brown butter cherry bars

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Some recipes are so delicious that you repeat them as often as possible (and dream about them the rest of the year) – enter brown butter cherry bars! These bars are one of the best things to ever come out of my oven, and if you only bake one treat with fresh cherries this summer, these bars are all you need.

Brown Butter Cherry Bars

I first baked these bars two years ago; I’m revisiting them now because I just made my first pan of the year, swapping the original shortbread crust for an irresistible cinnamon-graham crust. As for the filling, it’s essentially fresh cherries enveloped with brown butter custard. The only way to describe these bars is glorious, and I’ve never met anyone who didn’t fall for them at first bite!

Brown Butter Cherry Bars

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Brown Butter Cherry Bars

Brown Butter Cherry Bars


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Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup graham flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 6 Tbsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 cups fresh cherries, pitted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Whisk together flours, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Combine melted butter, sugars, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture and fold in until incorporated.
  2. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan and bake for 18 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.
  3. For the filling, cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk eggs, sugar and extracts in a medium bowl; add flour and salt and whisk until smooth. Gradually pour in cooled brown butter; whisk until completely blended. Pour filling over crust and arrange cherries in a single layer across the top, gently pressing them in.
  5. Return pan to oven and bake for 37 to 38 minutes, until filling is puffed and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool bars completely in pan on a wire rack.
  6. Just before cutting, chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Carefully lift parchment to remove bars from pan and place on a cutting board; cut into squares using a sharp knife. Store bars in a single layer in an airtight container in the refrigerator; let come to room temperature before serving.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Keywords: Brown Butter, Cherry, Bars, Cookie Bars

Brown Butter Cherry Bars

More cherry recipes you’ll love:

Cherry Almond Galette
Brown Butter Cherry Coffee Cake
Baked Cherry Doughnuts

65 comments
  1. A simple and flavorful crust with that creamy filling and all those sweet cherries. I am dreaming of cherry season now-lucky you it started there already:)

  2. there’s a such thing as graham flour?? genius.

    i don’t need a cherry de-seeder, we have one already but i did want to pipe in to say that it makes life soooo much easier. and it works great to de-seed olives.

  3. I like cherry cheesecake! I have a couple of cherry trees in my yard, they are still young and unfortunately not producing much!

  4. I love my OXO pitter. Glad you revisited this one, you know I’m cherrying out over here. Lol. I hope you have a blast picking. I have to go get more myself, can you believe I’m out. Plus I need some for these bars.
    -Gina-

  5. Those look amazing Laura! And yes I love my cherry pitter… Even though it still kind of spatters a lot, so I have to make sure I am wearing either old clothes or an apron.. 😉

  6. Oh I love cherries in any form! I bought some today and had to pit them for my granddaughter, could use this tool! We love cherry pie at our house!

  7. Wow, girl! You’ve created a spectacular cherry dessert…like Cherry Clafouti in bar form! Love that you used graham flour for that distinct flavor in the crust as well as kept almond extract in the custard filling. Cherries and almond flavor go together famously! Cannot wait to bake these! Pinning to all group boards at Pinterest! xo

  8. If you lived closer we could put together some totally balanced meals! Mine are always lacking the sweet treat at the end 🙂 I love cherries but rarely cook or bake with them because – well, I’m lazy!

  9. We’re going to cherry pick this weekend! We are actually going to one of our friends orchard (backyard?) this year as we heard they are ready and they are organic! I can’t wait. I’ll make sure to save 4 cups of fresh cherries for this recipe. I really hope I have some free time to make this. I’m super excited especially it says brown butter. 😀 So glad you re-shared this recipe!!!! These bars look amazing!

  10. Between you and Patty, I’m hoping there will be enough time in cherry season to try all the goodies you’ve both been sharing. With such an endorsement from you, I’m adding these bars to my to-make list, too. 🙂

  11. Oh WoW!! Brown butter and cherries sound like an awesome flavor combination. The only cherry desserts I’ve had is cherry pie and I’ve only made one dessert with cherries which was a clafouti so I don’t have a favorite, but I’m thinking these bars need to be made so I can make them my official favorite cherry dessert.

  12. I go nuts for cherries in cakes… it’s a real weakness of mine! These look like something my mother used to make too… so delicious! 🙂

  13. These were awesome! Outstanding flavor and texture. I did not have the graham flour so I used 1/2c. white whole wheat flour. “Keeper” cherry bar!!!
    Thanks again for the OXO cherry pitter…it should make the recipe go faster next time I make it 😀

  14. want to give these a try. I am not familiar with graham flour. Any suggestions for substitutions, please?? thank you, Sue

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