Classic Cherry Bars are a delicious, semi-homemade treat ideal for serving with your favorite cup of coffee or tea. A simple homemade bar recipe is mixed with ready-made pie filling and topped with a simple vanilla glaze.
Serve these bars as an easy dessert or snack. You could even serve slices for an indulgent breakfast. Go ahead – I won’t tell!
I’m answering common questions and sharing tips for the best results. If you don’t need the tips, simply scroll to the bottom for the printable recipe card, complete with full ingredients and directions.
🍒 Cherry Pie Bars
Dessert bars are one of my favorite homemade recipes to serve for a sweet course. While they are similar to many pie and cookie recipes, bar recipes are easier to make and serve.
Cherry pie bars (aka cherry kuchen) combine my love of an easy dessert bar with the delicious sweet but tart flavor of cherries. This is a delightful choice for a summer cookout, family dinner, dessert bar or any time you want a sweet treat.
More desserts with cherries: Cherry Clafouti
And what’s better than fresh cherries? Knowing you can make this easy cherry dessert any time of the year using pie filling!
🍒 Can I Use Homemade Cherry Pie Filling?
Yes! If you have a favorite homemade pie filling recipe, feel free to substitute it in equal amounts. Since fresh cherries are only available a few months of the year, I tend to reach for pie filling more often than not when making a fruit pie or fruit flavored dessert.
Tip: If making homemade cherry pie filling, make sure you remove all of the pits in the cherries. I prefer to use a cherry pitter, but you can also use a chopstick to push the pit through the flesh of the cherry.
Another great use for extra cherries or cherry pie filling is to add them to this delicious Hawaiian banana bread recipe. Cherries and bananas pair beautifully in desserts, and this is a great recipe to test that out.
Can I Use Any Pie Filling?
Absolutely! Most pie fillings will work in this easy cherry dessert recipe. I’ve successfully made it with peach, strawberry and blueberry flavors. You can even use two different flavors – try 1/2 cherry and 1/2 blueberry for a patriotic twist.
🍒 Cherry Pie Bar Recipe Variations
While this is a basic dessert bar recipe, you can get creative and tailor it to your preferences. Everything from the flavors in the bar crust to the toppings can be adjusted.
- Add mini chocolate chips to the mixture for a chocolate covered cherry version.
- Drizzle the top with melted white chocolate instead of glaze.
- Add cinnamon or nutmeg into the dough for an extra hint of flavor.
- Substitute vanilla extract in place of almond extract.
- Mix in cream cheese for a danish style flavor profile.
- Before cooking, sprinkle slivered almonds or coconut shreds on top for added crunch and flavor.
For another fruit bar option, make sure to check out this delicious blueberry boy bait crumble bar recipe!
How to Store
Although homemade cherry pie bars don’t require refrigeration, I recommend keeping them in the refrigerator for extended freshness.
Store the cooked pie bars in an airtight container for 2-3 days. In the refrigerator, they would be good for an additional 1-2 days.
🍒 Can Cherry Squares Be Frozen?
If you have extra cherry bars, you can store them in the freezer for later. I prefer to store the cooked bars individually rather than freezing the entire pan.
To freeze, wrap each bar in plastic wrap, then place it inside a gallon plastic storage bag. Don’t forget to date and label the bag. For best results, use within 3 months.
To thaw the dessert bars, simply place in the refrigerator overnight, or unwrap and pop into the microwave for 30-second increments until heated through.
🥣 Helpful Tips
My best tips to ensure you get the best possible results when making cherry bars.
- Use room temperature eggs and butter (it makes a difference!).
- Carefully measure the flour. I fluff it up, then lightly spoon into the measuring cup.
- Use the right size pan – 15x10x1 sheet pan (these are my favorite).
- Don’t forget to grease the pan.
- Bars can be eaten at room temperature or chilled.
- Consume within the first couple days for best results. The cherry squares will be good beyond this point but the crust softens up.
- Serve with a scoop of ice cream for a special treat.
Give this easy Cherry Pie Bars recipe a try the next time you need a quick dessert using cherry pie filling.
More Easy Fruit Dessert Recipes
Glazed Cherry Pie Bars Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), softened
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cans cherry pie filling, (21 oz each)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1/4 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
Cookie Base Dough
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray 15x10x1 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in almond extract.
- In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to creamed mixture & mix until combined.
- Spread about 3 cups of dough evenly into baking pan.
- Spread pie filling evenly over batter.
- Using a teaspoon, drop remaining batter on top of the pie filling.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on rack.
- Combine powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and clear vanilla extract. Add remaining milk as needed.
- Drizzle glaze over cooled bars.
- Cut bars and serve.
- Clear vanilla extract will give the glaze a bright white color. Standard vanilla tastes the same but makes the glaze a bit darker.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container.
- Nutritional information is provided as a reference only. We recommend independently verifying this information.