Raspberry Crumble Bars

These Raspberry Crumble Bars are one of the easiest desserts you can make – a sweet, tangy, juicy, chewy and crunchy summertime favorite!

These Raspberry Bars about to become your go-to summer dessert whether for potlucks, picnic or barbecues because they require less than 20 minutes to prep and are scrumptious served cold! This recipe is bursting with soft, sweet, juicy raspberries sandwiched between two layers of buttery, brown sugar, cinnamon, oat crumble all drizzled with silky sweet-tart lemon glaze.  These sensational Raspberry Oatmeal Bars are super simple to make because the crumble doubles as both the base and the crunchy streusel (without the hassle of cutting in butter!) and the raspberry filling bakes up into thick fresh raspberry jam directly in the oven without simmering first. It will be love at first bite – just try and stop at three!

Spring and summer are the seasons of fruit desserts!  Some of our favorites include: mixed berry cobbler peach cobbler, strawberry crisp, fresh strawberry pie, blueberry cheesecake, strawberry shortcake cake and of course these new Raspberry Bars!

HOW TO MAKE raspberry bars recipe VIDEo

up close or raspberry crumble bars with oats, pecans and fresh raspberries
a stack of raspberry bars with crumble topping with lemon icing drizzle showing how crunchy the topping is

Ingredients in raspberry bars

At first glance, it looks like there are a lot of ingredients in this Raspberry Bars recipe, but many of them are used multiple times like lemon, vanilla, etc. in the topping, raspberries and glaze. And remember, you are just combing and stirring – that’s it! Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need (full recipe in the recipe card at the bottom of the post): 

FOR THE RASPBERRY FILLING

  • Raspberries: You’ll need 18 ounces fresh raspberries, or three 6-ounce packages which equals four cups.  Raspberry swaps listed below.
  • Sugar: Use granulated sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of the raspberries.  You will use more or less granulated sugar depending on how sweet your berries are.
  • Cornstarch: Raspberries release a lot of moisture when baked, so we need a thickening agent to prevent the filling from becoming watery.  Cornstarch blends seamlessly with the raspberry juices so you aren’t left with a gummy filling or raw flour taste.
  • Lemon: Lemon juice and lemon zest cut through the sweetness of the raspberry filling while amplifying the clean, raspberry flavor. 
  • Vanilla extract: Adds an extra oomph of flavor. Use quality extract for the best flavor.

FOR THE CRUST/CRUMBLE

  • Oats: Old-fashioned rolled oats bake up crispy, chunky and slightly chewy. Please do NOT use quick-cooking oats or instant oats; they will be powdery and will not bake up crispy, leaving you disappointed with the topping texture.  
  • Flour: Use all purpose flour or gluten-free 1 to 1 all-purpose baking flour.  
  • Chopped pecans: Nuts are optional, but highly recommended for extra flavor and texture in the crust/crumble layers. 
  • Granulated sugar: Sweetens the topping.
  • Brown Sugar:  Sweetness with a subtle caramel flavor and adds moisture to the topping.  Use light brown sugar and not dark for best results so the molasses flavor isn’t overpowering.
  • Baking powder: Just a touch absorbs moisture and helps the topping clump and promotes a more golden, crisp, topping.
  • Vanilla extract: Use quality extract for the best flavor.
  • Ground cinnamon and salt: Cinnamon adds a subtle warmth to complement the bright filling and salt enhances the flavors while balancing the sweetness.
  • Butter: Melted butter helps bind the ingredients together so the topping bakes up as a separate identity atop the raspberry filling, and of course, adds buttery goodness. Use unsalted butter so we can control the salt. If you only have salted butter, reduce the salt in the crumbling/topping mixture.

FOR THE LEMON GLAZE

  • Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioners sugar, this is the sweet base of the lemon glaze that becomes silky smooth when combined with the lemon juice and butter.
  • Lemon juice: This infuses the glaze with bright citrus so its delightfully sweet, tangy and absolutely drool worthy, 1000X better than just using milk.
  • Butter:  This adds buttery decadence and helps to thicken the glaze.  You may use salted or unsalted.
raspberry crumble bars recipe on their side showing the juicy raspberry jam filling

HOW TO MAKE Raspberry Crumble Bars

These Raspberry Bars are a beautiful marriage of soft, bright fruit and that satisfying buttery crunch. Best of all, you can have the bars prepped and ready to bake in less than 20 minutes.  Let’s take a closer look at how to make them (full recipe with measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Step 1: Prepare the crust / topping. Add all of the crust/topping ingredients to a bowl EXCEPT the butter (flour, brown sugar, oats, pecans, baking powder, salt, lemon zest). Stir to combine, then add the melted butter and stir with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened.
showing how to make raspberry bars by adding oats, pecans, flour, sugar, cinnamon to a bowl to make oatmeal crumble topping
  • Step 2: Assemble and bake the crust. Press about two-thirds of the crust/topping mixture into a parchment paper-lined 9×13-inch baking dish. Freeze the remaining mixture while you pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes. 
showing how to make raspberry bars recipe by adding crumble to a 9x13 baking pan to make the crust
  • Step 3: Make the raspberry filling. Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl (raspberries, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest, vanilla).  Give it a stir until the raspberries release some juices.
showing how to make raspberry bars with crumble topping by mixing fresh raspberries with cornstarch in a bowl to make the filling
  • Step 4: Assemble and bake the bars. Once the crust has pre-baked for 10 minutes, top with the raspberry filling, it’s okay if the crust is still warm. Next, sprinkle the crumble topping over the raspberry filling. Bake the bars until golden on top and bubbling around the edges of the pan. 
a collage showing how to make raspberry bars by adding fresh raspberries to the crust then topping with oatmeal streusel topping
  • Step 5: Let the bars cool completely. Cool the Raspberry Bars in the pan for about 30 minutes before popping them into the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.
showing how to raspberry bars by baking until the oatmeal crumble topping is golden and crispy
  • Step 6: Glaze the bars. When you just can’t wait any longer, remove the chilled bars from the fridge and glaze as desired. The lemon glaze is a simple whisking of melted butter, lemon juice, and confectioners’ sugar. 
up close of raspberry oatmeal bars with icing showing how thick and chewy they are
a stack of raspberry bars with oatmeal crumble
  • Use frozen raspberries. To use frozen berries, thaw them completely and let all the excess juices drain for about one hour.
  • Swap flour. To make the crust/topping whole grain, use white whole wheat flour.
  • Swap berries. Add or swap in strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or a mixture of your favs!
  • Add coconut. Add sweetened coconut to the filling or topping.
  • Make gluten-free Raspberry Bars. Swap the flour in the crust/topping with gluten-free flour 1 to 1 baking flour, like Bob Red’s Mill. Make sure you also use certified gluten free oats. The rest of the ingredients are gluten-free.
  • Make vegan Raspberry Bars. Replace the butter with vegan butter or coconut oil. 
  • Omit the glaze. I love the tangy lemon glaze on these Raspberry Bars, but you may omit it if desired.  You can also swap the lemon juice for milk.
  • Add slivered almonds.  Swap the pecans for slivered almonds or another favorite nut.
up closer of raspberry crumble bars with oatmeal showing the crispy topping
up close of raspberry bars with a bite taken out showing the raspberry filling made with real raspberries

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up close or raspberry crumble bars with oats, pecans and fresh raspberries

Raspberry Crumble Bars

These Raspberry Bars about to become your go-to summer dessert whether for potlucks, picnic or barbecues because they require less than 20 minutes to prep and are scrumptious served cold! This recipe is bursting with soft, sweet, juicy raspberries sandwiched between two layers of buttery, brown sugar, cinnamon, oat crumble all drizzled with silky sweet-tart lemon glaze.  These sensational Raspberry Oatmeal Bars are super simple to make because the crumble doubles as both the base and the crunchy streusel (without the hassle of cutting in butter!) and the raspberry filling bakes up into thick fresh raspberry jam directly in the oven without simmering first. It will be love at first bite – just try and stop at three!
Servings: 16 -20 bars
Total Time: 4 hrs 5 mins
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins

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Ingredients

Crust and Topping

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted

Raspberry Filling

  • 3 6 oz. pkgs. (18 ounces/4 cups) fresh ripe raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar (up to ¾ cup if your raspberries are very tart)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

LEMON GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Instructions

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Lightly grease with cooking spray; set aside.
  • Crust/Topping: Add all of the Crust/Topping ingredients to a large bowl EXCEPT the butter and stir to combine. Pour in the melted butter and stir with a rubber spatula then use your hands as needed to combine until evenly moistened.
  • Add two thirds of the crumble to the prepared pan and press into an even layer using the bottom of a glass. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, place the rest of the crumble in the freezer and prep the Raspberry Filling:
  • Raspberry Filling: Combine all of the Raspberry Flling ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir for a minute or two until the raspberries start to release their juices.
  • Assemble: Arrange the raspberry layer on top of the baked bottom layer (it's okay that it's still warm). Sprinkle evenly with remaining chilled topping.
  • Bake: Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until the streusel is golden brown and the raspberry filling is bubbling around the edges.
  • Cool: Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Lift the parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars.
  • Glaze: Whisk the Lemon Glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the bars. Once you add the drizzle, you can pop the bars back in the fridge until ready to serve.

Video

Notes

  • Oats: You must use Old-fashioned rolled oats in this recipe. Please do NOT use quick-cooking oats or instant oats; they will be powdery and will not bake up crispy, leaving you disappointed with the topping texture.  
  • Frozen raspberries: Place two 12-ounce bags of frozen raspberries in a colander and run warm water over them for a minute.  Next, let the raspberries drain for about an hour to thaw/soften completely and release all their juices.  This step is important otherwise the raspberries will release a lot of extra moisture directly into the dessert and you’ll end up with a runny filling instead of a thick jammy one.
  • Raspberry Jam: Spread 1 ½ cups raspberry preserves over the crust.  I also recommend adding 6 ounces of fresh raspberries over top.
  • To store: Store the Raspberry Crumble Bars in the fridge for up to 5 days, noting that the crumble topping will soften over time. If serving guests, I recommend making the bars no more than 24 hours in advance.  You can eat the bars chilled directly from the refrigerator or let them sit on the counter for 20 minutes or so take the chill off.  If taking to an outdoor potluck, I suggest freezing the bars first so they don’t become overly soft in the heat.
  • To freeze: Let the bars chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Wrap the entire pan in plastic wrap and then a layer of foil OR wrap individual slices in a piece of plastic wrap and then carefully seal inside a freezer bag.  Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months.  To thaw, place in the fridge overnight.  Note the topping will not be as crunchy once frozen and thawed.

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2 Comments

  1. Mate Mate US says

    You are supremely talented!

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