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Cherry Jubilee Blondies {Paleo, Gluten-free, Vegan option}

I deem these Paleo crack bars. As in, can’t eat just one, and threatening to eat the entire pan in one sitting. These Paleo Cherry Jubilee Blondies are all that’s right in the world of fruit desserts.

Cherry Jubilee Blondies with a bite taken out of the corner showing the jam on the inside, with a white background and fresh cherries around it

Blondies are a lot like brownies, obviously without the chocolate. But trust me they make up for it. They still maintain that gooey texture (you know the one) and have a nice soft chew.

They have a caramel, almost butterscotch flavor. This flavor is very similar to brown butter shortbread, one of our most favorite things of all time. 

Overhead view of a white bowl filled with fresh sweet cherries on a white board

This goodness is also seen in our Salted Malted Walnut Brown Butter Shortbread Bars. Let me tell you, Garett and I both love these things.

Actually, everyone we give these bars to loves them. But there’s one small problem – they aren’t Paleo. Which means this girl can’t enjoy them. And let’s be honest, it’s all about me. 

Kidding! (Sort of).

Overhead view of Cherry Jubilee Jam in a large silver pan

Which leads us to why I’ve been on a mission to find a Paleo alternative. I crave that nutty, buttery, rich flavor. And friends, these deliver on that promise. 

Not only that, but they feature one of the best stone fruits of the season, fresh cherries. Raise your hand if you are a fellow cherry fan. 

I feel like cherries can get a bad rap sometimes. Is it because they are slightly high maintenance? Granted, they have to be pitted. And while not an altogether fun activity, the end result is most certainly worth the effort.

Overhead view of shortbread dough pressed into a brown baking dish filled with parchment paper

We are a cherry family. I am sure it has everything to do with growing up in the Midwest, and our close proximity to some of the best cherries in the country. Another thing we can thank Michigan for.

This family favorite fruit makes appearances on our dinner tables all throughout the summer.

Overhead view of baked shortbread in a baking pan

Typically, we use sour cherries for most desserts, but sweet cherries are nothing to be ignored. 

Especially when they are mixed with tart lemon and cooked down with Brandy and honey. All of which caramelize into a rich luscious jam. And a quick, sugar-free jam, at that.

Birds eye view of a group of cut up Cherry Jubilee Blondies with fresh cherries around them

It is hard to believe that the blondie batter, the nutty, gooey, brownie-like goodness that enrobes the jam, is free of gluten, grains, dairy, and refined sugar.

I mean, does life get better than this? Or at least life in the way of healthier fruit desserts? We think not.

Close up of the inside of a Cherry Jubilee Blondie

And there’s something about handheld desserts that are so enticing. They feel less formal, more casual and comfortable, and are great for a party.

Serve up a tray of these at your next gathering, and watch everyone fight for the last bite.

These Cherry Jubilee Blondies will have everyone cheering for cherry season.

Cherry Jubilee Blondies stacked in a tower of three with a wood background and fresh cherries in the foreground

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Cherry Jubilee Blondies {Paleo, Gluten-free, Vegan option}

Buttery caramelized blondies wrap around a gooey brandy reduced fresh cherry jam for the ultimate handheld summer fruit treat.
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Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 large bars, or 12 small bars


  • 8 in x 8 in baking dish
  • Medium high-sided skillet
  • Parchment paper


Cherry Jubilee Jam

  • 4 cups fresh cherries, stems removed, washed, and pitted (see notes for using frozen cherries)
  • 2/3 cup raw honey, (sub maple syrup for vegan option)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Brandy (optional)


  • 4 cups fine ground almond flour (can sub tigernut flour)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted almond butter (can sub cashew butter)
  • 1/4 cup ghee or browned grass fed butter (sub coconut oil for vegan option)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or melted raw honey
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk


Cherry Jubilee Jam

  • Add cherries and honey to a medium high-sided skillet. Transfer pan to a burner over medium heat, and bring to a soft boil. Cook for 10 minutes until cherries begin to break down, stirring often.
    4 cups fresh cherries,, 2/3 cup raw honey,
  • Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and Brandy, stirring to combine, and bring back to a soft boil. Reduce to medium-low, and cook until the jam thickens and loses most of its moisture, 45-90* minutes.
    Zest of one lemon, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons Brandy
  • Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Jam is ready when it is thick and caramelized, has reduced by more than half, and easily sticks to the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool.


  • While your jam cools, prepare the Blondies. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 x 8-inch baking dish then line with parchment paper, leaving a couple inch overhang. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together almond flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
    4 cups fine ground almond flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat almond butter and browned butter or ghee until melted, about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, heat over a double boiler on the stove.
    1/2 cup raw unsalted almond butter, 1/4 cup ghee or browned grass fed butter
  • Into the wet mixture add coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup, vanilla, and milk.
    1/2 cup coconut sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup or melted raw honey, 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
  • Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine until a thick sticky dough forms. The dough will be similar in consistency to cookie dough.


  • Using damp fingers, press half the Blondie batter into the bottom of your prepared pan, forming an even layer. If desired, use a third piece of clean parchment to smooth and shape the dough. It is very forgiving and can be easily manipulated.
  • Once jam comes to room temperature, add it to the blondies. Spread cooled jam into an even layer, all the way to the edges of the batter.
  • Add remaining blondie batter on top of the cherry jam, pressing into an even layer, and covering all cherry pieces. I like to use my palms to flatten out pieces of dough, arrange them around the pan like puzzle pieces, then smooth the top with a piece of parchment paper. Alternatively, you can quickly chill the dough, then roll out a shape to fit your pan, and place it on top of the jam.
  • Transfer to preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. The top will appear dried and may have a few small cracks.
  • Remove from oven, and let cool on a wire rack. Once the pan is cool enough to handle, transfer to the refrigerator to set, at least one hour.
  • Once set, remove from the refrigerator and using the parchment overhang, pull blondies from the pan. Set on a cutting board and slice into 9 large bars, or 12 smaller bars. It is important to cut the blondies while they're cold, as they get sticky when they warm up. Serve at room temperature, with or without your favorite ice cream.


  • *The cooking time will vary depending on your stove temperature, the depth of your pan, and how much moisture is released from the fruit. Using maple syrup in place of honey also adds extra moisture. 
  • I recommend making the cherry jam in advance. It can last about a week in the refrigerator, or months in the freezer. I like to double the batch and reuse the leftovers. It is great on a Charcuterie board, and as a topping for toast, yogurt, or ice cream. 
  • In a pinch, you can sub store-bought sugar-free jam. You will need 1.5-2 cups of prepared jam.
  • Frozen cherries work as well but contain much more moisture, and will need to reduce for longer.
  • Assembled blondies will keep 5-7 days in the refrigerator, and several weeks in the freezer. 
Keyword blondies, cherry, Egg free, Paleo, Summer, Vegan
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