Holiday Cherry Squares

November 22, 2021
Holiday Cherry Squares pair the deliciousness of cherry pie filling with a sweet and tender scratch-made vanilla cake base. These tasty little beauties are just perfect for a holiday sweets table, light dessert, or even as a brunch or Christmas breakfast treat. But hey, they're great for any day, too!

Holiday Cherry Squares On a Dessert Plate Image

Our family simply adores these lovely little Holiday Cherry Squares. Because with their dollops of cherry pie filling nestled in a sweet and tender scratch-made vanilla cake base, there's surely a whole lot to love.

In fact, there have been known to be battles in our house between my husband and daughter as to exactly who will get to eat the last one. I don't even try to get in on that -- there's no way I would win.

With their dollops of cherry pie filling nestled in a sweet and tender scratch-made vanilla cake base, there's surely a whole lot to love.

Cherry pie filling and tender vanilla cake is indeed one very tasty combination. The tartness of the cherries and sweetness of the cake pair beautifully together, creating a sweet treat that's nicely balanced and not over-the-top sweet. 

Even with these squares' dusting of powdered sugar, they don't cross the line into the "too sweet" category. In that regard, they remind me very much of our family-favorite Echo Cakes, -- which are another very simple, sweet but-not-too-sweet treat we love.

Holiday Cherry Squares are just perfect for a holiday sweets table, a light dessert, or even as a brunch or Christmas breakfast treat. But hey, with their beautiful red and white colors and fabulous flavor, they're just perfect for Valentine's Day and every day, too.

Holiday Cherry Square On a Spatula Image

What's to Love About This Recipe?

  • Delicious flavor combination - The deliciousness of cherry pie filling nestled in a sweet and tender vanilla cake is one very tasty combination.
  • Scratch-made vanilla cake base - The base of these cherry squares is a sweet, tender, and airy scratch-made vanilla cake loaded with wonderfully distinct vanilla flavor.
  • "Lighter" dessert treat - Holiday Cherry Squares are not a heavy, rich dessert, making them a perfect treat when you want something on the less-filling "airier" side.  
  • Versatile - These tasty little beauties are just perfect for a holiday sweets table, light dessert, or even as a brunch or Christmas breakfast treat. Not to mention, they're perfect for Valentine's Day or any day, too.

Holiday Cherry Squares with Tender Vanilla Cake Image

Holiday Cherry Square Ingredients:

Holiday Cherry Squares are made with a short list of very simple ingredients. To whip up a batch, you'll need:

  • Cherry pie filling
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Holiday Cherry Squares Ingredients Image


How to Make Holiday Cherry Squares:

Even with their scratch-made vanilla cake base, Holiday Cherry Squares are not at all difficult to make. In fact, they're actually quite easy. -- Simply mix up the base's cake batter, spread it in a baking pan, spoon on dollops of cherry pie filling, and bake. Not hard, right?

One very key point. -- Pan size matters with this recipe. To get squares that are a good thickness, cook through fully, and don't allow the cherries to sink through to the bottom, a 15x10-inch rimmed jelly roll pan is key. A larger rimmed pan makes squares that are too thin, and the cherries sink through the batter. With a smaller pan, it can be challenging to get the squares baked through due to the thickness of the batter in the pan.

If you don't have a 15x10-inch pan, we recommend using a 9x13-inch baking dish. Score only 20 squares into the batter, instead of the usual 24, and increase the baking time to ensure the thicker layer of batter cooks through.

Holiday Cherry Squares Batter Image

To get these beauties going, start by preparing the vanilla cake batter. In a large mixing bowl, cream together some butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in some eggs and vanilla extract. Then add some flour and stir it in by hand until everything's thoroughly combined.

Spread the batter evenly in a baking pan (an offset spatula makes this super easy). Then with a small sharp knife, lightly score the batter into 24 two-inch squares. -- The score lines will disappear when the squares bake.

Scoring Holiday Cherry Squares Batter With a Knife Image

Then spoon 2-3 cherries of cherry pie filling into the center of each scored square. (You won't use the entire can of cherry pie filling.)

When spooning the cherries onto the batter, be careful not to press or push the cherries down. Just lightly place them on top of the batter so they don't sink through to the bottom while baking.

Spooning Cherries Onto Holiday Cherry Squares Image

Pop the pan in the oven and bake the cherry squares up until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean. 

Note that is one recipe you do not want to under bake. -- If Holiday Cherry Squares are under baked, they'll be gooey, especially in the center of the pan. (Yes, I've made this error a time or two.)

Baked Holiday Cherry Squares Image

Once they come our of the oven, allow the Holiday Cherry Squares to cool completely. Then finish them off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Dusting Holiday Cherry Squares with Powdered Sugar Image

When ready to serve, cut the deliciousness into squares, using the dollops of cherry pie filling as the centers of the squares.

Serve up a tray on a holiday sweets table, as a light dessert, or even as a brunch or Christmas breakfast treat. But rest assured, no matter when you serve them, Holiday Cherry Squares will be one adored little sweet treat.

Pan of Holiday Cherry Squares Image


Recipe FAQs:
  • Can I use other flavors of pie filling to make this Holiday Cherry Squares recipe? - Yes, you can certainly use other flavors of pie filling with this cherry squares recipe, though then they wouldn't be cherry squares! Strawberry, blueberry, or peach pie filling would probably pair well with the vanilla cake base.

  • The cherries sunk to the bottom of my Cherry Squares. What went wrong? - When spooning the cherry pie filling onto the batter, be careful not to press or push the cherries down. Just lightly place them on top of the batter, or they have a tendency to sink through to the bottom while baking. Also, if a pan larger than a 15x10-inch rimmed jelly roll pan is used, the layer of cake batter is too thin to support the cherries and they may sink through the batter as the squares bake.

  • I don't have a 15x10-inch rimmed jelly roll pan. What other type of pan can I use? - To get squares that are a good thickness, cook through fully, and don't allow the cherries to sink through to the bottom, a 15x10-inch rimmed jelly roll pan is best. If you don't have a 15x10-inch pan, we recommend using a 9x13-inch baking dish. Score only 20 squares into the batter, instead of the usual 24, and increase the baking time by a few minutes to ensure the thicker layer of batter cooks through.

  • Can you freeze Holiday Cherry Squares? - Yes, Holiday Cherry Squares can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once thawed, you may want to sprinkle them with another little dusting of powdered sugar.

Check out these other tasty recipes with cherry pie filling:

Holiday Cherry Squares with Cherry Pie Filling Image
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cherry bars, cherry squares, holiday cherry squares, Christmas cherry squares, holiday cherry bars, Christmas cherry bars, cherry pie filling bars
Desserts
American
Yield: 24 squares
Holiday Cherry Squares

Holiday Cherry Squares

Holiday Cherry Squares pair the deliciousness of cherry pie filling with a sweet and tender scratch-made vanilla cake base. These tasty little beauties are just perfect for a holiday sweets table, light dessert, or even as a brunch or Christmas breakfast treat.
Prep time: 25 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 &  1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Grease and flour a 15 x 10-inch rimmed jelly roll pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar together with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  3. Add the flour; stir in by hand until thoroughly combined.
  4. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. With a small sharp knife, lightly score batter into 24 two-inch squares.
  5. Spoon 2-3 cherries of cherry pie filling into the center of each scored square.
  6. Bake at 350℉ for 30-35 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares to serve.
  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If they need to be kept longer than 3 days, store them in the refrigerator. Or, freeze the cherry squares for up to 3 months.
TRACEY'S NOTES:
  1. Pan size matters with this recipe. To get squares that are a good thickness, cook through fully, and don't allow the cherries to sink through to the bottom, a 15x10-inch rimmed jelly roll pan is key. A larger rimmed pan makes squares that are too thin, and the cherries sink through the batter. 
  2. If you don't have a 15x10-inch pan, we recommend using a 9x13-inch baking dish. Score only 20 squares into the batter, instead of 24, and increase the baking time to 35-40 minutes (or more, if needed) to ensure the thicker layer of batter cooks through.
  3. You won't use the entire can of cherry pie filling.
  4. When spooning the cherries onto the batter, don't press or push the cherries down. Just lightly place them on top of the batter so they don't sink through to the bottom while baking.
  5. Do not under bake these squares. -- If  they're under baked, they'll be gooey.
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Holiday Cherry Squares ~ These tasty squares pair the deliciousness of cherry pie filling with a sweet and tender scratch-made vanilla cake base. These little beauties are just perfect for a holiday sweets table, light dessert, or even as a brunch or Christmas breakfast treat.  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


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2 comments

  1. My husband loves almost any cherry dessert. I'll have to try these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please let us know if he likes these. Part of the fun of baking is watching loved ones enjoy the recipes.

      Delete

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