Easy Raspberry Bars

Soft and chewy, a teensy bit crisp, and oh-so-buttery, these Easy Raspberry Bars always hit the spot. You can bake up these beauties in under an hour!

Quick Raspberry Bar Recipe

Stack of oatmeal pecan raspberry bars on a pink plate.

When you need something sweet, and need it quickly, nothing comes close to the humble dessert bar. This sweets delivery system is undefeated, whether it’s in the form of Monster Cookie Bars, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars, or Oreo Cheesecake Bars.

These Raspberry Bars come to me from my mom’s well worn recipe collection, where they were found under the name “Old World Raspberry Bars.”

Why old world? I have no idea. Did an ancient people carve the recipe on stone tablets? Probably not. But this raspberry bar recipe is certainly worth passing on to future generations.

Sliced raspberry bars with oatmeal crumb topping.

Here’s why you’ll love these Old World Raspberry Bars:

  • Easy to make– The prep time for these is under 20 minutes. No need for scooping or chilling!
  • Layers of goodness– We’ve got a shortbread-like crust with hints of pecan, a bright and sweet raspberry jam filling, and a crumbly oat topping. It’s buttery, sweet, tart, and nutty, which are my favorite four food groups.
  • Party ready– These bars make a generous 15-20 servings and they travel well, making them perfect for taking to your next party (or freezing for later!)

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients for raspberry bars in white bowls and measuring cups.
  • Butter– We’re using a lot of it, so it might be worth splurging on the good stuff. Look for unsalted European style butter, like Plugra or Kerrygold for the richest flavor.
  • Sugars– We’ll use a mix of brown and white sugar for a deeper flavor and welcome chew.
  • Flour– I use all purpose flour, but you could sub half whole wheat pastry flour if you prefer.
  • Egg– Just one egg and an extra egg yolk holds everything together.
  • Pecans– The pecans are what sets this recipe apart from other raspberry bars. I use roasted unsalted pecans.
  • Raspberry jam– This is an EASY raspberry bar recipe, thanks in large part to using raspberry jam. Costco has an absolutely divine raspberry spread that I love using for this recipe. Bonne Maman is another jam we love.
  • Oats– The oats in this recipe are completely optional, but I like the texture they add to the crumb topping. Feel free to omit them if you prefer!

How to Make Raspberry Bars

Y’all. This is so easy. Ready thyself for the ease.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan or, alternatively, line with a parchment sling (more on that below).
  2. Make the crust. Combine the butter, flour, egg, sugars, pecans, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low until the flour is mostly incorporated, then increase to medium low. Beat just until the mixture gets crumbly. If you beat on a higher speed, it’ll turn into cookie dough (which will still be delicious, but just not exactly what we’re going for).
  3. Press and bake. Spread all but about 2 cups of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the pan and press down to form a crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the oats with the remaining crumb mixture, using your fingers to incorporate it together.
  1. Add jam and crumbs. Remove the crust from the oven and dollop the jam on top. The crust will be a bit fragile, so don’t just dump it all in one spot. Dollop and spread, friends. Crumble the oat mixture evenly over the jam.
  2. Bake. Return the pan to the oven for another 25-30 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown and jam is bubbly.

Tips and Variations on Raspberry Crumb Bars

  • I prefer to use a food processor to pulse the pecans until they’re in fine crumbs.
  • If you’re making this for someone with a nut allergy, you can omit the pecans.
  • You can serve this recipe straight out of the pan, but if you prefer, you can make a parchment paper sling to remove it easily from the pan to slice. To make a sling, cut a strip of parchment that is slightly wider than the short side of your pan, so it overhangs on both sides. Grease the pan, then place the parchment on top of it. Add the crust and fillings on top of the parchment. Once the bars are completely cool, you can lift the whole thing out of the pan to slice.
  • The bars will need to cool in order to slice neatly, but if you need a slice warm from the oven I totally get it! Go for it, but just know you might end up with something more like a scoop than a slice. (It’s DIVINE served warm with ice cream, like a raspberry crisp!)
  • Add the zest of one lemon to the crumb mixture if you love a lemon/raspberry combo.
  • Try subbing the oatmeal for flaked coconut for a different flavor.
  • Try using this recipe with other fruit jams. Strawberry and blackberry are both delicious. Or try our Oatmeal Rhubarb Bars and Peach Cobbler Cheesecake Bars.

Spatula holding a slice of raspberry bar.

Freezing and Storage Tips:

  • Storing: Leftovers will keep well wrapped in saran wrap or in an airtight container for 5-6 days. You can eat them at room temperature, or warm them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
  • Freezing: There are a couple ways to freeze raspberry bars. You can freeze the whole pan by lifting the parchment sleeve, double wrapping in saran wrap, and then placing in the freezer. OR, double wrap individual slices in saran wrap, then store in a freezer safe bag. Either way, they’ll keep for up to 4 months.
  • Thawing: Thaw raspberry bars at room temperature overnight.

Check out How to Freeze Cookies and Bars for more tips.

Raspberry bar sitting on a pink plate, with a gold fork.

More Bar Desserts to Try:

Next time you need a quick dessert that feeds a crowd, these recipes are the place to go!

Stack of oatmeal pecan raspberry bars on a pink plate.

Old World Raspberry Bars

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Raspberry jam sandwiched between two layers of crumbly buttery dough make these Raspberry Bars irresistibly delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter (1 1/4 cup), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup finely chopped roasted unsalted pecans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20 oz. raspberry jam or preserves (about 2 cups)
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan and set aside, or create a parchment sling by cutting parchment paper a few inches wider than the pan then pressing it inside.
  2. Add the flour, butter, sugars, egg, pecans, and salt to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed until the mixture is just crumbly, scraping the sides and stirring often. 
  3. Press all but about 1.5 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 14 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the oats to the remaining crumble mixture and use your fingers to work the oats into the crumble.
  5. Remove the crust from the oven and dollop with the jam, gently spreading it evenly over the crust. Scatter the oat crumble evenly over the top. Return to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the jam is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
  6. Cool completely before serving, or eat warm from the pan (though you might get more of a scoop than a slice while it's still warm). Bars keep well covered at room temperature for up to 6 days.

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23 Comments

  1. In the ingredients you say 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, but say add egg only to mixture, do I assume you mean egg and egg yolk?

    1. I think almonds or walnuts would work fine, but cashews are really buttery and soft, so I probably wouldn’t recommend those.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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? 🙂

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