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Mom’s Old World Raspberry Bars

These crispy, chewy, buttery Old World Raspberry Bars are an easy dessert to make for any occasion.

Old World Raspberry Bars

Sometimes I plan to bake, but sometimes baking attacks me. It’s almost like a sneeze. Once I get the urge, there’s no stopping it.

This past Saturday was our Earth Day clean up for work. We had a really great morning picking up trash and working in community gardens then celebrated with a neighborhood cookout. It was a lot of fun, but I came home pooped. I spent the afternoon scrolling through Pinterest, editing a few photos, and watching my husband play games on his iPad. If you can have negative productivity, I think I had it.

But then, suddenly, at 9:00 PM, I got the fever. I had to bake. And I didn’t want to bake just anything. I wanted to bake Old World Raspberry Bars. I ran to the kitchen.

No raspberry jam. No pecans.

Now, mind you, I have enough baking supplies in the house that I could have made dozens of different desserts that night. Cookies, cakes, breads, pies…wouldn’t have been a problem. I even had a jar of peach jam that could have been substituted for the raspberry jam in this recipe.

But it just wouldn’t do. I wanted raspberry bars. And I wanted them tonight.

So at 9:30 PM I found myself changing out of sweat pants into the dirt splatter jeans I’d worn earlier, throwing my hair into a pony tail, and trekking to the nearest Kroger. I’m sure I was a sight to behold. But I was a woman with a craving. (And in case you’re wondering at this point, no I’m not pregnant. God help us when I am. You should probably start praying for the Mr. now).

Raspberries and pecans. I was in and out of Kroger in a flash and managed to avoid running into anyone I know (thank goodness).

When I got home, I whipped these raspberry bars up in a jiffy and was rewarded with the most  heavenly smell from my oven for the next 45 minutes.

These hit the spot.

Old World Raspberry Bars

This is my mom’s recipe and it’s an old favorite. I have no idea how they got the name “Old World Raspberry Bars,” but I sure do love em.

It really doesn’t get any more basic than these raspberry bars. Flour, eggs, sugar, butter–and lots of it. The bars start with a pie-like dough pressed into the bottom of a pan then spread with a layer of raspberry jam. The same dough you use for the bottom is then crumbled over top. I added some oats and coconut to the crumble on top to give it a little extra texture, but it’s definitely not necessary.

What you end up with is a golden browned and bubbly pan of tart, sweet, buttery goodness. If the crust is your favorite part of a pie, you’re going to love these bars. Every bite is full of crumbly crust with a burst of raspberry. They’re my happy, homey, springtime comfort food.

I maaaay have made another batch of them the next day with peach jam and walnuts, because, well,…why not?

Mom's Old World Raspberry Bars

Prep Time 20 minsPrep Time
Cook Time 55 minsCook Time
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins Total Time
Yields 24

Raspberry jam sandwiched between two layers of crumbly buttery dough. Note: This recipe produces a very high crust to jam ratio. If you prefer more jam, you can either increase the amount of jam or cut the amount of crust ingredients in half. This will produce much thinner bars that won't need to be baked as long.


  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 18 oz. raspberry jam
  • 1 cup oats (optional)
  • 1/2 cup coconut (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine flour, butter, sugars, eggs, pecans, and salt just until crumbly. If you mix too long it will become more like a cookie dough. No worries, it'll still be delicious.
  3. Press all but about 2½ cups of the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Spread all the jam over the crumb mixture.
  4. Add the cup of oats to the remaining crumbs. Crumble the mixture over the top of the jam. You want the top to be kinda craggly so just pile the mixture in all sorts of weird shapes on top of the jam.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. If desired sprinkle coconut over the top then return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown and the jam is bubbly.
  6. *Note: This recipe can easily be halved and baked in an 8 x 8 inch square.


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Recipe by Neighborfood

{ 14 comments… add one }

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  • Jackie l Food.Wine.Fashion April 24, 2013, 10:29 AM

    These look delish! Let’s be honest – anything with some type of streusel on top is a great dessert. Just so I know for next time — which Kroger were you running through? 🙂

  • Amy April 25, 2013, 4:08 AM

    Those bars look so tasty!! I love anything with raspberry and streusel!

  • Joanne (eats well with others) April 25, 2013, 7:18 AM

    I definitely get that baking urge also…and it takes over my life at the oddest times! I can definitely see why you were hellbent on making these! They look awesome.

  • Nancy April 25, 2013, 7:46 PM

    Courtney, I feel ya on the baking fever – it happens to me more often than I’d care to count. Great choice of recipe – I’ve been obsessed with bar cookies lately. These look fantastic!

  • Mercedes May 15, 2013, 6:09 PM

    Everything about these bars looks fantastic but especially that crumb topping!

  • DB February 1, 2015, 4:28 PM

    Thank you! A Student gave me some years ago as part of a Christmas cookie plate gift. I asked her mom for the recipe, made it for years. It was written on a half piece of notebook paper – after many years, soiled and wrinkled and a cherished memory in my recipe box. I LOST IT!!! Going to try your recipe today as it looks right. Again, thank you.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood February 5, 2015, 3:23 PM

      Hi DB! I hope these were at least close to the cookies you remember. It’s so frustrating to lose a treasured recipe!

  • Amy March 31, 2016, 5:03 PM

    How much is 4 sticks butter? Is it 2 cups? Sorry, I’m from Canada and our butter doesn’t come in sticks. Thanks

  • Karyn August 11, 2016, 5:50 PM

    I just put these in the oven and am really worried that I should have used 2 cups of butter. I don’t know where you buy butter, but normally 4 sticks of butter is a pound and a pound is 2 cups, not 1. The crumb mixture was really dry, but I only used 1 cup since another person asked how many cups 4 sticks was and you said 1 cup. Hopefully these turn out terrific and all my worry is for nothing.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood August 11, 2016, 6:44 PM

      You are right! Four sticks is 2 cups. I am so sorry for the confusion, and am sorry if your bars don’t turn out right. I will add the conversions to the recipe to make it clearer.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood August 13, 2016, 3:24 PM

      I would love to make this up to you by sending you a batch of bars. Would you mind emailing me at

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