Cherry crumb bars are just like cherry pie, but much less time-consuming and easy to make for gatherings. You’ll love the tart yet sweet filling paired with a crisp golden crumb topping.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that these will become your go-to treat for summer potlucks, gatherings, and get-togethers. Similar to my Vegan Blueberry Bars, these are customizable to fit different dietary needs, such as vegan and gluten-free, and most importantly, are simple to make!
Don’t let the total time indicated on the recipe card fool you. These only require about 20 minutes maximum of your undivided attention. The rest is just baking, cooling, and chilling, so they aren’t as time-consuming as you may think.
Let’s Talk Ingredients:
- All-purpose flour: As noted, you can tailor these to fit gluten-free needs. Just use a 1:1 GF flour like Bob’s Red Mills.
- Cherry Preserves: Here’s where it gets controversial. I use jarred store-bought preserves because it’s easy and fast. But, if you want to make your own cherry preserves by all means go for it! Here is a cherry preserve recipe that I like.
- Sugar: Plain white granulated sugar.
- Coconut Oil: You can also use butter as a substitute for coconut oil.
How to make Cherry Pie Bars:
You only need five ingredients and one bowl to make these. Here’s a quick rundown and step-by-step guide on how to do so:
1. Add the flour, sugar, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk.
2: Add the softened vegan butter or coconut oil and stir until crumbly. You can use your hands to form the dough as well. Scoop out about 1 cup of the dough and set it aside. This will be used for the crumb topping.
3: Press the mixture into a parchment paper-lined 9×13 pan. Bake at 300F for 10 minutes.
4: Remove the baked crust from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes and readjust your oven to 350F. Spread the cherry preserves onto the crust and top with the reserved dough crumbles. bake for 40 minutes.
5: Once the edges are lightly golden, remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. You can serve the bars warm like a cobbler OR pop the pan into the refrigerator for 2 hours so they can firm up and be cut into bars easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of pan should I use?
I prefer a 9×13 glass casserole pan because the bars turn out softer, but a metal pan will work as well. Just make sure to keep a close eye on the bars since the bake time will depend on the type of pan you use. You can also cut this recipe in half and use an 8×8 pan.
Can I serve warm or do they have to be chilled?
It’s up to you! 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 ice cream. Or, let the pan cool for 20 minutes and chilling in the refrigerator for 2 hours so they’re easier to cut into bars and serve at potlucks and gatherings.
How do I store these?
These taste best if stored in a container at room temperature and eaten within 4 days. You can also freeze them for up to one month and let them thaw at room temperature or pop in the microwave for 20 seconds for a gooey treat.
Cherry Pie Bars
- 2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1 1/2 Cups Cherry Preserves (13-ounce jar)
- Preheat the oven to 300F and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the coconut oil (or butter) and stir until combined and crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the dough for the crumb topping.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and firmly press it until even. Bake for 10 minutes.
- When the crust has finished baking, remove from the oven. Adjust the oven to 350F and evenly spread the cherry preserves on top of the baked crust. Top the filling with the reserved crust and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden.
- Allow the bars to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving warm OR chilling in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Once chilled, cut into bars and serve.
- Gluten-Free Option: To make gluten-free, use a 1:1 GF flour substitute.
- Pans: This recipe works in both a metal or glass pan, but I find the bars are softer when made in a glass pan.
- Storage Instructions: Keep in a container at room temperature for up to 4 days. To freeze, transfer the bars to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 1 month.
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