These Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bars are rich, gooey, and delectable. You won't be able to stop at just one! This simple cherry chocolate dessert uses canned cherry pie filling with chocolate cake mix. Add some almond butter for a delicious flavor and texture, and you have a beautiful, delicious dessert.
Table of contents
This recipe was adapted from a recipe found in a very old cookbook featuring sweetened condensed milk. I wanted an easy cherry pie filling dessert so I incorporated that with a simple chocolate cake mix hack to make the cookie/dessert bar base.
Why this recipe works
- The combination of cherry and chocolate - Cherry and chocolate go together like bread and butter. Amazing!
- Simple recipe - beautiful presentation - This dessert is stunning with the colors from the chocolate cake, almond butter, and cherry pie filling. A perfect dessert to serve on Valentine's Day or any special get-together.
- The almond butter - By using almond butter, you get something a little different that the usual peanut butter and chocolate recipes. The almond flavor goes very well with both chocolate and cherry.
Use your favorite brand for the canned cherry pie filling and chocolate cake mix.
Note that this recipe calls for Sweetened Condensed Milk, not evaporated milk as you use in pumpkin pie.
1. In a mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix with the canola oil and egg. The mixture will be a bit crumbly. A handheld electric mixer works perfectly.
2. Press about two-thirds of the mix into the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Set aside the rest of the mix for the topping.
3. Mix together the sweetened condensed milk and the almond butter. Pour the batter onto the chocolate dessert bar base.
Note: I just use the same mixing bowl for easier clean-up.
4. This batter is a bit thick, but if you work gently, you will be able to spread it okay without disturbing the base.
5. Next, add the can of cherry pie filling. Isn't it pretty?
6. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate crumbs over the top of the cherry pie filling. Now it is time to bake.
And here is the finished product. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
Other recipes you might like
No. The flavor, texture, and sweetness are entirely different. Sweetened condensed milk has added sugar, making it perfect for recipes like this.
Yes! This is why this recipe works so well. Think of cherry cordials available just about everywhere around the holiday season.
There are probably some cake mixes that are better than the others, but I find that if you stick to your favorite brand you will be fine with this recipe. I usually buy according to what is on sale.
How to store?
I strongly recommend storing Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bars in the refrigerator.
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Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bars
- Hand Mixer
- 1 box Chocolate cake mix
- ¼ cup Canola oil
- 1 Egg
- 1 can Sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup Almond butter
- 1 can Cherry pie filling
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using an electric mixer, mix together the cake mix, canola oil, and the egg in a medium-size bowl. The mixture will be crumbly.
- Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Press about two-thirds of the dessert base into the baking dish. Reserve the remaining crumbles for the topping.
- Using the electric mixer again, combine the sweetened condensed milk and the almond butter until well blended. Pour this mixture over the dessert base. Spread out the almond butter mixture gently to prevent the dessert base from lifting.
- Next, add the cherry pie filling layer over the almond butter mixture.
- Finally, use remaining crumble mixture over the cherries.
- Bake the Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bars for 30 - 40 minutes until set. You will notice that the almond butter mixture should not jiggle around easily when it is done.
- Cool completely before cutting into bars.
- Store any leftover dessert bars in the refrigerator.