re brown, but incredibly gooey! Is that how they’re supposed to be? They are for a party tonight and I really want them to turn out!

    • How long did you bake them? I did mine a few extra minutes and by the time they completely cooled, they hardened up quite a bit.

      • 35 minutes. :( Should I put them back in for another few?

        • Erin is right, Ashley. They will harden up–The reason why you have to cook them in the foil is because they continue to cook the longer they sit. How “gooey” are they in the center?

          • Pretty close to raw. I used the parchment paper and the correct pan size too. I guess I’ll just wait for them to cool.

          • Yikes! They shouldn’t be close to raw–that sounds like they were not really baked. They should be set a little but okay if a little gooey in the middle. Could be an oven temperature issue? That just sounds off to me…

  2. Hi!
    I just made these for the second time and they are really good! Do you refrigerate them? Also, minor detail- the recipe doesn’t say where to add in the vanilla (for the blondies) so I just added it
    after the brown sugar/butter had cooled. Thanks!!

  3. Hi! Would it be possible to make these ahead? I am planning on making these for Christmas!

    • I wouldn’t make them too far in advance (maybe 2 days?) and I would freeze them until the day of. Good luck, Shelley! xo

  4. Can anyone suggest a replacement for white chocolate?

    I would like to do these for a bake sale coming up and I cannot get white chocolate chips in my area.

  5. These look absolutely amazing…and so creative! Can’t wait to try them myself :)

  6. Wowzer! You are tempting me ;) Nice recipe.

  7. Yum! These look awesome, great job!

  8. Yum! Love those white chocolate chips, I think I might still have a bag in the back of my baking pantry- they were such an awesome find!

  9. Oh my those look amazing, even better than the Starbucks version and much better for you too!

  10. Uhhhhhh – YUM! Looks divine! Perfect for the holiday season!

  11. Am I missing something, or is butter NOT an ingredient in vegan diets? Am I wrong about that?

    • i read that too…especially the top where it states butter only! lol.I am sure Earths Balance would substitute rather well.

    • It was a simple mistake on my part, Roxana and Jen. When I create the recipes on a piece of paper, I just write butter to save time so sometimes I rush when transferring it onto the blog and I miss these things. It should read vegan butter.

  12. Oh YUM. These look incredible! Haha… it’s easy for me to skip straight to Christmas here in Australia, as we have no Halloween or Thanksgiving in between (though those holidays do look kinda cool!). Cranberries and white chocolate are such an incredible combination. I definitely would love to try these bliss bars… they sound divine. Thanks for the recipe (in good time to make a batch for pre-Christmas gifts!) x

    • Having no Halloween is the saddest thing ever. I am crying a quiet tear for you (can you tell it’s my favorite holiday?) I declare you bring it to Australia! :)

  13. I’m amazed that these are both vegan and gluten-free! I’m pretty much convinced now that this might be the best recipe I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing– I can’t wait to try this recipe for the holidays.

    • It’s rather crazy that you can virtually make any recipe you want into gluten-free and vegan, huh? Thank you for the love here, Tess–means a lot to me! xo

  14. Normally, I’m anti-Christmas until after Thanksgiving. But these look so good that I might have to get all merry and stuff earlier this year!

  15. I am curious, being newly baking gluten free, can you use a gluten free all purpose mix such as bobs red mill instead of all the other ingredients for the blondie?

    • Hi Kristin! You absolutely can and you can do that for all of my recipes. Just note that the flavor and texture might be different :)

  16. I don’t know you, but I love you. HOLY CRAP. I worked at Starbucks for 5 years and every time I had to serve these to people, it killed me. YES.

    • As a former Starbucks employee myself, I totally get it! ha. I used to tell my co-workers that I would pay them $100 if I ate any of our pastries for the following 30 days because I had such a big problem with eating when I worked there :) xo!

  17. Oh yay! These just scream Christmas and I am already excited for it! I actually have a raw recipe for these I’m going to post soon, but I love your version! I bet they are infinitely better than something you would get at Starbucks :)

  18. Cara, I just want to get my hands thru the screen of my computer and eat the whole batch!!!!! I cannot wait to make this recipe.. Hubby’s birthday is this weekend and what a great dessert for him!! Thank you!!!

  19. Wow. These look amazing!

  20. Your Biggest Fan! says:

    Hold the phone! You may have nailed it for two..count ‘em..two holidays! Blondies and cranberries…screams Thanksgiving AND Christmas to me. Lets start right now – these look so tasty! I’ll take that one right up there :-)
    XOXOXOX

  21. OMG can’t wait to make these!!!

  22. Yum! These bars look so good. I saw those non-dairy white chocolate chips online, but didn’t buy them because I didn’t have a recipe to use them until now! Can’t wait to try these!

  23. Yummmmmmmmy!

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