Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Bars

Indulge in Sweet Delight: Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Bars

A Symphony of Sweetness

Step into a world of decadent sweetness with Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Bars. These delightful treats are a harmonious blend of buttery shortbread, luscious maraschino cherries, and crunchy walnuts, all topped with a golden coconut crust. With each bite, you’ll experience a burst of flavor and texture that’s sure to satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth. Join us as we explore the art of crafting these irresistible shortbread bars and discover the joy of indulging in a sweet symphony of flavors.


  • Produce:
    • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • Baking & Spices:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • Nuts & Seeds:
    • 1 1/2 cups coconut
    • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • Dairy:
    • 1 cup butter
    • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Desserts:
    • 1/3 cup red maraschino cherries
    • 1/3 cup green maraschino cherries


Creating the Shortbread Base: A Foundation of Flavor

Step 1: Shortbread Preparation

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Step 2: Shortbread Mix

In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, white sugar, and softened butter. Mix until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Step 3: Shortbread Press

Press the shortbread mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, creating a firm and uniform base for the bars.

Layering the Decadent Fillings: A Symphony of Sweetness

Step 1: Cherry Bliss

Evenly distribute the red and green maraschino cherries over the shortbread base, gently pressing them into the dough.

Step 2: Nutty Crunch

Sprinkle the golden raisins and chopped walnuts over the cherries, ensuring they are evenly distributed for a balanced flavor and texture.

Step 3: Sweet Drizzle

Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cherry and nut mixture, covering the entire surface of the bars and creating a luscious caramelized topping.

Topping with Toasted Coconut: A Golden Finish

Step 1: Coconut Coating

Spread the shredded coconut evenly over the condensed milk layer, creating a golden crust that adds a delightful crunch and flavor to the bars.

Step 2: Oven Bake

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the coconut topping is golden brown and the edges of the bars are lightly golden.

Step 3: Cooling and Cutting

Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the shortbread bars cool completely before cutting them into squares or bars.

Cook Notes:

  • Cherry Variation: Experiment with different types of cherries, such as Bing or Rainier, for a unique flavor profile. You can also try using dried cherries for added sweetness and texture.
  • Nut Options: Feel free to substitute walnuts with pecans, almonds, or macadamia nuts, depending on your preference and availability.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk Tip: For a thicker and creamier filling, chill the sweetened condensed milk in the refrigerator before pouring it over the cherry and nut mixture.
  • Storage Suggestions: Store the cooled shortbread bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for longer freshness.


1. Chocolate Drizzle:

Melt chocolate chips and drizzle them over the cooled shortbread bars for a decadent chocolatey twist that elevates the flavor and presentation.

2. Citrus Zest:

Add lemon or orange zest to the shortbread mixture for a burst of citrusy freshness that complements the sweetness of the cherries and coconut.

3. Nut-Free Option:

Omit the walnuts and golden raisins for a nut-free version of the bars that’s perfect for those with nut allergies or sensitivities.

4. Almond Extract Infusion:

Enhance the flavor of the shortbread base by adding a splash of almond extract to the dough, imparting a subtle nuttiness that pairs beautifully with the cherries and coconut.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Substitute almond flour or a combination of almond and coconut flour for the all-purpose flour to reduce the carbohydrate content.
  • Use a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or stevia in place of white sugar to sweeten the shortbread base.
  • Replace sweetened condensed milk with a keto-friendly alternative such as heavy cream or coconut cream mixed with a keto-friendly sweetener.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Opt for almond flour or coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour to lower the carb count of the shortbread base.
  • Use a low-carb sweetener in place of white sugar to reduce the overall carbohydrate content of the bars.
  • Monitor portion size to fit within your desired carb limit, enjoying the bars in moderation as part of a low-carb lifestyle.

Sweet Symphony of Flavor

As you indulge in each delectable bite of Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Bars, let the flavors of buttery shortbread, sweet cherries, crunchy nuts, and toasted coconut dance across your taste buds in a symphony of sweetness. This irresistible treat captures the essence of indulgence and satisfaction, making it a cherished favorite for any occasion.

Whether enjoyed as a decadent dessert, a sweet snack, or a delightful gift for friends and family, Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Bars are sure to leave a lasting impression with their irresistible flavor and irresistible charm. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and prepare to delight in the sweet symphony of flavor that awaits. Enjoy the indulgent bliss of Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Bars!

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