I've made these easy and quick cherry bars so many times I've lost count. This is one of those recipes you can whip up quickly and easily if you keep a couple of the key ingredients in your pantry.
Not only are these delicious, but also inexpensive to make! If you look at the price for a ready-made dessert, you'll see what I mean! If you are looking for some other easy dessert ideas, try this easy strawberry upside-down cake, or this three-ingredient apple spice cake. I also have a compilation of 15 Easy Cake Mix Desserts for you to look at.
Table of contents
Why I love this
The first time I had these bars, I was surprised it used a cake mix to make it so fast and simple. It truly doesn't take long to mix and then to layer.
This is the perfect easy dessert if you (or someone you know) have a cherry pie craving. It satisfies that craving and it is very delicious. Trust me, it'll be a favorite for anyone who wants to have a cherry-based dessert.
- Box yellow cake mix - I like using Betty Crocker mixes. They always work out,
- Vegetable oil - Use good quality vegetable oil (canola oil works great as a substitute).
- water is listed in the directions - it helps get the texture right.
- natural vanilla
- large eggs
- 1 can cherry pie filling 20 oz size (the large can!) - I always use the can that claims to have more fruit.
For the glaze (after the squares have cooled)
- powdered sugar
I do recommend sticking with a yellow cake mix. However, there are variations that are fine (for example, buttery yellow cake mix).
I have made this with different canned pie fruits, and it works out great and is delicious. Blueberry is a great alternative if you don't have/want cherry.
This cherry coffee cake recipe is easy and starts with a cake mix. You just need to add a few ingredients and then layer the batter, the cherry pie filling, and then glob on some of the rest of the batter. It looks terrific, even before it is baked.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 15 x 10 baking pan.
Mix cake mix, vegetable oil, water, vanilla and eggs. You can either use a hand mixer or give it a really good stir. Do NOT add the ingredients listed on the back of the cake mix box.
Set aside about ¾ cup of cake batter. Spread the rest of the cake batter on the pan. It is a thin layer.
Gently spread the cherry filling over the dough layer.
Occasionally, canned cherries might have a pit in them. I usually use a fork and gently squeeze the cherries. Normally this is an easy way to find the random cherry pit.
Using a tablespoon, drop the dough you've set aside onto the cherry filling. Gently spread your 'dough drops'. There should be gaps so you can see the cherry filling.
Bake 25-30 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness in the cake part.
Cool for about 1 hour
Once this has cooled, mix powdered sugar, 3 teaspoon milk, and vanilla. Drizzle on the cherry coffee cake.
I cut this into 24 good-sized pieces.
Yes, this recipe is a huge success with my family. It makes a great-sized pan so it can serve a crowd. It's light and fruity and perfect to bring along when you need a dessert to share.
Just an FYI, this has more of a cake-like consistency. It is not like pie crust. However, it is called cherry pie squares because of its delicious juicy cherries.
This can be left on the counter for up to a day or two. If keeping longer, cover or wrap and refrigerate. If freezing, make sure to wrap well. I've had it frozen for up to 2 months. When thawing, allow to warm up on the counter at room temperature. It gets a little soggy if using the microwave.
I've used blueberry (a favorite) and also apple. I'm sure others turn out fine. I just haven't tried them. Please let me know if you have!
What I do is take a fork and gently press the cherries prior to using them. I've found the rare cherry that way.
I'd recommend sticking to the pan used in the recipe 15 x 10 inches. There wouldn't be enough batter to do a larger pan.
Other delicious fruit-based desserts
Quick and Easy Cherry Bars
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 1 can cherry pie filling 20 oz size
- 3 teaspoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit
- Spray 15 x 10 x 1 pan. I then put parchment paper on the bottom and then spray the parchment paper.
- Mix cake mix, vegetable oil, water vanilla and eggs. You can either use a hand mixer or give it a really good stir.
- Set aside about ¾ cup of cake dough
- Spread the rest of the cake dough on the pan. It is a thin layer.
- I have started gently mushing the cherries. My kids have found the odd pit in the canned cherries.
- Gently spread the cherry filling over the dough layer
- Using a tablespoon, drop the dough you've set aside onto the cherry filling
- Gently spread your 'dough drops'.
- There should be gaps so you can see the cherry filling.
- Bake 25-30 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness.
- Cool for about 1 hour
- Mix powdered sugar, 3 teaspoon milk and vanilla. Drizzle on the cherry coffee cake.
- I cut this into 24 good sized pieces.