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Cherry Pie Bars

Homemade Cherry Pie Bars are served with a layer of thick, sweet, buttery, vanilla shortbread crust topped with delicious juicy, tart cherries, more vanilla crumble topping, and completed with a wonderful glaze drizzle on top.

The bright red cherries and pie filling make this dessert a showstopper. Needless to say family and friends won’t be able to help themselves from a slice or two. And the almond extract perfectly complements the cherry pie filling flavor.

Not only can these homemade gluten free and dairy free Cherry Pie Bars be cut and served after they’ve cooled, you can also easily turn this recipe into a quick cobbler by allowing it to cool for a few minutes out of the oven. Then serve in bowls with a scoop of dairy free ice cream.

3 stacks of cherry bars with a bottom crust of a vanilla shortbread crust, topped with red cherry pie filling, another layer of white crumbly shortbread, and then it was drizzled with a white sweet glaze.

This gluten free and dairy free recipe is also such an easy way to serve pie when you are feeding family and friends. And as an added bonus, the ingredients are super basic. Most likely you have everything already on hand in your pantry.

Consider this recipe not only as a delicious after dinner dessert, but also for brunch, bridal shower luncheons, work parties, family gatherings, summer BBQ’s, and any other celebration or birthday party.

Plus if you love juicy cherry flavor in your desserts you will want to give this Cherry Dessert Pizza a try as well.

homemade cherry pie bar ingredients

  • dairy free butter— we use Earth Balance Vegan and Soy Free Buttery Sticks, (use your favorite)
  • granulated sugar
  • almond extract— this can be omitted if you are in a pinch, but it does add lovely flavor that complements the cherry pie filling quite well
  • vanilla extract— you can use the McCormick brand
  • gluten free all-purpose flour— use the spoon and level method; we prefer to use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Mix and purchase it in bulk here to save money
  • xanthan gum— omit this if your gluten free all-purpose flour contains this or guar gum
  • baking powder— keep in mind this loses its potency after being opened longer than 6 months. We suggest labeling your container with the date it is opened.
  • kosher salt
  • canned cherry pie filling— our go-to is the gluten free Lucky Leaf Cherry Pie Filling; keep scrolling for more safe suggestions
  • powdered sugar
  • dairy free milk— we use Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk; use your go-to
  • optional— add finely chopped nuts to the baked cherry pie bars after drizzling with glaze
3 stacks of cherry bars with a bottom crust of a vanilla shortbread crust, topped with red cherry pie filling, another layer of white crumbly shortbread, and then it was drizzled with a white sweet glaze.

kitchen gadgets and essentials

  • electric stand mixer or handheld mixer with large bowl
  • measuring cups
  • 8×8-inch baking dish— we use this Pyrex dish with a lid. Sometimes we also use a 9×9-inch pan following the recipe.
  • spatula
  • angled spatula
  • parchment paper
A collage of 4 square pictures showing the progression of this recipe. The first picture shows a white shortbread crust pressed into a 9x9 baking dish. The second picture is of cherry pie filling over the top of the shortbread. The 3rd picture is of small clumps of shortbread over the top of the cherry pie filling. The last picture is after the mixture has backed and cooled with a powdered sugar glaze zig zagged over the top and cut into small serving squares.

frequently asked questions

is all cherry pie filling gluten and dairy free

Most all cherry pie filling is gluten and dairy free, but not all have safe manufacturing processes! Below are some suggestions. Tap the link to learn more about these brands and their manufacturing process. You can use any of these gluten free cherry pie filling brands:

Keep in mind brands change manufacturing processes from time to time, which unfortunately means something safe today might not be safe tomorrow.

can I use a different pie filling

Yes, and the pie fillings are endless! Consider peach, blueberry, apple, and even strawberry pie filling for delicious fruit pie bars.

are these served warm or chilled

You can serve these gluten free and dairy free bars either way. First, serve them cherry cobbler-style by letting them cool for 10 minutes after removing from the oven, gently slicing, and topping with a scoop of dairy free ice cream. Or, let the pan cool for 20 minutes and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours so they’re easier to cut into bars and serve at potlucks and gatherings.

do I have to use almond extract

No. While almond extract does have a wonderful distinct flavor and smell which perfectly complements the cherry pie filling flavor, it is not a must. If you choose to omit the almond extract, increase the vanilla extract.

can these bars be frozen

Yes, you can freeze these bars up to a month in an airtight container. Allow to thaw on the countertop.

This gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and soy free dessert recipe was inspired by a traditional Cherry Pie Bar recipe found on the I Heart Naptime website.

3 cherry bars on a white serving plate  with a bottom crust of a vanilla shortbread crust, topped with red cherry pie filling, another layer of white crumbly shortbread, and then it was drizzled with a white sweet glaze.

our cookbook

You asked and we answered. Since receiving countless requests for a gluten free and dairy free cookbook over the years, we have recently released our cookbook, The Classics. With purchase you will receive 16 loved and cherished recipes readers like you have been raving about. Click here. This also makes a great gift for someone special in your life who is gluten and dairy free.

more must-try dessert recipes

  • fruit trifle— layers of our homemade fudgy brownies cut into chunks, creamy Cocowhip, and fresh berries for a gorgeous and delicious dessert
  • chewy chocolate chip cookies— buttery, chewy, and loaded with melty semisweet chocolate chips
  • brownie cookies—  fudgy cake-like middle, chewy edges, and a crackly crust; these also have that decadent chocolate brownie flavor we all love 
  • gooey rice krispies— an easy-to-make snack or dessert everyone loves with gluten free rice krispies

lastly

These homemade Cherry Pie Bars are the perfect combination of tart cherry pie filling and buttery, vanilla shortbread crust, with a gorgeous layer of sweet drizzle dazzled across the top. But it is those juicy cherries in the middle layer that really brings home this recipe and leaves you drooling for more. Serve this delicious recipe warm or cold for your next special night with family and friends.

Also check out our delicious and rich Raspberry Bar recipe, zesty and sweet Lemon Streusel Bars, and the most amazing S’more Cookie Bars loaded with semi-sweet chocolate chips.

We have recipes for every occasion and holiday on our website.

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Eat well and feel well,

Jill

Cherry Pie Bars

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Brunch, Dessert
Keyword: Dairy Free, egg free, gluten and dairy free, Gluten Free, soy free
Servings: 16 bars
Author: Eating Gluten and Dairy Free

Ingredients

Cherry Pie Bar Ingredients

  • 1 c dairy free butter room temperature for 20 minutes
  • ¾ c granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 c gluten free all-purpose flour spoon and level method
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum omit if gf all-purpose flour contains this or guar gum
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 21 ounce can cherry pie filling

Bar Glaze

  • ½ c powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp dairy free milk

Instructions

Cherry Pie Bar Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper or nonstick spray; set aside.
  • In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer and large bowl, combine the butter and sugar until well blended.
  • Then add in the almond extract and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Now add in the flour, xanthan gum if needed, baking powder, and salt. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed until the mixture is well blended.
  • Remove ⅔ c of the mixture and set aside for the topping.
  • Evenly press the remaining dough into the pan then top with the cherry pie filling and use an angled spatula to smooth the pie filling evenly around the pan.
  • Then top the filling with the remaining dough. Drop small sections of the topping mixture evenly over the pie filling. There will be small spaces with no dough.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cherry pie filling starts to bubble up on the sides and the bar topping starts to turn golden brown.
  • Allow to cool completely, then drizzle with glaze.

Bar Glaze Instructions

  • Whisk together all the ingredients. Add more powdered sugar if you prefer a thicker glaze. Place the glaze into a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner. Drizzle glaze across the pan and allow to set for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Cut and serve bars. Cover and refrigerate leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Recipe Rating




Edy

Wednesday 14th of September 2022

Hi! I was looking at making these for a trip. Do they need to stay refrigerated? Your recipe says "Cover and refrigerate leftovers on the countertop up to 3 days." so I wanted to clarify. Thank you!

Jill

Friday 16th of September 2022

Thank you for brining our error to our attention. We have updated the recipe card. If your travel is more then a couple of hours we would recommend storing them in a chilled cooler. Also note friends have frozen these bars and enjoyed them when thawed, however, we have not tried this. Wishing you the best, Jill

Mary Jo Beamish

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Can u use fresh cherries instead of the pie filling

Jill

Thursday 2nd of June 2022

Yes, you can use fresh, pitted cherries with a homemade pie filling. Enjoy and Happy Baking, Jill