These easy Strawberry Crumble Bars have a delicious shortbread crust, and a jam-filled center. They are an easy one-bowl treat with simple ingredients that comes together in no time.
These Strawberry Bars could not be easier to make! The shortbread base and crumble topping come from the same easy one bowl mix. A layer of sweet strawberry jam makes them look fresh and taste amazing. This recipe comes together so quickly, that you’ll have people thinking you were in the kitchen all day.
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Let’s talk Ingredients and Supplies
Butter-Use an unsalted butter for the freshest taste and higher quality. Did you ever wonder why they call it “short bread”? The term short actually refers to the crumbly quality of the dough. Short comes from shortening. So a short dough is a dough with fat added.
Granulated Sugar– Aside from adding sweetness, the sugar in this recipe helps the dough to hold onto moisture and allows the crumb topping to lightly brown while baking.
All-Purpose Flour– Measure your flour by gently spooning it and leveling the measuring cup with a knife. Better yet, get yourself a digital scale and weigh the flour. Weighing ingredients is one thing you can do to dramatically improve your baking! Here’s a link to a very affordable kitchen scale. It’s under $20 and the slim design fits in my kitchen drawer.
Vanilla- *WARNING* I’m going to say something very controversial here…In some baked goods, you can not taste the difference between real vanilla and artificial vanilla. Phew. That was hard. Ok. deep breath. Let’s talk about this. Sometimes, for baking junkies like ourselves, it can get expensive. I always get sticker shock when I go to refill my vanilla. Occasionally you can get away with artificial vanilla. Not here!
Use real vanilla in this recipe. Save the artificial ( or even go half and half) in recipes with strong flavors like chocolate cake.
Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners sugar, this granulated sugar is finely milled and blended with cornstarch to prevent the sugar from caking. This helps create a tender and light crumb in the shortbread.
Strawberry Jam– The jam gives all of the flavor in this recipe, so go for the best you can find. Gourmet brands like Bonne Maman are perfect for this type of recipe.
Check out my *Bake Like Pro* Tips
Here are a few things you can do to ensure you get the best results.
Making this Recipe
First, start by gathering all the ingredients. The French have a term called Mise En Place. It literally means ” put things in place”. In professional kitchens, it is a term that gets used often. Think of it like ” prep”. If you were making a soup, you would prep the ingredients before you start cooking. The same applies to baking. Be sure to get your mise en place ready.
Preheat your oven and prepare your pan. Preheat your oven to 350°. Pan spray or butter your 9 x 9-inch baking pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. This makes removal super stress free and quick.
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Use a stand mixer or a bowl and spatula. The best thing about this recipe is how quick and easy it is. Start by creaming the butter and sugars together. If you have a stand mixer, do this with a paddle attachment. If you want to mix this by hand, make sure your butter is at room temperature. Stir the butter and sugar together until it is evenly mixed. Add the vanilla, and stir again. Now gently stir in the flour and salt and mix until it is a smooth, but crumbly mixture.
Hold out the topping. I mentioned that the shortbread base and the crumble topping come from the same mix. Here is where you will take out 1/3- 1/2 of the mixture to set aside for the crumbles on top. I like a thicker base with fewer crumbles on top so I use 2/3 of the mix for the base and the 1/3 amount as the crumbles. If you prefer a thinner crust and more crumbles, just split the mixture in half and do half as the base and 1/2 as the crumble topping.
Time to assemble everything. Whichever amount you chose for your Strawberry Bar base, press it firmly into the prepared baking pan. Spread the base layer with the strawberry jam. ( incidentally, this recipe works with any kind of jam you like- raspberry, blueberry or apricot.) Top the jam with the reserved shortbread crumbles. Scatter them evenly so that each piece will have the same amount.
Bake and wait. Place the Strawberry bars in the preheated 350° oven for 35-40 minutes. Since all ovens vary, set your timer for 30 minutes and check for browning. They are done when they smell fragrant, and the crumble topping is lightly and evenly browned. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting. The 9 by 9 pan cuts perfectly into 9 -3 inch square servings. If you want to serve these as a smaller portion you can cut each of those bars in half and have 18 appetizer or taster size servings. Store these at room temperature in a covered container for up to 3 days.
Strawberry Shortbread Crumble Bars
For the Shortbread Crust
- 1 Cup Butter
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 3 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 Cups All Purpose FLour
For the Filling
- 1 1/2 Cups Strawberry Jam
For dusting tops
- 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
To make the crust and topping
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and salt. Add the flour and mix until dough begins to from. Don't over mix it. Dough should be a little crumbly.
- Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Reserve the other 1/3 for the crumble topping.
- Bake the crust at 350° for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned. Allow crust to cool slightly.
- Spread the crust with strawberry jam. You can make your own or use a store bought jam for convience.
- Crumble the reserved topping over the strawberry jam.
- Return the bars to the oven and bake for an additional 25 minutes until the jam is bubbly and the streusel is browned.
- Allow bars to cool completely before cutting into 9 squares. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
If you enjoyed this type of One Bowl easy recipe, then you’ll love my Cravings Buster Brownie Recipe, Ridiculously Easy Blondie Bars, and my Old School Banana Bread Recipe. These recipes are easy, quick, require no special equipment, and taste like you’ve been baking all day!