|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 9g||11%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||25%|
|Total Carbohydrate 39g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||2%|
|Total Sugars 21g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||9%|
|*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.|
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
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
Gather the ingredients.
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.
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.
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.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour. Beat on low speed until well combined, scraping down the bowl occasionally.
Spread 3 cups of the batter in the prepared baking pan, saving some for the top. Spread the cherry filling evenly over the dough.
Use a spoon to drop the remaining dough evenly over the cherry filling.
Bake until firm and light brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely.
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.
Drizzle the glaze evenly over the pan with a spoon or piping bag. Slice into 24 equal size bars and serve.
- 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.