Cherry Pie Bars (From Scratch)


That includes a sweet-tart cherry pie filling and a buttery, crumbly brown sugar streusel, there’s a lot to like about these crumb-topped cherry pie bars. You’ll use frozen bitter cherries within the filling, which comes collectively shortly on the range. The crust and crumble topping are produced from the identical 1-bowl combination. (There’s no messing with pie crust at this time!) A drizzle of almond icing is the proper flavor-enhancing crowning glory.

cherry pie bars with crumb topping and white icing on top on brown parchment paper.

Right now we’re giving our normal spherical pie dish a relaxation and making pie bars. Whereas I usually don’t thoughts placing within the effort and time to make a pie from scratch (it’s a labor of affection!), pie bar recipes are undoubtedly faster and simpler. And typically—OK, oftentimes—that’s very interesting!

It’s why I’ve created bar variations of among the hottest pies on my web site, reminiscent of pumpkin pie bars, salted caramel apple pie bars, and blueberry pie bars.

For those who love cherry pie, however making pie crust from scratch intimidates you, this crumb-topped cherry pie bar recipe is the reply. You’ll nonetheless get pleasure from a jammy cherry filling, however with the welcome ease of creating a single “dough” that turns into each crust and topping—no finicky pie crust chilling, rolling, or shaping.

stack of 2 cherry pie bars.

Why You’ll Love Cherry Pie Bars

  • Simpler than pie—crust & topping produced from the identical 1-bowl combination
  • Juicy, jammy cherry pie filling, produced from scratch
  • Made with frozen bitter cherries, accessible 12 months spherical!
  • Faster than many fruit fillings—no pitting, peeling, or chopping the fruit
  • One other egg-free baking recipe
  • Candy almond-flavored icing
  • Straightforward to move, slice, serve, and freeze!

Whereas my traditional cherry pie recipe makes use of recent candy cherries, these cherry pie bars use frozen bitter cherries, so that you don’t should restrict this recipe to when cherries are in season. However, when you have recent, you may completely use them right here!

Right here’s every part you want:

measured ingredients on counter including sour cherries, flour, brown sugar, butter, oats, sugar, and salt.

Crust & Topping Made From Identical Combination

This step actually couldn’t be simpler. You want 1 bowl and a spatula (no mixer required!), and also you’ll use this dough for each the crust and the topping.

  • All-Goal Flour: Flour is the bottom of the crust/crumble.
  • Oats: Be at liberty to make use of both complete rolled oats or fast oats right here. Reserve 2 Tablespoons of oats so as to add to the crumble topping earlier than sprinkling it on prime of the cherry pie filling.
  • Brown Sugar: I like utilizing brown sugar in a dough/crumble like this, due to the moisture and taste it offers.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder retains the crust/crumble on the lighter aspect. With out it, the feel could be a bit too onerous and dense.
  • Lemon Zest & Salt: Small quantities however undoubtedly essential for flavorful bars. The lemon zest brightens up the zingy bitter cherry taste much more, and salt enhances every part.
  • Melted Butter: Utilizing melted butter makes this a stir-by-hand combination (identical to these chewy chocolate chip cookies!). It binds the substances collectively and offers taste.

Stir all of it collectively, then reserve about 1/3 of the crumble combination to make use of because the topping. Press the remaining right into a lined 9-inch-square baking pan. I wish to line pans with parchment paper so I can simply elevate the entire thing out of the pan, and reduce it into squares on a reducing board. I like to recommend the identical for white chocolate raspberry cheesecake bars and M&M cookie bars, too.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes earlier than you prime it with the filling.

chunky oat mixture in bowl and shown again with a hand pressing it into a parchment paper-lined baking pan.

Tart Bitter Cherries vs. Darkish Candy Cherries

Like with apples, styles of cherries vary in taste, texture, and measurement. Some varieties are generally known as “candy, snacking cherries,” and others are generally known as “bitter” or “tart” cherries. Whereas the sweeter, firmer varieties are perfect for consuming all by themselves, the smaller bitter/tart varieties are wonderful for baking.

If the phrase “bitter” places you off, take into consideration all of the scrumptious bitter flavors we get pleasure from in baked items, like cranberries, lemon, and rhubarb. Somewhat added sugar balances the bitter with candy, and the result’s mouth-watering, not mouth-puckering.

Bitter cherries are decrease in sugar than candy cherries however greater in acidity, which provides them a vivid taste, and cooking them concentrates the sugars in order that they style sweeter.

For those who had been to purchase canned cherry pie filling, that’s made with bitter cherries! So the bitter cherry filling going into these pie bars tastes like THE quintessential cherry pie filling. Assume: the storybook hometown diner cherry pie of your desires. 🙂

Cook dinner the Bitter Cherry Pie Filling on the Range

Let me stroll you thru this so that you perceive the cooking step earlier than you begin. You want 3 and 1/2 cups (about 525g) of recent or frozen bitter cherries. No have to thaw. Mix them in a saucepan with sugar and lemon juice. Cook dinner till the cherries start to launch their juices, then pour a few of that heat cherry liquid right into a small bowl of cornstarch. Use a fork to dissolve the cornstarch:

fork mixing a pink mixture in a small glass bowl.

Why are we doing this? Like with this blueberry sauce and strawberry dessert sauce, it’s essential make a cornstarch slurry combination, as a result of including powdery cornstarch to the fruit leaves you with chalky chunks of undissolved cornstarch. And, right here, you don’t wish to add extra liquid to the cherry filling, in order that’s why we’re actually utilizing liquid from the cooking cherries.

Good and thick just like the canned stuff, however utterly home made:

cherry pie filling in pot with red spatula.
cherries being spread over a crust in a lined baking pan.

Unfold the nice and cozy filling over the pre-baked crust. Stir an extra 2 Tablespoons of oats into the remaining crumble combination, to provide it a bit further quantity, then sprinkle it over the filling earlier than baking.

hands sprinkling crumb topping over cherries and the pan shown again after baking.
Can I take advantage of canned cherries as an alternative of frozen?

No, I don’t advocate canned cherries on this recipe. Canned cherries usually produce other substances added. And if you will discover a can/jar that’s simply pure cherries in liquid, they’re already fairly delicate and can cook dinner into mush. I don’t advocate them right here.

Can I take advantage of recent cherries as an alternative of frozen?

Sure, you should use recent pitted cherries as an alternative of frozen. The cooking and baking directions stay the identical.

Can I take advantage of darkish candy cherries (recent or frozen) as an alternative of bitter cherries?

Sure, we examined this and it really works splendidly with 2 modifications. Cut back the sugar within the filling to 1/3 cup (67g) and add one other 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Nonetheless, if I had to decide on, I’d use bitter cherries right here.

cherry pie bars with crumble topping on brown parchment paper.

Cool baked crumb-topped cherry pie bars utterly, identical to you’ll let a cherry pie cool utterly. For those who reduce the bars into squares whereas they’re nonetheless heat, they’ll crumble.

Non-obligatory Icing

For those who’d wish to prime with icing, whisk collectively the almond icing substances within the recipe card under, or you could possibly make this vanilla icing as an alternative. Each is produced from solely 3 substances and comes collectively in a flash. PIE BAR PERFECTION, and completely from scratch.

crumb-topped cherry pie bars cut into squares and arranged on white plate.