Cherry Bakewell Bars Recipe | Christmas Bakes 2023!

Hello lovelies,

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this online before but one thing you should know about me is that I am a cherry bakewell connoisseur.

No joke, over the years I have tried all different types of cherry bakewells, from the famous Mr Kipling to all the ‘own’ shop brands to homemade from a bakery, your girl has tried them all and let me tell you, the recipe I’m sharing with you today has to be up there with one of the best I’ve ever tried. Period.

I’m not sure if this is just in my family but it’s only really at christmas time that we crack out the cherry bakewells. It’s always been that way for us and you best believe I’m raring and ready to pounce once they are opened and hit our christmas food table. I am not a girl whose willing to share when it comes down to a cherry bakewell haha.

Anyway, today’s bake is inspired by the incredibly talented Holly Jade, also known as ‘The Little Blog Of Vegan’ online.

Whilst I was having my weekly scroll through pinterest, I came across her vegan version of these cherry bakewell bars and they caught my attention immediately.

{Holly’s Version: }

Now, as a girl who’s obsessed with cherry bakewell’s, you’ll probably have gathered by now that I couldn’t let the festive season past without making my own batch. So, that’s exactly what I did and DAMN, are they blooming delicious. Mouth-wateringly good!

Need I say more?

So, if these cherry bakewell bars have caught your attention and have you wanting to know more, you know the drill. Keep on scrolling and you’ll find my version of Holly’s incredible recipe below.

Category: Desert / Sweet Treat

Servings: 8-12 Large Bars

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Bake Time: 20-25 Minutes

Decorating Time: 10 Minutes

Overall Time: 60+ Minutes

Ingredients You Need For The Shortbread:

  • 226g Of Unsalted Butter
  • 100g Of Caster Sugar
  • 340g Of Plain Flour
  • 2tsp Of Vanilla Extract

Ingredients You Need For The Jam Layer:

  • Jar Of Cherry Jam

Ingredients You Need For The Frangipane:

  • 100g Of Unsalted Butter
  • 100g Of Golden Caster Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2tsp Of Almond Extract
  • 140g Of Ground Almonds
  • 75g Of Plain Flour

Ingredients You Need For The Icing:

  • 450g Of Icing Sugar
  • 1tsp Of Almond Extract
  • 4tbsp Of Semi-Skimmed Milk

Ingredients You Need To Decorate:

  • 50g Of Dark Chocolate
  • Glacé Cherries

How To Make The Shortbread Base:

  • Firstly, gather together your equipment and ingredients, line a 8’ square, loose-bottomed baking tin with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 200C / 180C Fan / Gas Mark 5.
  • Secondly, in a large bowl, using an electric whisk, beat together the 226g of unsalted butter with the 100g of caster sugar and 2tsp of vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  • Next, slowly add the 370g of plain flour and mix until incorporated and a shortbread dough begins to form.
  • Now, using your hands or a rubber spatula, press the shortbread dough evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking tin.
  • Using a fork, prick the dough all over (TIP: this stops the dough from puffing up whilst baking).
  • Place the tin into the oven and bake for around 20-25 minutes, until the shortbread is golden brown.
  • Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

How To Do The Jam Layer:

  • Spread a thick layer of the cherry jam across the top of the shortbread, then set to one side whilst you make the frangipane.

How To Make The Frangipane:

  • In a large bowl, using an electric whisk, beat the 100g of unsalted butter until creamy.
  • Now, beat in the 100g of golden caster sugar until light and fluffy.
  • One at a time, beating well between each addition, add in the 2 large eggs and 2tsp of almond extract.
  • Stir in the 140g of ground almonds and 75g of plain flour.
  • Spoon the frangipane on top of the cherry jam and level out using a palette knife.
  • Place back into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and the filling has set.
  • Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool fully in the tin before icing.

How To Make The Icing:

  • As soon as the bake has fully cooled, it’s time to ice.
  • In a bowl, add the 450g of sieved icing sugar and 2tsp of almond extract, then mix to combine, adding a tablespoon of milk at a time until the icing has reached a similar consistency to toothpaste.
  • Next, pour the icing over the top of the frangipane (whilst being very careful not to get any of the frangipane in the icing layer).
  • Allow the icing to set fully (this shouldn’t take long).
  • Once the icing has set, carefully remove from the tin and cut into 8 long rectangles.
  • Place the bars into the fridge for 30 minutes to help set the icing further.

How To Decorate The Bars:

  • Towards the end of the 30 minutes, melt the chocolate. In a microwavable bowl, add the 50g of dark chocolate, place into the microwave and in 20 second blasts, blast the chocolate until fully melted.
  • Immediately transfer the melted chocolate into a piping bag and snip off the very tip of the bag.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the bars from the fridge.
  • To create the reindeer, add one glacé cherry to each bar for the nose, then with the chocolate, pipe on two dots for eyes and two antlers.
  • Finally, place the bars back into the fridge and allow to chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

That’s your Cherry Bakewell Bars prepared, baked and decorated, ready for you to enjoy this Christmas!

I’m sorry but how damn cute are these bars? The little faces are such a good addition to complete these bars for sure.

Now, I must say, these bars I’ve created for you today are most certainly up there for the best cherry bakewells I’ve ever tasted! You just can’t beat homemade sweet treats, I won’t hear differently.

The shortbread base, the sweet cherry jam, the perfect almond frangipane, the delicately flavoured icing with the finishing touches are just heavenly. Even the tiny amount of chocolate add to the burst of flavour – I’m obsessed (if you couldn’t already tell haha).

Let me know in the comments below if you make these cherry bakewell bars yourself and if you do, what your thoughts are on them. Are you a fan? Did you polish these off?

Sending you all tons of love & hugs as always,

Elle xo


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