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Raspberry Bars

These simple Raspberry Bars are sweet and tart, with a little salty bite and a rich, buttery crust.

Raspberry bars stacked on wire rack with small bowl of jam

Easy Oatmeal Raspberry Bars

Oatmeal raspberry bars are a staple of bake sales and cookie trays, and for good reason—they’re the perfect balance of sweet and tart, light and buttery, crispy and chewy. While you can use any type of preserves you like to make these kinds of bars, there’s something special about raspberry!

These bars begin with a simple shortbread crust made with basic baking ingredients. You’ll notice a little more salt than you might expect here, but that salty bite is a wonderful contrast to the sweetness of the raspberry preserves.

Some of the crust mixture is reserved for the topping, too, which means you get that sweet, buttery crust enveloping the chewy, jammy middle. It also makes this recipe easier because you don’t have to get out another bowl to make a separate topping!

overhead view of ingredients for Raspberry Bars

What You’ll Need

You probably have most of these ingredients on hand already, if not all of them!

  • All-purpose flour – Learn more: How to Measure Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Quick-cooking oats
  • Unsalted butter – Let the butter soften before mixing. Make sure you don’t use salted, since there’s already a generous amount of salt in the crust.
  • Light or dark brown sugar – Dark brown sugar has a deeper, more molasses-y flavor.
  • Raspberry preserves – Strawberry, blueberry, or another variety of preserves can be substituted, of course, but I prefer raspberry.

Quick Oats vs. Old-Fashioned Oats

Quick oats are smaller and make for a smoother texture, but regular rolled or old-fashioned oats will work, too. Just be sure to substitute by volume, as regular oats don’t weigh the same. (You’d need about 148g of regular oats.) Don’t substitute steel-cut oats, as these aren’t suitable for the crust in this recipe.

How to Make Raspberry Bars

The hardest thing about this recipe is waiting for it to cool before you have a taste!

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 400°F and grease a 9″x 13″ pan or line the pan with parchment paper, then grease the paper.

Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl, then stir in the oats. 

Overhead view of dry crust ingredients and creamed butter and sugar in bowls

Cream the butter and sugar. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter and brown sugar in a separate bowl until they’re light and fluffy.

overhead view of crust mixture for Raspberry Bars

Finish the crust mixture. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then gradually add the dry mixture to the butter and sugar, mixing just until combined. The dough will be crumbly but should hold together when pinched.

Assemble. Press half of the crust mixture into the prepared pan, then spread the raspberry preserves on top. Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture over the preserves, like a crumble topping. 

overhead view of Raspberry Bars on a wire rack

Bake and cool. Bake the bars for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack, then cut and serve.

Tips for Success

Here are my best tips for perfect raspberry bars.

  • Measure accurately. Use a kitchen scale to measure by weight if possible. Otherwise, spoon and sweep the dry ingredients and firmly pack the brown sugar to be as accurate as possible.
  • Adjust the salt if you want. The saltiness of the crust and topping go well with the sweet preserves, but you can dial it back if you aren’t a sweet and salty fan.
  • Be diligent in mixing. Shortbread doughs can be a bit tricky. You should end up with a sandy dough that will hold together when it’s pinched.
Raspberry Bars stacked on a wire rack

How to Store

Raspberry bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

Yes, you can freeze raspberry bars in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature before serving.

Overhead view of raspberry bars on round cooling rack with bowl of jam

Raspberry Bars

Yield 24 2-inch bars
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Raspberry Bars are a quick and easy treat featuring a simple shortbread and sweet raspberry preserves!

Raspberry Bars stacked on a wire rack

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (120g) quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 10 ounces (283g) raspberry preserves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9"x 13" pan. If you prefer, you can also line the pan with parchment paper, and grease the paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the oats. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. The mixture will be crumbly but should hold together when pinched.
  5. Set aside half of the crust mixture.
  6. Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the prepared pan, and press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  7. Spread the raspberry preserves on top of the crust.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture on top of the preserves.
  9. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  10. Cool the bars in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars for serving.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Southern Living.

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    5 Comments on “Raspberry Bars”

  1. Oh YUM!!! I love raspberry bars. Must try these soon.

  2. YUM! Talk about looking tooth-achingly good…

  3. Hi! Just ran into your photos on Flickr and so glad that I found your blog! I’ll definitely be back 🙂

  4. I made these but thought they tasted a little too salty, I made them with unslated butter the next time – PERFECT!! I have also made them using strawberry preserves. i think the next one’s I’ll try will be peach!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! My family loves these bars!!

  5. Pingback: https://bakeorbreak.com/2006/08/raspberry-bars/ « Maggie's Menus

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