Strawberry Jam Crumble Bars

Easy homemade strawberry jam crumble bars. They’re filled with everything to love about a classic strawberry fruit crisp – flavorful strawberries nestled between a buttery brown sugar and oat crust and crumble topping – but in convenient hand held form! Made with simple pantry ingredients, easily adaptable (egg free, vegan, gluten free options), and perfect for sharing.

Easy Strawberry Jam Crumble Bars via forkknifeswoon.com

It’s no secret that I love a good fruit crumble – I’ve filled this blog with countless variations of them. What’s not to love about juicy seasonal fruit nestled under a buttery blanket of gently-spiced, brown sugar-laced, oat crumble goodness?

If that’s so wrong, I don’t want to be right.

I’m especially fond of jammy crumble bars. They combine everything wonderful about a traditional fruit crisp, but are portable, can be made in advance, keep well for a few days, and are easier to serve to a berry loving, crumble adoring, crowd.

Easy Strawberry Jam Crumble Bars via forkknifeswoon.com

These days, I have a new metric for how easy a recipe really is: can I easily get everything prepped, assembled, and into the oven during nap time? Bonus points for normal ingredients already in the pantry that don’t require an extra trip to the store.

Double bonus points if I can get anything missing online. #toddlermomlife

These strawberry jam crumble bars check off all of those boxes. And they’re irresistible to boot.

Easy Strawberry Jam Crumble Bars via forkknifeswoon.com

What you’ll love about these strawberry jam crumble bars

The crust and crumble topping on these strawberry bars is one and the same. They’re filled with whole oats, brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and ginger, and a good dose of butter. It comes together in minutes, with ingredients you most likely have on hand. They may be humble, but the results are a chewy, crumbly, buttery, flavorful combination.

Thick and flavorful strawberry preserves, a handful of chopped fresh berries, and a dash of lemon zest round out the filling. It bakes into the buttery crumbs and yields a sweet, chewy, gooey, lick-your-fingers delicious bar.

how to make the best jam filling from scratch: don’t!

Strawberry preserves are just about the easiest thing to make, and I usually keep a few jars of homemade jam in the freezer from my always overabundant Summer berry haul. However, this is a scenario where it honestly doesn’t matter all that much if you use store-bought jam. I’m a big fan of Bonne Maman, and their strawberry preserves are lovely here.

You could just use strawberry jam, but I like to also add some fresh chopped berries on top for added flavor and texture. They cook down into the filling, and become soft and jammy in their own right.

Easy Strawberry Jam Crumble Bars via forkknifeswoon.com

The lemon zest is optional here, but I think it lends a welcome brightness to the berries, especially in these early days of Spring. You could also swirl a few drops of good vanilla into the jam before adding it to the crust.

Really, the hardest part of this whole recipe is remembering to take the butter out of the fridge a little before you’re ready to get baking. That way it can soften up just enough to smoosh between your fingers to form the crumbles. Well, that and waiting for the bars to cool, when they emerge golden and fragrant from the oven, begging for a bite.

It’s best to wait until the bars are completely set up before slicing into bars, but, if appearances and the occasional wonky edge doesn’t bother you, or if, maybe you don’t feel like sharing, these are quite wonderful warm from the oven with a spoon…

Oh, and after you try these strawberry crumble babes, be sure to check out my brown sugar raspberry and caramel apple versions too!

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Easy Strawberry Jam Crumble Bars via forkknifeswoon.com

Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars

  • Author: Laura Bolton – Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 Bars 1x
  • Category: Baking, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Easy homemade strawberry jam crumble bars. They’re filled with everything to love about a classic strawberry fruit crisp – flavorful strawberries nestled between a buttery brown sugar and oat crust and crumble topping – but in convenient hand held form!


Scale

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
10 oz strawberry preserves¹
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
zest of half a lemon (optional)


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving about an inch overhang on two sides. Set aside.

Make the crumble: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flour, sugars, baking soda and spices until well-combined.

Cut the butter into cubes, then use your fingers to gently knead the butter into the dry ingredients, until completely incorporated, and you’ve formed a shaggy, crumbly dough, that easily sticks together when pinched. This will take a few minutes.

Assemble: Scoop about two thirds of the crumble dough into the baking pan, and press into an even layer along the bottom. Spoon the jam over the bottom crust, leaving about 1/4 border around the sides. Top with the chopped strawberries and lemon zest (if using).

Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture over top, from edge to edge. Very gently press the crumbles into the jam.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the crumble topping is golden brown and has puffed up a bit. The jam may be starting to bubble up through the crumbs, slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars.



Notes

¹ My favorite store-bought strawberry preserves are from Bonne Maman. You can also make your own! Just about any type of fruit or berry jam will work, so use whatever you’ve got.

Make it gluten free by substituting all-purpose gluten free flour.

Make it vegan by using vegan butter (such as Earth Balance buttery baking sticks), or in a pinch, melted coconut oil.

Keywords: strawberry jam crumble bars, berries, egg free, easy, oat crumble, oatmeal bars, crumb bars, fruit bars, strawberry preserves

Originally published March 28, 2018.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Making a purchase through one of these links pays me a small referral fee at no added cost to you. These tiny fees add up, and help keep the blog running. Thank you for supporting Fork Knife Swoon!
March 22, 2020

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Emerald
    August 12, 2020 at 8:37 am

    I skipped the lemon zest and did peaches and nutmeg instead of strawberries and ginger.
    I also put some decorative peach slices coated with brown sugar on top for the last 15 minutes of baking. Came out beautiful and delicious! Sort of like a peach cobbler. My only regret is that I didn’t have vanilla ice cream to go with it.

    • Reply
      Laura
      August 12, 2020 at 11:49 am

      That sounds so good!! Thanks, Emerald!!

  • Reply
    thuonghailongvan
    July 25, 2020 at 2:34 am

    I love all your recipes. Thanks for sharing this article! Although I don’t know how to cook, I will definitely try it one day.

  • Reply
    Allison
    July 8, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    We are making this tonight and are only confused about where we place the lemon zest? Am I missing it — does the zest get stirred in with the fresh berries, or is it considered a spice that goes in the dry ingredients? (Not a very good baker over here, I confess!)
    Thanks for the advice — I’m sure we’ll be posting 5 stars as soon as we’re done!!

    • Reply
      Laura
      July 28, 2020 at 11:57 am

      Hi Allison! Sorry I missed your question – the zest should be added with the jam and berries. It was missing from the instructions but I’ve fixed it now. Hope you enjoyed!!

  • Reply
    Rashmi
    May 5, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Thank you for sharing the recipe process. It would really help.

  • Reply
    Malinda
    March 13, 2020 at 12:38 am

    I forgot the lemon zest and the top was burnt but it’s so delicious still! Will try the raspberry and caramel next.

    • Reply
      Laura
      March 22, 2020 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks, Malinda!! Hope you enjoy the raspberry version too!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    March 5, 2020 at 6:59 am

    I made these last night for a treat. I have 3 teenage sons, 17, 15 and 13 and they each had 2 pieces! There are only 3 left and that goes without saying that they were a huge hit and were delicious! I will definitely be making these again, thank you!

    • Reply
      Laura
      March 22, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you, Rebecca! So happy to hear that!! Next time a double batch… 😉

  • Reply
    Yuliya
    July 22, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Hi! I’ll be trying this recipe tonight but was wondering if leaving out the sea salt causes any major differences (just dont have it on hand and no store trips possible today). Should I replace the sea salt with regular salt or just leave it out completely?

    Thanks! And p.s. hello from your fellow Washington-ian. I’m on the Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles:)

    • Reply
      Laura
      July 22, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Hi Yuliya! I think the salt is important but you don’t have to use sea salt. You can also substitute kosher salt 1:1 or if you’re using iodized table salt I’d probably try just using 1/4tsp (It’s “saltier” by volume). I hope you love these! We’re actually in the Washington, D.C. suburbs now as of last fall, but I love love loved living in Tacoma. We miss it so much and hope to come back some day! Hope you are enjoying a beautiful Pacific Northwest summer (the best!) and lots of local berries 🙂

  • Reply
    2pots2cook
    April 19, 2018 at 1:45 am

    Bonne Maman is the best, really ! I happen to have a jar of strawberry jam 🙂 Guess what is on my to do list for the week end !!!!

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 20, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      Definitely my favorite store-bought jam 🙂 Hope you love these crumble bars as much as I do!

  • Reply
    Lydia Plunk
    March 29, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Thank you for mentioning the bars do well in the freezer. Now I can make these delicious looking treats for drop-in guests.

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 20, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Hope you all enjoy them, Lydia!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Louise
    March 28, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    These look delicious, Laura, as do all of your berry recipes.
    One question, though — why do you say to let the parchment paper hang over two of the sides of the pan by an inch? Is that so the bars are easier to lift out of the pan? If so, do you lift out the whole slab first, or cut the bars while they’re still in the pan?

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 20, 2018 at 1:23 pm

      Yes, exactly – the parchment makes a little sling which makes it much easier to extract the bars easily from the pan. I like to cut them after they’re out of the pan, but either way works! Happy baking!

  • Reply
    Abigail
    March 28, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    This looks so yummy! And I love the idea of topping the crumble with fresh berries to melt in!

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Thank you, Abigail!! 🙂