An easy kuchen bar recipe with cherry pie filling. A refreshing twist on a traditional cherry pie with a sugar cookie bar crust and gooey berry pie filling. This Cherry Pie Bar recipe gets rave reviews from my family. It couldn’t be any easier to make for the summer season!
The summer season in the United States can be hot and humid. Traditionally, we serve light desserts for summer or simply a fruit filled dessert with fresh berries and produce from the store or our home garden.
What are Cherry Pie Bars?
Cherry pie bars start with a vanilla cookie crust that’s very similar to a shortbread recipe. The crust starts with butter and sugar beaten until it’s creamed together. Next, eggs get added to the mixer. The eggs will help to bind and hold the crust together. I’ve added a generous amount of vanilla extract and a few drops of almond extract. Almond and cherries are one of my favorite dessert combinations. They go together very well. Finally, a blend of flour, baking powder, and salt get added to the mixer to make this cherry pie dough.
This cherry pie bar recipe is also called a kuchen bar recipe. Traditionally, kuchen bar recipes have a fruit filling or custard filling. What makes this crumble dessert bar perfect is the cherry pie filling. If you live in a state or have experience making your own pie filling, use that in this recipe.
How to serve Cherry Pie Bars
I really like to serve my cherry pie bars as a summer dessert and for Christmas parties.
If serving cherry pie bars for summer, top it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Keep the cherry bars refrigerated until ready to serve. The cherry filling will warm up on the countertop so be sure to keep them cooled.
What kind of pie filling can I use?
Sometimes, I’ll use a can of blueberry pie filling on one half and use the cherry pie filling on the other half. This combination is the perfect 4th of July dessert. It also doubles for a Memorial Day or Labor Day dessert.
OTHER PIE FILLINGS FOR KUCHEN BARS
- APPLE – Apple pie bars are a favorite during the fall season. I top it with caramel sauce.
- LEMON – Tangy lemon pie filling with kuchen bars or make these Lemon Sunshine Bars
- PEACH – I make my own peach pie filling at the end of summer and can it for fall. I’ll use my own pie filling to make these dessert bars.
Dessert bars with tangy sweet cherries is a traditional summer dessert bar classic. The cookie bars are buttery, sweet, and crumbly. Add in sweet cherries and you have a summer dessert that’s sure to keep you cool throughout the day.
Want more cherry desserts? Grab my Cherry Pie Fluff Salad for a quick potluck dessert. Serve this quick and easy Cherry Danish for a holiday breakfast. Use any leftover cherry pie filling in these Cherry Pie Cookies.
Cherry Pie Bars
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 42 oz. ( 2-21 oz. cans) cherry pie filling
- 1 1/2 cups powdered confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbsp cold water (or lemon juice)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Prepare a 9 x 13 rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish with parchment paper. Spray it with oil or butter. This will help to prevent the cherries from sticking to the paper or foil; set aside.Whisk together flour, salt, and, baking powder; set aside.In a bowl fit with a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy; about 5 minutes.Slowly beat in 1 egg at a time.Beat in vanilla and almond extract.Slowly beat in a little flour mixture at a time then mix until just combined.Reserve 1.5 cups of the dough for the topping.Spread remaining dough evenly in prepared baking casserole. Spray a spatula with cooking oil to help spread dough better.Evenly spread cherry pie filling on top of the dough.Drop little dollops of dough on top of the cherry filling.Bake in oven 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.Allow to cool, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill at least 3-4 hours or overnight.To make the sugar glaze, combine powdered sugar and water and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the bars.Refrigerate bars at least 4 hours to set then chill until serving.