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6 Ingredient Easy Bake Bliss: Raspberry Jam Bars

When you’re looking for effortlessly delightful desserts, Raspberry Jam Bars are exactly what you’re looking for. These little squares of joy not only boast a melt-in-your-mouth goodness but also require just six simple ingredients.

They taste fantastic, and yet they’re ready in 45 minutes from start to finish. It will last for several days when kept in a tightly sealed container, which means you can make it ahead of an event or simply save leftovers to savor over time.

Image shows a Close up of a jam bar on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Dish

If you’re a fan of uncomplicated recipes that deliver maximum flavor, Raspberry Jam Bars are your new best friend. The oat-filled base, sweet and tart layer of raspberry jam, and crumbly topping that repeats the base all come together in one glorious bite.

They are simple and flavorful with a touch of indulgence, making them a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.

I’m always a fan of bar cookies because you put one pan in, and it bakes – unlike cookies where you have to keep scooping them out batch after batch.

Need some more bar cookie ideas? Try Cherry Crumb Bars or my favorite decadent chocolate caramel bars – or check out my roundup of over 50 of my favorite bar cookies.

Image shows an Overhead of a raspberry jam bar on a plate.

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Ingredients You Need

Unsalted Butter

Using unsalted butter allows you to control the salt content in your bars. It’s a baking staple that ensures your treats taste just right.

Because different brands of butter contain different amounts of salt, you generally want to save salted butter to spread on bread rather than use in any baking. If you have only salted butter, know that the flavor will be slightly altered here.

Flour

You won’t be surprised to know you need flour for these bar cookies. Like most baked goods, all-purpose flour provides the structure for these Raspberry Jam Bars.

If you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with whole wheat flour for a nuttier flavor. You can also substitute gluten-free flour – along with ensuring you use oats free from gluten – to make gluten-free Raspberry Jam Bars.

Brown Sugar

While the raspberry jam provide most of the sweetness you need for this recipe, you do need brown sugar for the crust and topping. Feel free to substitute with coconut sugar for a slightly different taste.

Nutmeg

A bit of nutmeg elevates the flavor profile, adding warmth and complexity. It doesn’t take much nutmeg to have an impact, but this is an ingredient you don’t want to leave you.

You can also choose to add a pinch of cardamom, which also pairs nicely, but that is completely optional.

I always suggest using freshly grated nutmeg because it tends to have a fresher flavor profile, but ground nutmeg can work in a pinch. Make sure your ground nutmeg is fresh if you use it.

That’s another reason I love grating my own nutmeg. Whole nutmeg lasts far longer than ground nutmeg without losing its flavor.

Simply use a microplane zester to grate it directly into the bowl so you use only as much as the recipe requires. The microplane zester is one of my favorite tools, since you can use it for everything from grating chocolate or cheese to zesting citrus or grating fresh ginger and so much more.

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Oats

Rolled oats contribute to the delightful crumbly texture. They are the bulk of this dish, and they also make it look prettier.

Do not use instant oats, as they are not the same. Rolled oats and old-fashioned oats are the same thing with different names and can be used interchangeably.

Steel-cut oats tend to bake up chewy and tough, so avoid them, as well. You can use quick-cooking oats in a pinch.

Raspberry Jam

The star of the show, raspberry jam brings that sweet and tangy punch. You want to be sure to use jam and not jelly, which has a different consistency and includes pieces of fruit that you will not find in jelly.

You can choose preserves, as well, which tend to have larger chunks of fruit. This is the route I often go simply because I prefer to purchase preserves.

Can I Substitute Other Jam Flavors?

Absolutely, you can make these jam bars with your favorite flavor! While raspberry jam adds a delightful tanginess, you can explore various fruit jams to suit your taste.

Apricot, strawberry, or blackberry jams offer exciting alternatives that can turn this recipe into a versatile go-to for different occasions. I often purchase whatever preserves Costco carries at the time and make these – pomegranate cherry is another favorite.

What to Serve With It

Pair your Raspberry Jam Bars with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a classic treat or a dollop of whipped cream for added indulgence. These bars also make a delightful accompaniment to a warm cup of tea or coffee, creating a balance of sweetness.

These are perfect for a potluck or a picnic, but their bright flavors also work well for holiday desserts, as well. Because you’re using preserved fruit instead of fresh, you can easily enjoy it all year long.

Image shows a Close up of a raspberry jam bar with more in the background.

How to Make Raspberry Jam Bars

Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8 pan well.

Image shows a Butter stick in a pan to grease it.

Place the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, and nutmeg in the bowl. Stir well to combine.

The butter is going to go in next. You want it cold so that it melts when you cook it and not when you’re stirring it. I find it best to cut it into pieces before I put it into the bowl – I can get a better grip on it to start combining it with the other ingredients.

Image shows an Overhead of jam bar crust ingredients in a bowl.

Once you have the butter in, use your pastry cutter – or two knives or a large fork or your impeccably clean fingers – to cut the butter into the other ingredients. I love my pastry cutter because it’s quick and easy, whether I’m making this or biscuits or my gram’s Irish soda bread.

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03/20/2024 03:07 am GMT

Keep cutting the butter in until you have small pea-sized lumps.

If you do it too much, you’ll have a tough crust as the flour gets worked too much and forms gluten strands and the butter will melt at this stage. If you don’t do it enough, you end up with dry bits of floury stuff after you’ve baked it, and your topping won’t stick together.

Image shows Jam bar crust mixed in a bowl with pastry cutter.

Once it’s mixed well, pour half the mixture into the bowl, and press firmly to the bottom to create a good base.

Alternatively, you can put about two-thirds of the mixture as the base and use less as the topping so you can see the raspberry jam, but this makes it harder to pick them up and eat, so I prefer a 50/50 split.

Image shows an overhead of Jam bar crust pressed into a pan.

Gently heat your jam in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to help loosen it so it spreads more evenly. You don’t want to cook it more, and be sure you have no metal in the microwave.

Place your jam carefully atop the crust. You don’t want to have to spread it too much so that you start to pull the crust up, and you want to keep it from the edges.

Image shows show someone Spreading jam with a spatula.

If it gets too close to the edges, it will bake onto them, and you won’t be able remove them from the pan cleanly. I wouldn’t know this from experience, of course!

Then pour the remainder of your topping into the pan and very lightly press it into place. You don’t want to create a firm crust like you did with the bottom, but you want it enough so that it sorta adheres to the bar you’re making.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until it turns golden. Because the crust completely surrounds the filling, this isn’t one of the recipes where you’ll see the filling bubbling to let you know that it’s done.

Image shows an Overhead of Baked raspberry jam bars in the pan.

Let it cool for at least 4 hours before you cut it into squares. You need it to harden and cool fully, so this ideally you can make this early in the day or the night before.

Use an offset spatula to remove the Raspberry Jam Bars to serve them.

Image shows an Overhead of a spatula holding a bar cookie.

Bookmark this recipe to make again later

Raspberry Jam Bars show how just a handful of simple ingredients can easily turn into a delicious treat. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love these Raspberry Jam Bars. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, these make an irresistible dessert anyone can whip up.

Image shows a Close up of a jam bar on a plate.

Raspberry Jam Bars

These jam bars are a fun and easy dessert that take little time to make. You can make this your own with different flavors of jam, too. This is always a hit with everyone who tries one.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 16 bars
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Michelle

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup raspberry jam

Instructions

  • Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8 pan.
  • Add oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, and nutmeg to a bowl and stir.
    3/4 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups oats, 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Cut butter into pieces, then add it to the bowl. Use a pastry cutter to cut it in until you have pea size pieces.
    3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • Pour half the mixture into the bowl, and press firmly to the bottom.
  • Gently heat the jam in the microwave to loosen it a bit so it spreads more easily. Place jam atop the crust and spread to an inch from the edge.
    1 cup raspberry jam
  • Add the remainder of your topping into the pan and very lightly press it into place.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until it turns golden.
  • Let it cool for at least 4 hours before you cut it into squares. Store in a tightly sealed container on the counter for up to four days.

Notes

  • You can make this with your favorite jam or preserve, and switching up flavors keeps this interesting.
  • You can also put more of the crust on the bottom and less on top if you prefer so you can see a bit of the jam, but this is designed to hide the jam to ensure it’s easy to pick up to eat.
  • For more tips and hints, be sure to read the full article.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 12mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

Image shows a Three quarters shot of jam bar with text Raspberry Jam Bars.

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  1. Michelle says:

    Laura – Ummm yep. If you don't have the jam bake itself to the dish, it makes a huge difference. See, even when you already know a recipe, there's always a tip in there somewhere from me, right? 😉

    Heather – Soon… soon. SO yummy though!

  2. Heather E says:

    OMG yum. Yum 🙁 I want!

  3. Laura says:

    Heck yeah! I love jam bars and the name square jam is great. So you can keep them from sticking by not spreading it to the edge? DUH me!

  4. Michelle says:

    The Blue Zoo – That describes them perfectly. Gotta love those, especially when there's so much else to do!

    Susie – It's so needed for them, but sometimes the stress of it… bleh! 🙂

    Megryansmom – Ummm YEAH you can make these! I think if it were multiple flowers, it would have been easier. The single flower thing threw people, I think?

    Laural – Oops, I just realized I forgot to give one to Mister Man again tonight. Apparently they are going to be just for me (except that I promised I wouldn't eat any without him – can't break that one, I guess!)

    Kelly – Ummm does each teacher need a different inspirational poem, or do they all get the same one? That one might not be my strong suit. I suppose I should look to see what we do for tomorrow. Oops!

  5. septembermom says:

    That's a real nice treat for a teacher! Looks very yummy! I'm on the teacher appreciation committee here. I'm in charge of finding an inspirational poem and putting one in each teacher's mailbox. So far they have enjoyed that little bit of inspiration.

  6. Laural Out Loud says:

    Um… YUM!! I'm totally going to make these, but not for anyone else or anything special. JUST FOR ME. And my family, I guess, lol.

  7. Megryansmom says:

    I CAN make these! Thanks, they look so yummy. We sent grapes and strawberries on Tuesday and flowers on Monday. How sad that so many parents overlook even the simple gestures.

  8. Susie says:

    We love teacher appreciation week! Great recipe:-)

  9. The Blue Zoo says:

    Yum! Those look good and easy, my fave. =)

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