Raspberry Bars

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The fastest thing gone at a party!! The EASIEST raspberry gooey butter bars I chelseasmessyapron.com

These Raspberry Bars are a sweet, bright, and buttery dessert. We layer raspberry jam between two layers of shortbread. The top layer of shortbread has a couple of fun additions — granola and almonds– which add even more flavor and a fun texture to these bars!

If you’d prefer oatmeal crumble instead of shortbread, give our Oatmeal Jam Bars a try! (Use raspberry jam instead of the blackberry jam for Raspberry Oatmeal Bars.) 

Image of the Raspberry Bars stacked on top of each other

The Best Raspberry Bars

These Caramel Cookie Bars are a favorite in my home — shortbread and caramel is a match made in heaven! But besides caramel, I don’t think anything pairs quite as perfectly with shortbread as a fruity filling. These raspberry Thumbprint Cookies or Lemon Curd Cookies are both prime examples.

But today, instead of cookies, we’re combining shortbread and fruit in the form of bars — Raspberry Bars to be exact.

These bars have a gooey, sweet raspberry jam filling with a buttery shortbread crust and topping. The shortbread has a touch of lemon flavor added, which pairs beautifully with the raspberries. And the top shortbread layer is encrusted with crunchy granola and sliced almonds for even more flavor and texture.

QUICK TIP

If you prefer Raspberry Bars without oats, simply leave the granola addition out — no other changes necessary! (We’ve tried these bars with and without granola. The granola and almond topping was actually inspired by Ina Garten’s raspberry bars. Once we tried it, we had to add it in to our shortbread bars!)

Process shots-- images of the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and lemon zest all being beaten together

Raspberry Bars With Shortbread Crust

The star of the shortbread crust is the butter; let’s chat more about this ingredient:

Truly, any butter will work in these bars, as long as it’s not margarine or any kind of artificial butter. Not only will margarine fail to cream properly, but the flavor will really suffer. 

And while any butter will work, I do recommend good-quality butter since butter really is the star of the base and crumble. The better the butter, the better the flavor of the dough! We love and use this butter in these Raspberry Bars.

Additionally, I recommend unsalted butter. Why unsalted? We need to be able to perfectly control the amount of salt in these bars and the salt content in salted butter varies tremendously. It would be easy to end up with too much salt in the dough.

Process shots of Raspberry Bars-- images of the dough being mixed together and then spread into a 9x13 pan

Raspberry Bars with Fresh Raspberries

If you’re feeling ambitious (or asking yourself, “what can I do with a lot of raspberries?” after a berry-picking adventure) you can make your own raspberry jam using fresh raspberries.

Try out this recipe that calls for 4 cups of fresh raspberries from Epicurious. When making your own jam, stick to fresh, sweet, ripe raspberries for the best possible jam.

QUICK TIP

Checking for ripe raspberries: Look for deeply colored, glossy berries that show no signs of being crushed, bruised, or moldy. The colors should be uniform and bright. The berries should have a slight firmness when touched without being too firm or feeling mushy.

Process shots-- images of the jam being spread in an even layer and the remaining shortbread being combined with granola and it all being mixed through

Raspberry Bar Tips

Image of the crumble topping being placed on these Raspberry Bars and then baking them

VARIATIONS

Switch Things Up

  • Make Raspberry-Almond Shortbread Bars by adding 1/4 up to 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract along with adding in the vanilla extract (leave out the lemon).
  • Try a different flavor entirely! Instead of raspberry jam, try a different flavor. We’ve made these bars with wild blueberry preserves and this 4-fruit preserves and loved both iterations!
  • Swap out granola and nut topping. Try different homemade or store-bought granolas for a slightly different flavor. You can also use candied almonds — one time I was out of plain sliced almonds so I used these honey almonds instead — so good!

Overhead image of three Raspberry Bars stacked on top of each other

 

STORAGE

How Do You Store Raspberry Bars?

Cover completely cooled bars and store in an airtight container (or cover the pan) at room temperature for 3-5 days. We do like these best within the first few days since the jam will begin to soften the bottom shortbread layer. Alternatively, freeze individually wrapped bars for up to 3 months (some loss of texture).

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Raspberry Bars

5 from 4 votes
These Raspberry Bars are a sweet, bright, and buttery dessert. We layer raspberry jam between two layers of shortbread. The top layer of shortbread has a couple of fun additions -- granola and almonds, which add even more flavor and a fun texture to these bars!
Print Recipe

Raspberry Bars

5 from 4 votes
These Raspberry Bars are a sweet, bright, and buttery dessert. We layer raspberry jam between two layers of shortbread. The top layer of shortbread has a couple of fun additions -- granola and almonds, which add even more flavor and a fun texture to these bars!
Course Dessert, treat
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword raspberry bars, Raspberry Shortbread Bars
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 24 bars (1 (9x13-inch) pan
Calories 206kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $7.82

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter (Note 1)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 large lemon, optional
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups (15 oz.) raspberry jam (Note 2)
  • 1-1/3 cup granola (without dried fruit) (Note 3)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (Note 4)

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal; set aside.
  • SHORTBREAD: In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or use a hand mixer), add the butter (straight from the fridge) and white sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Once the mixture is fully creamed together, add in the vanilla extract, lemon zest (optional), and salt. Beat to combine. Add in the flour and beat until just combined into a thick dough. Do not overmix.
  • JAM: Press a little over half of the dough into the prepared pan. Spread the raspberry jam over the dough into one even layer. Avoid the very edges (leave ~1/4th inch border).
  • SHORTBREAD: To the remaining shortbread mixture, add the granola and beat to integrate. Drop small pieces of this dough over the raspberry jam. Sprinkle almonds evenly on top. Bake for 42-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and almonds are nicely toasted. Remove from the oven and set the pan on a wire cooling rack to cool to room temperature. (The bars need to cool to fully set up.)
  • ENJOY: Use the overhang of the parchment paper to pull the bars from the pan and place onto a cutting board. Cut into squares and enjoy. They're best enjoyed within 1-2 days (the jam softens the shortbread).

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Butter: We recommend good-quality butter since it's really the star of the shortbread. The better the butter, the better the flavor of the dough! We love and use this butter. For the proper texture and creaming, the colder the butter, the better (this is a little tricky with a hand mixer, but it creams easily in a stand mixer).
Note 2: Jam: The better the jam, the better the flavor! We love Bonne Maman's® jams. Also, you can swap raspberry jam for a different flavor. We've made these bars with wild blueberry preserves and this 4-fruit preserves and loved both iterations! Use a seedless jam if seeds bother you!
Note 3: Granola: Any granola without dried fruit in it will work great. We're partial to this easy granola recipe but any store-bought granola you enjoy will be tasty!
Note 4: Almonds: Regular sliced almonds are perfect in this recipe. One time I was out and made them with these honey almonds and that was a fun flavor add!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.4g | Protein: 2.3g | Fat: 11.8g | Cholesterol: 30.7mg | Sodium: 103.4mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 9.7g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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11 Comments

  1. These look INSANE!! I always get annoyed when I see a bunch of comments on recipes from people who haven’t actually made the recipe, but I couldn’t resist dropping a note to say how good these look!! I will definitely be making these soon, and will comment after I have. Thanks for the recipe!!

      1. 5 stars
        Coming back to update as promised. These were SO good! I passed the recipe on to my mom and she made them for a family dinner the other night, and they were delicious! My boys (5&7) said they were “too lemony” , but no other complaints, all thumbs up! I might just do a little juice from the lemon rather than the lemon extract next time, but will definitely keep this recipe to make again! Super yummy!!

  2. 5 stars
    PERFECT dessert for a group of friends coming over. Also any dessert with lemon in it, wins my sons heart over. These were AMAZING! Do the left overs need to be refrigerated?

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