Cherry Oat Bars (From a Cake Mix)

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins

This is an easy recipe that uses a cake mix and a jar of fruit preserves. The basic recipe can be easily altered according to your preference. For example, instead of cherry preserves, try chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or raspberry jam. For lower-fat option, see note at end of instructions.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare a 9x13 pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, oats and butter until butter has been evenly distributed and entire mixture is crumbly. (See Note #1 at end for directions to make a lower-fat option).
  3. Press TWO-THIRDS the oat mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the preserves with water and spread over the crust. (See Note #2 at end, regarding jam).
  5. Add pecans to the remaining ONE THIRD oat mixture and crumble this over the top, allowing some of the cherry filling to show through.
  6. Bake 375 for 28-30 minutes (34-36 minutes if you are doing the lower-fat option), or until the top is lightly browned and the center doesn't collapse when you press lightly.
  7. For best results, cut into bars after the bars are set and cooled (I like to cover with foil and cut into bars the next day).
  8. NOTE #1: For lower-fat option, instead of 3/4 cup butter, use 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup applesauce.
  9. NOTE #2: A 10 oz. jar of Smuckers "Simply Fruit" is about 1 cup. Use the whole jar.
Most Helpful

What a great quick, easy, and versatile recipe. I took it to a Church social last night. It was a real hit. I used strawberry preserves. It was so good, I was invited to lunch after Church tomorrow. I have to bring a copy of the recipe. Recipes like this are getting this grandfather known as a good cook. I try to take something different and unique to each social or pot-luck. Last night, one lady asked, "What did Angel bring?" Another replied, "It doesn't matter, you know it'll be good." Thanks!

Angel #8 February 07, 2009

My hubby, who doesn't like cherries, said this was "very good"! I healthified it a bit - low sugar cake mix (he is diabetic) and a 14 oz can of whole pitted no sugar added cherries, which I drained, reserving juice, blended the cherries, substituting them for the preserves and the juice for the water! It was a 1/4 gone before it had cooled and my teens weren't even home yet!

okeesecathy April 25, 2010

What a nice addition to my file of bar recipes! These were great & were well-received by guests last evening! I did change one thing a bit, by adding almost 1/3 cup of dried cherries to the preserves, making things a little more chewy! Thanks much for posting this recipe!

Sydney Mike April 22, 2007