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Here are my simple raspberry streusel bars with four incredible layers: a buttery shortbread crust, thick raspberry filling, brown sugar streusel, and a drizzle of sweet vanilla icing

raspberry streusel bars with vanilla icing

Remember the raspberry bars I had at my sister’s bridal shower a few weeks ago? No? You’ve probably moved on with your life since reading me gush about said raspberry bars. I, however, have not. Those raspberry bars have been front and center on my mind and I finally got around to making them.

I realize I’m not talking about chocolate layer cake or some Oreo stuffed caramel cookie concoction and that these are just… raspberry bars… but no. No, no, no. They are so much more than “just raspberry bars.” Look at them! That crumble! That vanilla icing!

stack of 2 raspberry streusel bars

This is a wonderful dessert for the upcoming warmer weather, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, baby and bridal showers, and the like. They’re something everyone is guaranteed to love and you can easily double the recipe to make a larger batch to feed more partygoers.

The bars are so simple to make and each layer is completely different. Many raspberry bar recipes typically call for a single dough for both the top and bottom crust, but I find that the simple shortbread dough is a little lacking in the “wow” factor on top. Rather, I desire texture and brown sugar goodness that can only come from a streusel crumb topping. The answer to all of life’s problems, right?

The buttery shortbread is the perfect bottom layer for my raspberry bars. Let’s talk about the crust for a minute. This shortbread crust is one of my favorites. It makes a couple appearances in Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook as well as in my Apple Pie Bars. (<–Have you made those? omg.) There is nothing fancy about the crust, but that is what makes it so lovely. Just butter, sugar, vanilla, and flour mixed together to form a uniquely crumbly, yet dense crust.

raspberry streusel bars on a white plate with a fork

Most raspberry bar recipes use plain raspberry jam for the filling and while that is tasty– I find that there is usually a pièce de résistance missing from the bars. So, I add fresh raspberries as well. This amps up the raspberry flavor making the filling the center of attention between all the layers.

The streusel on top? Well, that’s a necessary layer of indulgence of course. I use a simple brown sugar cinnamon oat streusel to layer on top of the raspberry filling. It’s my go-to streusel for these types of bars. Here is my apple pie bars and my pumpkin streusel bars, both using this exact streusel topping.

Hey. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

raspberry streusel bars with vanilla icing

The vanilla icing is completely unnecessary but on this beautiful spring day, I’ve got the windows wide open, music blasting, the cool breeze blowing in, strawberry lemonade in hand, and my god I’m feeling jazzy! So, let me rephrase. The vanilla icing is completely NECESSARY.

*The ingredient list looks long, right? Don’t get nervous! A lot of the ingredients are repeated in each layer.

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raspberry streusel bars with vanilla icing

Raspberry Streusel Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1216 bars 1x
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Here are my simple raspberry streusel bars with four incredible flavors: a buttery shortbread crust, thick raspberry filling, brown sugar streusel, and a drizzle of sweet vanilla icing.


Ingredients

Scale

Crust

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

Filling

  • 3/4 cup (240g) raspberry preserves*
  • 1216 fresh raspberries*

Streusel

  • 1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup (70g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • optional (but encouraged!): vanilla icing for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. Make the crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350°F (177°C).
  4. Spread preserves over warm crust. Dot the preserves with raspberries on top.
  5. Make the streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the filling with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown. The raspberry filling should be bubbling on the edges.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Lift the foil or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. I usually cut them into 16 smaller bars, but you can cut them into 12 larger bars. Drizzle the bars with vanilla icing, if using. These raspberry bars can be enjoyed at room temperature or cold. I personally like them cold.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days. You can freeze the bars for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving and glazing.
  2. Fruit Preserves: Try these bars with other flavors! Strawberry preserves, peach preserves, orange preserves, you name it.
  3. Raspberries: You can use frozen raspberries instead. Thaw and pat dry before using.
  4. Double Batch: This recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan. Bake for 45 minutes and cool completely as directed in this recipe.

Keywords: raspberry streusel bars, raspberry crumble bars

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I LOVE Sally’s baking addiction!! I have made so many recipes from this website. I have made this recipe three times since I originally discovered it last week! I have a ton of black raspberries growing in my backyard and the tartness of the black raspberries really balances out the sweetness of the stresuel! My neighbors have loved them, I doubled the recipe for the 4th of July party and they were immediately gone so I had to make a third batch for some of my friends who didn’t get any.
    Thank you so much!!

  2. Can you use fresh raspberry instead of preserves? If so how much?
    I picked too many raspberries this weekend so I’m trying to use these fresh ones up!

    1. Hi Isabella! This recipe calls for a combination of fresh raspberries and raspberry preserves. You could search for a quick recipe for homemade raspberry preserves to make with your fresh raspberries, then make these bars! Let us know if you give it a try.

    2. We loved this recipe. I probably did not use as much preserves – but covered the crust completely and then covered the preserves with lots of raspberries – almost touching. The bars turned out perfect and freeze really well. Thanks, for the recipe!!

    1. Hi Kristen, Yes you can change the flavor without making any other changes (see recipe notes). Or you may enjoy these Peaches and Cream Bars if you want peach bars without using preserves.

  3. This is one of my new favorite recipes! SO easy, and SOOOO yummy! I was not expecting these to be as amazing as they were. They are easily one of my favorite desserts I have ever made…and I usually do not even like fruity desserts. I made these Sunday and they were so good I made another batch today!

  4. I love this recipe. It’s easy and quick. I’ve changed the fruit a few times, brought it to pot lucks, and of course, made it for my family. You have to get a slice fast, otherwise it will be gone!

  5. Hi Sally, love this recipe. I’m doubling, do I need to bake crust longer than 15 minutes?

    1. Hi Ro, same bake time for the crust, but bake the entire pan for 45 minutes and cool completely as directed in this recipe.

  6. Sally does it again!! The lemon bars are my absolute favorite dessert. When I saw the crust was identical, I had to give these a try. 10/10, they are perfect. Next I’m making the apple pie bars! Thank you Sally for sharing all of your recipes. They are always a hit give me way more credit in baking than I deserve!!

  7. Mine turned out awful! Underbaked crust, mushy filling & a total waste of perfectly good ingredients. I had to throw out the entire mess

  8. I doubled the recipe and used blueberries and blueberry preserves for half of it (swirled it all together), baked in a 9×13. It was DELICIOUS!! Great cold, great warm, delicious with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I’m making it again next week! So, so yummy!

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