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Cherry Pie Bars have a sweet, buttery (sugar cookie-like) shortbread crust and crumb topping. There’s cherry pie filling in the middle, and an almond glaze drizzled on top. These dessert bars are easier to make than pie and feed a crowd. Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Squares of glazed cherry pie bars on parchment paper and a cooling rack.

Cherry Pie Bars are the simpler, and dare I say it — tastier alternative to pie for the holidays.

This recipe uses store-bought cherry pie filling to keep it easy, but you can make homemade cherry pie filling with fresh or frozen cherries if you’d like.

Three cherry pie bars stacked on top of each other.

HOMEMADE CHERRY PIE BARS

These cherry pie bars are a variation of my favorite crumb bars. I’ve made SEVERAL versions on my blog.

The dough for the shortbread crust and topping are the same, you just divide it up. It’s sweet and buttery, very similar to sugar cookies, and can crumble like a streusel.

You can literally change out the filling in the middle and make any flavor you like! We especially love blueberry crumble bars and lemon crumble bars.

Cherry pie bars on top of parchment paper and a cooling rack.

For these cherry bars, I wanted to keep it simple with a canned cherry pie filling, but the almond glaze on top really makes these dessert bars tasty.

In fact, you can splash a little almond extract into the cherry pie filling as well. (I do in my homemade cherry crumble pie recipe.) It really enhances the cherry flavor without overwhelming it.

HOW TO MAKE CHERRY PIE BARS

To make cherry pie bars, first make the shortbread crust and crumb topping by mixing together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Add the butter one Tablespoon at a time until the ingredients resemble fine crumbs. Then add an egg, and mix until the crumbs are just starting to clump together.

13x9-inch baking dish filled with shortbread crumbs, half of which have been rolled smooth with a rolling pin.

Press 1/2 to 2/3 of the mixture on the bottom of a lightly greased or parchment lined 13×9-inch pan. Press or roll the crust flat with a mini rolling pin {affiliate link}.

Bake the crust at 375˚F for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is matte, not shiny or wet, and starting to lightly brown.

Cherry Pie Filling being spread on shortbread crust with an offset spatula.

Dollop the canned cherry pie filling over the partially baked crust and spread evenly with a spatula.

Crumble the remaining crust evenly over the top of the cherry filling. (Squeeze crumbs together in hands for bigger chunks.)

Shortbread crumbs sprinkled on top of cherry pie filling.

Bake an additional 25-30 minutes until the filling bubbles in the center and the crust browns.

Cool completely. Then make a glaze of powdered sugar, milk and almond (or vanilla) extract. Drizzle over the top of the cooled bars. Cut and serve.

Glaze being drizzled over the top of cherry crumb bars with a spoon.

BAKING TIPS

  • I have made this recipe with blueberry, strawberry, peach, and apple pie filling. Use any flavor you like!
  • Use parchment paper {affiliate link} to easily lift the bars out of the pan for cutting and serving.
  • Make sure to stir, spoon, and level the flour when measuring. The crumb mixture may seem dry at first, but be patient. It will start to moisten and clump together the longer it is mixed.
Cherry Pie Bars stacked on top of each other with a bowl of glaze in the background.

TRY THESE OTHER DESSERT BARS

Three cherry pie bars stacked on top of each other.

Cherry Pie Bars

Yield: 15 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Cherry Pie Bars have a sweet, buttery (sugar cookie-like) shortbread crust and crumb topping. Cherry pie filling in the middle, and an almond glaze drizzled on top.

Ingredients

Crust & Topping:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (stir, spoon, & level)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 large egg

Filling & Glaze:

  • 1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 tsp almond extract, divided*
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 13x9-inch baking dish with parchment paper (for lifting the bars out) or lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter one Tablespoon at a time and mix with the paddle attachment until the ingredients resemble fine crumbs. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. (Note: Crumbs will start to clump together the longer it is mixed. Don't let it ball up though; keep it slightly crumbly.)
  3. Press 1/2 to 2/3 of the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake at 375˚F for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is matte (not shiny/wet) and starting to lightly brown.
  4. While the crust is baking, mix the cherry pie filling with 1/2 tsp almond extract, if desired. Dollop filling onto the partially baked crust, and spread evenly with a spatula.
  5. Crumble the remaining crust evenly over the top of the cherry filling. (Squeeze crumbs together in hands for bigger chunks.) Bake at 375˚F for an additional 25-30 minutes until the top is lightly brown and the filling bubbles in the center. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Once bars are cool, mix together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp milk, and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Check consistency and add up to one more Tablespoon of milk, if desired. Drizzle over cool bars and allow glaze to set. Use parchment paper to lift bars out of pan. Cut and serve.

Notes

  • Store cherry pie bars covered at room temperature.
  • May substitute almond extract with vanilla, if desired.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix, and is an estimation only.