These cherry bars are a soft cookie crust topped with cherry pie filling, more cookie dough and a drizzle of vanilla glaze. An easy and impressive dessert that’s perfect to feed a crowd!
I love a good pie, and these bar cookies are almost like a handheld pie, but with much less work. Cherry bars always get rave reviews and are super festive for a holiday gathering. You can even make them with apple pie filling for a totally different but equally delicious flavor.
I have to admit, I made these cherry bars because I found some cans of cherry pie filling in the pantry that I needed to use up. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but let me tell you, my expectations were absolutely wrong. These cherry bars are incredibly delicious and have found their way onto my regular dessert rotation.
How do you make cherry bars?
This recipe starts with a super soft and flavorful cookie dough which forms both the crust and the topping for these bars. Some of the dough is spread into the bottom of a jelly roll pan, and then two cans of cherry pie filling get spread over the top. Using an offset spatula makes spreading the dough and pie filling easy tasks.
Not a fan of cherry pie filling? Try apple, blueberry or peach pie filling instead! You can also make your own homemade cherry pie filling for an extra special treat. This recipe calls for a 15″ x 10″ pan which is a somewhat unusual size. You can make the bars in a 9″ x 13″ pan instead, but the bars will be thicker and therefore take longer to cook.
More of the cookie dough goes over the top, and then the whole pan goes into the oven to bake until golden brown.
This recipe calls for basic ingredients that you most likely already have in the house with the exception of one: almond extract. The almond extract really makes these bars special, so I urge you to make a special trip to the store to grab some for this recipe. You won’t regret it.
After your bars have cooled, a little glaze goes over the top. Cut your pan of cookies into squares and you’re ready to serve!
Cherry bars make a great potluck offering, are perfect for a holiday cookie tray, or are great for when you need dessert to feed a lot of people. Everyone that has tried these bars has asked me for the recipe, they’re really that good! Think cherry pie meets almond sugar cookie. I may or may not have even had some of the leftovers for breakfast.
Cherry pie bars are perfect served as is, but a scoop of vanilla ice cream never hurts, am I right?
More fabulous dessert recipes
For the bars
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cans cherry pie filling
- cooking spray
For the glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 10" x 15" jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
- Place the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Beat until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
- Spread 2/3 of the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan.
- Spread the pie filling over the dough.
- Place teaspoon sized dollops of dough all over the surface of the pie filling.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in the pan.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, extracts and milk. Add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if you prefer a thinner glaze.
- Drizzle the glaze over the bars. Let the glaze harden, then cut into squares and serve.
LOVE these easy cookie bar cookies as they are, but wondered for my chocolate lovers if anyone tried adding chocolate chips? If so, did you add to cherry filling or crust? Thinking I might try adding to the top crust.
This are soooo easy to make and better yet so very good! Made the recipe exactly as written and they turned out picture perfect. When serving I heated each piece in the microwave for about 30 seconds and topped with vanilla ice cream. What a treat! Thanks for sharing this luscious recipe.
These are to die for! I added some pecans to the top layer and they came out so good!
Used the crust for a 10×15” sheet pan sized cheese cake because I did not want a graham cracker crust. I prebaked the crust til slightly golden and then poured cheese filling on top and baked as usual. Best cheese cake ever and the crust was the star.
Also made the cherry pie squares. Never received so many compliments in one night. Thank you for this easy, yet delicious recipe.
Apparently we don’t have to heat up the canned cherries which is such a time saver but if I were to make this I would add a 1/2 – 1 tsp of cinnamon to the top of the filling. I just made a Black Forest cake last week where I made my own filling. It called for us to put 2 sm sticks of cinnamon into the mixture as it simmered. I can not tell you how great that extra flavor made the filling!! Give it a try. You won’t regret it….
Can these be frozen for a couple days
Yes that’s fine!
Oh gosh, so many delicious recipes are around at the moment, I look through blogs and just want to make it all! This looks an absolute beaut of a recipe! Must make these!
Boom! This look really good and easy to make. Thanks for sharing!
These look and sound so good! They’re quick and easy to make too – an added bonus!
This recipe is to die for! Omg! The cherries on top look a-ma-zing! Thanks for that – pinned and copied :*
Your bars look better than some that I’ve seen in stores! I think my MOm and Dd would both love these, they’re into cherries and pastries.
not a big cherry fan but these do look good!
You could always use blueberries or apples or any canned fruit you like
Oh my goodness these are so cute and look amazing too! I love cherry so these would be right up my alley 🙂
My niece loves cherry. This recipe looks great. SO I will make it for her.
These look so yummy! I must make these ASAP!!
There is no better winter dessert than something with cherry in it. I can’t wait to give these a try. They look fairly easy to make, too.
I have frozen tart cherries from northern michigan. Should I go to a cherrie pie recipie to create the filling. Dont particularly like the thick sweet filling.
This looks like a good one, you can use less sugar if you prefer it to be less sweet: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/homemade-cherry-pie-filling/