Shelly's Cherry Squares | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Shelly's Cherry Squares

Shelly's Cherry Squares is one of those easy recipes you'll make again and again! Cherry pie filling is nestled in a sweet soft sugar cookie type dough then dusted with powdered sugar. It's a cherry bar cookie recipe from the famous Magnolia Bakery in NYC, and it's a keeper!

Shelly's Cherry Squares by Renee's Kitchen Adventures stacked on a white plate with a red and white napkin in the background

Scroll down for printable recipe

A recipe from Magnolia Bakery

On a recent trip to NYC, I had the pleasure of visiting one of the locations of the very famous Magnolia Bakery We bought six cupcakes to take back home with velvet, chocolate with buttercream, vanilla with buttercream, and coconut.  (They were scrumptious, btw!)

While we were at the checkout, my mom spotted the cookbook,  More From Magnolia; Recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen  Knowing what a complete sucker I am for a good cookbook, she quickly added it to our order. The first recipe I made from the book was this easy recipe for Shelly's Cherry Squares.

There's only a few ingredients and they require little effort to make. It is a great recipe for the novice baker. But, an experienced baker will love too!

Shelly's Cherry Squares by Renee's Kitchen Adventures pin for Pinterest

Equipment needed to make Shelly's Cherry Squares:

  • a 13 x  9" baking pan, can be glass or metal. 
  • Cooking spray, such as PAM
  • an electric mixer (handheld or stand)

Shelly's Cherry Squares by Renee's Kitchen Adventures on the counter ready for baking

Ingredients needed:

  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • pure vanilla extract
  • all purpose flour (I recommend unbleached)
  • canned cherry pie filling
  • powdered sugar

How to make Shelly's Cherry Squares 

These cherry bars have a soft sugar cookie texture with a puddle of cherry pie filling in the middle.

To make Shelly's Cherry Squares, the batter is simply mixed up and spread into a prepared 9" by 13" pan. It's then scored with a knife into serving sizes and cherry pie filling is added to the middle of each square.

It bakes in a 350 degree oven until it's done, cooled, and then cut into serving sizes following the scoring. Dusted with powdered sugar they make an easy recipe perfect for potlucks or any occasion you are looking for something a little sweet!

You'll find this recipe for Shelly's Cherry Squares produces a soft, cake-like sugar cookie texture that's not overly sweet. It makes a great treat for anytime of the day!

Can I freeze cherry squares?

Yes! This recipe for cherry squares can be frozen. Make sure you wrap them well with plastic wrap and put them in an airtight container, like a plastic bag. Once frozen, allow them to defrost at room temperature before enjoying. 

cherry squares, cherry bars
dessert, cookies
Yield: 24 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Shelly's Cherry Squares

Shelly's Cherry Squares

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 45 Min
Shelly's Cherry Squares is one of those easy recipes you'll make again and again! Cherry pie filling is nestled in a sweet soft sugar cookie type dough then dusted with powdered sugar. It's a cherry bar cookie recipe from the famous Magnolia Bakery in NYC, and it's a keeper!


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups canned cherry pie filling
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 13 x 9- inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Add the flour and mix thoroughly.
  3. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan. With a small, sharp knife, score into twenty-four 2-inch squares.
  4. Place a tablespoon of cherry pie filling ( each containing several cherries ) on each scored square.
  5. Bake for 30 -35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature, then sprinkle with confectioner's sugar before cutting and serving

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

4.74 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.67 g

Carbs (grams)

29.49 g

Fiber (grams)

0.37 g

Net carbs

29.12 g

Sugar (grams)

17.45 g

Protein (grams)

2.22 g

Sodium (milligrams)

15.35 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

41.17 mg

Nutritional Information is an estimate

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Overhead view of Shelly's Cherry Squares by Renee's Kitchen Adventures on a white plate with a red and white napkin under the plate

If you love Shelly's Cherry Squares, you might enjoy these easy to make sweet cherry treats too! 

Note: This recipe for Shelly's Cherry Squares first appeared on Renee's Kitchen Adventures in November 2010. I've updated the post to include more information and republished it because it's an excellent recipe. If you've visited this page before, the recipe hasn't changed from the original post.


  1. YUM! How did you know I have 3 points left for today? PERFECT! I will be right over! hehe :)

  2. Wow these look absolutely divine! I definitely need to give them a try! Love your blog and i`m a new WW follower!


  3. These look great and so elegant. I think if I make them I may substitute almond extract for the vanilla.

  4. Oh my those look good! Only 3 points, I might have to make them too!!

  5. @ Sunnydaze....I thought that would be good too...along with some sliced almonds on the top...although adding the almonds would alter the point value. :)

    @ Gina...yes, make them! :)

  6. and here are yours! :) man mine came out crappy looking huh? lol actually I'm not the best baker- but it was fun making them! now I need to ignore the fact that they are here. lol :)

  7. @ TJ....No they look delish! The filling spread differently because you used jam not pie filling...I like the rustic look of yours and I bet raspberry tasted wonderful!! Glad you liked them though...I think pineapple pie filling would taste really good in them!

  8. oh, and ya, I made the kids finish them up for breakfast one day, so they weren't sitting around tempting

  9. Thanks for sharing this great recipe! I linked to it from my free weekly meal planning site this week, since many of the ingredients are on sale this week. It's a good time for people to try this! Thanks again!

  10. I think the pan size is wrong; I’ve made this before and used a 10x15 cookie sheet with sides. Similar recipes also use a bigger pan than a 9x13.

    1. Hi Anne! Thanks for your comment. The recipe is made in a 9x13 pan as written in the cookbook itself. I didn't change that. I've always made it in a 9x13 inch pan. I have not tried making it in a bigger pan but good to know it can be made in a bigger pan as well.

  11. Love this recipe! My Mom started making it years ago, and now I make it every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    1. Hello! I'm so happy to hear you are enjoying this recipe! Thanks for your comment.

  12. Once baked and cooled to room temp how long can you leave these out for? I want to make day before thanksgiving ?

    1. Hello! Thanks for your question. I would store in an airtight container. At room temperature they should be fine for 1-2 days. Otherwise, I'd store in the fridge for longer storage. Hope this helps and Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. I’m guessing I can use blueberry pie filling instead

    1. Hello! Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can replace the cherry pie filling with whatever flavor you like.

  14. My mom made these for us in the 70s. I have my mom's recipe in her old cookbook. I love looking at her handwriting. Love these so much. I'm making them for Easter. Your photo look delicious.

    1. Hello! Thanks for your comment. I love that this brings back memories for you. Hope you enjoy and Happy Easter!


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