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.

276 comments on “Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars”

  1. Pingback: Cherry Chocolate Chip Blondies | Sarah Grace & Emily

  2. Love this recipe and I have made them a couple of times now since my neighbor gave me a bag of frozen pitted cherries from Michigan! Yay me! We like a little crunch so I topped them with an oatmeal strudel of oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and butter. They are so delicious and I’m getting ready to make a batch now for my fellow tailgating friends this Sunday! Go Colts!!!

  3. Pingback: Christmas Cookies for Everyone | Foodie VS Fitness

  4. Pingback: Dark Chocolate Cherry Blondie Bars | Rachel Mays

  5. I was originally looking for your cherry bread recipe, I baked it a couple of months ago and it was a complete hit in my family. But I saw this pop up on related recipes and decided to give them a try. They were really good, I used cherries, blackberries and white chocolate chips because those were the things I had in the kitchen.

    Note: I substituted the brown sugar with 3/4  jaggery (in Venezuela is almost impossible to get brown sugar) and they turned out just fine. Great recipe!

  6. Would it work with dried tart cherries?

  7. Pingback: Cherry and Blueberry Cream Pie - Taste and Tell

  8. Can I use canned cherries?

    • I haven’t tried it that way so can’t say for sure about the results.

    • If you make them with canned cherries, please let me know how they turn out. I have a couple bottles of cherries in my pantry and I was wondering if they’d work. They are cherries in syrup, so maybe I would need to slightly cut the sugar?

  9. These were great. I used blueberries, cherries and white chocolate chips for 4th of July. Thanks!

  10. I love this recipe but was wondering if you have ever tried to use a substitute for the all-purpose flour, such as almond or coconut flours?

  11. Can you substitute dried cherries that is all i have?

  12. Absolutely delicious! I love the burst of fresh cherries as you eat them.
    I added some Persian fairy floss (just because) and next time I would add extra flour to make them a bit more solid at room temperature. I found they needed more than an hour to cool enough to cut.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! I love King Arthur flour because it has a slightly higher gluten content than other brands and therefore baked goods have a bit more structure and aren’t as likely to crumble.

      • There is no leavening agent in this recipe, and it didn’t occur to me to ask before I made it. I’m at the first 30 minutes in, and the dough is as ‘doughy’ as it was when I put it in. What am I doing wrong? I double checked my ingredients to make sure I put in the ingredients called for.

      • Some cherries are very juicy and that could explain why the batter is still on the wet side. Your oven could not be functioning properly. You could have mis-measured ingredients. Hard to say what the cause is but correct no leavening.

  13. This sounds yummy but I am confused. In one spot you say you don’t like cherry pitters so you slice the cherry. In another spot you say you don’t half them because you like the pieces big and chunky. Could you please clarify this. Thank you.

    • I halved the cherries by hand (I think….I made this recipe years ago) rather than using a pitter. Remove pits any way you see fit and slice/chop as fine or coarse as you like. Enjoy!

  14. Thanks Averie. I like the idea of large pieces of cherry instead of small. I’ll halve them to pit and use the halves. The pictures make my mouth water. Thank again.

  15. Do you cool them in the pan?

  16. These were so good, and I got so many compliments on them when I brought them to a mom’s group. The cherries were really a delightful surprise for many! I used fresh cherries, but I found I had to double my cooking time. It was quite raw in the middle after 30 min. So either I will increase the amount of flour, or just continue to cook them for 60 min.

    • With the amount of juice in cherries, it’s not surprising that sometimes things take longer to bake for one person than another, given all cherries and their juiciness varies. Glad you just baked until done and really enjoyed these!

  17. Try this: https://smile.amazon.com/Prepworks-Progressive-Cherry-Cherry-Pitter/dp/B0041DV0WY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1501365269&sr=8-2&keywords=cherry+it+pitter A nifty cherry pitter that does 4 at a time, either large ones or small ones, at Amazon. It closes completely so that you don’t splatter juice. I’m heading to the kitchen to try your recipe!

  18. I just made the chocolate chip cherry Blondies and they turned out fabulous! I want to make them for work but I need to have a lot of them. Have you ever made them in a 13 x 9 pan? Would I just double the recipe? I just want to make sure before I do it that they will cook well in the center if I’m if I make a double recipe. Can’t wait to try your other recipes! Thanks again! :-)

    • I’ve never made them in a 9×13 but if you were going to do that, yes I would just do a straight doubling of everything. Cooking through shouldn’t be an issue because the overall thickness of the bar should remain roughly the same in the larger pan despite more batter. Glad you loved them!

  19. Perfect consistency, and such as easy recipe. Thanks for helping me use up some extra cherries.

    Rating: 5
  20. Pingback: Cherry Slab Pie - Recipe Girl

  21. Should I thaw frozen berries first?

  22. Very easy and tasty recipe! Only had 1/3 cup of chocolate chips and substituted whole wheat all purpose flour. Still a hit with my husband who’s not a cherry fan.

    Rating: 5
  23. Oops! & OMG! I accidentally put in 2cps of cherries thinking I was using a 1-cup vessel instead of the 2-cupper, which I realised right after putting them into the oven to bake. Because brown sugar tends to give me horrible indigestion, I halved that ingredient. All other aspects* of the recipe were followed as written. These are so delicious. *Due to health risks associated with aluminum, I did not line the pan; merely buttered it. Must be a nonstick as the bars came out cleanly.

    Rating: 5
  24. These were delicious! I did cut the chocolate chips down to 1 1/2 c. (just because of 2 c. looked like a little too much) and I thought it was the perfect amount. I didn’t have any problems with the baking time…took 40 minutes.

    Rating: 5
  25. Have you tried this using maraschino cherries?

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