Happy Birthday Cherry Cream Cheese Bars

Today is a very special day. My very best friend Krista (whom you’ve seen several times here on IBC) is celebrating her birthday! Of course, I couldn’t let the day go by without baking up something special for her .

Cherry Cream Cheese Bars| Inspired by Charm

A few months ago she sent me a link / picture of a cherry bar that she wanted me to make. I tucked that idea away and decided that her birthday would be the perfect time to make it. While I’m sure there will be cake involved in her celebration, I figure it’s also a good idea to have extra dessert on hand. – I’m a firm believer that you should have cake at every meal when it’s your birthday.

Cherry Cream Cheese Bars| Inspired by Charm

For this recipe, I started off with Taste of Home’s Cherry Bar Recipe. However, I wanted to make this even more decadent so I added in a layer of cream cheese. Go big or go home, right?

Cherry Cream Cheese Bars| Inspired by Charm

The resulting bars are amazingly delicious. They would be amazing without the layer of cream cheese, but it just takes them to a whole other level of awesomeness.

Cherry Cream Cheese Bars| Inspired by Charm

Let me show you how to make them.

Cherry Cream Cheese Bars| Inspired by Charm

Cherry Cream Cheese Bars

Here's what you will need:

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cans (21 ounce each) cherry pie filling

Cheesecake Layer:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 - 3 tablespoons milk

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

With a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at time. Beat well after each addition. Then, put in the vanilla and almond extract. Finally, gradually add in the flour and baking powder.

Spread about 2 1/2 cups of this batter into a greased 15x10x1-inch baking sheet. (I found it easiest to use an offset spatula greased with a little cooking oil to spread out the batter.)

In a medium-size bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, and egg. Add this on top of the first layer of batter. Then, spread out the cherry pie filling.

Drop the remaining batter by spoonfuls over the filling. Bake about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Once the bars are cool, in a small bowl mix together confectioners' sugar, extracts, and enough milk to reach a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the top.

Cherry Cream Cheese Bars| Inspired by Charm

It’s that easy. Mouth-wateringly fruity, creamy, and covered in a delicious glaze. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Cherry Cream Cheese Bars| Inspired by Charm

Seriously people, please give this recipe a try. You’ll be so glad you did!

Cherry Cream Cheese Bars| Inspired by Charm

And last but not least, a ginormous Happy Birthday to my very best friend, Krista! Life just wouldn’t be the same without you in it. Have a beautiful day!

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