Red, White, and Blue Pie Bars – Cherry and blueberry pie filling are loaded into a soft, cakey bar that is finished with a gorgeous white glaze.
The next holiday is upon us, folks – 4th of July is almost a week away! I am, of course, ready to bring you a patriotic treat to serve all your guests during your 4th of July activities.
Last year, I shared this refreshing (and simple!) Red, White, and Blue Sangria that you all went CRAZY for. Now, I have another Red, White, and Blue treat that I hope you’ll love just as much, but this time, it’s all about the sweets.
Pie bars are something new that I came across on Pinterest. You guys may remember that I hate making pie because it’s so annoying to cut beautiful pie slices. Plus, I feel like pies don’t serve as many people as I think they should. But pie bars solve all of that!
And so, I was inspired to make these Red, White, and Blue Pie Bars, filled with blueberry and cherry and covered with vanilla icing. Check them out!
These pie bars taste just like a slice of blueberry and cherry pie. The crust is a little more cakey and fluffy than pie crust, with a hint of almond extract that adds a whole other level of flavor.
The cakey crust is thanks to a dough instead of using a pastry crust, which makes this recipe a 1000x easier. Pie crust requires so much chilling and rolling and attention, whereas this dough is simply mixed together and dumped into the pan. We use some of that dough to then dollop onto the pie filling for a cobblestone look.
Now, when it comes to the filling, I cut out loads of time by using store-bought pie filling. I am not a huge fan of all the added food coloring and corn syrup in most pie-filings, but I was able to find one that was natural so that took away some of the guilt I was feeling about not making this myself. But I am learning that there is no shame in shortcuts so guilt be gone!
While making these bars, I learned a lot so here are some tips you HAVE to read to make sure these bars come out perfect for you:
- I first made these bars using a 15x10x1 baking sheet, as was recommended in other recipes. However, I found that this pan size was wayyyy too small and even caused the bars to overflow in the oven. So I recommend using a 1/2 sheet pan instead, which is slightly bigger at 16.5×11.38×1.
- Wait until the bars are completely cool before icing them. Otherwise, the icing will get too thin and melt everywhere.
- Also, when slicing the bars, I think they are much easier to slice when cooled or chilled. Fruit filling gets super messy when it’s warm so it’s gonna require some patience before you can serve them. But you can easily make these the night before you need them and just slice the next day.
Feeling patriotic yet??? I hope so! What other treats do you have planned for the 4th of July celebrations! I am hoping to host some people for our last hosting gig before baby comes so let me know what ideas you have in the comments below!
Red, White, and Blue Pie Bars
For the bars:
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 21-ounce can blueberry pie filing
- 1 21-ounce can cherry pie filing
For the icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 1/2 sheet pan (interior measures about 16.5x11.38 x1 inches) by spraying with nonstick spray. Warning - if you don't have a pan this size, you're better going a little bigger than going a little smaller to prevent overflow. Or you can use a 9x13 baking dish but the bars will be much thicker and take longer to bake.
- In bowl fitted for a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Add extract and mix together. Add flour 1 cup at a time, just until dough is combined.
- Measure out 3 cups of dough and spread onto greased baking sheet. Spoon pie filings on top of dough, making sure to alternate spoonfuls of cherry and blueberry so they are mixed throughout the bars. Spread to edges of the dough and smooth out the top.
- Drop remaining dough by the spoonfuls over the pie filing. You want to create a speckled look so no need to smooth the top. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before icing.
- Mix icing ingredients together and drizzle over cooled bars. Cut bars and serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator for maximum of 2 days.
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