Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars, with a sweet strawberry filling, a buttery oat crust and a delicious crumble topping. These fresh strawberry bars are a perfect spring and summer dessert!
I love the summer season, for the warm weather, the relaxed days, and the fresh produce that’s available. Sweet and juicy summer fruits are hard to resist, and my family has been enjoying our fill of fresh berries, peaches, nectarines, and melons.
Fresh fruit often makes an appearance on my family’s table as a side dish, oatmeal topping or in a fruit salad. I’m always sure to save some of our favorite summer fruits to bake with because you just can’t beat a dessert made with ripe summer fruit.
I first shared this strawberry oatmeal bars recipe years ago, and it’s been one of my favorite strawberry recipes ever since. Today I’m re-sharing the recipe with new photos, more tips, and a simplified recipe that is even better than the original.
These strawberry bars are easy to make and require just a few ingredients. They are a crowd-pleaser and the perfect dessert to share with family and friends!
You’ll love the sweet layer of fresh strawberry filling, which is sandwiched between the bottom crust and a crumbly oatmeal topping. Both the bottom crust and topping are made from the same buttery oat crumble mixture, which saves preparation time.
Many strawberry bar recipes use jam or preserves, but I wanted a bar that was bursting with fresh strawberries. The fresh berries break down as the bars bake, creating a jammy strawberry filling that’s simply irresistible.
Strawberry oatmeal bars are one of my favorite strawberry desserts. They will keep you going back for “just one more” little taste. I know from experience. 😉
How to make Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Here’s a quick overview of how to make this easy recipe. You’ll find the full recipe instructions and ingredient amounts below.
First, prepare the strawberries. Wash them and gently pat them dry. Then cut off the stems and chop the strawberries into small pieces. Place the chopped strawberries in a bowl and set them aside while you prepare the crust and topping.
Crust and Topping
One dough makes both the bottom crust and the crumble topping for these strawberry oatmeal bars. The ingredients are flour (see recipe tips below, I use a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flours), old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, salt and cold butter.
Stir together the dry ingredients. Then cut the butter into small cubes and use your fingers to work it into the dry ingredients, until the mixture starts to clump together. It should look something like this:
Measure out 3 1/2 cups of the dough, scooping it loosely into the measuring cup without packing it in. Press it into the bottom of a greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Reserve the rest of the dough for the topping.
To the bowl with the strawberries, add the zest of one lemon, granulated sugar, cornstarch and vanilla extract. Stir gently until everything is well combined. Then spread the strawberry filling in an even layer over the bottom crust in the pan.
Crumble the reserved oat topping over the top of the strawberry filling. Bake the strawberry oatmeal bars for about 40 minutes, until the filling is jammy and bubbly and the topping is golden brown.
Let the pan cool completely before cutting into bars. If you chill the strawberry bars for a few hours, they will be even easier to cut.
Storage and Make Ahead Tips
Store strawberry oatmeal bars in the refrigerator in a covered container. They will last for about 4 days this way. I haven’t tried freezing these bars, but I believe they would freeze well if wrapped airtight.
The bars are a perfect make ahead dessert to bring to a party or BBQ. You can bake them the day before, let them cool and then refrigerate until you are ready to serve them.
Recipe Tips for Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
- The sweeter the strawberries, the better. These fresh strawberry crumble bars taste best when they’re made with ripe organic strawberries.
- The ratio of whole wheat flour to all-purpose flour in the crust is adaptable. I typically use half all-purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour, but you can use just one or the other type of flour. Just be sure to use 2 cups of flour total.
- Be sure to use old-fashioned oats in this recipe. Quick oats will not give you the same texture in the crumble topping.
- You can try other berries in this recipe. I recommend blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a combination of two or more berries for a mixed berry oatmeal crumb bar.
- This recipe can be halved and baked in an 8×8-inch baking dish. The bars will be a little bit thinner and may require a few less minutes to bake.
More Delicious Strawberry Recipes
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Strawberry Muffins
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Strawberry Overnight Oats
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
For the crust and topping:
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter (cut into ½-inch cubes)
For the strawberry filling:
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries (stemmed and chopped small (about 6 cups chopped))
- zest of one lemon
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Prepare the strawberries: wash them under cold water and gently pat dry. Remove the stems and chop into small pieces. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oats, brown sugar and salt. Stir to combine. Add butter cubes to the bowl and use your fingers or a pastry blender to work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough begins to clump together and the largest pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
- Place 3 ½ cups of the dough into the prepared baking dish and use your hand to firmly press it into an even layer in the bottom of the pan.
- In another bowl, gently toss the strawberries with the lemon zest, ½ cup sugar, cornstarch and vanilla until evenly distributed. Evenly spread the strawberries over the crust. Crumble the rest of the dough over the strawberries.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 36 to 42 minutes, until the dough is just golden brown on top and the filling is bubbly. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. Store bars in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- The ratio of whole wheat flour to all-purpose flour in the crust is adaptable. I typically use half all-purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour, but you can use just one or the other. Just be sure to use 2 cups of flour total.
- You can halve this recipe and bake the bars in an 8x8-inch baking dish. The bars will be a little bit thinner and may require a few less minutes to bake.
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