Cherry Streusel Bars
A delicious breakfast treat or after dinner dessert, these homemade streusel bars are made with sweet Idaho cherries.
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 40 min
For the Streusel Topping:
- 1⁄3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the Cake Crust:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold butter, cubed
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cherry Filling:
- 5 to 6 cups fresh Idaho cherries, pitted (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds) (Garret Ranches, Henggeler Packing Co., Kelley's Canyon Orchard, Northview Orchard, Ribier Gardens, Symms Fruit Ranch, Tyler's Rocky Point Orchard, Williams Fruit Ranch, Wood'n Goat Garden)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Make the cake crust: combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a small bowl, beat the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened.
- Spread the batter into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 350° until cake begins to set but does not brown at all on the edges (the center will not be firm yet), about 20 minutes. When slightly golden, remove from oven and set aside on cooling rack. While the crust bakes, prepare the streusel topping and the cherry filling.
- Make the streusel topping: Combine the 1⁄3 cup of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, the ginger, and salt in a food processor and give it a good whirl. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly. Do not overprocess; you don’t want a paste (see Cooking Tip #1). Set the streusel topping aside.
- Make the cherry filling: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, water, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract. Cool slightly before using as a topping.
- Spread cooled filling over cake in pan. Top with streusel mixture.
- Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, cut into squares and garnish with whole cherries. Serve with hot coffee, tea or local ice cream.