Raspberry Streusel Bars

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
  • 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

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

102 Comments

  1. I made these yesterday and they’re already gone! Incredibly delicious! I love raspberries and I’ll make these more often for sure.

  2. I made these this weekend with strawberries instead and they were exactly what I’d hope they would be. Didn’t do the glaze but the whole family loved them. Next time I’m thinking Blueberry!

  3. This recipe looks absolutely amazing! A question though – I’ve become lactose intolerant in the last 6 months and am desperately missing baked goods like these! Could I swap the butter out for something without lactose so I can make them? Maybe coconut oil or something? Any advice would be amazing so I can try these delicious bars!! Thanks so much, Meagan (from Australia)

    1. Coconut oil could work– what about a vegan butter substitute? One that is dairy free.

  4. I made these tonight and had a problem, sort of. The crumb topping and jam melted into each other and boiled up all across the surface of the bars. I pulled them from the oven at 25 minutes when I noticed this. My oven temp was right. I wonder if you can weigh in on what might have gone wrong and how to prevent it in the future. Maybe I should have put the assembled bars in the freezer for a few minutes befor baking? Regardless, they were still delicious, just not as beautiful as yours. I’m a very experienced baker and haven’t had this happen before. Will make them again–they’re that good, quick and easy to make. Thanks!

    1. Irene, was your butter for the streusel extremely cold? If not, it likely was too soft and melted all over the top instead of staying in its crumb-like consistency.

  5. I just made these bars and seemed to have the exact same problem as Irene above. I’m pretty darn sure that I experienced the problem because I used “natural strawberry spread” instead of real preserves. The spread is too thin and the streusel topping sank down in it. Tastes wonderful but just isn’t quite as aesthetically pleasing!

  6. Hi Sally. Can you use quick oats instead of the old-fashioned oats for the streusel?

    1. Quick oats work, yes.

  7. Another great recipe, Sally! I made these to bring to breakfast at my grandma’s house for Mother’s Day and they came out delicious! I think I need to make sure my butter for the streusel topping is colder next time, because the top layer didn’t look as crumbly and pretty as yours. They were worth making again soon for sure! 🙂

  8. Sally! I made these for a mother’s day luncheon we had and OH MY – everyone LOVED them! Just wanted to let you know what a hit they were. Thank you! 🙂

  9. Loved these! A total hit with all of my family!! Thank you!

  10. I just made these, and they’re a definite hit as always. I don’t buy raspberries but did have strawberries, and doubled the recipe. Near perfection: I say near because I forgot that with my oven I have to always cut the times on your recipes by 3-to-5 minutes. I forgot this time. That only meant chewy shortbread at the edges and a little darker on the *very* bottom of the shortbread. Love. Thank you.

  11. Can this be made with cherries? 

    1. Yes, definitely.

  12. Hi Sally, these looks great. I’m from Singapore but raspberries are so hard to find or either too expensive ($10-12 per box) Any other suggestions or alternative? 🙂

    1. Any berry would work– even strawberries or blueberries!

  13. I made these at the weekend to use up some leftover raspberries. They were incredibly simple to make, came out looking like your photo and tasted amazing! Couldn’t really ask for more! A hit with everyone who tried them :). Oh, after reading about some people finding that they stressed kind of melted, I popped mine in the freezer for five minutes before sprinkling it on; seemed to work perfectly.

  14. Julie Bruno says:

    I made these yesterday using Bob’s Redmill 1 to 1 Gluten Free flour and gluten free oatmeal and they taste just as good as the original recipe, without the gluten! I also cut the raspberries in half, very yummy!

  15. I took these bars to a picnic, they certainly went fast. Everyone who had one was
    raving about them. I will certainly be making them again. Wonderful recipe Sally.

  16. These bars are FABULOUS. They are way better than the ones I make and the ones I make are scrumptious. Oh, my goodness. They are soooooooooooooooooo good. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOD………………

  17. Love this recipe! I also made with blueberry jam & blueberries, then made some with a combination of raspberry, blueberry & strawberry along with the 3 fruits. Can’t wait to taste them. I wanted to make a cinnamon filled bar like this (mock cinnamon roll). Any suggestions?

  18. I tried my hand at these (after having this recipe marked for a while) for a co-workers baby shower and they were an absolute hit! EVERYONE raved about them, even the resident baker at work! 
    It was super easy to make too. Will definitely be making again!
    And I can’t wait to try with other flavors too

  19. Can i do this with blueberries?

    1. Absolutely!

  20. Do you think this will be good with apricot preserves? Thanks!

    1. Yes, absolutely!

  21. I have made these bars several times and they are always raved about! I usually sprinkled some milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips on top, as you say, completely unnecessary/Necessary! 😉 Thank you very much for sharing this recipe as it is now a treasured one in our family. I love every part of these bars and I can’t wait to make the crust again in trying the other recipes you posted! Well done, you! 

  22. Melissa Sexson says:

    Just baked these last night, using strawberry jam. Thanks for this recipe. The dough… perfection! I added 10 crushed thin gingerbread cookies and a little cinnamon to the half of the dough I crumbled over the top, which made it a little “crumblier” and flavorful. I also made my glaze with just confectioners’ sugar, water, and melted strawberry jam and it resulted in a great color and was tasty as well. I will use this recipe over and over, and am planning to do it with apple butter in the Fall. Every oven is different… for me, 35 minutes at 350 degrees was perfect. Thanks again.. these bars are a winner for sure, and so versatile!!

  23. Another winner, Sally!
    I made these several times within a few weeks. I now have several family members addicted! I used raspberry seedless jam. I’m not a fan of whole berries or the texture. I also used a regular cinnamon crumble topping and sprinkled chocolate chips. They were amazing. Thank you again for a great recipe!

  24. Stacey Wallace says:

    I messed up and bought raspberry jam instead of preserves, but I also bought a full basket of raspberries. So I mashed them all together with about 3/4 cup of jam and it came out fine. Maybe a bit less sweet than if I had used preserves, and it tasted good. Of course the required vanilla glaze certainly added sweetness!

  25. Hi! I have made these a few times but I seem to always get some foil stuck in the bottom of the bars. Do you think the parchment paper would do the same or would be better!? These bars are amazing and everyone always loves them! Thank you!

    1. Hi Katie! Yes, parchment paper works too!

  26. I have made this quite a few times using raspberries or blueberries. If I need to bring something sweet and easy to eat to a gathering or event this is at the top of my list. Sometimes I add about 1/4 cup chopped pecans to the streusel, as well as a pinch of cardamom. Everyone who has tried these absolutely LOVES them. I’ll be trying it with cherries next. Thank you!

  27. Hey, Sally! I made these today and they are absolutely wonderful. This recipe was super easy. I used raspberry and apricot preserves, half of each mixed together. Now I understand the happy raving of how amazing these are! Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to try the carmel one next!

  28. Hi Sally! Do you think I could make these using leftover cranberry sauce? Any suggestions? Thank you!

    1. Yes, absolutely!

  29. ERMERGERD. These bars are DEADLY. I can’t make them very often because I eat them ALL (and it doesn’t hep that I ALWAYS make a double batch!). These are honestly my most favorite treat EVER. I always try to make the glaze, but seriously I never get the chance because I get too impatient and just start to eat them…and then they disapear. D’OH!!
    So I don’t even know how they taste with that part on them…which is probably good for me. hahahaha!!!!

  30. How much jam should I use, if I can’t add any fresh or frozen berries please?

    1. Hi Brindy! 3/4 cup should still be plenty, but feel free to add another 1-2 Tablespoons on top of that.

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