Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

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Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars — Not sure what to make with cherries? These cherry bars use my favorite blondie base and turn out perfectly every single time! These bars are seriously so good and are a reader favorite! 

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars stacked next to fresh cherries

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cherry Bars

This cherry dessert recipe has been a reader favorite since July 2012. Here it is again for the newcomers.

Have you been buying your weight in summer fruit every time you go to the grocery store or pass a farmers market? Okay, well I have. Especially cherries.

I love cherries. They are just so perfect. Their sweetness, their hearty flesh, the chewiness. The only thing not perfect about them are their little pits. Pits are a PITA.

I do have a cherry pitter, but I find it just splatters cherry juice everywhere and doesn’t always poke out the pit. More misfires than proper pokes. If the cherry pit is slightly off-center, the gadget just stabs the cherry down the middle, misses the pit, and said cherry juice splatters even more, so I tend to just slice the cherries with a paring knife and am pretty fast with that.

stack of Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

I’m also pretty fast with polishing off a one-pound bag of fresh cherries. But between the watermelon, nectarines, blueberries, grapes, standard issue bananas and apples, and then the cherries, even I was running out room. In both my stomach and crisper drawer.

So I decided to make chocolate chip cherry bars. The beauty of this cherry dessert recipe is that it’s fast, one-bowl, and no mixer is required.

I almost used white chocolate chips but then thought, no, semi-sweet chocolate and cherries just go together. After all, dark chocolate-covered cherries are the confections that overpriced Valentine’s Day candy assortment boxes are made of. 

Because of the fruit and the fruit juices released while baking, to say they’re moist and juicy is an understatement.

There’s no granulated sugar in them; just brown sugar. In cookie baking, a higher ratio of brown to white sugar keeps cookies extra soft and moist, and it does the same thing for blondies. It also imparts a caramely-buttery richness that I adore.

The chocolate chips melted everywhere. Can you say hot, juicy, beautiful mess? Cherries and summer fruit never tasted so good.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bar

What’s in These Chocolate Cherry Bars? 

For these amazing chocolate chip cherry bars, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Egg 
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt 
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Fresh cherries 

Seriously, that’s all you need to make this easy cherry dessert! 

uncooked Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars in square baking pan

How to Make Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

Melt a stick of butter in a big mixing bowl in the microwave. Then stir in the brown sugar, an egg, vanilla, and flour.

Fold in the cherries (and maybe a few raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries) and chocolate chips and you’re ready to bake.

You’ll know these chocolate cherry bars are ready to come out of the oven when the edges start to pull away from the pan and the center is set. Depending on how gooey you like your blondies, you may want to bake these for a little more or less time than the recipe calls for. 

close up of gooey Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

Can This Recipe Be Doubled?

Most likely, yes! I’ve only made this cherry recipe as written, but you should be fine to double the ingredients and bake in a 9×13-inch pan. 

Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Cherries? 

Although I have experimented and made these bars with frozen cherries and although they theoretically work, frozen cherries tend to release too much juice into the batter and the resulting bars tend to be extremely soft.

For much more of a guarantee that the bars will work for you and set up without worry, I recommend fresh cherries.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars — These cherry bars use my favorite blondie base and turn out perfectly every single time! These bars are seriously so good and are a reader favorite!

Can I Make These Bars with Dried Cherries? 

If you have dried cherries on hand, I recommend making my Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies (just use dried cherries instead of cranberries, it’ll definitely work!). It’s pretty much the same recipe, but I know for sure that one works well with dried fruit. 

Can I Add Other Fruits? 

If you want to use a combination of fresh cherries and other stone fruits like plums, nectarines, peaches, apricots, pluots, or similar, they will work just fine.

You can also try berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars — These cherry bars use my favorite blondie base and turn out perfectly every single time! These bars are seriously so good and are a reader favorite!

How to Store Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

These chocolate cherry bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Can the Bars Be Frozen?

Yes! You can freeze these chocolate chip cherry bars for up to 3 months. Let them cool completely on your counter, then slice and store in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.

When you’re ready to enjoy them, either reheat them in the oven until the chocolate starts to get gooey, or set them on your counter to thaw. 

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars — Not sure what to make with cherries? These cherry bars use my favorite blondie base and turn out perfectly every single time! These bars are seriously so good and are a reader favorite! 

Tips for Making Cherry Bars

You can doctor these up with white chocolate chips or coconut flakes, or add most any other type of fruit from peaches to blackberries, fresh or frozen. I’ve tried many combos of fresh, frozen, half-and-half, and things always work out with this blondie base.

Note that baking times will vary based on the types of fruit used and the moisture content of the fruit; and how gooey you like your blondies.

A toothpick inserted into the middle may not come out clean due to the chocolate chips or juicy fruit. So use your best judgement when taking these babies out of the oven! 

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars — Not sure what to make with cherries? These cherry bars use my favorite blondie base and turn out perfectly every single time! These bars are seriously so good and are a reader favorite! 

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 9 servings

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

These cherry bars use my favorite blondie base and turn out perfectly every single time!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 3/4 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup cherries (fresh or frozen)*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 60 seconds.
  3. To the melted butter, add the brown sugar and stir to combine.
  4. Add the egg, vanilla, and stir to combine. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over mix or the blondies will be tough.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips, fruit (I don’t halve the cherries: I like them chunky and big), and pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary.
  6. Bake for 27 to 32 minutes, or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan and center is set.**
  7. Allow bars to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

*Can also use a combination of plums, peaches, nectarines, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries.

**Baking time will vary based on types of fruit used and the moisture content of the fruit; and how gooey you like your blondies. A toothpick inserted into the middle may not come out clean due to the chocolate chips or juicy fruit.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 3g

More Cherry Desserts: 

You can find all of my CHERRY RECIPES HERE. Some of my favorite cherry desserts are below. 

Cherry Cream Pie — An old-fashioned pie with homemade scratch crust topped with NO-BAKE layers of sweetened cream cheese along with juicy cherry pie filling!! If you like cherry pie, you’re going to LOVE this amped up version!!

Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze — An EASY quick bread recipe that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Mother’s Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

Mini Cherry Oreo Cheesecakes – EASY mini cheesecakes loaded with cherries and an Oreo cookie crust!

Triple Chocolate Cherry Cake — This cake is loaded with juicy cherries and topped with an easy homemade chocolate frosting. I used a few shortcuts in this recipe to save time, but this cake tastes completely homemade! 

Glazed Cherry Pie Bars — The bars are like cherry pie, but easier. There’s a buttery, soft, tender crust topped with cherry pie filling before being baked and glazed.

Glazed Cherry Bonbon Cookies — Soft, buttery, pink cookies with the surprise of a juicy, sweet maraschino cherry in the middle that also helps keep the cookies moist.

Cherry & Cream Cheese Turnovers — The turnovers are so good that people will think you bought them from a local bakery, but they’re so easy, ready in 20 minutes, and you’ll never need to settle for storebought turnovers again.

Originally published on July 24, 2012 and republished on June 19, 2020 with updated text.

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. Very nice . I doubled in a 13 X 9 and baked about 37 minutes. As other people suggested I used 1 tsp baking powder.  Didn’t have chocolate chips so used white chocolate chips instead. Cut the vanilla to  1.5 tsp and added 1/2 tsp of almond extract . Almond and cherry compliment each other nicely. Definitely needs the salt.  Would recommend and make again. 

    Rating: 5
  2. Very delicious recipe. I prefer it with a bit less chocolate and sugar since it is very rich. Will make it again for sure!

    Rating: 4
  3. Wow, these are good. Maybe even too rich (I know, sounds crazy even coming out of my mouth). I doubled the recipe and added a tsp of baking powder, as others recommended. I also tossed the pitted cherries with cornstarch. Might have used less chocolate if I knew how rich. So easy and so good. Baked for 29 minutes in a glass 9×13.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad they turned out well for you! Yes they are rich but a great way to take advantage of summer cherries!

  4. These are very good although I think they are a bit “wet” using fresh cherries. I think the next time I will use dried cherries that I rehydrate with some Amaretto or Cherry Liqueur. I have a recipe for a cranberry almond cake and I soak dried cranberries in Amaretto for an hour or so and it plumps them up nicely. I thought the cherry flavor and tartness was a bit lost

    Rating: 5
    1. Yes these are quite a wet bar. You could bump up the flour to combat it a bit if yours were super moist. Also the dried cherries rehydrated with some Amaretto or Cherry Liquer sounds lovely too!

  5. Wow, these bars were amazing ! I was afraid our guests would not be too keen on the goey texture as we are not used to it here in France, but everyone liked it very much. I cut down on the sugar, though and would put even less next time, but it’s definitely a recipe that will be made again. Thank you !

    Rating: 5
  6. These bars are fabulous!!!  My only regret is finding this recipe at the end of the season.  Can’t wait for next years cherry crop so I can make m ore!!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad these were fabulous! I tend to get comments like yours at this time of year about this recipe, every year, so that is a good sign for me that this one is still a hit!

  7. Made these – as written – in July and they were amazing. I had doubts because there were so many cherries in the batter!!! But it was incredible and here I am at the end of summer wishing for more fresh cherries to bake them again.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that you loved these and wish you could bake them again now! I know, it looks like a lot of cherries in the batter but they shrink in size it it all bakes together and it all works out as you know now.

  8. Hi Averie!

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it!

    I have a couple of questions:

    1) Could I substitute coconut sugar for brown sugar and expect similar result? Apart from coconut sugar I also have on hand regular granulated sugar so which one is the best sub?

    2) Also, I only have frozen pitted cherries but I was going to thaw them and not include any juice that is released (and maybe let them stay a bit longer in the oven) so they’re not so soft like you said. What do you think?

    Thank you so much! I know there’s no guarantee but just wanted your opinion. It’s fun to see how it turns out! :)

    Nadia

  9. Yesss I made these today and I love them. I made this recipe as is with 1/2 c mini dark chocolate chips instead and halved the cherries. I’m home alone for a couple hours and I’m anticipating I’ll make a significant dent in them. And I’ll think I’ll be making another batch this weekend.  

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this recipe is a hit and that you’ll be making another batch this weekend likely! 😊

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad it was easy, delish, and you’ll make again!

  10. You mentioned using whole cherries ( which of course have pits) and also mentioned just paring/slicing them to remove the pit. I’m confused……..

    1. Get the pit out any way you like. Some cherry pitters are great, others aren’t. Some expel the pit and leave the cherry fairly well intact. Some crush and mutilate the cherry. Halving with a paring knife is another option to remove.

  11. Oh my gosh, mine turned out like soup. It was horrible! I followed the recipe exactly as written.  What happened??!! I’m so disappointed after seeing all the pictures and reading the comments. They look so good.  And I spent so much time putting those dang cherries! 😩

    1. Very juicy cherries or very ripe possibly and they watered down the batter. And/or you accidentally undermeasured the flour? Sorry it didn’t work out for you!

  12. Made these today and used the extra cherries to make a frozen smoothie treat for the kids. It’s a nice treat and the bars will be great for dessert. Love the texture of the batter: and easy to mix up with coconut oil instead of butter. Just thawed the frozen fruit first and omitted the juices. Awesome!

    Rating: 5
  13. I made this recipe, only I doubled it to fit a 9×13, and they turned out perfect! I used milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet, and dried cherries instead of fresh, but I think the sourness offsets a good amount of the sweetness. Cooking time and temp didn’t really change, as the thickness was the same. Absolutely recommend, and will most definitely make again!

    Rating: 5
  14. I made this recipe and added 1/4 cup more of floura nd 1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder. Then baked for 37 min at 350 and it came out great and not that gooey! I made it with fresh cherries that were nice and ripe!!! Everyone loved them. Thanks for the recipe!!!

    Rating: 5