These simple strawberry streusel bars are the perfect springtime sweet treat. Tender, buttery shortbread is topped with sweet strawberry filling and crunchy pecan streusel.
I love a good strawberry pie, but sometimes you just want something portable and quick to make. There are three components to this recipe, but don’t let that worry you, every step is really simple and most of the ingredients are repeated in the topping and filling.
Something about that buttery shortbread, jammy strawberry flavor and pecan crunch is so irresistible that I have to play mind tricks on myself to keep from eating them all. My favorite trick is to cut them into smaller squares, this way I feel less guilty about having “just one more”!
What makes these strawberry streusel bars so good?
- Salted butter shortbread base. Although I usually stick with unsalted butter for baking, ever since I made these famous salted chocolate chunk shortbread cookies, I always use salted butter in my shortbread. I find it gives the dough a lot more flavor than just using unsalted butter and adding salt.
- A combination of fresh strawberries and strawberry jam. For a filling with the perfect jammy texture and intense strawberry flavor, I love to combine fresh and preserved strawberries. The jam gives tons of concentrated flavor, while the chopped berries keep it light and fresh-tasting. You can use frozen, thawed strawberries instead of fresh if you like.
- Pecan streusel topping. I love the crunch and flavor that pecans add to the streusel topping. If you have an allergy, or just don’t like nuts, you can of course skip them and use more oats. You could also use another nut like walnuts or almonds if that’s what you have. Be sure to toast them first for the best flavor!
- Start by preheating your oven to 375 F. Line a 9 x 13″ pan with foil, leaving a 1 inch overhang so you can easily lift out the bars. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
- Prepare the crust. In a food processor, pulse together the butter, flour, sugar and salt until it looks like sand. If you don’t have a food processor, you can also do this by hand with a pastry blender.
- Pour the crumbly dough into the prepared pan and press it evenly into the bottom with your hands, or the bottom of a measuring cup or glass. Bake the crust for 15-18 minutes in the preheated oven until lightly browned. Leave the oven on.
4. While the crust is in the oven, prepare the streusel topping. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, oats and pecans.
5. Add the cubed butter and combine with your hands, squishing the butter in, until you have coarse crumbles.
4. Prepare the filling. Combine the strawberry jam and chopped fresh strawberries (or thawed frozen strawberries) in a medium bowl, crushing the berries as much as you can with a fork.
5. Spread the filling evenly over the baked crust (it’s fine if the crust is still warm).
6. Evenly crumble the topping over the crust. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool in the pan for at least 2 hours.
Serve warm or at room temperature. A scoop of ice cream would not be unwelcome!
How to store the bars
These bars keep well in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days. They also freeze very well. Just wrap them individually with plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container. To serve, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.
Strawberry Streusel Bars
- 3/4 cup salted butter cold and cubed
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup pecans toasted and chopped
- 1/4 cup butter cold and cubed
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries or thawed frozen strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a 9 x 13” pan with foil, leaving a one inch overhang for easy removal. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
- Add the cubed butter to a food processor along with the flour, brown sugar and salt. Pulse until sandy textured. (If you don’t have a food processor, this can be done with a fork or a pastry blender). Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake the crust in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 15-18 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, and pecans. Add the cubed butter and squish it with your fingers until coarse crumbles form.
- In a small bowl, mash together the berries and jam.
- Spread the filling evenly over the shortbread crust and sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top.
- Bake until the filling is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely, about 2 hours before slicing the bars.
Hi! I’m Ann and I blog at Our Happy Mess. I’m all about fast, fresh, and family-friendly recipes. I believe cooking from scratch can not only be doable but FUN, no matter how busy life gets!
You can find more of my recipes at Our Happy Mess.