Raspberry Crumb Bars

I’m a firm believer that ingredients should be used when they’re ripe and in season. The problem is: where I live, Iowa, does not have seasonal produce for much of the year. Instead, we have to get creative and grow winter squash to keep during the cold months and preserve fruits and vegetables during the summer to be able to eat what we grew out of season.

Yes, you can now go to most grocery stores and get pretty much anything during any month. But I try to stick with the seasons and the easiest way to enjoy is with fruit preserves and frozen fruit. I love both. Preserves have pieces of fruit in them and are cooked with sugar to create a thickened spread that’s useful with anything, just like these crumb bars.

Top down view of square pieces of golden colored crumb bars with a red raspberry filling peeking out

What is a crumb bar?

A crumb bar is simply a layered bar. Many bar recipes start with a shortbread-like crust where you press it into the pan, par-bake it, and then continue to layer. I wanted to make this recipe as simple as can be and let the raspberry pop.

These bars use a streusel-like crumb mixture in two ways:

  • After the butter is worked into the dry ingredients, crumbs are formed. They hold together when squeezed in a fist and easily fall apart when rubbed between fingers. Pressed into the bottom of the pan, the crumbs become the perfect crust. With the addition of oats, the crust is hearty, and pressing it helps it hold together and create a good base.
  • Once the jam is spread on top of the crust, the remainder of the crumbs become the best craggy topping. Little pockets of jam poke through and odd-sized pieces of crumb provide a superb texture.

What is a preserve?

Unlike a jam or a jelly, preserves have a higher ratio of chunks of fruit. For these bars, I’ll be honest that preserves and jam can be used interchangeably. However, be warned that jelly can melt into the bars and doesn’t offer the correct texture. To make sure the middle fruit layer is extra flavorful and has heft, frozen berries are sprinkled on top of the preserves. Frozen berries are picked and instantly frozen at peak ripeness and flavor. Adding them to the preserves adds complexity and so much extra flavor.

Two hands holding a raspberry crumb bar with a bite taken out with extra square bars in the background all on a white surface

Why do these bars work?

These bars are not a bar cookie, like blondies, brownies, or more traditional bars. Instead, these crumb bars are at the intersection of flavor and texture and it makes them the perfect dessert.

  • Both the streusel on top and the bottom crust have oats for texture, but also for flavor.
  • The crust does not need to be pre-baked, so these go together in a few minutes and are fully assembled when baked.
  • The crust comes out crispy, the center layer holds together without oozing all over, and the crumb topping is like any perfect pie topping.
  • When you take a bite of these bars, they’re not too sweet. Instead, they have a complexity that satisfies any adult with good raspberry flavor and hints of brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • These also make any kid happy since they’re well-balanced flavor-wise and full of nostalgic goodness.
One square raspberry crumb bar sitting on white piece of parchment with a bit of red colored filling oozing out with extra bars in background

Watch how to make these raspberry crumb bars:

Nine square pieces of raspberry crumb bars sitting one white piece of parchment on white countertop
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4.93 from 13 votes

Raspberry Crumb Bars

With a crust-like first layer, a raspberry preserve filling, and a craggy top, these raspberry crumb bars are so delicious! It's like a pure bite of summer in an easy-to-make treat!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bars, dessert, raspberry
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Baking
Servings: 9 servings
Author: Kaleb

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup cold butter, cubed
  • 8 oz raspberry preserves
  • ¾ cup frozen raspberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line an 8×8 baking dish with a parchment sling and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix together until evenly combined. Add pieces of butter and work into the dry ingredients using hands or a pastry cutter. Squeeze butter and dry mixture between fingers until the mixture becomes like went sand with pieces of butter the size of peas and smaller.
  • Pour two cups of the crumb mixture into the prepared baking dish. Lightly press to form an even crust. Spread raspberry preserves over the crust. Sprinkle with frozen raspberries. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Do not press crumbs, just sprinkle over the top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the top turns slightly browned and puffed in the middle, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool at least four hours before slicing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 387 kcal (19%)Carbohydrates: 57.8 g (19%)Protein: 3.6 g (7%)Fat: 15.6 g (24%)Saturated Fat: 9.7 g (61%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4.5 gTrans Fat: 0 gCholesterol: 40.7 mg (14%)Sodium: 214.9 mg (9%)Potassium: 232.2 mg (7%)Fiber: 2.8 g (12%)Sugar: 30.6 g (34%)Vitamin A: 129.7 IU (3%)Vitamin C: 5.3 mg (6%)Calcium: 40.3 mg (4%)Iron: 1.6 mg (9%)

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  • 5 stars
    I am intrigued by this video to make these. Your style whether cooking, gardening or decorating is fresh and appealing. Such warmth radiates from you.
    Thank you for the time and energy you put into your post and videos.

  • These look delicious, I have a huge raspberry patch so of course lots of frozen berries and jam. I’m thinking of doing this in individual pie pans and serve hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

  • 5 stars
    Just one word on the recipe. Wow. I made it yesterday. All gone today. Thank you for a quick easy breezy tasty flavorful recipe.

  • 5 stars
    So good! I made them gluten free. I used raspberry jam and added a few frozen cranberries instead of raspberries. I substituted quinoa flakes for the oats. Couldn’t wait 4 hours for it to cool so I tasted the corner :). Yum! Thank you for a wonderful recipe that I could easily adapt to my individual needs.

  • 5 stars
    Today, I made these with apricot jam, and wow! These are so good! I think any fruit would be fabulous. Thanks, Kaleb!

  • 5 stars
    These are wonderful! I made mine gluten free. I used raspberry jam and frozen cranberries. I used quinoa instead of oatmeal to fit my dietary issues. Yum! Couldn’t wait 4 hours to cool and try to I tasted the corner. Yum! Many thanks for a wonderful recipe that is adaptable to my needs.

  • 5 stars
    LORRAINE March 21, 2021 at 7:48 pm Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    These are wonderful! I made mine gluten free. I used raspberry jam and frozen cranberries. I used quinoa instead of oatmeal to fit my dietary issues. Yum! Couldn’t wait 4 hours to cool and try so I tasted the corner. Yum! Many thanks for a wonderful recipe that is adaptable to my needs.

  • 5 stars
    My granddaughters loved it, even my son liked it, and he’s not big on sweets!
    Easy to put together, and bake. I made it with strawberries. I can’t wait to try it with raspberries.

  • I just made these and they smell heavenly cooking in the oven. It’s going to be hard to wait 4 hours for them to cool before cutting! Looks like I will get some biking in once I take them from the oven so I won’t torture myself with the aroma! You make these look so easy, but you know, they REALLY are that easy. Thanks for this recipe….I have some fig orange spread I’m going to try next time. Then apricot. Then……who knows? 🙂