Gluten-Free Cherry Oat Bars

We FINALLY moved into our house last week and the first thing I baked were these Gluten Free Cherry Oat Bars! These babies are rich and decadent with a crisp, buttery crumb that we just cannot get enough of around here.

Nothing says ‘welcome home’ like a pan of freshly baked cherry oat bars! Trust me, we know!

We’ve been on the road since Father’s Day relocating from sunny Southern California to Atlanta, Ga and all I could think about on our journey was what I was going to cook first in our new home. I pondered a lot of different dishes over the past 6 weeks, but ultimately these gluten-free cherry oat bars won out over everything else because it seemed like a buttery oat bar would be the ultimate “welcome home” treat to give my family after such a long haul on the road.

I actually should give my daughter credit for these bars coming into existence. You see, she was OBSESSED with Starbuck’s Michigan Cherry Oat Bars last year and once they discontinued them she began begging me to make a homemade version.  So, during our cross-country road trip  I did a bit of research on those cherry oat bars Starbucks served and realized that the ingredients in the bars were actually pretty straightforward. All I needed was lots of butter, a heaping mound of oats, gluten-free flour, brown sugar and a rich cherry studded pie filling made with fresh Stemilt cherries.

Why do we love Stemilt cherries more than any other?

Stemilt’s founding family, the Mathison’s, have been growing cherries for over 100 years and as far as we’re concerned they’re the best. They grow both California and Washington varieties of cherries ensuring perfectly fresh cherries all summer long! YES, you can even find Stemilt’s cherries right now in August, but you better hurry because the season is growing short.  Stemilt’s succulent cherries literally explode with flavor – sweetness, acids, and aromatics – in every bite you take! Their cherries are basically heaven for your taste buds.

I’ve made 3 batches of these bars since we moved in because my family literally cannot get enough of them! Todd and I have been indulging in a bar with our coffee in the mornings, our kid’s have been taking them in their lunch boxes to school all week, and we even made a batch to share with our friends here in Atlanta that have helped us so much during this move. I’m just going to go ahead and declare this recipe a total winner that you need to act on while there is still a bit of cherry season left!


Gluten-Free Cherry Oat Bars

cherry oat bars

Gluten-Free Cherry Oat Bars by , on Aug 13, 2018.

  • Yield
    9 large or 16 small servings
  • Prep time
  • Cook time
  • Level
    Easy

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These Gluten-Free Cherry Oat Bars are rich and decadent with a crisp, buttery crumb that will have you making seconds in no time.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh cherries stems removed, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free instant oats (sometimes labeled quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup room temperature butter

Directions

Make the cherry filling

  1. Prepare the cherry filling by adding halved, pitted cherries to a small saucepan, stir in the water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Bring the mixture just to a boil over medium heat, as soon as you see the first bubbles form and start to pop, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Using the back of the spoon to break up the cherries.
  2. Once thickened remove the cherry filling from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. The filling can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the bars.

Make the bars

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9×9-inch square pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper being sure to leave enough paper overhanging on each side of the pan so that you can use them as handles later to remove the bars from the baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the gluten-free all-purpose flour, instant and rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt. Use your hands to mix the dry ingredients together. Once completely combined add the softened butter to the bowl then use a pastry blender or your hands work the mixture into crumbs/pea-sized pieces. The mixture will become soft and crumbly and will clump together easily when squeezed together in your hand.
  3. Add 2/3 of the crumb mixture to the prepared pan and firmly pat down into an even layer. Spread the cherry filling evenly over the top. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the top of the cherries.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, remove the bars from the pan by lifting on the parchment paper “handles”. Place onto a flat surface and cut the bars into the desired sized squares.
  6. Store at room temperature or in the fridge.