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Cherry Filled Cake Squares

My family has enjoyed this special treat since back in the early 1950's.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    24 servings


  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) tart red cherries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Several drops red food coloring
  • BASE:
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm whole milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts


  • Drain cherries; reserve 1 cup of the juice. Set aside. In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in cherry juice. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat; stir in butter, extract, food coloring and cherries. Set aside to cool.
  • Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut butter into flour, sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture and egg yolks; mix thoroughly. If needed, add additional flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times. Divide dough in half. Roll half the dough into a 17x11-in. rectangle. Carefully transfer to a greased 17-1/2x11-1/2x1-in. baking pan. Spread cooled cherry filling over dough. Roll out second portion of dough to 17x11-in. rectangle. Carefully place over cherry filling. Press edges together to seal. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350° about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
  • Combine topping ingredients except nuts and spread over uncut surface. Top with nuts and cut into squares.

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