Cherry Almond Magic Bars

Cherry Almond Magic Bars

Cherry Almond Magic Bars - one of the easiest cookie bar recipe of all time gets a festive flavour twist with glacé cherries and tasty toasted almonds.
Course Cookies/Bars
Cuisine North American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 24 or more cookie bars
Calories 210 kcal


For the base

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter

For the Top layer

  • cups dried unsweetened coconut medium or fine cut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk 300 ml Canada (14 oz can US)
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped almonds
  • 1 cup chopped glacé cherries
US Customary - Metric


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for glass bakeware).

For the base

  1. First choose the size of pan you prefer. The bars in the photo are baked in a 9x9 pan because I like them thicker but if you prefer these can be baked in a 9x13 pan for thinner bars. (see note)
  2. Lightly grease the pan and line it with parchment paper.
  3. Mix together the graham crumbs, sugar and butter and press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

For the top layer

  1. Hold back a handful of cherries and almonds to sprinkle on top at the end if you like. It does make them look a little brighter on the plate.
  2. Mix together the sweetened condensed milk, cherries, almonds, coconut, vanilla extract and almond extract until well combined.

  3. Spread evenly over the base layer.
  4. Finally sprinkle on the reserved nuts and cherries and press down lightly.

  5. The 9x9 pan will bake for 45-50 minutes and the 9x13 pan for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  6. Cool completely in the pan before cutting in bars or squares.

Recipe Notes

I prefer to mix all of the ingredients together rather than putting them down in layers as was the original magic bars recipe and I bake them in a 9x9 pan so that they are thicker and always bake to a chewy texture. It is a matter of preference, I suppose but I've always had better success using this method.

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.

Nutrition Facts
Cherry Almond Magic Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie bar)
Calories 210 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 94mg 4%
Potassium 99mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 14g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 3%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 6.3%
Iron 4.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.