Cherry Pie Bars Recipe

Cherry Pie Bars

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yield: 24 bars
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
240 Calories
9g Fat
39g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 240
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 111mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 75mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you're craving a cherry dessert but don't have the time or patience to make a pie, these cherry pie bars are an excellent solution. There's no pie crust to mix, chill, and roll out, so not only is preparation easier than pie—it takes much less time.  Cherry pie filling makes up the filling for these easy bars, and they are so pretty with the red cherries peeking out around the glazed sugar cookie topping. The buttery sugar cookie dough takes minutes to mix and spread, and you will be rewarded with an irresistible berry dessert.

Bring smiles to the faces of your friends and family with these delicious bars. Take cherry pie bars to school or office functions, parties, cookouts, or potluck events. Or bake a big pan and freeze individual bars to enjoy any time you need a sweet treat.

The recipe calls for a 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan, but a 9x13x1-inch pan will work as well. The cookie layer will be thicker in the smaller pan, so you'll need to add about 5 minutes or so to the baking time.

“I’m a big fan of bars—they bake up quickly, make a large portion, and tend to be quick for cleanup. These bars hit all of the marks and make for a delicious pie-like treat, but are far less labor intensive. I think you will love these, too for a summertime treat!” —Tracy Wilk 

cherry bars/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Bars:

  • 1 cup (8-ounces) softened unsalted butter, more for the pan

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 (21-ounce) cans cherry pie filling

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cherry Pie Bars ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Grease a 10x15x1-inch baking pan generously with unsalted butter. Set aside. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F.

    Greased baking pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat together 1 cup unsalted butter and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

    Butter and sugar in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl occasionally.

    Butter mixture with eggs, vanilla and almond extract in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour. Beat on low speed until well combined, scraping down the bowl occasionally.

    Batter in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Spread 3 cups of the batter in the prepared baking pan, saving some for the top. Spread the cherry filling evenly over the dough.

    Batter with cherry mixture on top, in a baking pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Use a spoon to drop the remaining dough evenly over the cherry filling.

    Batter on top of the cherry mixture in the baking pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Bake until firm and light brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely.

    Baked cherry pie bar sheet pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. To make the glaze, combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir to make a smooth glaze. If the glaze is too thick, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon milk.

    Glaze in a metal bowl, with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. Drizzle the glaze evenly over the pan with a spoon or piping bag. Slice into 24 equal size bars and serve.

    Cherry Pie Bars in a sheet pan, drizzled with glaze

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Recipe Variations

  • Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of sliced almonds over the cherry layer before topping with cookie dough.
  • Make the bars with blueberry pie filling instead of cherry or swap out the cherry pie filling for two cans of apple pie filling mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips over the cherry layer for Black Forest bars.
  • Make the bars with 4 to 5 cups of homemade cherry pie filling.
  • Top the bars with a cream cheese glaze.

How to Store and Freeze

  • It's fine to store cherry pie bars, loosely covered, at room temperature for a day, or refrigerate them for four to five days. If you are stacking them, separate the layers with sheets of wax paper.
  • To freeze individual cherry pie bars, arrange them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer. When the bars are frozen solid, wrap them in plastic wrap and transfer them to freezer containers or zip-close freezer bags. Freeze the bars for up to six months. The glaze will become watery when defrosted, but the bars will still taste delicious.
  • If you plan to freeze half of the pan of bars to enjoy later, glaze only what you will be eating right away. Make a new batch of glaze to drizzle over the remaining bars when defrosted.

What is cherry pie filling made of?

Depending on the brand, canned cherry pie filling is generally made with cherries, a sweetener, water, citric acid, food starch, and red coloring. Homemade cherry pie filling is made with cherries, water, sugar, and a thickener, such as cornstarch.