Chocolate-Cherry Bars: Cake Mix Cookie Recipe and Pillsbury Bake-Off Favorite
“They’re such a surprise,” said a friend when she tasted
Chocolate-Cherry Bars. What looks like a frosted brownie explodes with flavor
from the marriage of chocolate with cherry.
And like a brownie, the bars are a cross between a slice of
cake and a cookie. They are light enough to eat with a fork but sturdy enough
to lift with your fingers or even pack in a lunch box.
The cake mix base makes putting together the recipe easy by
saving you steps. You can mix the frosting in just a few minutes while the bars
are baking and spread it on the bars as soon as they come out of the oven,
further streamlining the recipe.
It’s easy to see why Chocolate-Cherry Bars were a favorite recipe from
the iconic Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest #25 in 1974.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Bake time: 20-30 minutes
Cooling time: 90 minutes-2 hours
Makes 48 bars
1 box (16 - 18 ounces) chocolate cake mix, like Pillsbury®
Moist Supreme® Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
Grease a 15 x 10 baking pan with shortening or cooking spray. Lightly
flour the pan. Set it aside.
- In a large bowl with a spoon, mix together cake mix, cherry
pie filling, almond extract, and eggs until well blended. Spread the batter
evenly in the pan.
- Bake bars for 20-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the
center comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a small saucepan on low
heat, melt butter. Add milk and sugar. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Bring the
mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring continually. Remove the pan from
the heat. Add the chocolate chips, stirring until they are melted and the
mixture is smooth.
- Remove the bars from the oven. Pour the frosting over the
warm bars, spreading until the surface is even.
- Cool the bars completely on a wire rack, about 1 ½ hours.
Cut bars into 8 rows by 6 rows (or other size you prefer.) Lift bars out of the
pan using a metal spatula.
- Place bars in an airtight container using waxed paper or
parchment paper to separate layers. Store them in the refrigerator.
A Special Baking Tip for
By using a 15 x 10 pan, the bars resemble brownies. You can
use a 13 x 9 pan for the recipe and bake for 25-30 minutes for thicker, more
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