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Crowd-Pleasing Cherry Bars Recipe

This Cherry Bars recipe features a sugar cookie-like crust covered in lots of cherry pie filling, topped with more sweet batter and a sugar glaze. It makes a large pan of bars so it’s perfect for a crowd!

Cherry bars on parchment paper.

I’m a big fan of cherry pie filling.

I also love fruit pies, but pies can be tricky and time intensive to make and they’re usually pretty messy to eat.

This cherry bars recipe works because it’s:

  • Not messy to eat. The cherry filling is contained between two shortbread layers so you can eat it with your hands if needed!
  • Perfect for a crowd. This is a great recipe to make for your next potluck or large gathering because you’ll get an entire half-sheet pan of bars.
  • A great dessert for holidays. Think Memorial Day or the Fourth of July!
  • Fairly simple to make. You can have the batter done and the bars in the oven in about 15 minutes and it only takes 30-40 minutes to bake.
  • Got a short ingredient list. Compared to most baked goods, you won’t need a lot of ingredients to make these cherry bars and you’ll probably have most of them on hand already!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Cherry bar ingredients on white table.

PREHEAT your oven to 350 degrees.

CREAM together 1/2 cup of butter and 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl on medium speed.

Creamed butter and sugar in mixing bowl.

ADD 4 eggs to the butter mixture and beat well.

Egg mixture in mixing bowl.

ADD 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 3 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder to the wet ingredients and mix together on a low speed.

Shortbread batter in mixing bowl.

GREASE a half-sheet pan (often called a jelly roll pan) and spread 2/3 of the batter in the pan. The easiest way to do this is with clean and slightly damp fingers.

Shortbread crust in sheet pan.

SPREAD 2 (21 ounce) cans of cherry pie filling across the batter.

Cherry pie filling on shortbread crust.

DOT the rest of the batter on top of the filling either using damp fingers or a cookie scoop.

Dotted batter on cherry bars.

BAKE the bars for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Bars are done when a toothpick inserted into the cookie layer comes out clean.

ALLOW the bars to cool.

MIX 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl to create the sugar glaze. Drizzle over cooled bars.

Powdered sugar glaze in white bowl.

Recipe Tips and Substitutions

Cherry bars on white table.

If you’re not a fan of cherry pie filling, you can substitute any pie filling you like: blueberry, apple, or peach.

Make sure you thoroughly grease the pan so the bars come out easily. You can use the butter wrapper to grease the pan or use cooking spray.

I started mixing the dry ingredients with a spatula but decided it was easier to use my hand mixer. Set your mixer to a low speed and hold onto the bowl so the batter doesn’t spin out!

The batter is very sticky and can be difficult to work with. I find the best way to spread out the bottom layer is to keep a small bowl of water by and get my fingers a little damp to press out the dough. This keeps the dough from sticking to your fingers and makes spreading easy.

You can use one of these butter substitutes if you don’t have any on hand.

More Like This

Stack of cherry pie bars.

Looking for more tasty cherry or sweetbread recipes? You’ll love these!

I hope your family loves this cherry bars recipe! If you make it, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram with @ashcroftfamilytable and use the hashtag #ashcroftfamilytable!

 

And if you’d like to get a 4-week meal plan featuring my recipes, just enter your email in the form above and you’ll get it straight to your inbox!

Cherry bars on parchment paper.

The Best Cherry Bars Recipe

Yield: 20 large bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This Cherry Bars recipe features a sugar cookie-like crust covered in lots of cherry pie filling, topped with more sweet batter and a sugar glaze. It makes a large pan of bars so it's perfect for a crowd!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 (21 ounce) cans cherry pie filling

Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl on medium speed.
  3. Add eggs to the butter mixture and beat well.
  4. Add vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder to the wet ingredients and mix together on a low speed.
  5. Grease a half-sheet pan (often called a jelly roll pan) and spread 2/3 of the batter in the pan. The easiest way to do this is with clean and slightly damp fingers.
  6. Spread cherry pie filling across the batter.
  7. Dot the rest of the batter on top of the filling either using damp fingers or a cookie scoop.
  8. Bake the bars for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Bars are done when a toothpick inserted into the cookie layer comes out clean.
  9. Allow the bars to cool.
  10. Mix powdered sugar with milk in a small bowl to create the sugar glaze. Drizzle over cooled bars.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 116mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g
Pinterest graphic with text and cherry pie bars.
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