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Cherry Cake Squares

Cherry Cake Squares. Based upon a Newfoundland favourite Christmas cake. Ideal for the holiday freezer, these easy cookie bars are quick to prepare, freeze exceptionally well. They are always a hit with kids of all ages.

Close up photo of cherry cake squares

Cherry Cake Squares. Inspired by a local Holiday favourite.

These bar cookies are inspired by another popular Holiday baking staple here in Newfoundland. It’s also a very, very popular recipe on this website at this time of year, Cherry Pound Cake.

You can find it in practically every home in the province during the Christmas season. Naturally, the recipe gets tens of thousands of hits on the website in teh run up to the Christmas season.

Red Glacé Cherries for Cherry Vanilla Cheesecake Bars, pictured in a glass bowl.

Red Glacé Cherries are used in this recipe but you can try well drained Maraschino cherries too.

I thought, why not translate it into a cookie square version too. These almond tinged cookie squares are pretty easy to make and are another great addition to the Holiday freezer.

2020 update:

Note: the amount of leavening agents has been reduced from the original measurements first published in this recipe years ago. That’s based upon reports of the cookies falling in the centre when baked.

Cherry Cake Squares shown on a silver and white platter

Cherry Cake Squares. Inspired by a local Holiday favourite.

I have omitted the baking soda completely and reduced the baking powder by 1/4 tsp. This has worked very well in my experiments with this recipe and for those who tested it for me.

These freeze exceptionally well in sealed plastic containers.

butter photographed on a wooden cutting board.

Use only real dairy butter.

Tip: For the most colourful Cherry Cake Squares, use both red and green glacé cherries if possible

I like to use both red and green glacé cherries for a more festive look.

Originally published Nov 2013. Updated Dec 2020.

Looking for more ideas for Holiday Baking?

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Best Christmas Baking Recipes photo collage 

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Cherry Cake Squares photo od cookie bars with title text added for Pinterest

Cherry Cake Squares. Inspired by a local Holiday favourite.

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Close up photo of cherry cake squares
Yield: 25 cookie squares

Cherry Cake Squares

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Based upon a Newfoundland favorite Christmas cake and ideal for the holiday freezer, these easy cookie squares are quick to prepare, freeze exceptionally well and are always a hit with kids of all ages.

Ingredients

FOR THE COOKIE BARS

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup glace cherries, quartered

FOR THE FROSTING

  • 2 cups icing sugar, powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 -2 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Cream butter sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts and beat well.
  3. Sift together the flour & baking powder.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, folding to combine well.
  5. Fold in the chopped cherries.
  6. Spread in a parchment lined or greased 9 inch square baking pan and bake for 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees F. (325 for glass bake ware) A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. (This recipe is too large for an 8x8 pan. If you do not have a 9x9 pan you can multiply the entire recipe by 1 1/2 and use a 9x13 pan instead if you have one of those.)
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Frost with vanilla frosting.
  9. For the vanilla frosting beat together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and milk until, light, fluffy and of a good spreadable consistency. Add the milk only a little at a time until the proper consistency is achieved.
  10. Spread over the cooled cookies and cut into squares or bars.
  11. These freeze very well in airtight containers.

Notes

If you like, these can be served without frosting or just make a half batch of frosting if you prefer less.

Note: the amount of leavening agents has been reduced from the original measurements first published in this recipe years ago. That's based upon reports of the cookies falling in the centre when baked.

I have omitted the baking soda completely and reduced the baking powder by 1/4 tsp. This has worked very well in my experiments with this recipe and with those who tested it for me.

These freeze exceptionally well in sealed plastic containers.

Nutrition Information

Yield

25

Serving Size

1 cookie bar

Amount Per Serving Calories 226Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 44mgSodium 118mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 0gSugar 21gProtein 2g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Marian

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

Made these for the first time this Christmas and it turned out to be my family’s favourite! This and butter tarts is all I have to make!

Ann

Thursday 17th of December 2020

This is one of our favourite recipes from your book. I find the video confusing though, shouldn't it be on another recipe page? For a second I was worried I had missed an ingredient or two.

Christine

Thursday 17th of December 2020

I’m planning on making these today or tomorrow for my Christmas cookie tray. It’s a week away so should I freeze them for a few days or will they still be okay in a sealed container? Should I frost them before or after?

Judy

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

I made the Cherry Cake Squares today and noticed there was no liquid other than the vanilla and almond flavoring, it seems there should have been milk to complete the batter, I did add a cup of milk to my recipe. Also noticed the Vanilla is mentioned in the instructions twice. The first time added with the sugar and butter, then again on the second line added with the eggs, almond extract. See below

Cream butter sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts and beat well.

Just thought you might want to correct this recipe.

Hope

Monday 16th of November 2020

Hi! 1 1/4 tsp baking powder, is it the good mesure?

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