5 from 7 votes

Sour Cherry Streusel Bars

Host Zoe Francois' sour cherry streusel bars, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 2.

These are the sour cherry streusel bars I made on the Nordic Treats episode of Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network! In this episode I pay tribute to my Nordic heritage by preparing Swedish cream and krumkake, a pressed cookie and visiting a ladies’ church group for a lesson in making the traditional Norwegian flatbread, lefse. I make these bars because you can’t go to a gathering in Minnesota without bringing something to share!

Host Zoe Francois adds a layer of sour cherries to her bars, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 2.
Host Zoe Francois sprinkles streusel over the sour cherries to top her bars, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 2.
Host Zoe Francois' sour cherry streusel bars, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 2.
Host Zoe Francois' sour cherry streusel bars, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 2.

Sour Cherry Streusel Bars

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Desserts
Servings: 16 bars



  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter soft
  • 1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (58g) confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch of salt

Gooey Cherry Layer

  • 1/4 cup (57g) cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup (57g) unsalted butter melted
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups frozen sour cherries


  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (100g) rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup (86g) all-purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 350°F, with the rack in the middle. Grease a 9 by 9-inch square pan and line it with greased parchment. 


  • In a medium bowl, mix the butter, flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt, until it comes together in a uniform dough. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Press it down with your hands or the bottom of a glass to pack it tightly into the pan. Place in the oven to par bake for 15 minutes while you make the filling.  

Gooey Filling

  • Next, make the gooey filling. In the same bowl, using a stiff rubber spatula, mix together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, honey, egg, vanilla and salt. Spread the mixture over the crust. Scatter the cherries evenly over the top of the filling.


  • Using the same bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, salt, oats and flour with your fingers, so the mixture forms small clumps. Scatter evenly over the cherries.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is caramel-brown and the fruit is bubbling. Cool completely before removing from pan and cutting. It’s easier to cut when chilled.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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20 thoughts to “Sour Cherry Streusel Bars”

  1. Hello Zoe! Since it’s blueberry season can I use those instead of cherries? These look lovely! Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Wendi! Zoë has not tested the recipe with blueberries, but she thinks it should work. If you try it, please come back to let us know how it goes!

      1. 5 stars
        I used some beautiful local blueberries and these bars turned out great! Thank you for another wonderful recipe and your time in responding! I love watching and learning from Zoe; sometimes I turn on her show while I’m in the kitchen so I’m “cooking with my friend”.

        1. We are thrilled to hear they worked great and that you enjoy the show! Thank you so much for watching. Cheers!

  2. There’s no mention as to whether you thaw and drain any liquid from the frozen cherries before putting them in the gooey filling, or do you put the cherries on frozen?

  3. Just came home from the Farmer’s Market with fresh sour cherries – which I will use in this recipe since I think it should be fine and still delicious!

  4. I have these in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Triple checked recipe. They are very loose. The fruit is bubbling and they are brown on top. Do they firm up as they cool?!?! I’ve been baking for 55 years, not a newbie.

    1. Hi Laura! How did these end up once they cooled? They should have firmed up, but we’d love to know how it went for you. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    I was shopping at a local Mediterranean market and they had quite a selection of jars or sour cherries. I bought them on a whim and found this recipe. This was amazing! My guests served themselves twice.

  6. Any particular source for those frozen sour cherries. In Texas – on Amazon – 4 lbs frozen – $80! Yikes. Would like to make this recipe – but not if the ingredient is that expensive.

    1. Hi Barbara! Zoë says any time they’re out of season they’ll be very expensive no matter where you source from. You can always try different kinds of fruit – blueberries, blackberries if you don’t mind the seeds, cranberries. Something tart is best for this recipe. Regular cherries would also work, just reduce the sugar a little bit and add some lemon juice. Enjoy!

  7. 5 stars
    These are so good. Sour cherries were my favorite but I also used this same recipe and used the Costco frozen mixed berries when I was out of cherries.
    Both were so yummy!

    1. We’re so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for coming back to leave a rating/review. Cheers!

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