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Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Cherry Oatmeal Bars combine dried cherries and oats in a delicious bar that's great for snacking, lunch boxes, or dessert! - Bake or Break

This blog isn’t readily described as being jam-packed with things that are good for you. I fervently believe that we all need a sweet treat now and then, and I do so enjoy baking them.

Recently, the good folks at Cooking Light offered to send me a copy of their new cookbook, Cooking Light Way to Bake. Despite the baking indulgences of this blog, I do bake a surprising number of recipes from Cooking Light, so I readily accepted.

Cherry Oatmeal Bars combine dried cherries and oats in a delicious bar that's great for snacking, lunch boxes, or dessert. - Bake or Break

I bookmarked several recipes to try on my first pass through the book. Knowing how much Quinn would like them, I decided to make these bars first. I have a propensity for baking bars and cookies with oats. I love the flavor and texture they add to baked goods.

The filling is a bit different than most oat bars in that it features sour cream. It serves as a complement to the cherries and also as a bit of baking glue to hold the filling together.

Cherry Oatmeal Bars are a delicious combination of sweet and tart! - Bake or Break

Perhaps the most exciting thing about these bars is that those good folks I mentioned earlier are going to send a copy of Cooking Light Way to Bake to a couple of lucky BoB readers! This book is full of great recipes, photos, and tips. It would be a great addition to your baking library.

Here are the details for entering:

UPDATED 12/19/2011: The winners have been randomly chosen and contacted with the good news. Congratulations, Jennifer and Michelle!

Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Yield 24 bars
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

These chewy oatmeal bars are perfect for when you want a sweet treat that won't weigh you down!

Cherry Oatmeal Bars combine dried cherries and oats in a delicious bar that's great for snacking, lunch boxes, or dessert! - Bake or Break


For the crust:

  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice

For the filling:

  • 1 & 1/3 cups dried cherries (about 6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten


To make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Spray an 11″x 7″ baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Drizzle butter and orange juice over flour mixture. Stir until moistened and mixture is crumbly.
  3. Reserve 1/2 cup of crust mixture. Press remaining crust mixture into bottom of prepared pan.

To make the filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Spread filling mixture over crust in pan. Sprinkle evenly with reserved crust mixture.
  2. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Way to Bake.

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    57 Comments on “Cherry Oatmeal Bars”

  1. I love homemade fudge and pecan cookies during the Christmas season.

  2. Date and nut balls!

  3. My favorite holiday baked good is chocolate crinkle cookies 🙂

  4. I love pizzelles. I’m making some this weekend!

  5. I love chocolate peppermint snaps! yummm

  6. I love your recipe for brownie peanut butter cups! I should make some of those for Christmas next week 😉

  7. Those bars look excellent!

    Peppermint bark is my favorite holiday treat to make and eats lots of!

  8. My grandmother makes an assortment of Italian cookies every December. I think the pizzelles are my favorite.

  9. My Mother makes the best Russian Teacakes! I love the powdered sugar and chopped nuts. Delish!

  10. Hmmmm, peanut butter fudge, christmas crack, christmas cookies. So many yummy things to eat.

  11. I love making earl grey madeleines! My mom usually doesn’t like sweets, but is obsessed with madeleines for some reason. It’s nice to have something to share.

  12. hmm…i think my favorite baked good is whatever i’m currently eating! but i’m especially partial to cookies!

  13. My favorite holiday baked good is sugar cookies. I can eat my weight in them!

  14. Rugelach. I have this terrible weakness for them and even though I only have a tiny family of 2, I will bake loads of them to eat and freeze.

  15. I know I’m an exception, but I like fruit cake!

  16. I love all holiday sweets, but I’m going tO be making peanut butter blossoms and pfefferneuse this weekend. Although these cherry bars are trying to get on my list, too 🙂

  17. My favorite sweet treat during the holidays (it’s really hard to pick just one) is sugar cookies with vanilla icing and sprinkles.

  18. Good old fashioned shortbread. I just can’t resist its buttery goodness!

  19. peanutbutter balls yummy!

  20. Marshmallow roll…that’s what my grandma used to make.

  21. I would love to win that cookbook! I love eating shortbread during the holidays…especially shortbread bars with a layer of jam!

  22. These bars will certainly please my husband too! My favorite holiday treat to make is thumbprint raspberry jam cookies. So good!

  23. We make Christmas crescents every year–shortbread and pecan-esque cookies shaped into crescent moons and then rolled in confectioner’s sugar.

  24. I love to make my Noni’s Anise cookies! They’re delicious in place of biscotti, and they’re so nostalgic for me!

  25. Snickerdoodles! However, I add a sweedish berry on top of the cookies and then bake them. They need to be real sweedish berry candies, otherwise the candy will melt in the oven

  26. Mmmm I always make a double or quadruple batch of toffee during the holidays! It’s a family favorite!

  27. My grandmother’s candy cane cookies!

  28. Honey Spice cookie that has a glaze over the top…yum!

  29. I love pumpkin bread with walnuts, and the smell of my house when it’s baking.

  30. My favorite thing to make is truly amazing peanut butter fudge. My favorite treat to eat, however, is the marzipan kringle my mom usually makes for Christmas morning.

  31. Mmm…date-nut bread.

  32. My favorite holiday baked goods are cinnamon-chocolate chip cookies!

  33. I love my daughter’s classic chocolate fudge during the holidays!!!

  34. this is wrong for me in so many ways.. I mean the way this looks is just heavenly! I love oatmeal bars

  35. My favorite holiday baked good is chocolate chess pie…served warm with vanilla ice cream. YUM.

  36. Hello, thanks for the great giveaway… MOST favorite Christmas baked goodie are my dear mother’s fruit cookies…..This was an annual favorite for Christmas since I was a little girl. She died last year and now her recipe is mine. Thank you, sincerely, Valerie.

  37. Oh my, there are so many! I love my mom’s welsh cookies and my new favorite is oreo balls!

  38. Oatmeal cookies with plenty of nuts but no raisins

  39. Gingerbread men!!!!

  40. Such a tough choice, but I think the seven layer cookie bars that I’ve been making with my mom since I was a little girl would have to be my favorite holiday dessert. But in all honesty, a recipe from BoB would be my first choice behind that! Since I discovered your blog about two years ago, I’ve made about 20 of your recipes and have LOVED every single one. Thank you, Jennifer for the time and energy you put into making such a lovely and delicious blog. As long as you keep posting, I’ll keep reading!

  41. I love cherries so I will for sure try these cherry oatmeal bars… I hope to make oreo balls for my 3 kids that will be coming home for Christmas along with molasses crinkle cookies…Can’t wait to have everyone home at Christmas! I love your blog…. I will keep reading..

  42. Just one favorite? Hmmm. Actually, I’m sitting here with last year’s Cooking Light holiday issue. The iced browned butter sugar cookies are lovely.

    I look forward to making these cherry oatmeal bars on Monday, though. Thanks for the post & the giveaway. Off to Facebook:)

  43. Banana Bread with peanut butter ! 😀

  44. here we celebrate Hannukah, and my definite favorite is the traditional jam-filled doughnut.
    happy new year!

  45. I have so many but I think my favorite would be decorated sugar cookies! I love to make them, and decorate them, and eat them!

  46. Gingerbread cookies, spicy and sweet and make the house smell amazing!

  47. These bars look delicious! I love it when you can indulge in a treat and not feel like you are totally misbehaving! Cooking Light has great things for that! My favorite holiday treat are all the cookies!

  48. I love biscotti! and you can make them christmas themed with cranberries and pistachios!! 🙂

  49. I loved my grandma’s divinity. I wish I had learned how to make it.

  50. My favorite holiday baked good is rainbow cookies…or shortbread cookies…or pecan pie…yummm….
    My go to recipe this year though has been flourless chocolate cake. Made it a few times already and have a few more requests for it coming up!

  51. I think my favorite holiday baked good would have to be snowball cookies, but only if they are made by my mom 🙂

  52. i’m making chocolate coated ginger cookies this christmas.

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

  53. Fruitcake cookies!!

  54. I just found this recipe & think it would be great for the dessert table at my rehearsal dinner. I was hoping I could do my baking about a week before the wedding craziness sets in. Would these bars freeze well? This fits the non-chocolate, nut-free goal I’m trying to hit. Let me know if you have any other suggestions! Thanks in advance!

  55. Sara, I don’t frequently freeze much of anything. My guess is that these would freeze okay. Fresh would certainly be better, but freezing might work if you need to make ahead.

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