Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars — These cherry bars use my favorite blondie base and turn out perfectly every single time! You can use fresh or frozen cherries, or a blend of mixed berries. These bars are seriously so good! 

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars stacked next to fresh cherries

Ooey Gooey Cherry Bars

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.

stack of Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

What’s in These 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
  • Cherries 

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bar

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

You’ll know these 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. 

Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Cherries? 

You can use whatever you have on hand! Either way, make sure the cherries are pitted. If using frozen cherries, add them to the batter frozen (do not thaw). You’ll likely need to bake these cherry bars for a little longer since the batter will be going into the oven cold. 

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. 

uncooked Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars in square baking pan

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, whether the fruit is fresh or frozen, 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! 

Lastly, you can freeze these 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. 

close up of gooey Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

More Cherry Desserts: 

  • 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.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

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

Yield: 9 servings
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 raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries.

**Baking time will vary based on types of fruit used, fresh, frozen, 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: 309 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 48mg Sodium: 76mg Carbohydrates: 43g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 30g Protein: 3g

Even More Dessert Bars: 

Blueberry Pie Bars — These pie bars are one of my all-time favorite frozen blueberry recipes! They have the flavors you love in a blueberry pie, but you don’t have to mess around with homemade pie crust.

Raspberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars — These easy Raspberry Bars are made with a delicious oatmeal crumble topping. They require less than 10 minutes of hands-on prep and everyone loves these!

Fudgy Banana Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze — Fudgy is the only word that describes these bars! They’re the banana equivalent of moist, fudgy brownies with zero trace of cakiness.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie Bars — Just like the classic cookies except made as cookie bars rather than individual cookies.

278 comments on “Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars”

  1. Pingback: How to Clean Out Your Pantry Before Moving - What Dress Code?

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  3. Hi there, can I ask what size cup you use? Sorry if that’s a dim question! Pretty amateur baker!
    Thanks
    K

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  5. PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE This is pure delight for your taste buds.

    CHERRY-MINT CHOCOLATE a burst of cherry zest

    Both are great flavour

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  8. This is one of my favorite things to make! Thanks for sharing your recipe :) Very simple, sweet, rich, and a hit with everyone!

  9. Made it. Loved it. Used slightly less sugar and chopped bittersweet chocolate with lots of cherries.

  10. Pingback: Fresh Cherry Chocolate Chunk Blondies | Outside the Cereal Box

  11. Hi,
    thanks for posting this recipe! I looks so good that I am making them right now. One question: I really don’t like to cook on foil; could I line the pan with parchment paper instead?

    Thank you!

    • I can never get tight seal in the corners with parchment and it sort of puffs up and I just don’t like it as well but if it works for you, go for it. You don’t ‘have to’ line the pan but for cleanup, I prefer the lift-out and dump-it-out method so I line. Enjoy!

  12. Thank you answering so quickly! I don’t bake very well, so I just used tin foil, didn’t want to deviate from the recipe. I wasn’t sure if the foil was integral to the cooking, or whatever. Thanks again, they are in the oven now, and we can’t wait for them to come out.

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  15. They’re in the oven now!!!! Sooooo excited!! But… I used dark brown pure cane sugar because i didn’t have light brown, is that okay? They look dark (when i peak in the oven)!

    • Dark brown sugar is more caramely tasting when cooked (it has more molasses than light, 3x as much) and appears quite dark when baked in things. Just watch them closely so you don’t over/under-bake them. I’m sure they’ll taste great.

  16. Thank you so much! I just came across your site on pinterest and love how you respond so quickly!!! Now I am making your creamy mixed berry white chocolate bars :)

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  18. Made these a couple of weeks ago using fresh blueberries & dark chocolate chips and they were super delicious!! Thanks for the recipe! It’s seems pretty versatile as far as changing it up with different berries and chocolates. Making another blueberry batch right now because I’m craving these again after seeing your recipe on my Pinterest board while looking for something else. :) Looking forward to giving a few of your other recipes a try!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you – with blueberries and dark chocolate chips. Sounds delish! And you’re right, it’s a very versatile recipe (I’ve used this base 30+ times for blog recipes), just changing the add-in’s from M&Ms to peanut butter chips to swirling in strawberry jam. If you try other recipes, LMK!

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  21. Just made these and, even though  I ended up having to use dark brown sugar (I forgot to buy light brown sugar!), they were still awesome!

    Will be sure to give your other recipes a try! :)

  22. I made these yesterday for a gathering tonight, and they were a huge hit! I have been baking a lot of Pinterest cake recipes lately, and it was nice to try an easy recipe for a change. The cleanup was a breeze! I used fresh cherries and completely agree – pitting is a PITA. The edges were brown, crispy, and pulled away from the pan, but the bottom (particularly in the center) was close to gooey. I didn’t want the edges to burn, so I went ahead and took them out. When I make them again, I think I may try to strain and blot the cherries with paper towels a bit before folding them in, as I think mine were so juicy that they disrupted the batter consistency. I also may go ahead and pit my remaining cherries, then freeze them before the next use. That could help a bit, and would make the recipe go together very quickly. I’ve also seen recipes that call for the fruit to be tossed in flour before being folded into the batter to avoid bleeding. Any thoughts on this? BTW, Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips complement the cherries perfectly. My friends and I are not picky about doneness as long as the flavor is there, and flavor was present in droves!!! Definitely a keeper.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out well for you! I wouldn’t freeze the fruit and then pull out for the future if your intention is to have it LESS juicy (think about how watery blueberries or strawberries or any berries are when you thaw out a bag of frozen fruit). If you feel next time like you have really juicy fruit, I would just add 1/4 cup more flour. In a shallow pan recipe like this, I don’t think tossing with flour makes much difference like it would say in a loaf pan of cherry bread or a bundt cake where it’s much deeper and sinking is more of an issue.

  23. Averie — we picked cherries for the first time this year on vacation and I had to get a pitter. This one from Amazon is pretty good: http://www.amazon.com/Cuisipro-747151-Cherry-Olive-Pitter/dp/B003AJKPL2/ref=sr_1_18?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1438911346&sr=1-18&keywords=cherry+pitter — doesn’t splatter much and every cherry was successfully pitted with one try. I just pulled some from the freezer for this recipe and it is in the oven now…smells great!

  24. 5 stars

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