These strawberry crumble bars are great as a treat, snack or a casual dessert. Crispy and buttery base with jammy layer of juicy strawberries and topped with delicious oat crumble. This easy and quick recipe is perfect with any seasonal berries and your favourite jam! They are chewy, gooey and delightfully crunchy!
With only 7 basic ingredients, this recipe is also made by hand, with no special equipment, and can be frozen to keep for months!
Why should you try this recipe
If you are a fan of good, old-fashioned crumble, then these crumble bars will definitely be up to your liking. It is basically a strawberry crumble, but turned into individual, smaller bars/ slices. Aside from delicious flavour, these bars are:
- Incredibly easy to make, you don't need any equipment other than a bowl.
- Super quick to make, it only takes 10 minutes to prepare them!
- Perfect to make with any seasonal fruits and berries
- Great for freezing
We are keeping things simple here, and there is a big chance you already have all of the ingredients needed in your kitchen. To make these incredibly easy and delicious strawberry crumb bars, you will need:
- Butter - Salted or unsalted is fine butter is fine. I always choose unsalted, but either will work.
- Plain flour - All purpose plain flour goes into the crumble mixture for the crust, strawberry filling and crumble topping.
- Oats - Not really necessary to make crumble, but I like to add them for the extra texture and flavour. You can use any type of oats, but try to avoid super-fine ones.
- Sugar - Caster / superfine sugar is always my choice. Feel free to use granulated sugar, or soft light brown sugar instead, if you would like.
- Salt - Just a small amount to balance out the sweetness.
- Strawberries - I use fresh strawberries to create that fresh strawberry filling. You can use frozen ones too, but ideally, they should be cut into smaller pieces. No need to thaw them, if using frozen.
- Strawberry jam - Adding a little bit of jam produces more intense flavour and helps to seal the filling a bit more. My easy homemade strawberry jam works great here, but feel free to use your favourite, shop-bought one as an alternative.
How to get the best crumble
What's great in these strawberry bars recipe, is that the same dough is used for the bottom and for the crumb topping. We make one big batch, reserving small amount and crumbling it over the filling.
Rather than using cold butter and rubbing it together with flour mixture, we are using melted butter in this recipe. Not only it is quicker and easier, but I find that it produces better and more crumbly crumble.
When making the crumble, start by mixing all of the dry ingredients together. No need to use food processor, just a bowl and a fork.
You want this to be a mixture of fine crumbs and chunky bits. Transfer ⅔ of this dough into prepared baking tin and press firmly, using back of the spoon or measuring cup.
Transfer the remaining crumble mix into the freezer for the time being, while you prepare the filling.
Place strawberries in a medium bowl and sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Give it a gentle stir and let them sit in the bowl for couple of minutes. They will release some of their juices at this stage, which is exactly what you want them to do.
Discard any juice and transfer strawberry mixture over the top of the crumble base, then top it up with strawberry jam. Remove the remaining crumble from the freezer and scatter it on top of the fruit, in an even layer.
Bake the crumble for 35- 40 minutes until it is bubbly around the edges and the crumble topping is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour. After that, transfer the bake to the fridge for further 1-2 hours. This will allow the jammy filling to set properly.
If you try removing the bake from the tin while it is still warm, there is a big chance it will fall apart.
To get that super-clean cut, make sure to use large, sharp knife and wipe it clean between each cut. You can serve them plain, as they are, or with a little bit of custard or scoop of ice cream.
Storing and freezing instructions
These bars are best when served fresh, but any leftovers can be stored in the airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. They may loose some of their crumbly, crispy texture after a day, but will still taste amazing!
Strawberry crumble bars are also great for freezing. To freeze, wrap sliced bars in kitchen foil and place in the freezer-friendly container. They will last up to 3 months when frozen. Thaw the bars at room temperature for 2 hours.
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Absolutely! It's really easy to turn this recipe into a gluten-free version. Simply use your favourite GF flour and GF oats. The rest of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free, so these will be the only substitutes you will need.
Can I use frozen strawberries?
You can use frozen fruit, but the texture can become a bit more watery and runny with frozen strawberries. Toss frozen strawberries with 1 tablespoon of flour, along with sugar. Flour will absorb some of that extra moisture and will guarantee the jammy texture of the filling.
Why my crumble topping is not crumbly?
This will more likely be because of the wrong amount of butter used. If you use too little, the topping will become too dry and floury. Too much butter will result in greasy and really soft crumbs, which are less likely to retain their shape.
Can this recipe be made vegan?
You can make these crumble bars vegan. Use plant- based / vegan butter or spread instead of butter. Make sure that jam is vegan and doesn't contain any gelatine or gelling agents.
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Strawberry crumble bars
- 8' x 8' baking tin
- baking paper
- mixing bowl
- 220 g plain flour
- 100 g oats
- 200 g unsalted butter
- 150 g sugar, caster or granulated plus 1 extra tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 400 g strawberries chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste optional
- 4 tablespoon strawberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 170 C. Lightly grease and line the baking tin with baking paper with plenty of overhang.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, sugar and salt.
- Pour the melted butter over the flour mixture and combine all together, until the mixture resembles the texture of the wet sand. You want a mix of fine crumbs and chunky bits.
- Transfer ⅔ of the crumble mixture into the baking tin, and press it firmly into the tin to form the base of the crumble. Use flat object to smooth out the surface, a measuring cup or a back of the spoon will work well. Place the remaining crumble mixture into the freezer until you will need it.
- Place chopped strawberries in a medium bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over them, then gently stir together. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (optional) and stir again. Spread the strawberries on top of the crumble base in an even layer. Spread the strawberry jam on top of strawberries.
- Remove the remaining crumble from the freezer and scatter it all over the strawberries in an even layer.
- Bake for 35- 40 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Leave in the baking tin to cool for about 30 minutes, then transfer to a fridge for at least an hour. Remove from the fridge and from the baking tin and slice into 9 equal squares. Enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- Store any leftover bars in the air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To freeze, wrap the sliced bars in kitchen foil, place in the freezer-friendly container and transfer to the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours.