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!
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.
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.
What’s in These Chocolate Cherry Bars?
For these amazing chocolate chip cherry bars, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Fresh cherries
Seriously, that’s all you need to make this easy cherry dessert!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Pin This Recipe
- 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)*
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 60 seconds.
- To the melted butter, add the brown sugar and stir to combine.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake for 27 to 32 minutes, or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan and center is set.**
- 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.
*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.
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.