These strawberry oatmeal bars are the ultimate summer dessert for all strawberry lovers. Prepared with a simple cookie-like oatmeal base and crumble topping, these delectable bars are deliciously jammy and bursting with fresh, juicy strawberries in each irresistibly sweet bite!
A Strawberry Walks Into a Bar...
Friends, I don't think there's been a single trip to the market this season where I haven't returned home without at least one package of fresh strawberries in my shopping bag...
These ruby-red berry gems are so sweet and juicy, and a star ingredient in my afternoon bowls of freshly-cut fruit, my homemade fruit-infused popsicles, our smoothies, my strawberry jam, and now these utterly irresistible strawberry oatmeal bars!
Baked goods in the summer time have always been extra enticing to me, and since I've been longing to create some new sweet treats using the fresh berries and ripe fruits of the season, these bars were just the recipe to get me all excited to turn my oven on... even if it is blazin' hot out there!
Prepared with loads of fresh, ripe strawberries combined with a heaping scoop of strawberry jam for a juicy, extra “jammy” filling consistency, plus a cookie-like, oat-infused dough that doubles as both the base for these fruity bars as well as the crumbly topping, these strawberry oatmeal bars are sure to be on repeat in our kitchen for the remainder of strawberry season!
My Strawberry Oatmeal Bars Recipe, the Perfect Berry-Licious Treat
I love a good, fruity dessert bar, and if I'm making a batch of bars using fresh fruit such as strawberries, I like the filling to be juicy and glossy so that each bite bursts with sweet fruit flavor.
To create my filling, I literally use only three ingredients: I combine freshly-cut strawberries (#1) with a kiss of lemon juice and zest (#2), plus a hefty scoop of good quality organic strawberry jam or preserves (#3), instead of sugar, and that’s it!
This way, as these strawberry oatmeal bars bake, the fresh strawberries sort of soften and “melt” into the jam, and benefit from the bit of pectin already present in the jam itself.
The result is a strawberry filling that is naturally sweet, bubbly, juicy and jammy, with a hint of brightness.
And that oatmeal base and crumbly topping?
To me, it tastes a bit like a buttery, oatmeal-infused cookie that's been kissed with a touch of vanilla and almond extracts for added flavor and aroma—so yummy!
Here's a glance at my strawberry oatmeal bars recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I prepare the dough for my base, and reserve a portion for my crumble topping.
- Next, I press a portion of my dough into my prepared baking dish to create my base and place this, along with my reserved crumble topping, into the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
- While the dough chills, I prepare my strawberry filling.
- Once the dough has chilled, I spoon the strawberry filling over top of the base, and finish by sprinkling over the reserved portion of dough as my crumble topping.
- I bake the strawberry oatmeal bars for about 55 minutes, until bubbly, aromatic, and golden.
- Then, I allow the bars to cool in the pan for 45 minutes; and after that, I remove them from the pan, as one whole slab, and allow it to cool completely before cutting into individual bars and serving.
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
by Ingrid Beer
These strawberry oatmeal bars are prepared with a sweet, cookie-like base and crumble topping, plus a juicy and jammy strawberry filling!
Yield: 20 bars
Nutrition Info: 243 calories (per bar)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 2 cups plus 2 level tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ¼ cups, plus 2 tablespoons, old-fashioned rolled oats, divided use
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2 tablespoons water
Strawberry Filling Ingredients:
- 1 ½ pounds organic strawberries, hulled and sliced, or cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ cup organic strawberry jam, or preserves
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your dough ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Line a 9 inch by 13 inch pan (glass or aluminum) with parchment paper that slightly overhangs (for easier lifting), and very gently mist with cooking spray.
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- To make your dough, add the flour, salt, baking powder, and ground cinnamon to a medium-large bowl, and whisk to blend. Add in the 1 ¼ cups of rolled oats, and using a large spoon, mix to combine everything very well. Set these dry ingredients aside for a moment.
- To the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the softened butter and the brown and granulated sugars, and beat this mixture together for a minute or two until fluffy and well blended. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts, and mix once again to combine.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients, allowing them to incorporate before adding in more. Once all the dry ingredients are added and a crumble forms, drizzle in the 2 tablespoons of water, and mix once again for a few more seconds until the crumble is moistened.
- Reserve a slightly heaping 1 cup of this dough/crumble mixture and place it into a bowl, and sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oats. Using your fingers, gently mix together until things are combined. Set this aside for the topping.
- Press the remainder of the dough into your prepared pan (this will be the base of your bars), gently pressing the mixture to the edges and evening it out so that it is smooth. (I like to use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to help with this.)
- Place both this base and the reserved crumble topping into the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
- While the dough chills, prepare your strawberry filling: add the strawberries into a medium-large bowl, along with the lemon juice and zest, plus the jam, and toss everything very well to coat.
- Once the dough has chilled, spoon this strawberry filling over top of your dough base, spreading it to the edges and all over to completely cover. Sprinkle over top of the strawberries the reserved crumble topping portion of the dough, taking small chunks of it and crumbling it over top of the berries.
- Bake the strawberry oatmeal bars for 55 minutes, then allow the slab to cool in the pan for 45 minutes.
- Then, using the overhanging parchment paper, carefully lift the whole slab of bars out of the pan (it will be quite soft/pliable and warm, so do it quickly and confidently), and place onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing into bars and serving. (You can even place the slab into the fridge for 20 minutes to help cool things a bit quicker.)
Tips & Tidbits for my Strawberry Oatmeal Bars recipe:
- Fresh, organic strawberries: For the sweetest, juiciest and most flavorful berries, opt for ripe, organic strawberries, if possible. They're not only healthier, but have a more robust strawberry flavor and fragrance which makes these oatmeal bars extra delicious and enticing.
- Combo of brown and granulated sugar for flavor and texture: I'm going a little heavier on the brown sugar in the dough for these bars, as I like the flavor and tenderness it adds. You too can use all brown sugar, if you'd like, or all granulated if that's what you happen to have on hand.
- Vanilla and almond extract for cookie-like flavor: While you can certainly use just the vanilla extract in the dough for these bars, adding that little bit of almond extract to the whole mix creates extra aroma and a buttery, cookie-like flavor.
- Allow things to cool before slicing into bars: Things are pretty hot and delicate when fresh out of the oven, so leave the whole baked slab in the pan for 45 minutes, then carefully lift out, and cool completely before slicing into individual bars to allow the jammy filling to set up a bit. You can even place into the fridge briefly to cool things a bit quicker.