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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 Salted Caramel 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 version and my pumpkin version, 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: 12-16 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

2 images of raspberry streusel bars

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. So easy and so yummy! I wanted some strawberry jam bars, so substituted strawberry jam and covered with thinly sliced strawberries. I did bake them for about 10 extra minutes, cooled at room temp, placed in refrigerator for about 20 minutes, then placed on cooling rack. Sliced them slightly warm (no icing used, they are sweet enough). Great with a cup of hot tea. Thanks for this recipe, will definitely make again!

  2. I usually like most of your recipes but this one was not one of my favorites. It was just way too sweet. I’m just wondering if there is a way to reduce the amount of sugar or something else you can add to balance out the flavor a bit more?

  3. My husband loves raspberries but because of a medical reason he cannot eat them because of the seeds. Can I just leave them out? Would I need to use more seedless preserves?

    1. Hi Holly, You could leave them out and use more preserves, but I would recommend replacing them with a different type of berry or fruit if possible. We have many different flavors for you to browse in our Brownies and Bars recipes!

  4. Wonderful recipe. I personally like it to be on the tart side so I added more fresh raspberries. It’s delicious, my friend loved it, I’m going to stick with this one from now on! Thank you so so much for sharing!!

    1. Hello Sally,

      For the crust, do you add sugar, vanilla and salt to hot melted butter? Or should I wait for the melted butter to cool down a little?

      And also for streusel, is there a video of yours so that I can have some visual cues?

      Thanks in advance!

      1. Hi Haeun, you do not have to wait for the melted butter to cool before mixing with the sugar, vanilla, and salt. We don’t have a video of this streusel coming together, but it should be nice and crumbly like the tops of the bars in the photos. Hope you enjoy them!

  5. Has anyone ever accidentally forgotten to pre-bake the crust? I may have just done that… Curious if it will still turn out

  6. Rating five stars because I am sure I must’ve done something wrong…

    I made a double batch of this and so doubled every ingredient. It’s currently baking in the oven and the streusel was way way too buttery and melted flat. Not at all crumbling like the pictures. Most of it was enveloped by the raspberry layer. Thing is I reread the recipe about 3 times and reviewed my doubling and I made it exactly letter for letter. Not sure why that is if not one else is having this issue?

    1. Hi Grace, Thank you for trying this recipe! For the topping be sure that you are using old fashioned oats, and not quick oats. Old fashioned oats have much more texture and won’t absorb liquids as quickly as the more powdery quick oats. Also be sure your butter is very cold and doesn’t begin melting when you mix it up (you can even stick the bowl in the fridge if it starts getting warm). I hope this helps!

  7. So delicious! I just made this with my homemade sweet cherry jam and fresh raspberries from my neighbor. I love how versatile it is! This is definitely going to be a keeper. You could easily mix and match the preserves and fruit depending on what’s in season. Thanks!

  8. Great recipe! I have doubled it and also used almond flour for a gluten free treat. Thanks for creating this great recipe!

  9. These raspberry bars were so good and quick and easy to make. I accidentally turned off the oven timer too soon and ended up over baking them a bit, and they were still delicious cold and crunchy! I loved the fresh raspberries and will use a dozen more than the recipe calls for next time.

  10. Delicious!
    It is so versatile and can easily made veganReally great recipe, thanks a lot 🙂

  11. Could you use blackberry jam and frozen blackberries? Or could you use strawberry jam with fresh blueberries?

    1. Hi Trish, either combination would be delicious! If using frozen fruit, thaw and pat dry before using.

  12. Oh my word. This was amazing! I had fresh picked raspberries and I made my own preserves with them. For anyone who wants to make this with fresh, here’s how I made enough preserves for a 9 x 13. I made the preserves a couple of hours ahead of time to give them time to cool and thicken.

    In a medium or large saucepan, mash 1 1/2 cups of fresh raspberries. Bring to a full boil and allow to boil for 2 full minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar. Stir to incorporate. Bring to a full rolling boil and allow to boil for 2 minutes. Allow preserves to cool and thicken in the refrigerator.

  13. These bars are amazing! The shortbread crust is perfect to hold up to the weight of the berry topping. My bars were a little too juicy and sweet (I used seedless red raspberry jam instead of preserves) so I think I will only use 3/4 recommended amount next time. I served them at a garden party and got numerous requests for your recipe! Thanks for posting it.

  14. I really like this recipe. Easy to put together with things already on hand. I used a chunky peach jam that I made with fresh peaches last summer and had in the freezer. The first time I made the bars I felt that the amount of streusel topping was too much…it covered the fruit layer thickly and kind of baked together in a mass. So the next time I halved the measurements for just the streusel topping and it came out just right…the jam layer underneath could still be seen peeking through.

    1. Hi J, You can use them interchangeably here. The difference is that jam is made with mashed fruit while preserves usually have large pieces of fruit. However since raspberries are too soft to stay whole when making preserves, there may not be much difference between raspberry jam and raspberry preserve.

  15. Mine came out with a flat top also, yes I used old fashioned oats… it seemed like too much butter to flour/sugar ratio. I followed the recipe exactly

  16. Do you think doubling the streusel would work here? I’m a big streusel guy. Lol

    1. You can absolutely add more streusel if you’d like! The topping will be crumbier/messier though.

      1. These were great! They came out of the oven initially a bit too buttery looking so I dabbed the top just a little bit, and they set up beautifully in the fridge. Buttery, fruity, fantastic. I used apricot preserves and frozen mixed berries (no strawberries – just blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry). Thanks for the help!

  17. Do you have any tips on how to make this on a larger scale like a sheet pan or cookie sheet?

    1. See recipe notes for making a double batch in a 9×13 pan!

      1. Oh yes I saw that already, but do you have any tips on making a bigger recipe like a full sheet pan cookie sheet? Or would it just be better to do multiple 9×13?

  18. Absolutely delicious! Didn’t need the icing. Great cold or room temperature. Thank you so much

  19. I loved this recipe so much!! This is definitely nice with milk and tea, I personally would add less jam and more strawberries next time because I like that tart flavor. (I used strawberries and blackberries instead of raspberries). It was my first time making this and I really enjoyed it.

  20. I used lots of frozen raspberries and filled the top of the 8 by 8 over a homemade Raspberry-apricot jam. I also used a lemon drizzle. Very rich and tasty.

    But when I lifted the block encased in parchment from the pan however, I was shocked by how much chilled butter was in the pan. No one has mentioned that so I wondered. I do weigh all ingredients so I know that wasn’t the problem. Ideas?

    1. Hi Kathleen, are you referring to the crust– did it seem raw? I’m wondering if the crust would benefit from a longer pre-bake time if you try the recipe again. You could also try adding a little more flour to the crust, such as an extra 25-30g to help soak up more of the melted butter.

  21. This is probably my most made recipe!!! Everyone loves it.
    Question- I want to make for someone’s birthday in a number silicon pan, will it work??

    1. Hi MaryJo, we’re so glad to hear you enjoy these bars! We haven’t made them in a silicone pan but we can’t see why that wouldn’t work. You may need to adjust the recipe yield depending on the size of your pan.

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