As a child, I always loved Cherry Chip Cake. We didn’t have it at home, like ever, so when it was served at a friend’s birthday party I always thought it was extra special. Admittedly, I’m still quite fond of it, and believe there is a place for boxed mixes, but I always love treats made from scratch and thought a grown up version would be nice, so I created these Cherry Chip Bars. I love the simplicity of bar recipes. You end up with all the deliciousness of fancy layer cakes but in a more portable, usually less time consuming form. I’m not sure about you, but I hate it when the top of my layer cake slides right off my cake and onto the floor of my car during transport. Has that ever happened to you? It’s a total bummer! You won’t have that problem with these bars, however you may encounter countless wedding proposals as friends profess their love for you, endure numerous recipe requests, and be left with only frosting to lick off of the spatula if you don’t act fast after you serve them. They are complete diet wreckers and have been witnessed to hold magical bribing power. Consider yourself warned. They are that darn good.
- 1 10 oz jar maraschino cherries
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1 1/2 sticks butter softened
- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Drain cherries, reserving juice for frosting. I let them drain in a colander over a bowl for at least 30 minutes to make sure they are drained really well. Slice cherries in half and then slice each half into six pieces. If you want them even smaller, cut your halves into eighths instead of sixths.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
In a medium sauce pan, bring butter and heavy cream just to a boil and remove from heat. Add flour mixture and stir to combine.
Add egg, sour cream, and almond extract, stirring until smooth.
Gently stir in maraschino cherries. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean and cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. Cool completely. Frost.
Beat cream cheese at medium high speed until smooth. Add butter and beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl. Add powdered sugar, 1/4 cup reserved cherry juice, almond extract, and vanilla extract and beat until combined and fluffy. Drop by spoonfuls over cooled bars using the back of a spoon or a butter knife to spread evenly. Enjoy!
Since these are bars, the batter will look think when spread in a 9x13 inch baking pan, but bakes beautifully. If you would rather, you can substitute with a small jelly roll pan.