Cherry Hand Pies {gluten free option}

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Cherry Hand PiesHolding Onto Summer: Tart Cherry Hand Pies

It is still summer ‘round these parts and I fully admit that I have been lured by the Cherry Sirens to post yet another tart cherry recipe for you all, Cherry Hand Pies. (I cannot help it!) Of course, I had to follow up with a post featuring the pastry recipes I posted last week for Perfect Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry and Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry thus making these tart cherry pies anything but ordinary!

The flavorful and tender yet flaky goodness of the pastry is an ideal match for the tart and slightly sweet Homemade Tart Cherry Pie Filling. You’re gonna love this recipe because it truly is easy peasy. And, the payoff is huge. I’ve said this before about a handful of other recipes here at Wicked Good Kitchen, but if you make these Cherry Hand Pies, say, for the upcoming Labor Day holiday, your friends and family will think you are a rock star pastry chef! Seriously.

Cherry Hand Pies

Summer is whizzing by at warp speed for me. How about you? Every food blog I read, seems to be endorsing this fact. As for me, I’ve been working at a frenzied pace testing paleo recipes for the cookbook I’m writing as well as working with my blog designer on updating the blog with some cool features. My designer is an attorney by day, so when we work together in the evenings or on the weekends, I drop everything I’m doing to work with her.

You may already have noticed that my slideshow is back to fading again the way it was initially. One day, it just started sliding. Crazy, right? You may also notice the new menu bar at the top. It is now blue with white text which turns a nifty darker blue upon mouse-over. It used to have a white background with black text which was temporary. You also may notice some changes in my right sidebar area and we are working on the Recipe Index as well as more plugins to make your visits more pleasant and full of ease. It has been a busy summer here at Wicked Good Kitchen and it seems everyone else has had the same experience!

Cherry Hand Pies 2

Meanwhile, something peachy is in the works along with a couple recipes for Labor Day—one savory and one sweet. And, I have that summer recipe round-up coming your way soon as well. It is a fun one, that’s fer shure. It is hard to imagine, but, before long, we will be heading into fall recipes here on the blog. There is a part of me that cannot wait to delve into apples, caramel, chocolate, nuts and pumpkin as well as some comfort and tailgating savory dishes. There are also some paleo recipes I’d like to share with you. They’re pretty killer.

However, for now, I want to relish in everything summer has to offer—even though fall is my favorite time of year. Again, I missed out on so much last summer when I was sick that I feel like I am making up for lost time! So…I promise you additional summer goodness leading into Labor Day weekend. And, I promise that this is the last tart cherry recipe of the season. Don’t worry…there will be more next season. I’ll definitely keep my promise.

Back to our Cherry Hand Pies. You didn’t think I’d leave you out, did you? I saved you some pie…

Here ya go…open wide, now!

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See the bright red juicy tart cherry pie filling oozing ever so sweetly (tartly)? Perfect. Our Homemade Tart Cherry Pie Filling is thickened just right so the filling isn’t too runny once baked by accounting for the natural juices of the cherries so they ooze all sorts of goodness throughout these charming Cherry Hand Pies.

Can you see all those layers of tender-flaky pastry? And, the sweet Vanilla-Almond Glaze on top? Sheer heaven, people! I know. I’m teasing you…yet again. Sorry. Not sorry! Because you really need to bake these…soon.

Cherry Hand Pies 2

Seriously, the all-natural and “from scratch” component recipes to create these truly enchanting Cherry Hand Pies are not only easy peasy, they are foolproof. I promise…as I would never steer you wrong. You will have fun in the kitchen making them, too. Sharing them is exciting because no one expects cherry hand pies to be made homemade from scratch. Unfortunately, the usual cherry hand pies of summer picnic fare are made with frozen puff pastry and canned cherry pie filling. It really doesn’t have to be that way. This is the tastier way. Perhaps even a new summer tradition will be started as they have become in our house? For you, and your taste buds, I hope so!

Once again, if you do not have access to fresh or frozen tart cherries, hook yourself up with a family-owned orchard that will ship frozen tart cherries to you. is a great place to start. Or, try Fruit Perfect® Sour Cherries made with tart Montmorency cherries from my native Michigan by American Spoon Foods. You will love it! And, no. I was not paid for saying so. I just adore the stuff. It’s a Michigan thing.

Cherry Hand Pies 3

What makes our Cherry Hand Pies wicked good? A sumptuous homemade tart cherry pie filling made with plenty of fresh picked cherries as well as an easy to prepare tender yet flaky cream cheese pastry with just the right buttery richness you would expect in a darn good tart cherry pie. Simply irresistible. And, did we mention easy? Yes, the component recipes are incredibly easy. What’s not to love about that?

Bon appétit!



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Cherry Hand Pies {gluten free option}

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 large (6-inch) hand pies.

Cherry Hand Pies {gluten free option}

What makes our Cherry Hand Pies wicked good? A sumptuous homemade tart cherry pie filling made with plenty of fresh picked cherries as well as an easy to prepare tender yet flaky cream cheese pastry with just the right buttery richness you would expect in a darn good tart cherry pie. Simply irresistible. And, did we mention easy? Yes, the component recipes are incredibly easy. What’s not to love about that?



Prepare the Hand Pies: Remove pastry dough from refrigerator and allow to soften at room temperature until pliable, about 10 minutes. Prepare work surface and rolling pin by dusting with flour. Unwrap dough and place on floured work surface. Roll pastry dough out thinly into round circle about 1/8-inch thick. Dip 6-inch round cookie cutter, or cutter sides of 6-inch dough press, into flour to coat and cut pastry into rounds. (Alternatively, use a 6-inch diameter plastic or metal lid as a cutter.) Reroll scraps as necessary.

Score (make a light mark or indentation) into dough to indicate the halfway point by using the sharp edge of a ruler or knife taking care not to cut through. This will be a visual guide. If desired, create a decorative steam vent by cutting into dough on one side of dough circle in the center, horizontally and vertically. I used a decorating tip (Wilton No. 3) to create a round “cherry” and then made two slits for “leaves”. If using a dough press, place dough round in press and pat into the hollow area and onto the “teeth”.

Fill each pastry round with about 3 tablespoons of filling onto one half of dough round leaving at least a ¼-inch border for sealing. If using a dough press, moisten edges of dough using finger dipped in water. Carefully close and push dough press together to seal. If not using a dough press, carefully fold pastry to enclose filling and seal up sides by hand crimping decoratively with fingers or by using fork tines to seal.

After sealing, place unbaked pies onto rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper leaving at least 1 inch of space between each. Place in refrigerator to chill, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, arrange oven racks to lower and upper thirds of oven. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Prepare the Egg Wash: In a small bowl or prep bowl, whisk egg and water together until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Remove baking sheets with unbaked pies from refrigerator. With pastry brush, brush egg wash over the tops of the unbaked pies. If not already done so, create steam vents by carefully cutting two or three slits into top of each hand pie. This will allow steam to escape during baking. If you have created decorative steam vents, skip this step.

Bake hand pies on bottom and top racks in preheated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, rotate the sheets and bake until golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 10 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer to wire racks to cool for 30 minutes. While pies are baking, prepare the Vanilla-Almond Glaze.

Prepare the Vanilla-Almond Glaze: Into a small bowl, sift confectioners’ sugar. Add milk and extracts; beat until smooth with wire whisk. (The glaze should be thin enough to drizzle or paint on pies using pastry brush.) With a pastry brush, brush glaze over tops of slightly warm pies. Let stand until glaze has set, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes


Keep Vanilla-Almond Glaze covered with plastic wrap until ready to use. This will keep it from drying out and an undesired crust from forming.

Hand pies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Leftovers can be stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator and can be re-crisped in 350ºF. preheated oven until heated through. If you plan on leftovers, leave pies unglazed; then glaze upon reheating.

Recipe Source:

Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.

Visual Step-by-Step for Cherry Hand Pies

Including Recommended Brands

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About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.


  1. These could not look any better!! Wow, Stacy – I love this post as it makes something so advanced-appearing seem attainable even by mere kitchen mortals such as myself. I love your work, more please!!
    Dan from Platter Talk recently posted…Lentril Rice Cakes + Tomato SalsaMy Profile

    • Thank you, Dan! You will love working with this foolproof flaky cream cheese pastry dough (the filling is easy as well) to make hand pies. So simple, too, with that little dough press. These pies need to be sealed well because the pastry puffs up during baking to create all those pretty layers. And, you certainly don’t want to lose any precious fruit filling by the seal breaking during baking. Thanks again and happy baking, my friend! xo

  2. Stacy, I love this idea! Hand pies with cherries in them! As always, love your detailed photos and meticulous instructions. Can’t believe these hand pies are gluten free!!!
    Julia | recently posted…Lewis Mine: Hiking in TellurideMy Profile

  3. I’ve never even considered attempting hand pies until I read this recipe. Those are gorgeous. I need that dough press set!
    Jaclyn recently posted…Chipotle Pasta SaladMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jaclyn! Yes, you need that little dough press set. You can use them for so many things…like empanadas and pierogi. (I knew the empanadas would catch your Tex-Mex lovin’ ears, LOL!) The pies really are easy–especially if you prepare the dough and filling in advance. Thanks again and happy baking!

  4. You did such an amazing job at these beautiful hand pies, they all look perfect. And I can’t help but see each one has a face with 2 eyes and a mouth, it’s all I see when I look at them! Cute! But I still want to eat them.. 🙂
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Cooking With America’s Test KitchenMy Profile

    • Thank you, Pamela! And, yes…I didn’t pull off what I had intended which was a cherry and two pretty leaves. The first time, I used my mini aspic cutters for the leaves and they turned into little round polka dots. This time, I tried slits but needed to cut out a tiny amount, make them a bit longer and have them come together at the bottom like a “V” but not too close or they’ll tear during baking. The vents look like a bunny face and ears to me, LOL! Thanks again for stopping by. Hopefully, I will have some tips to share after more baking trials. More to come this fall. Happy baking!

  5. Those are my dough presses! I got them for Christmas.

    Which basically means I have no excuse not to make these. For breakfast. Now.
    Jen @JuanitasCocina recently posted…Toffee To Go Review and #Giveaway ~ It’s #BirthdayPalooza!My Profile

    • Thank you for stopping by, Jen! Yes, you now have no excuse not to make these for brekkie. You definitely won’t be sorry if you do. They’re truly scrumptious!

  6. These are fabulous, Stacy! I love all the cherry recipes you posted, but I think these are my favorite! They look absolutely perfect & the little faces are too cute! Can’t wait to hear more about the cookbook you’re working on – so exciting!!
    Meghan recently posted…Skinny Avocado Chicken Salad BitesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Meghan! The compliments and kind words on these sweet little hand pies mean so much coming from you as a pastry chef. I’m always thrilled when you drop by. You have made my day, girl. Thanks again and happy baking!

  7. The little cutouts on the pastry are adorable! Reminds us of something we would eat at a diner.
    Mr. & Mrs. P recently posted…Sun-dried Tomato Pasta SaladMy Profile

  8. Just gorgeous and you make it all seem so easy!!
    Julie @ Table for Two recently posted…Corn Pop TreatsMy Profile

  9. I love hand pies! These are the cutest and look so fun to make!
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted…brown butter & graham snickerdoodlesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Laura! They truly are fun to make and such a breeze. You’ll love working with the cream cheese pastry. Happy baking, my friend! xo

  10. Stacy! You out did yourself on these, mama! I mean, they look perfect. And I love the old fashioned ( and beautiful!) style of the pies. Just looking at them makes me think of my grandmother in her old apron elbows deep in dough 😉

    • Aww…thank you, Ashley! I’m glad these sweet little hand pies reminded you of your grandmother. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Happy baking!

  11. Love that fun trick of using a decorating tip to make an air “vent” – beautiful hand pies! My son went to Michigan this summer and told me all about the cherries there.
    Jeanette recently posted…Soba Noodles with Miso Gochujang Cucumber Pickles RecipeMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jeanette! Oh, those Michigan tart cherries…they’re the best! Decorating tips come in handy when you want a polka dot effect in a top pie crust, too. More fun looking than a plain lattice. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Happy baking!

  12. What a nifty little gadget. Yeah, I’ve been a bit obsessed with cherries lately. I’ve been putting them in everything. These are some gorgeous hand pies. Hand pies–I just love saying it.

    • Thank you, Jennie! Yes, it looks as though we have both been bit by the cherry bug. Love saying “hand pies”, too. Something special and personal about them as a dessert treat. Long live cherry obsessions and happy baking, girl! xo

  13. Stacy – these pies look AMAHZING!
    This summer – this year is going by WAY, WAY too quickly 🙁
    Shashi @ recently posted…Avocado PuddingMy Profile

  14. Love the hand pie tool thingy. Super awesome. And the pies look delish (glazed!?!? yes, please!). Hope your summer has been swell! xoxo, Ali
    Alison | a girl defloured recently posted…Summer Chopped SaladMy Profile

    • Hey there, girly! Hope your summer has been super swell, too! It truly has gone by at warp speed. I just cannot get over it. Thank you for stopping by, my friend. Meanwhile, happy gluten-free baking! xoxo

  15. Kumar's Kitchen says:

    Stacy,with these adorable cherry hand pies baked for this weekend,we will definitely go for a second or more helpings till it all gets finished….these pies look so good,temptingly flaky pastry and drool worthy cherry filling…terrific recipe,thanks for sharing…
    Kumar’s Kitchen recently posted…CURRIED COMFORT:CHICKPEA STEW…GHUGNI 🙂My Profile

    • Thank you for stopping by, Kumar! You are so very kind. I hope you enjoy the these sweet hand pies. They really do come together in a snap with the ever versatile cream cheese pastry. It’s so tender and flaky-good! Thank you…you have a fabulous weekend, too!

  16. Beyond gorgeous!!! Great step-by-step too!!
    Lori @ RecipeGirl recently posted…Peach and Raspberry Pie BarsMy Profile

    • Thank you, Lori! It is always a fabulous day when I see your pretty smiling face in my comments section. Have a lovely summer weekend, my friend! xo

  17. Saw these on Pinterest and I came running … with my mouth wide open … and an empty stomach! They look amazing, Stacy! Hope you have a fabulous weekend 🙂
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste recently posted…Video: How to Make Green Juice In a BlenderMy Profile

    • Thank you, Kelly! Pinterest can do that to a person. 😉 Thank you for stopping by, my friend. Have a wonderful summer weekend! xo

  18. Love these hand pies. I had no clue there were mold to shape them. How about that! Love the vibrant cherry peeping through so invitingly delicious looking.
    foodwanderings recently posted…Olive Oil Poached Salmon With Lemon Dill Aioli; 5774 RecipeMy Profile

    • Thank you, Shulie! Those little wonders called “dough presses” work miracles in the kitchen providing a pretty shape and great seal to hand pies. The same company (Progressive International) also makes the workhorse cherry pitter I used to make my tart cherry pie filling by pitting 4 cherries at a time. Pitting cherries and forming hand pies is now a snap! Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous summer weekend and happy baking!

  19. These are SO beautiful ~ want to make! What size dough press were you using?

    • Oops – just saw it was 6 inch – thanks : )

      • Thank you, Elayne! I used the 6-inch dough press in the graduated set of four by Progressive International as stated in the recipe. Glad you found the correct size. Thanks for stopping by and have fun baking your hand pies!

  20. I totally agree –summer is going by at a warp speed! These hand pies look delicious Stacy. Love the little design you made on top of the pastry crust. I would love some coffee with this. 🙂 Beautiful!
    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker recently posted…Lemon Blueberry BarsMy Profile

  21. You saved us some pie, thanks Stacy. Now that I’ve read your post thoroughly and seen all the sexy images of this beautiful dessert, all I can say is YUMMY. You are so neat with your creations. Love it.

  22. I have the same dough press set. Must try these asap!
    katie recently posted…5 Ways to Feel Good and Escape the Midweek Hump with Zephyrhills® Brands Sparkling Natural Spring WaterMy Profile

    • Thanks, Katie! I bet you do have this dough press set…and, I bet you make killer empanadas! Thanks for stopping by and happy baking!

  23. Oh my gosh!! I am DYING for one of these right now…gotta soak in all these last days of summer [foods]
    steph@stephsbitebybite recently posted…M&M Cookie Dough Pretzel BarsMy Profile

  24. Could your pastry look any MORE perfect!? I seriously don’t think so! These looks so crispy, juicy, flaky- just crazy good!

    • Thank you, Jennifer! I hope will try this recipe. It’s so incredibly easy! Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Happy baking!

  25. Hi Stacy! Wow! These look so good, and I just love that it is made with a gluten-free crust. My best friend is expecting a baby any day now and she has celiac. These would be perfect treats to bring her and her new babe!
    Monet recently posted…Lemon Rosemary Pound Cake AND Stitch and Saw Giveaway!My Profile

  26. I totally need one of those pie press thingies! I am EMBARRASSING when it comes to making hand pies. It kind of looks more like a pie massacre than anything else. These are perfect!!
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel recently posted…Bacon S’mores Waffle Breakfast Sandwich {and a Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker Giveaway!!}My Profile

    • Thank you, Hayley! You definitely need these little pie press thingies as they work miracles in the kitchen. Thanks for stopping by and happy baking!

  27. Maria | Pink Patisserie says:

    I love the almond cherry combo Stacy! It’s a match made in heaven! And I’ve mentioned this before, but your crust is quite honestly the best I’ve ever seen. So golden and flaky I can almost taste it!

    • Thank you, Maria! I appreciate the compliments immensely…especially coming from a talented baker such as yourself. Thanks for stopping by and happy baking, my friend!

  28. Your little hand pies are beautiful looking. The look like they came from the best bakery in town.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted…Crab And Avocado Salad With CitrusMy Profile

    • Thank you, Karen! You say the kindest things. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful Labor Day holiday weekend!

  29. Stacy, these cute little cherry pies are flawless! They belong behind a bakery case with a big fat price tag on ’em… I’d pay whatever they want, haha! Such a delicious treat, and since cherry pie is my favorite, I’d never be able to resist. Love this one!

    • Thank you, Georgia! You are too kind, my friend. Still, I’ll take every compliment coming my way as, coming from you, they mean so much! xo

  30. Do you think it would work to make these without the dough press? What if I just fold it over and crimp the edges?

    • Hi there, Carrie! Thank you for writing. To answer your question… Yes, you can certainly make these sweet hand pies without a dough press. However, you will need to be sure to use a little bit of water around the perimeter of the dough (as directed), press down evenly to seal with fingers and then even fold around the perimeter, inward about 1/4-inch, before using fork tines to press around the outer edge to create a tight seal. This type of pastry, cream cheese pastry, puffs up quite a bit during baking. And, a tight seal will ensure you don’t lose any precious filling during baking. Meanwhile, I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly and completely. Happy baking!

  31. Whoa I love these cherry hand pies. They’re adorable and beautiful and the vanilla almond glaze sounds like the perfect finishing to this delicious dessert. Wonderful recipe yet again, Stacy! (:
    Monica recently posted…Strawberry Rhubarb CobblerMy Profile

    • Thank you, Monica! I hope you will try making them one day. They’re as much fun to make as they are to eat! Thanks again and happy baking, my friend!

  32. These look incredible! I love that there’s a gluten free option, too 🙂
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) recently posted…Paleo Fried Chicken with Chipotle Honey MustardMy Profile

  33. Stacy, How cute are these little guy’s, I love those cute little cherry pie faces, I am also in love with those little pie presses, sign me up for one please!!!! I love your blog, Cherry much! and I am looking forward to more of your Wicked Good Recipes, Annmarie

    • Thank you, Annmarie! Those little pie presses work wonders in the kitchen. And, yes…hahaha! Cherry much? 😉 Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate your positive feedback. Meanwhile, I look forward to bringing many more scrumptious recipes to the blog for the fall and winter holidays. As always, with all-natural whole foods baking as my food philosophy. Have a lovely evening and thanks again for dropping by, my friend!

  34. These look so beautiful and delicious and you put so much effort into preparing them. I love that you showed how to make them from start to finish!
    Nik@ABrownTable recently posted…easy south indian chicken curryMy Profile

  35. I’m going to enjoy that pie on my beach chair.

  36. Aww I love hand pies and love that you used cherries in them! Progressive’s dough press set works AWESOME!
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes recently posted…Blueberry Banana Almond SmoothieMy Profile

  37. It took me reading almost the entire recipe to find out what the circle and the slits were. And even now it still looks like a creepy ghost smiley to me! Or a smiley who is totally ready to eat the cherry pies. On a sidenote: this looks so delicious! And much easier to eat than a normal cherry pie.
    MoonLight @ AWorldInMyOven recently posted…The Quarter Pound CakeMy Profile

    • Hahaha! Thank you, MoonLight! I agree with you entirely…the round circle looks like a big ol’ cake hole. Next go ’round, if the venting holes look like cherries, I will add the photos to the post in an update. Thank you for the smiles and giggles. Happy baking!

  38. I’m going to make these for Halloween this year. Your “Cherry” cut-out steam release” reminds me of the famous art piece called “THE SCREAM” Fabulous.


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