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 crumb topping – but in convenient hand held form! Made with simple pantry ingredients, easily adaptable (egg free, vegan, gluten free options), and perfect for sharing.

strawberry jam crumble bars from 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 crumb bars. They combine everything wonderful about a traditional fruit crisp or pie, but are portable, can be made in advance, keep well for a few days, and are easier to transport and serve to a berry loving, crumble adoring, crowd.

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

a close up of fresh strawberries from the farmers market from forkknifeswoon.com

What you’ll love about these strawberry jam crumble bars

They’re filled with whole oats, brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and ginger, and a good dose of butter. The crust and crumble topping on these strawberry bars is one and the same. 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. You could add also add a splash of vanilla or almond extract, or top with your favorite nuts. It bakes into the buttery crumbs and yields a sweet, chewy, gooey, lick-your-fingers delicious bar.

the ingredients to make strawberry jam crumble bars from forkknifeswoon.com

Ingredients in these strawberry crumble bars

These jam crumb bars are a breeze to whip up with simple pantry staples – in just one bowl! Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • Oats: old-fashioned rolled oats add great flavor, texture, and a little nutritional boost to the crust and crumble topping.
  • Flour: all-purpose flour makes up the base of these crumb bars. You can also easily swap in gluten-free flour (see notes in FAQs below)
  • White and brown sugar: a combination of both granulated sugar and light brown sugar adds sweetness and caramel flavor to these buttery bars.
  • Baking soda: just the right amount of lift for the perfect crumb texture.
  • Cinnamon and ginger: for lots of cozy spice.
  • Salt: to intensify all the other flavors. My favorite to bake with is Diamond Crystal.
  • Butter: for lots of buttery goodness (and to hold the crust together) we’ll use two sticks of softened unsalted butter. For a vegan option, feel free to substitute with plant based butter.
  • Strawberry jam: use your favorite good quality berry jam or preserve. I think a chunkier style work best (with bonus points for pieces of actual fruit throughout). Both homemade and store-bought will be winners here.
  • Strawberries: I like to add a handful of chopped fresh strawberries atop the jam layer for extra bursts of berry flavor.
  • Lemon zest: The lemon zest is optional, but I think it lends a welcome brightness to the berries and richness of the buttery crumb. You could also swirl a few drops of good vanilla into the jam before adding it to the crust.

Find all of the measurements and recipe instructions below.

How to make jam crumble bars

Making these strawberry jam crumble bars is super easy. They don’t require a mixer or special baking equipment and come together in one big mixing bowl. And if you weigh your ingredients there are even less dishes to wash at the end!

  1. Make the crust and crumble topping

    Whisk together the oats, flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices until combined. Add the softened butter and using a pastry blender or your fingers, smoosh the butter into the dry ingredients until completely incorporated and you have a chunky crumb.

  2. Assemble the strawberry crumb bar layers

    Press about 2/3 of the crumbs into an even layer in the bottom of a parchment paper lined 9×9-inch baking pan. Top with strawberry jam, sliced strawberries, and lemon zest, if using. Add the remaining crumb topping.

  3. Bake and serve

    Bake until the bars are lightly golden and gently puffed. The jam may be beginning to bubble up around the edges. Let cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!!

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 can 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.

strawberry jam crumble bars from forkknifeswoon.com

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! Happy baking!!

a stack of strawberry jam crumble bars from forkknifeswoon.com

Strawberry crumb bars: frequently asked questions

How to store jam crumble bars

These crumb bars will keep for a 1-2 days in an airtight container at room temperature, or 4-5 days in the fridge, so can easily be made in advance.

Can you freeze crumb bars?

Yes! These jam bars freeze well. Wrapped tightly, the bars will keep for 2-3 months. How to freeze: once cooled completely, place the bars flat on a baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour, then transfer to a freezer bag or other airtight container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room-temperature before serving or heat for a few seconds in the microwave.

Can I halve or double the recipe?

Yes! You can easily make small batch crumb bars by halving the recipe and baking in a standard loaf pan. Or, for a larger batch, double the recipe and bake in a 9×13-inch pan. Be sure to watch the baking time as the bars may take slightly more or less time in the oven.

How do you cut the bars cleanly?

Be sure to wait until the bars are completely cool (at least an hour) for the cleanest slices, otherwise, they’ll still taste great, but fall apart. Use a large sharp knife, and wipe the knife down after each slice.

How can I make gluten free strawberry crumb bars?

Simply swap the flour for an equal amount of an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. I tested with King Arthur Flour gluten-free all-purpose flour (which does not include xanthum gum). I use 2 cups (312g) and bake for 35-40 minutes. Be sure your rolled oats are also gluten-free, as needed.

How can I make vegan strawberry crumb bars?

You can use an equal amount of vegan butter in place of the regular butter and be sure to use organic sugar that is produced without the use of animal products.

strawberry jam crumble bars from forkknifeswoon.com

Other easy and delicious crumble recipes you’ll love:

If you make these strawberry crumb bars, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #forkknifeswoon and leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked them! Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, Laura

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a stack of strawberry jam crumble bars from forkknifeswoon.com

Strawberry Jam Crumble Bars


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 crumb topping – but in convenient hand held form! Made with simple pantry ingredients, easily adaptable (egg free, vegan, gluten free options), and perfect for sharing.


Ingredients

Scale

2 cups (180g) rolled oats
2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (160g) light brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp Kosher 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.

  • Category: Baking, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

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

Originally published March 28, 2018.

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24 Comments

  1. 11.18.20
    Butters said:

    What happens if I reduce the butter and add an egg or two? Do you know?

    • 11.18.20
      Laura said:

      Hi! I haven’t tried making those changes, what is your goal?

  2. 10.14.20
    G said:

    Can I use frozen strawberries if I don’t have fresh ones on hand? Anything I’d need to do differently?

    • 10.15.20
      Laura said:

      Hi, G! I haven’t tried using frozen strawberries but you can either skip them entirely (and maybe add another spoon or two of jam) or, try defrosting the berries and drain some of the extra juices before adding them. As a side note, if you’re making your own jam, you can definitely use frozen berries for that. Hope that helps! Enjoy!

  3. 8.12.20
    Emerald said:

    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.

    • 8.12.20
      Laura said:

      That sounds so good!! Thanks, Emerald!!

  4. 7.25.20
    thuonghailongvan said:

    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.

  5. 7.8.20
    Allison said:

    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!!

    • 7.28.20
      Laura said:

      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!!

  6. 5.5.20
    Rashmi said:

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

  7. 3.13.20
    Malinda said:

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

    • 3.22.20
      Laura said:

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

  8. 3.5.20
    Rebecca said:

    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!

    • 3.22.20
      Laura said:

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

  9. 7.22.19
    Yuliya said:

    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:)

    • 7.22.19
      Laura said:

      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 🙂

  10. 4.19.18

    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 !!!!

    • 4.20.18
      Laura said:

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

  11. 3.29.18

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

    • 4.20.18
      Laura said:

      Hope you all enjoy them, Lydia!! 🙂

  12. 3.28.18
    Louise said:

    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?

    • 4.20.18
      Laura said:

      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!

  13. 3.28.18
    Abigail said:

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

    • 4.20.18
      Laura said:

      Thank you, Abigail!! 🙂

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2021.