Raspberry Bars made with a buttery shortbread base and topped with easy raspberry filling and a yummy shortbread streusel sprinkled on top. They are divine.
When a food blogger hosts a party, it's actually more of an opportunity to have free guinea pigs, uh, I mean tasters—Tasters!—for your recipes. So last Saturday, we had a few friends over for the annual billiards tournament and I served some new recipes.
And while everyone loved my Baked Salmon with Chili-Caper Vinaigrette, these simple raspberry bars were the star.
Buttery shortbread topped with raspberry jam and fresh raspberry filling, with shortbread streusel sprinkled on top.
These are darn near perfect.
And they're super easy to make! You can make these Raspberry Bars in a few minutes while your dinner is cooking. Seriously, they are that easy!
I could eat shortbread all day long, couldn't you? And streusel! Is there anything better than something made with lots of butter? I don't think so!
Side note: I have a lovely shortbread recipe here that you might like to try.
Ingredients for Raspberry Crumble Bars
- Brown and white sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Raspberry jam - if you want to make your own, here's a recipe for raspberry freezer jam
- Fresh raspberries
How to Make Raspberry Bars
Pro Tip: I always spray and flour the baking pan and then line it with foil and then spray the foil, same as when I'm making my Easy Brownies. Lining the pan with foil then spraying the foil makes it easy to remove the shortbread bars after they've cooled. You just lift the foil out of the pan, place the raspberry bars in the foil on a cutting board and slice. ??
Step 1. First cream butter and sugar, then add flour, salt, and vanilla.
Step 2. Once you have a dough ball, take two-thirds of the dough and press gently into the pan. Place the remaining one-third of dough in the refrigerator to chill.
Step 3. Bake the crust for about 20 minutes, until it's a nice golden brown. Then remove and place on a cooling rack. Allow the crust to cool for about 10 minutes.
Step 4. Mix raspberry jam with a cup of fresh raspberries—and be sure you use a good quality raspberry jam. I take a fork and mash the fresh raspberries into the jam so there are no big chunks.
Step 5. Spread this raspberry filling gently onto the warm shortbread crust.
Step 6. Now you're going to take the rest of the shortbread dough and crumble it over the raspberry filling. This dough is not crumbly like a streusel would be, so you're basically just pinching off pieces and dropping it over the filling.
Pro Tip: I roll the dough around between my fingers so that it sort of crumbles.
Step 7. Bake the Raspberry Bars until the top is lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Then remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Step 8. Now this is where the foil comes in handy. You just gently pull the edges of the foil to remove the bars from the pan, and place the whole thing on your cutting board. Makes it so easy to cut these bars!
How about that? So easy, right?!
Can you freeze Raspberry Bars?
Absolutely! You can freeze these Raspberry Bars unbaked in the dish or after they have been baked and cut into squares. If freezing before baking, cover the dish tightly with foil.
If freezing after baking, place in an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze up to 6 months.
Tips for Making the Best Raspberry Bars
- These raspberry crumble bars are a perfect make-ahead dessert. You can make them early in the day or even a day or so before your event. They will keep for several days in an airtight container.
- The shortbread base will be a little easier to work with if you chill it for a few minutes.
- My easy lemon glaze makes a lovely and delicious topping if you want a little extra oomph for these raspberry bars!
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- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup raspberry jam
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour and cover a 9-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
- Cream the butter and sugar together just until combined. Add vanilla. Sift flour and salt together and, with mixer set on low, slowly add to butter until almost comes together as a dough ball.
- Separate dough and pat two-thirds into the prepared pan for the crust. Place remaining dough in refrigerator to chill. Bake crust for about twenty minutes or until lightly golden, then remove to a cooling rack.
- Mix fresh raspberries into the jam, mashing them with a fork. Some lumps will remain. Spread raspberry jam mixture over warm crust.
- Sprinkle remaining one-third of dough over the raspberry jam in little pieces like streusel. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the streusel is golden brown.
- Cool completely then gently lift the foil or parchment from the pan and cut into bars.
- Spray and flour the pan, then line the pan with foil, overlapping the sides, and lightly spray the foil. This will allow you to simply lift the foil out of the pan after the raspberry bars have completely cooled.
- The shortbread doesn't crumble like regular streusel so I roll pieces with my fingers to get it to drop.
- These raspberry crumble bars can be made a day or two ahead of time.
- You can freeze the raspberry bars before or after baking.
- You can lightly sprinkle with confectioner's sugar if you want a tad more sweetness.
- Use my lemon glaze recipe for a little tart delight!
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Update Notes: This post was originally published August 21, 2014, and on January 9, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten's Raspberry Crumble Bars in Barefoot Contessa: FOOLPROOF.