You knew it was coming, right? I finally decided to make a GBBO Traybake, in the form of Cherry Bars. These are a nice cherry crumble bar, easy to make, think of desserts made with cherry pie filling and a shortbread base and you’re there!

Cherry Bars a GBBO Traybake made with bing cherries

Cherry Bars

Cherry bars feature a crispy shortbread base with a tangy fresh-made bing cherry topping, crumble on top and a fun layer of cherry icing drizzled over that. SO many fun layers all baked in a 9X13 pan! A true GBBO Traybake, if I ever saw one!

These cherry bars are yet another variation of my favorite Rhubarb Bars. I’ve also made Strawberry Rhubarb Bars, Blueberry Bars, and Raspberry Bars, so Cherry Bars weren’t too far behind. It felt like a natural way to go. And These use frozen Bing Cherries in the cherry filling.

Cherry Bars a GBBO Traybake made with bing cherries

What is a Traybake?

I can hear some of you asking what is a TRAYBAKE?! It’s like a bar cookie with layers. They can range from something like these cherry bars to brownies or pecan pie bars. The layers can all be baked at once, bake separately and put together, or partially baked together and then layered together.

decorated Cherry Bars

There are so many ways to make a traybake, you can choose your own recipe and bake it up. Or make up your own recipe, which is tons of fun. If you’re watching the Great British Baking Show(shameless plug to join our bake-along) the traybakes is featured in Collection 2 Episode 5 Biscuits and Tray Bakes on Netflix.

Cherry Bars a GBBO Traybake made with bing cherries

Make your own Bing Cherry Filling from Frozen Bing Cherries

frozen big cherries for Cherry Bars a GBBO Traybake made with bing cherries

You can easily make your own bing cherry filling from your own frozen bing cherries. OR buy them at the store in the frozen fruit section. They’ll be the ones labeled “Sweet Cherries.” Don’t buy tart cherries or you’ll have a cherry topping that’s too tart.

bing cherries cooking down

If you find a great deal on bing cherries in the summer grab them up! Use a cherry pitter and pop out the pits. Freeze them on big sheet pans and then measure them out and seal them in vacuum pack bags. They’re such a nice thing to keep in the freezer for pies, these bars, or even cherry cheesecake smoothies.

Cherry Bars a GBBO Traybake made with bing cherries

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Cherry Bars

Cherry Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, less if using salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups rolled oats

cherry filling

  • 4 cups frozen sweet (bing) cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour

optional cherry drizzle icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cherry extract
  • milk
  • red food coloring if your extract isn't red or pink
  • quartered maraschino cherries

Instructions

  1. preheat the oven to 350˚
  2. cut the butter into the flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda, you can use your food processor to do this OR two knives
  3. use your hands to mix in the oats
  4. when the mixture looks like crumbs, press most of it in a 9X13 pan, save 1 cup of the mixture to use for your topping
  5. cook the cherries with the water and the sugar over medium heat until the cherries are juicy
  6. use a potato masher or scissors to break up the cherries if they are whole
  7. put the flour in a small bowl
  8. when the cherries are very juicy, scoop up about 3/4 cup of the juice and pour it over the flour and stir until smooth
  9. pour the juice back in the pan
  10. cook and stir until the cherries have thickened up
  11. pour over the prepared base
  12. sprinkle with the reserved topping
  13. bake 30-35 minutes until the top is browned and the filling is mostly set, it will be jiggly when you take it out but it will set up completely once it's cooled
  14. you can cut and serve once they're cooled
  15. or you can make the icing by combining the powdered sugar with the cherry extract and enough milk to make a drizzling icing, add a drop of red if your extract isn't pink or red, top with quartered maraschino cherries if desired

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