Easy Cherry Pie Bars with Shortbread Crust Recipe

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Indulge in the heavenly delight of Cherry Pie Bars with Shortbread Crust. These delectable treats combine the rich, sweet flavor of cherry pie filling with a buttery shortbread crust, creating a mouthwatering dessert experience. Savor the perfect blend of fruity goodness and irresistible crumbly texture.

Cherry pie bar on a red and gold plate.

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Ingredients for the best cherry pie bars

Cherry pie bars have a delicious shortbread crust and are full of cherry flavor. They are festive for any holiday or special occasion. I’ve served them for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and the Fourth of July, plus some special and not so special occasions in between. They are always a hit.

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Cold Unsalted Butter (not at room temperature)
  • Canned Cherry Pie Filling
  • Pecans
  • Powdered Sugar, also known as confectioners’ sugar.
  • Milk, I used 2% but you can also use whole milk. I don’t recommend 1%, it’s too watery.
  • Vanilla Extract

Why cherry pie bars with shortbread crust will become one of your favorite desserts

  • These cherry pie bars are an easy recipe to make. Kids will have fun helping too.
  • Cherry makes for a festive dessert at family gatherings.
  • They make a great addition to a holiday dessert table.
  • The sweet glaze paired with the tart cherry filling gives the recipe great flavor balance.
  • It’s better than a traditional pie because it will serve more people making it perfect for a party.
  • Use your favorite canned cherry filling whether it’s sour cherries, sweet cherries, or tart cherries. It’s really a personal preference.
Cherry pie bars with shortbread crust, uncut, on a piece of aluminum foil.

Can I use homemade cherry pie filling in cherry bars?

If your homemade filling is the same consistency as the canned pie filling, I think it would work. If it’s the least bit runny it will make the bars soggy.

How do you make cherry bars?

These cherry pie bars with shortbread crust bake in two stages. You make the crust and bake it before putting the cherry filling and pecan crumb mixture on top. While it doesn’t take a long time, you do need to plan to be around for phase two.

Pro Tip:

Easily line a baking pan with aluminum foil by turning the pan upside down and gently fitting the foil to the outside of the pan, being careful not to poke any holes or make any tears. Then flip the pan over and gently fit in the aluminum foil.

Tips and Suggestions

It’s important to use cold butter, not room temperature. You want fine crumbs that will hold together when you gently pinch the dough.

Read through the recipe card completely before beginning. You will need to divide the crust because some is used for the topping.

Be sure to line the baking pan with foil for easy removal. See my Pro Tip above.

Baked shortbread crust for cherry bars.

Bake the shortbread crust just until it turns golden brown.

The cherry pie filling tends to clump. You’ll need to move the cherries around so they are evenly distributed. I found using either a fork or butter knife works best.

Once the cherry pie bars with shortbread crust have cooled, remove them by the foil handles to a cutting board to cut into individual bars. I like to cut them in a 2-inch square. Enjoy the beauty of the layers – shortbread, cherries, topping, and glaze.

Omit the pecans if there are concerns about nut allergies. Or, if you don’t like pecans use walnuts.

How long can you keep cherry bars?

Keep these cherry pie bars with shortbread crust in a covered container for 3 or 4 days. Store them in an airtight container between pieces of wax paper so the bars don’t stick together.

A side view of cherry pie bars showing the layers.

More tasty recipes with fruit fillings

Other shortbread bars with fruit fillings include blueberry lemon bars with shortbread crust, cherry almond bars, and cranberry crumble bars.

If you want more cherry recipes try glazed cherry danish, amazing cherry thumbprint cookies, or dried cherry scones.

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Cherry Pie Crumb Bars

Cherry pie bars have a buttery crust and are full of cherry flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Desserts and Sweets
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cherry pie, crumb bars

Ingredients

Bars

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups cold butter cubed
  • 1 can (21 ounce) cherry pie filling
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil with cooking spray.
  • Pulse flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter cubes, and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup flour mixture. Press remaining flour mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Spread cherry pie filling over crust in pan. Toss together reserved flour mixture and pecans. Sprinkle mixture evenly over filling.
  • Bake until golden brown for about 40 to 45 minutes and filling is bubbly. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Lift baked bars from pan, using foil sides as handles.
  • Stir together powdered sugar, 4 teaspoons milk, and vanilla extract. Add additional milk, if needed, to reach the desired consistency. Drizzle over the top of the bars. Cut into 24 bars.

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