Cherry Pie Bars

dessert plates with cherry pie bars
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yield: 24 bars
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
279 Calories
9g Fat
47g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 279
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 171mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 86mg 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 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pan, but a 9-by-13-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.

Ingredients

For the Bars:

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  • 3 cups (384 g) flour

  • 2 21-ounce cans cherry pie filling

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 tablespoons milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients and grease a 10-by-15-by-1-inch baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    ingredients for cherry pie bars
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar together for about 3 minutes, or until fluffy and light in color.

    beat the butter and sugar together/ cream
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add the salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract and beat until smooth.

    add the eggs to the sugar cookie dough
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour. Beat on low until blended.

    sugar cookie dough for cherry pie bars
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Spread 3 cups of the batter in the prepared baking pan. Pour the cherries over the dough layer and spread them to cover.

    cherries on sugar cookie dough base
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Use a spoon to drop the remaining dough evenly over the cherry filling.

    cherry pie bars ready to bake
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Bake the bars for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned. Remove to a rack to cool.

    unglazed cherry pie bars in the pan
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  8. Combine the powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir to make a smooth glaze.

    glaze for cherry pie bars
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  9. With a spoon or piping bag, drizzle the glaze over the cooled bars.

    pan of cherry pie bars with glaze
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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 4 to 5 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 6 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.

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.

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.