These amazing Cherry Pie Bars are made with a buttery shortbread crust, sweet/tart cherry pie filling, topped with shortbread crumbles and a sweet almond glaze! Such an easy dessert, and a great way to make pie for a crowd!
This is one of my Dessert recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Calendar-wise, it may not be summer yet, but here in the Midwest, the temperatures have been definitely very summer-like!
In my opinion, there’s not much that screams summer than cherry pie. While cherry pie on it’s own is delicious, sometimes that crust can be finicky, and it’s not as easy to feed a crowd.
So this version hits all those amazing flavor notes of a classic cherry pie, but in a fun, easy to make, bar form!
The thick and buttery shortbread crust holds up the dreamy cherry pie filling, and there’s crumbled shortbread on top (to mimic that double crust pie).
Plus, I added crunchy chopped pecans and a sweet almond drizzle. I mean, does it get much better?
How to make cherry pie bars?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Make the crust. I like to do this in a food processor, but it can also be made using a pastry cutter or two forks in a criss-cross motion.
- Bake the crust. For stability, the crust needs to be blind-baked.
- Top with filling. Add pie filling.
- Sprinkle top. Add some of the shortbread crust and pecans.
- Bake. Bake one more time to set the filling and crust.
- Drizzle. The glaze is added after the bars have cooled.
This recipe was developed and tested using Duncan Hines Comstock Original Country Cherry Pie Filling. I’ve found that some store brands had a lot more of the syrupy part than actual cherries, so please keep that in mind when buying ingredients for this recipe.
Variations of this recipe
- Nuts – we love the flavor of pecans with this cherry pie flavor, but walnuts are a great alternative.
- Nut-free – alternately, if you don’t care for nuts, feel free to omit them from this recipe.
- More filling – if you’d prefer more filling, feel free to use more cherry pie filling, however this may add some time to the baking time.
- Other fillings – I like to consider this a method, so this same recipe will work with just about any pie filling you’d like. Blueberry, apple, strawberry, etc.
- Glaze – feel free to add more glaze, or to use vanilla extract instead of almond in the glaze.
- Chocolate – it’s no secret that chocolate and cherries go together incredibly well. Instead of the glaze, try drizzling some melted milk or dark chocolate over the top of the bars.
We love the sweet/tart flavor combo of cherry pie filling, but if you prefer a sweeter filling, try mixing in 2 Tbsp of granulated sugar (1 Tbsp per each can).
This recipe was developed using cherry pie filling, so I can’t say what changes would need to be made to use fresh cherries. If you do any experimenting, I’d love to hear about it!
Making cherry pie bars ahead of time
These pie bars are great to make ahead, I would just wait and add the drizzle of glaze right before serving.
Make sure to keep the pie bars covered in an airtight container (or covered tightly with foil).
These cherry pie bars also freeze well! Bake the bars, then let cool completely and slice into individual bars. Hold off on the glaze.
Layer the bars with pieces of wax or parchment paper, then freeze in airtight containers for up to 3-6 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator, then drizzle with glaze and serve.
I like my pie bars to be served cold, so I keep mine in the refrigerator, but they are safe to keep at room temperature if you’d prefer them that way.
Refrigerated in an airtight container, they’ll last about a week, but bars stored at room temperature should last for about 4 days.
My Favorite 9×13 Baking Pan!
I love that this pan is made in the USA, and has held up to years of heavy duty use with no issues!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- 2 cans (21 oz each) cherry pie filling
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
Sweet almond glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 – 2 Tbsp whole milk half and half or heavy cream can be substituted
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
- Lightly spray a 9×13" pan with cooking spray, then line the bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, letting 2-3” overhang. Lightly spray the foil or paper with cooking spray as well.
- Add flour, granulated sugar and salt to food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter cubes and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup of crust mixture for later.
- **This can also be done in a mixing bowl with a pastry cutter, or two forks/knives moved in a criss-cross motion.**
- Add remaining 2 cups of the crust mixture to prepared pan and press into an even layer.
- Bake until lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes.
- Spread cherry pie filling over baked crust. Combine reserved 1 cup crust mixture with the chopped pecans and sprinkle over the top of the cherry pie filling.
- Bake 40-45 minutes.
Cool and glaze
- Leaving the bars in the pan, cool completely on a wire rack.
- Lifting the foil or parchment paper overhang, lift the bars out of the pan.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract. Whisk until completely smooth, then drizzle over bars.
- Slice into 12 squares and serve.
Want to save this recipe for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own recipe box!
- I usually slice these into 12 bars/squares, but feel free to cut them into however many pieces you’d like.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
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