Dear Crissy

Cherry Kuchen Bars

My mom and I made these cherry kuchen bars last week (yes, it was a joint effort!) after finding the recipe in a holiday baking edition of Better Homes and Gardens. You may have seen this recipe referred to as cherry pie bars on other blogs or on Pinterest. Yep, it’s probably the same delicious recipe!

When I think of cherries, I’m transported to my childhood. My grandpa was a huge fan of cherry pies, in fact, I’m pretty sure he almost always had a half-eaten cherry pie in his kitchen!

I grew to develop my own taste for cherry desserts, and this cherry kuchen bars recipe is absolutely at the top of my cherry sweets must-have list. Not only do these cherry kuchen bars taste heavenly, they are also drop dead gorgeous. Just… look.

Cherry Kuchen Bars Recipe

Cherry Pie Bars Recipe | Cherry Kuchen Bars | Easy Dessert Bars | Cherry Pie Filling Dessert | Sheet Pan Dessert

Cherry Kuchen Bars - These delicious cherry kuchen bars (sometimes called cherry pie bars) are flaky, sweet and completely delicious! This is one of the top 5 recipes of all time on my blog!

You know, there are times when you try a recipe from a magazine and the end result looks NOTHING like the oh-so-perfect photo on the printed page, but this was not one of times.

Our version of the cherry kuchen bars looked every bit as beautiful as the magazine photos and that’s why I’m confident that yours will be picture-worthy, too.

Cherry Pie Bars Recipe | Cherry Kuchen Bars | Easy Dessert Bars | Cherry Pie Filling Dessert | Sheet Pan Dessert

Actually, I think that’s one of my favorite things about these delicious bars—they look as impressive as they taste. If you want to serve a delicious dessert that will make your guests say WOW, these cherry kuchen bars are for you.

The cherry kuchen (kuchen is the German word for cake, by the way) bars turned out moist and chewy with a little crisp around the edges. These cherry pie bars are sweet, but not too sweet. Honestly, I usually have to send these to work with my husband when I make them lest I eat half the pan while he’s at work and the kids are at school.

I did want to note that while the recipe states a 32 bar yield, we did not get that many out of the pan. We ended up cutting much larger pieces and had only 24 bars.

Cherry Pie Bars Recipe | Cherry Kuchen Bars | Easy Dessert Bars | Cherry Pie Filling Dessert | Sheet Pan Dessert

Of course, if you’re not a fan of cherries you could easily substitute your favorite pie filling.

RELATED: Check out my easy apple pie bites made with crescent rolls and apple pie filling!

Cherry Pie Bars Recipe | Cherry Kuchen Bars | Easy Dessert Bars | Cherry Pie Filling Dessert | Sheet Pan Dessert

I would also love to try this same recipe with blackberries.

How beautiful would that be?

Cherry Pie Bars Recipe | Cherry Kuchen Bars | Easy Dessert Bars | Cherry Pie Filling Dessert | Sheet Pan Dessert

Be sure to grab the recipe for these outrageously good cherry kuchen bars below.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Crazy About Dessert Bars? Try These!

Cherry kuchen bars

Cherry Kuchen Bars Recipe

Yield: 32 bars
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 42 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Looking for a dessert that's easy to make but looks impressive? These gorgeous cherry pie bars are the ticket!


  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling (or substitute your favorite)

Powdered Sugar Icing:

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk (make a drizzle consistency)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Reserve 1 ½ cups of the dough. Press the remaining dough on to the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
  2. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove, then spread pie filling over crust in pan. Spoon reserved dough into small mounds over pie filling.
  3. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until top is light brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Drizzle with powdered sugar icing. Cut and serve.


Slightly adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.

Cherry Pie Bars Recipe | Cherry Kuchen Bars | Easy Dessert Bars | Cherry Pie Filling Dessert | Sheet Pan Dessert

    73 Comments on “Cherry Kuchen Bars”

  1. Can I use all butter and no shortening?

  2. Just put mine in the oven. Smells heavenly. Can’t wait to serve them tonight for dinner to our guest.  Going to serve some ice cream with them.   My husband loves cherries and I always make him a cherry cheesecake with the cherries under the cheese cake topping.   I think he might enjoy this just had much.  Thanks for the recipe. 

    Going to try blueberries tomorrow for when my daughter and her family comes for Sunday dinner. 

  3. Going to convert to Gluten Free! Thank you for sharing.

  4. I made these for a school potluck. The only thing I did different was, I used 2 cans of cherry pie filling. No leftovers.

  5. I’ve made these bars several times. They are always a big hit with everyone. I do use two cans of cherries when I make them. A great recipe!

  6. One can of pie filling is rat her sparse, so I use two. I used cherry and raspberry to make Cherry Berry Bars; they were a huge hit.

  7. I am making these for the second time for our weekly post church brunch. Everyone loves them! I split the fillings 1 can of each on the crust. First time I did apple and cherries, this time I am doing peaches and raspberry filling!
    Love the ease of this recipe!

  8. when you say shortening are you meaning oil like crisco vegetable oil or are you meaning the solid shortening in a can i need to know im baking these today and a speedy reply would be helpful getting company and really need help here

  9. I just made these and WOW, they are delicious. My hubby and 2 boys (13&11) are loving them!  

  10. Crissy can you  use the sugar cookie store bought cookie dough 

  11. I’ve made these several times now and they are not only yummy but easy to prepare! I’ll be sharing this recipe at a bridal shower soon ?

  12. can u freeze them does anyone know

  13. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on our Top Ten this week at Full Plate Thursday. Your recipe will be pinned to our Features board and we sure hope you enjoy your new Red Plate! Thanks so much for sharing with us and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  14. Wow, this looks good (and I’m not a huge cherry person!). However, my husband and daughter love cherries so I’ll be pinning this for them. Visiting from Think Tank Thursday party.

  15. This is awesome! I love cherries and I would rather eat them, rather than any other fruit. Your bars are beautiful, and thank you so much for sharing them at Celebrate It!

  16. Pinned! These sound amazing! :)

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  17. These look good… and they would be showy as a dessert or companion to tea. :)

  18. Oh my these looks super delicious. My kids don;t like cherries, so I may make them with apples instead.

  19. My husband and adult son both adore cherry pie so I make it for their birthdays and other times just for them. I’m not a huge fan of pie – I prefer cake. This looks like the perfect compromise. 

  20. Your Cherry Kuchen Bars will be amazing! Hope you have a fantastic weekend and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  21. Those look delicious. I love cherries as well. Great pictures.
    Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday.

  22. A.m.a.z.i.n.g! Thanks for sharing at Brag About It. Pinned!

  23. The pictures alone are making me drool, I wonder what would happen if I ate one. Thank you for sharing at the Creative Muster party. PINNED
    Robin | Fluster Buster

  24. Hi Crissy, Wow, these cherry kuchen bars look fabulous – your photos are beautiful and I’m sure these are quite delicious! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Janet

  25. They look amazing. I love cherry. We had kuchen last fall when we were in Switzerland. They had it everywhere. They sure love their desserts in Europe! :) I’ll have to give this one a try sometime. Stopping by from Wonderful Wednesday. Blessings to you!

  26. My husband loves cherry pie – I’m going to try making this for him!

  27. Yum yo! These look delish! I would like to invite you to link up with us at Family Joy Blog Link Up Party. Check us out

  28. Omg! I would eat the whole pan of this yummines! They look amazing Crissy!

  29. Love it! Made these for my mom’s birthday, and a few other occasions–always a hit!

  30. This is such a great recipe. These are delicioso and everyone loved them at our church ladies meeting they literally disappeared and  I am making it for the 4th of July!!!!!
    Served with vanilla ice cream of  course !!!
    Thanks for the recipe !!!!!!???????????

  31. These are ridiculously delicious…like cherry pie with a shortbread crust. The delicate taste of almond makes for a fabulous combination of flavors.

  32. Can’t wait to try these!  They look amazing!  Beautiful pictures!

  33. These look so delicious! I am going to have to try these very soon! Love that you added “kuchen” to them to let your readers know a new German word. ;) 


  34. oh yes – I’m a cherry pie lover – living close to the cherry capital of the US – I took it once step further and added a cream cheese layer between the crust and the cherry pie filling – to die for – thank you for sharing this recipe w/ everyone… definitely is a keeper

  35. Oh my!  I made this as part of our breakfast, (yes I said breakfast) with some scrambled eggs.  They were soooo delicious!  Very much highly recommend.  And I did the almond extract for my icing.  Deliciously evil!

  36. I just finished baking these and the bottom burnt. Recommend putting it all together and only baking 30 min total. No need to cook the bottom for 12 min first. I have other recipes similar to this one and both of them you put it all together and bake for 30 min

  37. How can I email or send this recipe to my email?

  38. I was so excited when I seen this recipe show up. It’ss the same recipe my mom used when I was a kid. Can’t wait to make it:)

  39. sounds great will try these for Christmas

  40. sounds great will try for Christmas thanks

  41. These are truly tasty. The first time I made them with butter flavor shortening because that’s all I had. I think I like them better with the butter flavor shortening. However, made exactly as it’s written, they’re lovely. I have been asked for the recipe a few times now. Thanks! :)

  42. These are such a hit! Every one I make these for wants the recipe. Thank you!!

  43. I grew up with my great aunts making kuchen and although this looks yummy, it is nothing like kuchen I learned to make. Ours starts with a sweet yeast dough, then a fruit layer (cherry, apple, peach, blueberry, pretty much anything) then is topped with a yummy sweet custard and baked. So delicious. Thanks for this recipe, it has inspired me to make some of my families kuchen!

  44. I made this recipe with apple pie filling instead of the cherry for Mother’s Day brunch – it was a hit!

  45. Can you freeze these???

  46. Are you very certain that one DOES NOT grease the pan??? I am ready to put in my pan as
    you designate and apprehensive, because the pan is not greased????????

    Hoping you can answer right away now.

    Thanks so much.


    • I love these!! Thanks for sharing. I grease the pan, add almond to the mixture, cook for about 22 minutes after I put the filling on.

  47. Just made this recipe with my ‘made from scratch’ apple pie filling. It is delish and not too sweet. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  48. Is it one can of filling or two? I’m in the process of making these and it doesn’t seem like there’s enough cherry to cover the crust.

  49. I am from North Dakota where Kuchen is very common and along with fruit filling you can also fill with something that tastes a lot like cream cheese/custard mix. I love them them ! They will commonly add chocolate chips, nuts etc. I would assume that it would be pretty similar in a bar. You’d have to check the internet to see what the filling is as I buy them not make them . :)

  50. I used to make a bar similar to this one that was one of my go to recipes but sadly I lost the recipe several years ago. I would also make them with apple pie filling in the fall and sometimes blueberry.
    I can’t wait to give these a try.

  51. Gorgeous bars. I would definitely say that these are magazine-quality. So pretty with the bright red cherries peeking out! I’ll bet they taste even better than they look!

  52. I’m wondering how you got your glaze to be so white. My was clear. Did I add too much milk?

    • Hey Chelsea! I trick I’ve learned with glaze like this is to make it fairly thick, too thick to pour, and then heat it slightly in the microwave till it gets that runny consistency. Pour it on your bars (or scones,etc) and leave it for five minutes. When the glaze hardens it will be white and not as sticky. :)

  53. I just made these…delish!! Unfortunately no pics, though!

  54. Do you know what the cook time would be if I used a 13 x 9 cake pan? We can’t find a 15 x 10 x 1 anywhere and we want to make these for Thanksgiving.

    • I just made these in a 9×13″ pan, as I too did not have the 15×10″ pan. I baked them the first time as directed 12 minutes, then the last part 35 minutes. They do seem just slightly overdone and a bit dry, so next time I may just use the same time as written.
      And, needless to say, they are spectacular! I added some almond extract to the cake batter too, simply because I adore almond. This is a keeper and oh so pretty!

  55. Wow!! Those look delicious!!! Do you think there is anything that can be substituted for the shortening, since we generally don’t keep it in the house? We do keep lard. Do you think that would work?

  56. Those look AMAZING! I’m a huge fan of cherry pie and like to make little cherry pocket pies. I have to try your recipe!

  57. Gorgeous bars! And with that glaze? Perfection.

  58. I think they might even look better than the magazine.. even tastier too ;-)

  59. Fantastic! They really are Gorgeous! They are a Must try!

  60. WOW they look amazing!!! Im actualy surprised by the simple list of ingredients and directions…I have to try this for the holidays im sure there will be plenty of compliments!

  61. This looks so Yum,yum,Yummy! Who doesn’t like cherries!!Thanks for sharing!

  62. Wow these look so good, pinning and making these on my next baking day, thank you

  63. Definitely printed this out. Thanks for the print feature.

  64. Oh my goodness! Those look so beautiful and delicious. I will have to try the recipe. Thanks for sharing! :)

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