Oatmeal Jam Bars

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Incredibly simple and delicious oatmeal cookie jam bars. These bars come together in less than 30 minutes and only require 6 ingredients! via chelseasmessyapron.com

These buttery Oatmeal Jam Bars are easy to make and a hit wherever they’re served. Sweet, fruity jam goes between two layers of buttery oatmeal cookie dough–yum!

Oatmeal Jam Bars

Oatmeal Jam Bars

If you’ve ever tried these practically famous Carmelitas, you know the magic of oatmeal cookie bars. And sandwiching a filling in the center puts them on a whole new level. Instead of loading the center with caramel and chocolate (what you’ll find in Carmelites), we’re adding a thick layer of jam.

Let’s talk jam

Any jam you know and love works in these bars, and that makes the possibilities just about endless. The varieties of jams and jellies you can find in the stores these days seem to grow every year!

I recommend grabbing a seedless jam to make that jelly filling ultra smooth. That said, if you’re confident that seeds won’t bother you, it won’t affect the outcome of this recipe, so you can use a jam with seeds.

As pictured in this post, we’re using a seedless blackberry jam, but raspberry, strawberry, and cherry jams are other favorites we use frequently. Bonne Maman’s® apricot jam is another one we love — other tasters agree!

Process shots-- making Oatmeal Jam Bars

Oatmeal Jam Bar Tips

  • Use an 8×8-inch pan. We tested these in a 9×9-inch pan and they were too thin. While you can double the recipe in a 9×13-inch pan, I haven’t personally tried this and can’t vouch for how it will work.
  • Line the pan with parchment paper. As these bars bake, the jam can seep out along the edges. It not only makes a mess, but it’s also nearly impossible to remove them from the pan! I like to leave a parchment paper overhang to easily remove the entire block of bars to a flat cutting surface before cutting them into individual pieces.
  • Don’t use hot butter. Hot butter will melt the brown sugar and cause oily Oatmeal Jam Bars.
  • Thoroughly mix the melted butter and brown sugar. While stirring, it may seem like the sugars and butter won’t ever incorporate, but keep mixing until they do. Take the time to do this; otherwise, the bars will end up greasy. I recommend using a strong metal whisk.

Process shots--Oatmeal Jam Bars

Tips Continued

  • Don’t spread jam to the edges of these oatmeal jam bars. Spread the jam on top of the oatmeal cookie layer, but leave an uncovered small perimeter around all the edges. This ensures the jam doesn’t press out the edges and burn on the sides or make the top cookie bar gooey.
  • Don’t over-bake. These bars go from gooey, soft, sweet, and perfectly chewy to crispy, hard, and less flavorful in a matter of minutes being over-baked. As soon as the edges turn a light golden and the top is not wet looking, these bars are done!

Up close image of the oatmeal jam bar stacked on top of each other

Serving 

  • For firm Oatmeal Jam Bars, allow enough time for the bars to cool completely before pulling them out of the pan or cutting them. Right out of the oven, they’re very gooey and crumbly. The jam will also seep out.
  • However, all these things are great if you’d like this dessert to be served more as a crumble or crisp. Serve the bars hot out of the oven in a bowl with vanilla bean ice cream on top. Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?!

Oatmeal Jam Bar Storage

  • These bars are best eaten within 1-2 days of being made. The longer they sit, the more the jam will soften the bottom layer, making it gooey.
  • Store bars in an air-tight container at room temperature.
  • I have not personally tried freezing and thawing these bars, but I suspect they would get a bit soft and gooey on the bottom as they thaw.

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Oatmeal Jam Bars

5 from 4 votes
These buttery Oatmeal Jam Bars are easy to make and a hit wherever they're served. The oatmeal cookie base is topped with a fruity jam and finished with another layer of cookie dough.
Print Recipe

Oatmeal Jam Bars

5 from 4 votes
These buttery Oatmeal Jam Bars are easy to make and a hit wherever they're served. The oatmeal cookie base is topped with a fruity jam and finished with another layer of cookie dough.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword Oatmeal Jam Bars
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Calories 245kcal
Author Chelsea

Equipment

  • 8x8 inch pan
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons (141g) unsalted butter, melted & cooled to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (100g) light brown sugar, lightly packed (don't press it in)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) white, all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (100g) old-fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • heaping 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (208g) seedless blackberry jam (or any flavor you'd like!)

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper (I don't recommend foil -- it can make the jam taste metallic), leaving an overhang for easy removal, and set aside. Melt the butter and then set aside to let it slightly cool. (Hot butter will melt the sugars and cause greasy bars.)
  • WET INGREDIENTS: Mix together the melted (but cooled) butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk to combine, taking your time until the butter and sugar integrate; it will seem like they won't, keep whisking until completely integrated.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: Add in the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until a thick dough is formed. Press a little over half of the mixture (just eyeball it) into the bottom of the pan. Press into one even layer. Bake for 8 minutes and then remove.
  • ADD JAM: Gently add the jam on top of the base avoiding the edges of the pan; otherwise, it will leak out and burn on the sides. Gently spread the jam, being careful to not press it into the base. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top of the jam (don't press it in).
  • BAKE: Bake for an additional 13-18 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack at room temperature for at least 2 hours before cutting into the bars. (They are soft and crumbly right out of the oven; they need time to firm up -- See Note 1.)
  • STORAGE: Bars best enjoyed within 1 -2 days.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If you'd like this dessert to be served more as a crumble or crisp (instead of bars), serve right hot out of the oven. Scoop the dessert in a bowl and top with vanilla bean ice cream.
Nutrition information will vary slightly, depending on the jam used.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 231IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




28 Comments

  1. Simple and easy? Yes, please! Especially when they involved blackberry jam. I’m sure I could snack on these bars all day!

  2. Yum! I love how easy these are to whip together. I don’t think I’ll be able to resist adding some peanut butter with that jam!

  3. I am such a sucker for anything with oatmeal and love these bars – they look delicious! Love how simple and easy they are to whip up too 🙂 Bonne Maman is my fave too and can’t wait to make these – pinning 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe but instead of jam I used apple butter in one batch and pumpkin butter in another…very good for fall celebrations that will be coming up shortly.

    1. I LOVE the idea of using the fall butters in these bars! YUM! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Made them with lingonberry jam from IKEA, which is pretty tart, but there was actually a good balance between that sharpness and the other flavors. They are delicious!

  6. 5 stars
    These are amazing. But I would not put a whole cup of jam in it. The first time I did and they did not hold their shape. Just remade them with half a cup, and they are perfect!

  7. These came out delicious. Mine came out super soft and fell apart. We let them cool don’t know why.

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