Melt in your mouth, Raspberry Shortbread Bars with a delicious crumble on top! These perfect shortbread cookies have a sweet layer of preserves through the middle and create a delicious textured bar.
Whether you make this sweet bar for the holidays or any time of year, be sure to also try these easy Almond Bars! Or try a batch of these raspberry filled Jam Thumbprint Cookies!
Why this Recipe is Best
These Raspberry Shortbread Bars have been front and center in my life since before Christmas.
My good friend and workout partner, Kelly (Hi girl), brought these to a cookie exchange party at my house, and I immediately begged for the recipe.
I’ve since made them half a dozen times before finally hiding them so that I could get some photos taken.
If you’re looking for your next, tried and true, dessert recipe, you need to try baking up a batch of these Raspberry Bars!
How to make Raspberry Crumble Bars
Soften your butter.
Typically 30 minutes at room temperature does the trick, unless your house is freezing like mine, go for an hour!
To speed things up, you could put hot water in a large tumbler, then dump it out, and put the tumbler over the sticks of butter. This works really well!
Once your butter is softened it’s time to make the shortbread cookie crust and crumble. Yes, with this recipe there’s no separate “crumble” or streusel topping. You just divide the dough in half.
Let’s get started!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
Make the crumble.
In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter with vanilla extract and granulated sugar. Beat until creamy and combined. Add in flour and mix until the flour has incorporated into the butter mixture. It will resemble CRUMBS at this point.
To check if you’ve mixed it enough, grab a pinchful of the dough and press it in your fingers. If it stick together, you’re good. If it’s still flour-y and crumbly, keep mixing.
Pour half of the crumbs (cookie dough) into the baking dish. Using the bottom of your measuring cup (or the palm of your hand) press the dough firmly into the dish. Just when you think you’re done, press it all again. This is what creates your cookie crust!
Next, spread the raspberry preserves even over this layer. The best way to do this is to drop the jam by tablespoonful onto various parts of the dough. Then use an offset spatula to gently spread the raspberry preserves all over the top of the cookie dough.
Finally, sprinkle your remaining crumb mixture over the top of the preserves until done.
Bake in a preheated oven for 31-33 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove and cool completely. Top generously with powdered sugar when cool. Cut and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- First, when adding your second layer of crumbs to the cookie bars, do NOT press these crumbs into the bar. ONLY press the first layer of cookie dough. I accidentally pressed the second layer when I made these bars for the first time. While it tasted just fine, they looked super weird. No crumble on top.
- Also speaking of crumbs and crumbles…you’re going to think it’s missing liquid. If you’ve ever made shortbread bars you know it’s not a typical cookie dough. It’s more like a bowl of crumbs.
- But be sure to test that you have combined your butter into your flour by pressing a fingerful of dough together. It should press together and stick, that’s how you know it’s ready!
- Also, when choosing raspberry preserves, try to find the chunkiest brand possible. I loved having those thick chunks in my cookie bars!
- Finally, if you want beautiful cut cookie bars, your best results will happen if you refrigerate the bars FIRST. Once they have cooled, cover the bars with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Once chilled, they cut so much easier. You can then top them with powdered sugar!
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More Easy Dessert Recipes
- Apple Cranberry Crumble
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Wonderful, came out delicious. Definitely added to my recipes. No problems with size of pan. They were rd great as nd so easy to make. Thsnk you
These were delicious, but I agree with the concens about the amount of dough for a 13X9 pan. I don’t know if I did something wrong but it didn’t work for me- I will make again but deflnitely will use an 8 inch square pan next time. Mine were nowhere near as thick as those in the picture- nor did I have that much crumb topping.
These were delicious and so easy! I had to bake mine for a few minutes longer. Also going to try them with mini white chocolate chips sprinkled on top for the last 2-3 minutes of baking 🙂
Made this and added some white chocolate shavings. It was amazing and so easy. Also made my own raspberry compote. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you so much for sharing.
I am having to double this recipe because the dough (in full barely covers the bottom of a 13×9. Are you sure you don’t mean 8×8?
It’s a 13×9. It will feel like not enough, but it works!
I thought the same thing but it does work!
Same here. Mine were super thin- will use 8×8 next time.
Can gluten-free flour be used instead?
I made some jam bars last night, but used apple butter. I used more than half of the crumbs for the the crust. Definitely had plenty of crumbs to cover an 8 X 8”. I feel I could of used a 9 X 13” pan and they would have turned out. I did not use any parch. or foil. Just sprayed my pan with Baker’s Joy. I’ll definitely be make more of these easy & very tasty bars.
Can I use gluten-free flour with success
I baked these Raspberry Shortbread Bars and they are awesome and just want I was looking for! Thank you for the recipe. I am a home baker and since my granddaughter loves my baking she asked me to make many of my cookies and dessert type foods for her upcoming wedding reception but I have not made this type of cookie. We agree this needs to be on the buffet. I need to make these to taste freshly baked but need to make these somewhat ahead of time. Is it better to refrigerate them or freeze them? If frozen, how do I defrost them, in the refrigerator or on the counter and uncovered so no condensation forms in the bars? If made these 3 or 4 days beforehand will they stay fresh tasting if in the refrigerator that long?
I specifically searched the internet for raspberry recipes because we have rows and rows of raspberry bushes (this is our first summer in this house, in British Columbia), and we have too many to eat as is. This raspberry shortbread bar recipe ticks all the boxes: easy and buttery base (yum), fruit filling (to give the kids a fun alternative to regular fruit snacks), and a buttery and sugary crumb topping that is already prepared in the recipe (awesome). Instead of preserves, I made raspberry compote with our own fresh raspberries, but perhaps the compote is a tad on the tart side (compared to store-bought preserves). This sweet treat was a great mid-morning snack, and my five kids loved it! Thanks so much!
Can you cut receipt in half.
Can I cut the recipe in half and make an 8 inch pan? These would be too tempting in a larger pan.
Can you freeze it?
I baked these yesterday. Very easy and very delish! These will be a part of my cooky rotation! Hint: to sprinkle the powdered sugar evenly, put in a small wire strainer and shake over the bars.
These are absolutely delicious! I was wondering if these freeze well?
They sure do!
Do you freeze before or after baking? Thanks! So excited to try!
Did you use seedless raspberry preserves or with seeds? I am going to the store to buy the preserves tomorrow. This looks YUM.
I have used both with great results! Get what you love 🙂
This recipe is really good and is so simple to prepare! I keep the bars in the freezer . They make a great snack!
I made these for my dad for Valentine’s Day My grandma used to make them for her children when they were growing up. My dad is 92, and he was overjoyed as it brought back a lot of great memories😊
I love stories like this, thank you for sharing 🙂
Made these for a small casual dinner and they were devoured by adults and teens alike. I like my bars thicker so I used a 9″ square pan and cut 9, 3″ bars. Some of the 3″ bars I cut in half figuring those watching their figures would prefer the smaller size. Nope, they just ate two! Very good.
How long did you bake these in the 9” square pan please? Did you make any other adjustments? Thank you!
LOVE these! I used a stand mixer and lined my pans with parchment paper and they came out AMAZING!
I am going to try these. I wonder if I can use thick whole cranberry sauce.
Yes! I’ve done that. Yum!