Strawberry jam bars are all about that unbeatable combo of buttery shortbread cookie dough and sweet-tart strawberry jam. This simple dessert never disappoints!
strawberry jam bars are like a portable strawberry crumble!
I love the versatility of a shortbread crumble bar, I’ve made them with raw fresh fruit, cooked fresh fruit, fruit curd, and all sorts of jams and preserves. This one’s all about the sweet taste of summer berries, complemented by a very lightly spiced, brown sugar and oat shortbread crumble. There’s no frills here, no fuss, just a comforting, portable little bar perfect for tucking into a lunchbox, working lunches, long flights, and picnics.
the star of these cookie bars is a homemade strawberry jam
But the beauty of this recipe is that it will work with any kind of jam you have — just make sure you love the flavor because it’s the main driver of this recipe.
- Strawberry jams tend to be on the sweet side, which will make a nice sweet crumble bar that’s kid friendly. If you’re looking for a little bit more of a sophisticated taste, try a tarter jam, or even a marmalade which has a nice balance of sweet and bitter flavors.
- If you have a jam you’d like to use that you feel is a bit too sweet, try mixing in a tablespoon or so of lemon juice before using it in this recipe. The kick of tartness really helps wake up the flavors.
the easiest way to make a shortbread crumble
I love to use my food processor to make shortbread dough — it’s so easy, quick, and virtually mess-free. Here’s how to do it:
- Add your flour, sugar, and any other dry ingredients like spices, etc., to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse briefly to combine.
- Add your room temperature butter, cut into chunks, and continue to pulse until the dough just comes together, like you see in the photo above. That’s it!
jam bar faqs
Yes, you can use fruit like berries or peaches and use instead of the jam. Small berries can be used whole, larger berries and fruit like peaches need to be chopped or sliced.
These can be stored, loosely covered, on the counter. The crumble tends to soften as it sits, so sometimes I won’t cover them at all if it’s just overnight.
Yes, just fold in sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or whatever you like. You can use them in place of the oats.
Yes, you’ll get a nice boost of flavor with dark brown sugar.
I’ve made my shortbread with a good gf baking mix and it does work, but be aware that the texture will be quite soft. (I like King Arthur Flour’s gf measure for measure flour.)
Yes, you can do all whole wheat, white whole wheat (my choice) or half whole wheat and half white flour.
more recipes that start with a jar of jam (or jelly)
- Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- Gin and Jam Cocktail
- Sour Cherry Almond Bars
- Jelly Doughnut Bundt Cake
- Tangerine Shortbread Tart with Fresh Rosemary
Strawberry Jam Bars
- 7×11 brownie/quiche tart pan or equivilent
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup strawberry jam (or other fruit preserves)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 7 x 11 inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, and vanilla extract.
- Pulse until the ingredients are combined, and continue to pulse until the dough comes together into a single clump.
- Reserve about 1 cup of the shortbread dough for topping the crumble bars, and crumble the rest into your prepared baking pan.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan with your fingers.
- Spread the strawberry jam evenly over the dough.
- Mix the reserved dough with the rolled oats, and crumble evenly over the jam layer. Some of the strawberry filling will show through, and that's good.
- Bake for about 35-40 minutes until just starting to turn golden brown on the edges.
- Allow to cool before removing from the pan and slicing. Note: shortbread is quite soft right out of the oven, and will firm up as it cools.
- If you don’t have a 7×11 pan you can use a 9 inch square baking pan or a round 9 inch tart pan.