Make a great sliceable cherry-flavored dessert with our cherry pie bars recipe! We used a hint of lemon to brighten the sweet flavor of the cherry pie filling. They’re perfect for serving a crowd since you can simply slice ‘em then pass the bars out with napkins instead of plates (no serving dishes, yeehaw!).
While shopping for the ingredients, we found a pie filling with ‘extra cherries’—it was even offered by the grocery store label. The cherries are the best part of this recipe so the element of ‘extra cherries’ worked out well in the test kitchen.
Just remember, the bottom crust needs a 15-minute head start to keep it even all the way through. You’ll know the bars are done when the top crust appears to be cooked through all the way.
Cherry Pie Bars Recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 zest of lemon
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 can cherry pie filling, with extra cherries
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9" x 13" cake pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Sift flour over wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Transfer about ¾ of the dough into prepared cake pan and spread into an even layer. Place crust in oven to bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and reserve remaining dough.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and 3 Tbsp granulated sugar until completely smooth.
- Remove crust from oven and spread cream cheese mixture evenly over crust. Spoon the pie filling over the cream cheese layer and evenly distribute the cherries. Drop remaining dough by the teaspoon-full, randomly over the top of the cherries.
- Bake 45–50 minutes or until top crust is cooked and light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar, vanilla extract and just enough milk to reach a pourable consistency then drizzle the glaze over the top of bars. Allow glaze to set then slice and serve.
Swap cherries for any one of your favorite pie fillings!