Cherry Oatmeal Bars

This blog isn’t readily described as being jam-packed with things that are good for you. I fervently believe that we all need a sweet treat now and then, and I do so enjoy baking them.

Recently, the good folks at Cooking Light offered to send me a copy of their new cookbook, Cooking Light Way to Bake. Despite the baking indulgences of this blog, I do bake a surprising number of recipes from Cooking Light, so I readily accepted.

Cherry Oatmeal Bars combine dried cherries and oats in a delicious bar that's great for snacking, lunch boxes, or dessert. - Bake or Break

I bookmarked several recipes to try on my first pass through the book. Knowing how much Quinn would like them, I decided to make these bars first. I have a propensity for baking bars and cookies with oats. I love the flavor and texture they add to baked goods.

The filling is a bit different than most oat bars in that it features sour cream. It serves as a complement to the cherries and also as a bit of baking glue to hold the filling together.

Cherry Oatmeal Bars are a delicious combination of sweet and tart! - Bake or Break

Perhaps the most exciting thing about these bars is that those good folks I mentioned earlier are going to send a copy of Cooking Light Way to Bake to a couple of lucky BoB readers! This book is full of great recipes, photos, and tips. It would be a great addition to your baking library.

Here are the details for entering:

UPDATED 12/19/2011: The winners have been randomly chosen and contacted with the good news. Congratulations, Jennifer and Michelle!

Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 24 bars

Cherry Oatmeal Bars


    For the crust:
  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • For the filling:
  • 1 & 1/3 cups dried cherries (about 6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten


To make the crust:

Preheat oven to 325°. Spray an 11″x 7″ baking pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Drizzle butter and orange juice over flour mixture. Stir until moistened and mixture is crumbly.

Reserve 1/2 cup of crust mixture. Press remaining crust mixture into bottom of prepared pan.

To make the filling:

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Spread filling mixture over crust in pan. Sprinkle evenly with reserved crust mixture.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Way to Bake.

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  1. Jennifer H December 15, 2011 Reply

    I love homemade fudge and pecan cookies during the Christmas season.

  2. Ashley December 15, 2011 Reply

    Date and nut balls!

  3. Mimi December 15, 2011 Reply

    My favorite holiday baked good is chocolate crinkle cookies :)

  4. Kristin December 15, 2011 Reply

    I love pizzelles. I’m making some this weekend!

  5. Melissa H December 15, 2011 Reply

    I love chocolate peppermint snaps! yummm

  6. These sound so yummy!

  7. Courtney December 15, 2011 Reply

    I love your recipe for brownie peanut butter cups! I should make some of those for Christmas next week 😉

  8. Fallon December 15, 2011 Reply

    Those bars look excellent!

    Peppermint bark is my favorite holiday treat to make and eats lots of!

  9. B.A. December 15, 2011 Reply

    My grandmother makes an assortment of Italian cookies every December. I think the pizzelles are my favorite.

  10. Sara R. in Redmond, OR December 15, 2011 Reply

    My Mother makes the best Russian Teacakes! I love the powdered sugar and chopped nuts. Delish!

  11. Mim December 15, 2011 Reply

    Hmmmm, peanut butter fudge, christmas crack, christmas cookies. So many yummy things to eat.

  12. Grace December 16, 2011 Reply

    I love making earl grey madeleines! My mom usually doesn’t like sweets, but is obsessed with madeleines for some reason. It’s nice to have something to share.

  13. sunny December 16, 2011 Reply

    hmm…i think my favorite baked good is whatever i’m currently eating! but i’m especially partial to cookies!

  14. Jessica December 16, 2011 Reply

    My favorite holiday baked good is sugar cookies. I can eat my weight in them!

  15. penny December 16, 2011 Reply

    Rugelach. I have this terrible weakness for them and even though I only have a tiny family of 2, I will bake loads of them to eat and freeze.

  16. Janice December 16, 2011 Reply

    I know I’m an exception, but I like fruit cake!

  17. Michelle December 16, 2011 Reply

    I love all holiday sweets, but I’m going tO be making peanut butter blossoms and pfefferneuse this weekend. Although these cherry bars are trying to get on my list, too :)

  18. Melanie December 16, 2011 Reply

    My favorite sweet treat during the holidays (it’s really hard to pick just one) is sugar cookies with vanilla icing and sprinkles.

  19. Amanda (onceuponarecipe) December 16, 2011 Reply

    Good old fashioned shortbread. I just can’t resist its buttery goodness!

  20. JORDAN December 16, 2011 Reply

    peanutbutter balls yummy!

  21. C December 16, 2011 Reply

    Marshmallow roll…that’s what my grandma used to make.

  22. Genevieve December 16, 2011 Reply

    I would love to win that cookbook! I love eating shortbread during the holidays…especially shortbread bars with a layer of jam!

  23. Lisa December 16, 2011 Reply

    These bars will certainly please my husband too! My favorite holiday treat to make is thumbprint raspberry jam cookies. So good!

  24. Suzannah December 16, 2011 Reply

    We make Christmas crescents every year–shortbread and pecan-esque cookies shaped into crescent moons and then rolled in confectioner’s sugar.

  25. Emily December 16, 2011 Reply

    I love to make my Noni’s Anise cookies! They’re delicious in place of biscotti, and they’re so nostalgic for me!

  26. crimsonlips December 16, 2011 Reply

    Snickerdoodles! However, I add a sweedish berry on top of the cookies and then bake them. They need to be real sweedish berry candies, otherwise the candy will melt in the oven

  27. FailedMuffins December 16, 2011 Reply

    Mmmm I always make a double or quadruple batch of toffee during the holidays! It’s a family favorite!

  28. Maggie December 16, 2011 Reply

    My grandmother’s candy cane cookies!

  29. jenna December 16, 2011 Reply

    Honey Spice cookie that has a glaze over the top…yum!

  30. Holly December 16, 2011 Reply

    I love pumpkin bread with walnuts, and the smell of my house when it’s baking.

  31. SarahRuth December 16, 2011 Reply

    My favorite thing to make is truly amazing peanut butter fudge. My favorite treat to eat, however, is the marzipan kringle my mom usually makes for Christmas morning.

  32. JEP December 16, 2011 Reply

    Mmm…date-nut bread.

  33. Sandra December 16, 2011 Reply

    My favorite holiday baked goods are cinnamon-chocolate chip cookies!

  34. Diana December 16, 2011 Reply

    I love my daughter’s classic chocolate fudge during the holidays!!!

  35. sweetmaddy December 16, 2011 Reply


  36. betty December 16, 2011 Reply

    this is wrong for me in so many ways.. I mean the way this looks is just heavenly! I love oatmeal bars

  37. My favorite holiday baked good is chocolate chess pie…served warm with vanilla ice cream. YUM.

  38. Valerie Hildebrand December 16, 2011 Reply

    Hello, thanks for the great giveaway… MOST favorite Christmas baked goodie are my dear mother’s fruit cookies…..This was an annual favorite for Christmas since I was a little girl. She died last year and now her recipe is mine. Thank you, sincerely, Valerie.

  39. Erin December 17, 2011 Reply

    Oh my, there are so many! I love my mom’s welsh cookies and my new favorite is oreo balls!

  40. Bernard December 17, 2011 Reply

    Oatmeal cookies with plenty of nuts but no raisins

  41. Micah Thompson December 17, 2011 Reply

    Gingerbread men!!!!

  42. Whitney December 17, 2011 Reply

    Such a tough choice, but I think the seven layer cookie bars that I’ve been making with my mom since I was a little girl would have to be my favorite holiday dessert. But in all honesty, a recipe from BoB would be my first choice behind that! Since I discovered your blog about two years ago, I’ve made about 20 of your recipes and have LOVED every single one. Thank you, Jennifer for the time and energy you put into making such a lovely and delicious blog. As long as you keep posting, I’ll keep reading!

  43. Susie December 17, 2011 Reply

    I love cherries so I will for sure try these cherry oatmeal bars… I hope to make oreo balls for my 3 kids that will be coming home for Christmas along with molasses crinkle cookies…Can’t wait to have everyone home at Christmas! I love your blog…. I will keep reading..

  44. Susan December 17, 2011 Reply

    Just one favorite? Hmmm. Actually, I’m sitting here with last year’s Cooking Light holiday issue. The iced browned butter sugar cookies are lovely.

    I look forward to making these cherry oatmeal bars on Monday, though. Thanks for the post & the giveaway. Off to Facebook:)

  45. SHi HUi December 17, 2011 Reply

    Banana Bread with peanut butter ! 😀

  46. Noga December 18, 2011 Reply

    here we celebrate Hannukah, and my definite favorite is the traditional jam-filled doughnut.
    happy new year!

  47. Sarah F. December 18, 2011 Reply

    I have so many but I think my favorite would be decorated sugar cookies! I love to make them, and decorate them, and eat them!

  48. DTMH December 18, 2011 Reply

    Gingerbread cookies, spicy and sweet and make the house smell amazing!

  49. Jenni December 18, 2011 Reply

    These bars look delicious! I love it when you can indulge in a treat and not feel like you are totally misbehaving! Cooking Light has great things for that! My favorite holiday treat are all the cookies!

  50. page December 18, 2011 Reply

    I love biscotti! and you can make them christmas themed with cranberries and pistachios!! :)

  51. Sara December 18, 2011 Reply

    I loved my grandma’s divinity. I wish I had learned how to make it.

  52. melissa December 18, 2011 Reply

    My favorite holiday baked good is rainbow cookies…or shortbread cookies…or pecan pie…yummm….
    My go to recipe this year though has been flourless chocolate cake. Made it a few times already and have a few more requests for it coming up!

  53. Shannon December 19, 2011 Reply

    I think my favorite holiday baked good would have to be snowball cookies, but only if they are made by my mom :)

  54. Mern George December 19, 2011 Reply

    i’m making chocolate coated ginger cookies this christmas.

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

  55. Lisa December 23, 2011 Reply

    Fruitcake cookies!!

  56. Sara July 12, 2012 Reply

    I just found this recipe & think it would be great for the dessert table at my rehearsal dinner. I was hoping I could do my baking about a week before the wedding craziness sets in. Would these bars freeze well? This fits the non-chocolate, nut-free goal I’m trying to hit. Let me know if you have any other suggestions! Thanks in advance!

  57. jennifer July 21, 2012 Reply

    Sara, I don’t frequently freeze much of anything. My guess is that these would freeze okay. Fresh would certainly be better, but freezing might work if you need to make ahead.

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