Strawberry Bars with Lemon Glaze are made with strawberry jam, fresh strawberries, and a buttery shortbread crust topped with a simple lemony glaze. These bars are a delightful treat for a bridal shower or luncheon, or just a snack after school!
Whenever I’m assigned the dessert for a party, I start thinking about things I can take that are both easy and portable. You don’t want to show up at someone’s house and have to finish your dessert in their oven or on the stove! These Strawberry Bars with Lemon Glaze are always a hit and they are exactly the kind of recipe I like to use for potlucks.
I also love to take my Fresh Strawberry Cake to a gathering, but it’s definitely a tad bit (ok, a lot) more complicated. Totally worth it, though!
If taking these bars to a party, you can serve them right out of the dish which might be a little easier to transport than a platter. I would use a pretty dish like this one from Emile Henry.
Can you freeze these Strawberry Bars?
I haven’t frozen these bars, but I think they would freeze well. I would cut them and place on a baking sheet until frozen, then wrap in parchment paper and put in a freezer bag. And use them within a few months for best flavor.
How to Make the Shortbread Crust
I’m a chocolate lover through and through, but I’ll be honest—shortbread is probably my second love. It’s just so perfect. Buttery, crumbly, soft, and goes with just about anything, which is why I like using shortbread as a base for a lot of bar cookies, like these similar Raspberry Shortbread Bars or these divine Shortbread Bars with Chocolate Nutella Ganache, Streusel, and Salted Caramel.
To make the shortbread crust, start with softened, unsalted butter and beat it for a few minutes, then add brown sugar and granulated sugar. Stir in a couple of teaspoons of good quality vanilla extract.
Next, sift flour and salt together and slowly add to the butter mixture a dough ball starts to form. Separate this dough and pat two-thirds into the prepared pan for the crust. Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator to chill.
Bake the shortbread crust for about twenty minutes or until lightly golden, then remove the pan to a cooling rack.
Making the Filling for Strawberry Bars
I like to use a high-quality jam for this recipe, and then mix in a few fresh strawberries to give it some texture. If you want to go all-out, you could make my homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam—I haven’t even done that for this recipe but it would be divine!
Chop the strawberries into small pieces and then mash into the jam. You’ll end up with kind of a lumpy jam filling. And this is personal preference of course—if you want bigger chunks or bites of strawberries then by all means keep them bigger, just be aware of the volume and don’t use too much.
Now gently spread the strawberry jam mixture over the shortbread crust, which will still be slightly warm. Then take the extra dough out of the fridge and sprinkle little pieces all over the top of the strawberry jam.
Bake for about half an hour or until the streusel on top is golden brown.
After the strawberry bars are completely cool, lift the foil from the pan and cut into squares. Stir together some powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice, and a tad of milk to make a lemony glaze and drizzle the glaze over the bars.
And you’re done! You can pack these up and take them to your potluck.
Or you can hide them in a container in the pantry and tell no one. Your secret is safe with me.
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Strawberry Bars with Lemon Glaze
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 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 strawberries into the jam, mashing with a fork. Some lumps will remain. Spread strawberry jam mixture over warm crust.
- Sprinkle remaining one-third of dough over the strawberry 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. Drizzle with lemon glaze.
- Stir together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk.
Try these other bar cookies: