If you’re in the mood for a while chocolate bar loaded with cranberries and coconut, this is the post for you. You’re going to love this simple recipe!
All Winter. . .in a Bar!
That’s what I thought when I first saw the picture of these beautiful bars, featured on Hidden Ponies website.
I received a private message from a good friend (who also happens to be my editor on many of my book projects). She loves to bake, as do I. So, she sends me the occasional recipe.
When this one came through my first thought was, “That’s a winter bar!” It just looked like Christmas. Or snow. Or. . .something holiday-ish. (C’mon, now! Admit that you love cranberries during the holiday season!)
But here’s the fun part: This isn’t just a bar for the holidays. This bar would be perfect all year ‘round, thanks to the addition of a very special ingredient: coconut!
Coconut Bars are Delicious
One thing I’ve clearly established in my mind: coconut is perfect in bar form. It’s especially lovely when paired with sweetened condensed milk, which serves as a glu (of sorts) to hold it all together.
That sweetened condensed milk also adds tremendous sweetness and a lovely texture to these bars, which are over-the-top delicious!
So, what do you say? Let’s get busy making these yummy Cranberry White Chocolate Bars, y’all!
Cranberry White Chocolate Bar Ingredients
You will find a full printable recipe card for this delicious white chocolate cranberry bars recipe at the bottom of this post but here’s a Quick Look at what you’ll need. These are simple ingredients you might already have on hand.
- all purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- butter, cold (salted or unsalted butter, your choice)
- large egg
- sweetened condensed milk
- dried cranberries
- shredded coconut
- white chocolate chips
- semi-sweet chocolate chips
How to Make Cranberry White Chocolate Bars
This was such an easy bar to bake and it’s one I plan to make again and again!
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking dish. (Alternatively, you can place a piece of parchment paper down inside of it.)
Cube the cold butter and combine it with the flour and sugar in a bowl (or a food processor at medium speed, which was my choice). If you use a bowl you’ll probably want to cut the butter in with a pastry cutter.
Work it until flour mixture reaches a crumble consistency. I love my Thermomix food processor for this very sort of task. Look how perfect that is!
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
Using your hands (or the bottom of a measuring cup) press down in an even layer until it’s tightly packed on bottom and about an inch up the sides.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes. It will not look done, but don’t worry about that.
While it’s baking, making your filling: Combine sweetened condensed milk and egg in a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
Add the full bag (7 ounces) of shredded coconut, along with one cup of dried cranberries (Craisins).
Stir well. You’ll have a thick mixture!
When your crust has baked for 12 minutes remove from the oven and gently add the filling, being careful not to break the crust.
Sprinkle on white chocolate chip and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 20 – 22 minutes or until golden brown and set.
Cool on wire rack, then cut into squares and serve.
Store in the refrigerator up to five days tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
What to Expect from these Dessert Bars
These bars are so rich and delicious! I loved, loved, loved the buttery crust. In combination with that sweet coconut and smooth, creamy chocolate? Divine! And those dried tart cranberries were a lovely surprise, adding a chewy element.
My friends stopped by and I passed most of these off to them. I won’t name any names but one of those friends “might have” eaten three of them while standing in my driveway. Might have.
As I said above, these are perfect in winter time but after tasting them I honestly think they would be great all year ‘round. There’s just something about sweetened condensed milk mixed with coconut that gets me every time! (I just made coconut balls for Christmas and they have a similar flavor profile.)
I have to say these are a real hit! And they hold their shape when cut, which is also nice. (Not all bars like to cooperate when it’s time to cut and serve them.) I’m happy to recommend this perfect treat to you.
Variations on this Recipe
One of the things I like most about this fresh cranberry shortbread bars recipe is the versatility. Here are some fun ways to mix things up:
Pecans: I think that you could easily add pecans along with the existing ingredients for even more crunch!
Almonds: Add slivered almonds in place of dried cranberries. That way you’ll end up with an Almond Joy experience!
Macadamia nuts: White chocolate and macadamia? Yep. Those are two flavors that pair beautifully together. Talk about the perfect combination.
Fresh cranberries: I think they would be delicious in these bars!
Pineapple: Looking for a fruity twist? Use crushed pineapple along with the coconut for a fruity bar. (Skip the chocolate for this version.)
Lemon: Skip the chocolate but add 1/4 cup lemon juice to the sweetened condensed milk and pineapple mixture. You’ll end up with a lemon coconut bar with a cranberry bite!
Orange Zest or Orange Juice: I love orange and chocolate together so I think the addition of orange zest would be amazing! (Who doesn’t like chocolate and orange flavors?)
Cream Cheese Frosting: These would be lovely with a layer of cream cheese frosting. Yum!
Brown Sugar: Add brown sugar in place of white for a delicious depth of flavor.
White chocolate drizzle: Add it after the bars have finished baking.
White chocolate cranberry cookies: Scoop these into cookies instead of bars if you like.
Sugar cookie mix: You can use a packet of sugar cookie mix in place of the flour if you like.
Other Coconut Favorites from Out of the Box Baking
If you love coconut, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of our top coconut desserts!
- Lemon Coconut Loaf with Pecans
- Lime in the Coconut Cupcakes
- Easy Coconut Cream Pie
- Traditional Coconut Cake
- Traditional German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting
That’s it for this post, friends!
I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe.
If you make this cranberry white chocolate cookie bars recipe and love it, don’t forget to leave a review and a comment below. And while you’re at it, go ahead and pin some photos to your Pinterest boards!
See this recipe at
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 165 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter, cold (salted or unsalted, your choice)
- 1 large egg
- 1 can (approx 14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 pkg (7 oz) shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking dish. (Alternatively, you can place a piece of parchment paper down inside of it.)
- Cube the cold butter and combine it with the flour and sugar in a bowl (or a food processor, which was my choice). If you use a bowl you’ll probably want to cut the butter in with a pastry cutter.
- Work it until it reaches a crumble consistency. I love my Thermomix food processor for this very sort of task. Look how perfect that is!
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Using your hands (or the bottom of a measuring cup) press down until it’s tightly packed on bottom and about an inch up the sides.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes. It will not look done, but don’t worry about that.
- While it’s baking, making your filling: Combine sweetened condensed milk and egg. Whisk together until well combined.
- Add the full bag (7 ounces) of shredded coconut, along with one cup of dried cranberries (Craisins).
- Stir well. You’ll have a thick mixture!
- When your crust has baked for 12 minutes remove from the oven and gently add the filling, being careful not to break the crust.
- Sprinkle on white chocolate chip and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 20 - 22 minutes or until golden and set.
- Cut into squares and serve.
- Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to five days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 107mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.