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 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

101 Comments

  1. I made this today to take to a girls night in . My goodness … the best slice I’ve ever eaten !! I baked the base a little longer to ensure a biscuity texture and I used raspberry jam that I made myself . I used frozen raspberries which worked a treat and plenty of them ! I also added chopped hazelnuts to the topping . Very deliscious !!!! Will definitely make again !!!

  2. I just made these and took them to coffee hour at church. I followed the recipe exactly, and these raspberry bars were a huge hit. One woman remarked, “I can’t stop eating these!” Fortunately I made a double batch, and they quickly disappeared. I loved the addition of the fresh raspberries! I plan on making another batch soon. Thank you.

  3. I was making some strawberry streusel bars and was wondering what’s the difference between using melted butter for the crust (like your raspberry bars) versus cold butter for the crust (like you use in your Lemon Strawberry Crumb bars)? How do you know when to use which?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Natalie! I find melted butter produces a denser, more buttery crust. I love it. Cold butter produces a flakier and more crumbly crust, so I like using that method when I’m making crumble bars.

  4. Tastes amazing and very easy to make. I just had one problem that I’d like some help with. I used foil to line the pan, however the foil is sticking to the edges where the raspberry jam touches it and coming off in bits and pieces. What can I do to prevent this in the future?

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Donna! You can use parchment paper instead of foil next time, or if you wish to still use foil you can give it a very light spray with nonstick baking spray.

  5. These are absolutely delicious, the crust is perfection!

  6. Thank you Sally, these were delicious and so easy to make! Next batch, I will make with the icing! YUM!

  7. Nicole Burye says:

    Hi Sally! I love your recipes. My mom got me one of your cookbooks for Christmas and my days have been filled with sugar and flour since. I was wondering if for these bars, instead of using raspberries if I could use strawberries? Thanks again!

    1. I’m so happy to read you have been enjoying my recipes, Nicole! Yes you can easily swap strawberries for raspberries without making any other changes. Enjoy 🙂

  8. I don’t have any old fashioned oats 🙁 I have instant oats though. Can I substitute? Would I have to make any other changes?

    1. No changes necessary– an even swap will be just fine.

  9. Kimberly Gadway says:

    My boys are obsessed with a raspberry shortbread bar with a light crumble top (less like a streusel top) from a local farmers market. So I have a couple of questions, what size pan did you cook this in 9 by what? Is your bottoms a shortbread bar? Also, what other alternative topping could I use….the crumb topping is light and white in appearance.

    1. Hi Kimberly! Happy to help. Use an 8-inch square baking pan. These are bars and the crust is a thin shortbread base. I haven’t tested other toppings, but I recommend sticking with the oat streusel on top. Feel free to skip the cinnamon and replace the brown sugar with regular white granulated sugar.

  10. Shelbi Schwandt says:

    Hi!
    Could you use pie filling for the filling?
    Thanks!

    1. I can’t see why not! The bars may take longer in the oven depending what type of pie filling is used (and how wet it is).

  11. I find that not all recipes bake up super well with GF flour, but these baked up wonderfully! No difference between using GF flour and regular AP flour. I prefer the King Arthur Measure for Measure GF flour blend.

  12. Just made these and they are super yummy and so quick to make. You just have to be patient after making them because they taste fantastic cold from the fridge. Thanks Sally

  13. Stuck inside on lockdown, so I was missing a couple ingredients – so I substituted mango chunks for whole raspberries and honey nut corn flakes instead of oats. Delicious!!!! Thank you for the recipe. I think I’ll try a version with cherries and peach preserve!

  14. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Only changes I made: I only had salted butter, so I omitted the salt. I did use the fresh raspberries. I doubled the recipe and baked in a 9 x 13 pan. After baking for 45 min, I wanted the top slightly darker, so I put it under the broiler for 2 min. I added the icing as well. My family loved them. My nephew said they were probably the best thing I’ve ever baked. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Fabulous with blueberries as well! I make my own glaze/icings and I tweeked it and added just a little lemon juice, and YUM!! I love recipes I can do just about anything with!

  16. Hi Sally!
    Would there be any difference if I were to use cranberries instead of raspberries?

    1. Hi Kate, I actually have a recipe for Cranberry Bars that I think you would love!

  17. Could I theoretically triple the recipe and bake in a half sheet? The area works out almost perfectly.

    1. Shouldn’t be a problem. I’m unsure of the best bake time. Same oven temperature.

  18. These are incredible! My brother loves raspberries and said this is one of the best things he has ever tasted. I did not opt for the icing and I did add some chopped pecans to the streusel. Thank you for another winner, Sally!

  19. I made a double batch of raspberry bars to share amongst my neighbors. They were addicting…omg, so good! Everyone loved them. Next I’m making blueberry bars, then going to try strawberry bars while fruit is plentiful this summer. We are berry lovers…can you tell? Never used the glaze, it is just so perfect without it, it’s not missed at all. That butter cookie crust is a test of will power not to eat it plain right out of the pan. Yum! Thank you for a fabulous recipe.

  20. Made this today and it was absolutely delicious. I love your recipes as they always deliver.

    Thank you

  21. Do you add whole fresh raspberries or break them up a bit? Recipe implies leaving them whole, but pictures appear they aren’t.

    1. Hi Sarah, yes you can sprinkle whole raspberries on top of the jam layer. (But feel free to chop them if you’d like.) They don’t look whole in the photos since the bars are cut.

  22. Emily Radcliffe says:

    I cannot stop eating these! Such a great recipe!

  23. Katherine Campbell says:

    This was a big hit with the family. I used strawberry preserves because that is what I had in the pantry. In addition, I did have to bake about 10 minutes longer than recipe calls for, however my oven is old.

  24. My boyfriend is obsessed with raspberries so I had to make these bars! They are so delicious with plenty of raspberry flavor!!

  25. This was so easy to make and absolutely delicious. The shortbread crust paired with the raspberries was delicious. The pan was almost gone after about 15 min. My family loved it. I didn’t use the icing as I liked the tart flavor of the raspberries and didn’t want it to be too sweet. I would definitely make this again.

  26. S. Mirabelli says:

    All I can say is OMG. These are perfect. I say use the icing it just adds an extra layer of goodness. Making a double batch to send my daughter at college tomorrow. She is going to be so excited that I am using fresh raspberries from our bush.

  27. In the double batch do you need to extend the bake time for the crust bake too or just the final bake time? I can’t wait to make these, despite not having either fresh or frozen raspberries to add to this first batch. I’m certain we will be doing this again as it looks awesome.

    1. Hi Erika! No need to extend the pre-bake time for the crust when doubling the recipe in a larger pan. 15 minutes is plenty.

  28. These were easy to make and soooo good! I don’t think I’m allowed at anymore friend or family functions without them!

    My only tip is to use a food processor To blend the streusel if you have one. Made things go much faster

  29. I made these for my parents last week. They were absolutley delicious! I had to use strawberry preserves but I still added the fresh raspberries. I also baked a tad bit longer. These bars were perfect after a night in the fridge. Everyone is requesting them again! Thanks for the recipe

  30. Yum! So good! We made one with raspberry and one with peach. Perfect

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