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5 from 2 votes

Amarena Cherry Ricotta Bars

These beautiful bars are deliciously moist! The graham cracker crust sets them apart, while the show stopping ingredient is the ruby red, absolutely gorgeous, Italian Amarena cherries. These bars are perfect for the holidays, or any time of year!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 10
Print Recipe


For the graham cracker crust:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

For the filling:

  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste, (or additional tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp lime zest, freshly grated
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 15-25 Amarena cherries, cut in halves or in thirds (use more or less according to preference!)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Amarena cherry syrup, from the jar, optional


Make the crust

  • To the bowl of a food processor, add the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, almond milk, and sugar. Pulse until everything comes together, and the graham cracker crumbs are fine, but not a powder.
  • Press the crust into the bottom of an oiled 8x8 inch glass baking dish.

Add the cherries

  • Arrange your sliced Amarena cherries on top of the crust.
  • I like to get as many cherries in these bars as possible, so I arrange the cherries in rows as close together as I can! Set aside.

Make the filling

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the ricotta, sugar, vanilla, vanilla paste, lime juice, and zest.
  • Next, add the egg and milk. Whisk until incorporated.
  • Now add the flour, salt, and basing soda, and whisk until everything is smooth and incorporated.

Compile the bars

  • Pour the filling evenly over the crust and cherries. Try not to displace the cherries, but don’t worry too much—the cherries will stay pretty stationary on their own.

Swirl the syrup

  • If using, sprinkle the reserved syrup over the top of the batter in a random drizzle. Now take a butter knife and swirl the syrup into the batter. Don’t cut your knife in too deeply—you don’t want to touch the cherries or the crust! Stay pretty close to the top.

Bake the bars

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, until the top is browing and the middle is mostly set. There will still be a little bit of jiggle.

Cool the bars

  • Like cheesecake, these bars won’t acquire their final texture and taste until they have had a chance to cool fully.
  • Wait at least a half hour before cutting into the bars. I recommend waiting longer than that, if you can! An hour or two is ideal.

Serve and enjoy!

  • Serve these bars as both a holiday and a year round treat!
  • Store these Amarena Cherry Ricotta Bars in the refrigerator, tightly sealed.