Cherry Pie Crumble Bars – Best Ever!

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Cherry Pie Crumble BarsFeature Fridays: Baking for a Crowd ~ Summer Picnic Style

It’s summer. And, it’s time to go on a picnic. Or, host a cookout. Or, bake something special just because it is summer. It’s also time to serve a crowd. In fact, today’s Feature Fridays is all about baking to please a crowd. And, we’re going to do it “summer picnic style”. What is both easy to bake and yet will be sure to knock everyone’s socks off and make the day special? Our Cherry Pie Crumble Bars made with our Homemade Tart Cherry Pie Filling, of course! Do it. Bake a batch. You won’t regret it. You’ll be a rock star.

Cherry Pie Crumble Bars

Seriously. Sour (tart) cherries are called “pie cherries” for a reason. They are simply the best cherries for pie. The best. They are truly divine. The unearthly super-bright red orbs turn into a deep, eye-catching ruby-red hue once baked which just makes my heart go pitter-pat. And, they pack a fruity-tart flavor profile to knock any ol’ berry on its bum. (Sorry berries. I do love you. But, tart cherries rock my world.) You need to bake these bars packed with deliciousness as soon as humanly possible, y’all. Our Cherry Pie Crumble Bars taste just like tart cherry pie! I kid you not. But, without the muss. And, the fuss. Of a pie. Bonus.

Being a bona fide tart cherry pie lover (this girl knows her pies), take my word for it that these Cherry Pie Crumble Bars taste just like tart cherry pie with a rich pastry crust. Why? Because I designed tweaked  this recipe specifically to create the ultimate rich, buttery crumble pastry with just the right amount of sugar and salt to complement any fruit filling. The goal was to develop a crumble pastry recipe to taste more like classic pie pastry rather than a typical crumble bar. I wanted enough salty-sweet action to “dance the merengue” on the tongue with both tart and sweet fruit fillings for these very special “crumble pie bars”.

Cherry Pie Crumble Bars 5

Most crumble pastry recipes are flavorless. They need a major flavor boost by using real butter (not shortening), richness from egg yolks, a touch of pure extracts, the perfect amount of sugar and adequate salt. Just ask your taste buds. They won’t lie to you. Ever. And, because this pastry was designed for my favorite crumble bar filling ever (ever, peeps!), Homemade Tart Cherry Pie Filling, a little splash of pure almond extract was in order. Why? Because cherries without almond extract is like a beautiful lady dressed to the nines in a drop dead gorgeous red dress without a subtle alluring perfume. The result? Sheer bliss, people! I had to stop myself from eating the whole pan. Don’t worry…I saved you a bite.

Here ya go…

Cherry Pie Crumble Bars 4

See that juicy tart cherry pie filling dripping ever so sweetly (tartly)? Perfection. 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 the bars. Nom!

I know. I’m such a tease.

Today’s featured recipe is one that I have made countless times. Countless. Quite often, I make traditional Blueberry Crumb Bars as summer blueberry treats are The Big Lug’s favorites. After making them the first time well over 10 years ago now with the recipe found at, I have since made fillings made with raspberries, mixed berries and apple. In a pinch, I have made it with quality strawberry preserves and some frozen whole raspberries. I’ve even made these bars with a ribbon of cheesecake for an extra indulgent crumble bar. I almost made those, but decided to save doing a cream cheese dessert for an upcoming post. Something to look forward to!

Homemade Tart Cherry Pie Filling 5

OK, since I have teased and tantalized you with fresh tart cherries from our cherry picking field trip, the least I can do is offer you an alternative to making your own tart cherry pie filling so you can whip up a batch of these incredibly tasty bars. My favorite way of baking these quick and easy-to-assemble “pie bars” when tart cherries cannot be had fresh is with Fruit Perfect® Sour Cherries made with tart Montmorency cherries from my native Michigan by American Spoon Foods. It’s. That. Good. I say, go for it. You will love it! And, no. I was not paid for saying so. I just adore the stuff. It’s a Michigan thing.

What dessert would you bring to a picnic to serve a crowd?

Cherry Pie Crumble Bars 2

What makes our Cherry Pie Crumble Bars wicked good? A sumptuous homemade cherry pie filling made with plenty of fresh picked tart cherries as well as a crumble pastry with just the right salty-sweet and buttery richness you would expect in a darn good tart cherry pie. Irresistible. And, did we mention easy? Yes, this recipe is incredibly easy. What’s not to love?

Bon appétit!






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Cherry Pie Crumble Bars - Best Ever!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Makes 24 bars.

Cherry Pie Crumble Bars - Best Ever!

What makes our Cherry Pie Crumble Bars wicked good? A sumptuous homemade cherry pie filling made with plenty of fresh picked tart cherries as well as a crumble pastry with just the right salty-sweet and buttery richness you would expect in a darn good tart cherry pie. Did we mention easy? Yes, this recipe is incredibly easy. What’s not to love?


  • For the Crust & Crumble Top Pastry
  • 3½ cups (438 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal®
  • 1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated organic cane sugar, such as Zulka®
  • 1¼ teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon (3.6 to 4.8 grams) kosher salt, or ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks/282.5 grams) unsalted butter, chilled & cut into bits
  • 2 large egg yolks (mine weighed 36 grams), lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure almond extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
  • Shortening, to prepare pan, such as organic palm by Spectrum®
  • For the Tart Cherry Pie Filling
  • 4 cups (2 pints/1080 grams) Homemade Tart Cherry Pie Filling, by Wicked Good Kitchen™
  • Special Supplies
  • Parchment paper, for lining baking pan, such as Beyond Gourmet™


Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch metal baking pan with shortening. (I like to use my Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch® Nonstick Rectangular Cake Pan.) Line pan with baking parchment so there is an overhang. Do this by measuring parchment 4 inches in length additionally at each side of pan. This will allow 2 inches of coverage on each end once folded and tucked in. Lightly grease parchment paper. This will create “handles” which will help removing bars from pan and to transfer to cutting board to cut into even bars after chilling.

Prepare the Crust & Crumble Top Pastry: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal with small pea-sized pieces of butter. (Alternatively, process in your food processor until mixture is crumbly.) In a small bowl, whisk extracts into beaten egg yolks using a fork. With a fork, gently toss into flour mixture until moistened and dough starts to hold together. Continue to toss and blend gently with fingertips until well combined yet taking care not to overwork the dough.

Remove 2 generous cups of the crumb mixture and set aside for the topping in a small bowl. Press remaining dough evenly into prepared baking pan. Spoon Tart Cherry Pie Filling into pan on top of dough and spread evenly with rubber spatula; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake in preheated oven until topping is golden brown and filling is cooked through and bubbly, about 45 to 55 minutes. To prevent over-browning of topping, cover with sheet of aluminum foil during last 20 minutes of baking. Remove foil and carefully transfer to wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares. See Tips below for cutting into even squares.

To Serve Bars: Serve at room temperature, chilled or slightly warmed in microwave oven. If desired, serve warm with fresh whipped cream or a la mode with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe Notes


For even cut squares, cool bars for 1 hour on wire rack. Then, chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Remove from pan using folded parchment paper at sides of pan as “handles”. Transfer to large cutting board. Carefully cut into even squares using a ruler as a guide with a sharp chef’s knife peeling away parchment paper as you go.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

For Gluten-Free Option: Substitute 3½ cups (448 grams) Cup4Cup (C4C) Gluten-Free Flour, available at Williams-Sonoma, or your favorite gluten-free flour blend measured cup for cup or by grams in place of the all-purpose wheat flour called for in the recipe.

Recipe Source:
Adapted From:

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. 2 things, I need to make these crumble bars because they look delicious! And then I need to go on a picnic! Thanks for the lovely afternoon you planned out! 🙂
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato SauceMy Profile

  2. I love how easy it is to make these gluten-free!! Great bars!
    Zainab @ Blahnik Baker recently posted…Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies {Pass the Cookbook Club}My Profile

  3. Your pictures, your descriptions everything just wants me to get up and bake these. You did it again, the cherry queen..

  4. Wow, these look absolutely amazing! I love bars of any kind and this looks crazy good. Great post!

  5. It’s still early, which means I need these for breakfast. I mean, there is fruit and all.
    Jen @JuanitasCocina recently posted…What’s Been Happenin’ In The Cocina ~ 7/27/13!My Profile

  6. These look Wicked and sound so Good. Need I say more…you’ve done your job well my dear. 🙂
    Barbara | Creative Culinary recently posted…A Visit to Leopold Brothers and a Tart Cherry Liqueur Ice Cream SundaeMy Profile

  7. Stacy, You are NOT helping my weight loss efforts here…. *drool*
    Teresa recently posted…Book Riot’s From Zero to Well-Read in 100 Books: I Failed Huckleberry FinnMy Profile

  8. There are few things better than a buttery, flavorful crumble! 🙂 These sound so deliciously juicy and fabulous!
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma’s Cookie recently posted…Royal Baby Gender Reveal CupcakesMy Profile

  9. I’ve been craving cherries for the last two months. This one will definitely be on my next grocery list!
    Jenne recently posted…Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy JoesMy Profile

  10. Wow, these bars look amazing Stacy! Love how pretty and juicy the cherry pie filling looks and that buttery crumble crust sounds irresistible! Yum, wish I had some right now 🙂

  11. These looks amazing!! Way to glorify those cherries!!!
    Mr. & Mrs. P recently posted…French Kiss Martini : Guest Post Over at Chickadee SaysMy Profile

  12. Oh Stacy, your posts always make me smile!! I’m loving all of your cherry recipes, and I appreciate that you saved us a bite! 😉 It looks and sounds perfectly divine!
    Monica recently posted…Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate CheesecakeMy Profile

    • Thank you, Monica! So nice to know that I make you smile. You’re the sweetest! I hope you enjoy the cherry recipes!

  13. This is so pretty! I love cherries and crumble too!
    Rayna recently posted…Blackberry, Peach, and Pistachio Crisp {Gluten Free}My Profile

  14. I like that you used your homemade cherry pie filling for these bars! They look AMAZING!
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes recently posted…M&M CookiesMy Profile

  15. How incredibly yummy do these look?!!

  16. Kumar's Kitchen says:

    cherry bars look amazing…loved the detailed recipe,thanks for sharing 🙂

  17. Looks delicious! I didn’t really know about the differences between cherries, but if I see this type in the shops I’ll know what to make with them! x
    Emma recently posted…Roasted Vegetable Summer PastaMy Profile

  18. Ah crumble bars – portable summer bliss! Love that you made your own filling, just wish I could find tart cherries to try!

    • Aww…thank you, Laura! I wish I could send you a bushel of Meteor tart cherries freshly picked from Indiana! xo

  19. Maria | Pink Patisserie says:

    I’ve just been looking for a good pie filling recipe Stacy! You read my mind. Can’t wait to give it a try! Love the bars, I could practically eat them off the screen!

    • Thank you, Maria! It’s always a great day when you stop by and you always make me smile. You’ll love the pie filling. I could not stop eating it by the spoonful as I spooned it into jars. Thanks again and happy baking!

  20. Love cherries. Love love love and these look so bright and cheerful!
    Maris recently posted…Five Thoughts on Writing Sponsored Posts for BrandsMy Profile

  21. Cherry pie without all of the work… Where do I sign up? That bright cherry pie filling is luring me in with its ruby red hue. Oh, how I want one of these for breakfast to go with my iced coffee.

  22. These bars look truly delightful!
    Shashi @ recently posted…Foodie PenpalsMy Profile

  23. Stacy, Once again something you posted has taken my breath away – even at 8:00 in the morning. Either you are terribly talented or I have a small problem with absolutely delicious-looking food. I feel quite certain the case is “both.” Yesterday, I spent half the day pondering what I could make with cherries and then I come across this post. Beautiful job – keep it up!!

    • Thank you, Dan! Your smiling face and kind words always leave me with a smile on my face and heart! You truly are the sweetest. Have fun with the recipe and happy summer tart cherry baking! xo

  24. Stacy, you’re killing me with these bars! I am a cherry pie FIEND, and haven’t even made anything with cherries this season. I know, tragic. That has to change with these beautiful bars! They are so irresistible!
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking recently posted…Links I LoveMy Profile

    • Thank you, Georgia! I completely understand your being a tart cherry pie fiend. I totally identify! You would love these Cherry Pie Crumble Bars. Thanks for dropping by, girlfriend. You always make me smile!

  25. Oooh, these just LOOK like what summer is supposed to be. So red and sweet and delicious! Love it. As always, thank you for the gluten free option. These would be such a hit with my family. There’s a lot of us and I think they’d be gobbled up in 60 seconds without realizing they are gluten free. 🙂 Hope you’re well, girl! xox
    Anne recently posted…Lone Star Paleo: I’m a busy bee.My Profile

    • Aww…thank you, Anne! Yes, if your family adores tart cherries they will be over-the-moon for these Cherry Pie Crumble Bars! I’ve missed you, girl. I’m so glad you’re back in the saddle again with blogging. It’s always a fabulous day when you stop by! xox

  26. Stacy, when you post things like this, you don’t realize the embarrassing, unnatural things you make a grown woman like myself do. Like, um, shout “OH MY GOD” from the top of my lungs, startling everyone around me? Or like the fact that I nearly LICKED MY SCREEN because my mind can’t comprehend that something this amazing can exist? Seriously. I am hating/loving you right now.
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel recently posted…Toffee Sundae Cupcakes (and a Frostings Giveaway!!)My Profile

    • Hahaha! I love ya, girl! You totally crack me up. I wish that I could send you some of these Cherry Pie Crumble Bars, but they’re already gone! Another tart cherry recipe is coming to the blog this week. So, be forewarned! Thanks for stopping by, my friend! xo

  27. I feel like I can smell these baking through my computer screen! Weird, right? I don’t care, I imagine they smell and taste amazing!
    Megan {Country Cleaver} recently posted…Bananas Foster Frosting and *Frostings Giveaway*My Profile

  28. Stacy darling, these bars are just gooooooooorgeous! All those cherries! And all that crumble?! Omg. Gimme, gimme, more, more!!!
    ashley – baker by nature recently posted…California Breakfast Wedge with Duck Bacon & Maple – Chipotle Blue Cheese DressingMy Profile

  29. Just added this delicious creation to my 100 Cherry Recipes post! (now it’s 101, lol!) Thanks for such a great recipe!!
    Lori @ RecipeGirl recently posted…Grilled Flank Steak with Tomato- Pepper SalsaMy Profile

    • Thank you, Lori! I appreciate your support ever so much. You are the sweetest. Just finished reading your blog and now I am over at Sandy’s (Reluctant Entertainer). Adore her. It is fun seeing you both in “entertainment mode” on the same day in your backyards as well as seeing you in her photos. Thanks again for including a link to Wicked Good Kitchen’s Cherry Pie Crumble Bars in your special Summer Cherry Recipe Round-up post, now at 101 Recipes! I am truly honored to be included with such a fine group of food blogs and recipe developers. Meanwhile, as positive fate would have it, I am working on a special recipe round-up post for tomorrow…a first for Wicked Good Kitchen. (It’s a good one.) And (of course!), there will be several links for tasty recipes at! When you give, it truly comes back. Doesn’t it? Thanks again for everything, my friend! xoxo

  30. These look so delicious! I love cherries!
    RavieNomNoms recently posted…Lemon Zucchini MuffinsMy Profile

  31. Ooo these look absolutely amazing!! Gorgeous photos, so glad I found your blog! 🙂

  32. I am not kidding you…at the sight of that first picture, my mouth started watering. Oh wow…I can *almost* taste them. I’m so sad that we never see sour cherries in Texas. It’s a travesty, I tell you! I think I may need to order several of those jars that you linked to. 😉
    bridget {bake at 350} recently posted…So, you want to decorate cookies, do ya?My Profile

    • Hahaha! Thank you, Bridge! If you adore tart (sour) cherries, you simply must try American Spoon’s Fruit Perfect® Sour Cherries made with Michigan Montmorency cherries. And, if you ever make it up to Petoskey, Michigan, you can visit them in person as we have over the years. Here in Indiana, we are truly lucky to have a warm and friendly family-owned cherry orchard within driving distance, Stuckey Farm, for their Meteor (love the name) tart cherries. They also carry frozen Montmorency cherries, shipped in from Michigan, until apple picking starts. So nice to have in the freezer to whip up some cherry treats! Many orchards ship as well. Check based near Elk Rapids, Michigan. They have an online store and even a blog! Thanks for stopping by, girl. You made my day! xo

  33. Your photos alone speak for themselves, but the description left me very hungry (and it’s almost midnight here)! Cheers 🙂
    Gintare @Gourmantine recently posted…Ice Cream HeavenMy Profile

  34. SIGH. These look amazing. Do you know I’ve never had a sour cherry? You just can’t get them here in Australia, where I live. I’m saving my pennies, to head straight to Travers City once I can afford it! Cherry pie, here I come!
    Sarah | The Sugar Hit recently posted…Onion BagelsMy Profile

  35. these look so good! i’m going to a potluck next week and was wondering what to bring–now i know! thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Thank you, Stephanie! These Cherry Pie Crumble Bars are so easy to make and you will have fun making them. I hope everyone enjoys them. Happy baking!

  36. These look incredible – I love cherries!
    Rachel Cotterill recently posted…Lemon & Poppyseed CupcakesMy Profile

  37. Stacy! I have a whole container of fresh Door County Cherries from Wisconsin and I wanted to make this with Almond Flour! What do you think?

    • Thank you for stopping by, Emily! I have a paleo version to share in the future here on the blog. I say, go for it with the almond flour/meal. Happy baking!

  38. She’s my Cherry Pie (this song always pops into my head) LOL … These look super tasty! 🙂

  39. WOW! This looks amazing! I have to try it!
    Ambar recently posted…Coconut Shrimp StewMy Profile

  40. Erika Grimm says:

    Just made these a few minutes ago and tried them. I actually added two egg yolks and one whole egg for more moisture, a tiny bit of water, and a little milk, just enough to make the dry ingredients stick together and almost form a dough. It came out with a surprisingly nice texture, though not quite the soft bottom, crumbly top. This is because I had too much mix for my pan and made both the bottom and top too thick for either texture to be perfect.

    It is still very delicious and I will definitely be making it again in the future, with the proportions much more correct. =)

    • Hi there, Erika! I’m so glad you tried this scrumptious recipe…even if you changed it up a bit to suit your tastes and size of baking pan. (My 9×13-inch Goldtouch® Nonstick Rectangular Cake Pan from Williams-Sonoma has nice sharp corners and straight sides, so there’s more room for the dough in this recipe. Baking dishes, like Pyrex®, have rounded corners so the dough in this recipe may have been more than ample or excessive.) Yes, this recipe does indeed make quite a bit of pastry dough for a thick bottom and plenty of crumbs on top as I stated in the article to accommodate the cherries. This is how we like our Cherry Pie Crumble Bars because a smaller amount of dough didn’t hold up well to the cherries. The dough was developed to taste more like pie pastry than a sweet crumble bar as explained in the article and why we call them “Cherry Pie Crumble Bars”. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your feedback with me and other readers. Happy baking!

  41. JoAnn Deisenroth says:

    I found the image on Pinterest. It looks just like something my mom used to make when I was a child. I never got that recipe from her and I can’t wait to make this. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  42. I would love to maker this but Cherries are not in season now, can I substitute canned cherry pie filling for the homemade cherry pie filling?

    • Hi there, LaVaya! Thank you for writing. To answer your question… Yes, you can definitely use canned cherry pie filling and would probably need at least two 21-ounce cans for this recipe in a 9×13-inch baking pan. I like to use my metal baking pan because it has nice sharp corners. If you use a glass baking dish, however, you may not need as much dough for the crust because the corners are very rounded. Therefore, if using my recipe’s ratio for the crust and topping be sure to use a similar metal baking pan that I mention in the recipe for best results. If not, cut back your ingredients by only using 3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup butter, 1 egg or two yolks is fine, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Watch your baking time as glass baking dishes are great heat conductors. As always, if you find that your crumb topping is getting too brown cover with a sheet of aluminum foil about 10 to 15 minutes or so before the end of the baking duration listed in recipes. Thanks again for writing and I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly and completely. Happy baking!


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