Cherry Pie Bars with Crumb and Vanilla Glaze

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Imagine everything you love about cherry pie in a bar! These treats have a buttery shortbread base, a sweet cherry filling, a crunchy brown sugar crumble, and a drizzle of vanilla glaze. They’re sweet, tart, and bursting with cherry goodness.

Cherry pie is one of our favorite desserts. We love the combination of juicy cherry filling and flaky crust. To celebrate this classic, we created cherry pie bars with a shortbread cookie crust. It’s the perfect mix of our two favorites!

Tips for Perfect Cherry Pie Bars

  1. Pre-bake the Shortbread: We recommend pre-baking the shortbread crust, similar to blind baking a pie crust. This helps ensure a golden, crispy base and keeps the cherry filling juicy.
  2. Cook the Filling on the Stove: For a classic sticky cherry pie filling, cook the cherries with cornstarch and sugar on the stove. This step creates the perfect texture.
  3. Generous Crumble Topping: A brown sugar crumble adds flavor and crunch. There’s nothing a bit of brown sugar crumble can’t improve!


Do you use fresh, canned, or frozen cherries?
We prefer canned tart cherries for their classic taste and convenience. You can use fresh or frozen, but they require extra cooking time.

Should I pre-bake the shortbread?
Yes, pre-baking ensures a golden crust and prevents overcooking the filling.

Can I use other fruits?
Absolutely! Adjust the filling ingredients to match your fruit choice. Check out our apple pie version for inspiration.

Can I skip the almond extract?
Yes, if you don’t like almond extract, simply leave it out. The bars will still be delicious.

Cherry Pie Bars with Crumb and Vanilla Glaze

Prep Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12


**Shortbread Crust:**

  • – 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • – 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • – 1 cup salted butter room temperature

**Cherry Pie Filling:**

  • – 4 ½ cups canned tart cherries drained (about 3 cans)
  • – ½ cup sugar
  • – ¼ teaspoon salt
  • – ¼ cup water
  • – ¼ cup cornstarch
  • – 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • – 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • – ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • – 1 tablespoon salted butter

**Crumb Topping:**

  • – 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • – ¼ cup white sugar
  • – ½ cup brown sugar
  • – ½ cup melted butter
  • – ½ teaspoon almond extract


  • – 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • – 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • – 2-3 tablespoons milk


**Preheat Oven:** Preheat to 350°F and line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.

    **Shortbread Crust:**

    • – Sift powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Stir in flour.
    • – Add butter and beat on low speed until a smooth dough forms.
    • – Press the dough evenly into the pan using plastic wrap to smooth it out.
    • – Cover with parchment paper and baking weights. Bake for 20 minutes.
    • – Remove weights and parchment, then bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown.

    **Cherry Pie Filling:**

    • – In a saucepan, warm cherries, sugar, and salt on medium heat until bubbling.
    • – Mix lemon juice, water, and cornstarch in a small bowl, then add to the cherries.
    • – Cook for about 2 minutes until thick and bubbly.
    • – Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, almond extract, and butter.

    **Crumb Topping:**

    • – In a bowl, combine flour, white sugar, and brown sugar.
    • – Pour in melted butter and almond extract, mixing with a fork until large crumbs form.


    • – Spread cherry filling over the baked shortbread.
    • – Sprinkle crumble evenly over the top.
    • – Bake for 30-35 minutes until crumbs are golden.


    • – Mix powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl.
    • – Gradually add milk until thick but pourable.
    • – Drizzle over cooled bars using a spoon or piping bag.

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