Sometimes you just need an easy to prepare dessert that looks and tastes delicious. Especially when that dessert doesn't have to look "perfect". That is one of the occasions when I love making a good strawberry crumb dessert bars recipe. The simple recipe is a favorite because it takes about 5 minutes to whip up, then pop into the oven. But mostly, I love the fact that it is supposed to look a bit messy! No perfection needed for this baked bar recipe!
Strawberry Crumb Dessert Bars Recipe
Dessert bars are the hybrid of a cake and cookie. Some, like this one with strawberries in the middle, are almost like a cobbler, but easier to handle as a finger food instead of in a bowl. Some are a mixture of sweet and savory. Others have fruit and a cookie crust. I've even seen dessert bars with custards or puddings in the middle. Needless to say, they are all delicious and always loved when made in my house.
Strawberries are one fruit we all enjoy and are typically available in some manner year-round. They pair perfectly with the simple but slightly sweet crust. The sweetness of the berries is just right with a milder crust. It makes a perfect bite every time that is going to soon become a favorite of your families.
Can I Use Frozen Strawberries for This?
While fresh strawberries are best for this recipe, I have often picked up frozen fruits to use instead. Frozen strawberries are almost always found in my freezer. I keep them on hand for smoothies, milkshakes, breads, and of course, the occasion when I don't have fresh berries for this dessert bar recipe.
If using frozen berries, I recommend thawing and raining excess liquid off of them first. This will make them less moist when cooking so the crust will cook properly and not be too soggy. Otherwise, they will work perfectly in this recipe.
Can I Use Different Fruit?
Yes! The same basic crust works with any filling you prefer. I've made these with blueberries, blackberries, apples, cherries, and even peaches. Strawberry is our family favorite, but you can easily use any fruit you would normally put into a dessert or cobbler for this recipe. I like berries best with this crust, but it's easy to make this work with apples and peaches.
Try different fruits and let me know what you think and which are your favorites? There are tons of ways this recipe can be a base for other fillings that will be delicious for dessert. And of course, if you have extra strawberries leftover, you can just use them to whip up a batch of this fresh strawberry bread or perhaps a few glasses of this yummy strawberry avocado smoothie.
Could I Use Strawberry Jam Instead?
If you want to make this super easy and fast, simply spread your favorite fruit jam between the layers of crust! No, it won't be as good as with fresh fruit, but it will still be very tasty. I find this is a good solution when the fruit isn't in season or when I have jams or jellies to use up. Sometimes we have more than one flavor jam in the refrigerator, and this is a great way to use it before it goes to waste.
One idea I haven't tried but know would work great is to use the lemon curd recipe from this lavender lemon curd & mascarapone raspberry tarts recipe. In fact, you could layer the berries, mascarpone, and lemon all in between the crust for another delicious option.
Do I Need to Refrigerate These Bars?
While you don't have to refrigerate these bars for safety, I recommend storing them in the refrigerator if not serving the same day you make them. They are good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but since they are filled with a moist berry mixture, they can get soggy when left out on the counter too long. So, refrigerating them is just a good choice.
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- All-purpose flour
- Unsalted butter
- Lemon zest
How to Make Strawberry Crumb Bars
Preheat the oven to 375°F then line the bottom of a 9"x9" baking dish with parchment paper
In a medium bowl, stir together ½ cup sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Cut in the butter using a pastry blender until the mixture has created pea-sized pieces of crumbly dough.
Beat the egg with a fork, then add the egg and vanilla extract into the flour mixture until it is combined and starting to form a dough.
Divide this dough in half and press half into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
In a clean bowl, mix together ½ cup sugar and the cornstarch, then add in the strawberries and lemon zest coating them well.
Spread the strawberry mixture over the bottom crust in an even layer.
Crumble the remaining half of the dough over the strawberry filling.
Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden.
Let cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.
More Delicious Recipes
In our house, dessert is a favorite part of the day, but we try to avoid processed foods when possible. A homemade treat like this easy dessert bar is a perfect go-to choice. That said, we like variety in flavors, so there are a few other great choices you too might enjoy. Below are some more of my favorite recipes for dessert bars, and yummy treats!
- Delicious Hazelnut Cheesecake Bars
- Easy to Make Chewy Butter Pecan Bars
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
- Peaches and Cream Bars Recipe
- Paleo Lemon Bars Recipe
- Mint Oreo Cookie Bars Recipe
Ingredients for Dough
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Filling Ingredients
- 2 ½ cups strawberries, chopped
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 375°F then line the bottom of a 9"x9" baking dish with parchment paper
- In a medium bowl, stir together ½ cup sugar, the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Cut in the butter using a pastry blender until the mixture has created pea sized pieces of crumbly dough.
- Beat the egg with a fork, then add the egg and vanilla extract into the flour mixture until it is combined and starting to form a dough.
- Divide this dough in half and press half into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- In a clean bowl, mix together ½ cup sugar and the cornstarch, then add in the strawberries and lemon zest coating them well.
- Spread the strawberry mixture over the bottom crust in an even layer.
- Crumble the remaining half of the dough over the strawberry filling.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden.
- Let cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.
Refrigerate leftovers in an air tight container.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 2g