Table of Contents
  1. What is a crumb bar?
  2. What is a preserve?
  3. Why do these bars work?
  4. Watch how to make these raspberry crumb bars:
  5. Raspberry Crumb Bars Recipe

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

Raspberry Crumb Bars

4.79 from 14 votes
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!
Total Time 50 mins
Method Baking
Difficulty Easy
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.

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper or designer, but I like to play each on The Gray Boxwood Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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11 Comments

  1. I am enjoying your videos so much. You are so fun and your warmth and kindness comes through in all of your videos. I feel like in some ways we’re neighbors. I wish! I’m a fellow gardener and always too trying to encourage people to give it a try. It’s so relaxing albeit hard work at times, but so gratifying to create something beautiful. Keep being you. You’re a gift!!!

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