Sometimes a recipe needs to be quick and easy. 3 Ingredient Cherry Squares are just that, but they are also pretty to look at and delicious too!
A couple of years ago, I experimented with this basic recipe until I got it just right. I learned a few things through trial and error, but the most important thing I learned was to keep it simple. When a recipes says 3 ingredients, keep it that way!
I’m referring to my 3 Ingredient Raisin Squares which were posted in October 2018. I tried a few add ins, but the only things that worked seemed to be dried fruits and nuts. Keep away from anything with lots of moisture content, like chocolate candies!
Let me tell you, I basically wasted a whole bunch of Reese’s Pieces. I think when the heat hit them and the candy coating cracked, there was too much moisture/steam released and the whole thing fell flat. Don’t use chocolate candies!
So, what can I use?
In this particular version, I added two whole cups of candied cherries. I love candied cherries and I love how the red and green colours just burst out of the squares. They’re perfect for Christmas!
When I’m looking to use candied cherries, Paradise Fruit Company is my go-to source. They have the brightest, most plump, most perfectly round red and green cherries. You can get all of their products online. Be sure to check out the website!
If you’re not a cherry fan, there are some other options. You can always revert back to raisins. But, dried currents, chopped dried dates, or dried apricots. My God, dried apricots are so good in this recipe!
I don’t have any self-raising flour!
Don’t you worry, Dear Reader, we can fix that! Self-raising flour is just a store-bought item that you can easily make at home. In a nutshell, self-raising flour is an all-purpose flour that has salt and baking powder mixed right in.
There is no need to run out and buy it if you don’t want to. You can make your own, but please be warned! I think the already mixed stuff that you buy at the store works just a bit better than a homemade version.
To make self-raising flour, you add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of very fine salt to 1 cup of flour. That’s the ratio you will need. Since you need 1 1/4 cups of self-raising flour for this recipe, 1 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt will work just fine. It doesn’t need to be exact!
When you’re all done baking and you take your squares out of the oven, it is imperative that you let the whole pan rest for at least 2-3 hours. The squares are very moist and they need time to cool down and settle together. You’ll be happy to waited to make that first cut!
Once you’ve cut the whole pan into squares, dust them with confectioner’s sugar and serve them at room temperature. I would not recommend freezing these, because when they are thawed, they are just too moist – almost wet. Serve them and eat them the day you make them.
3 Ingredient Cherry Squares
- 14 ounces canned condensed milk
- 2 cups candied cherries, (mixture of red and green or all one colour)
- 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
- 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a square 9×9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a sturdy spoon or spatula to stir together the condensed milk, cherries, and flour until combined.
- Transfer batter to lined cake pan. The batter is very sticky! Press the batter into the pan, being sure to get into the corners. Try to get the top as evenly flat as possible.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from pan. Cut into 24 squares and dust with confectioner’s sugar if you so desire. Enjoy!