With a crumble topping and strawberry filling, these Strawberry Crumble Bars are an easy summer dessert that guests will love. Use frozen or freshly picked strawberries – either way, this is a dessert you’ll be making again and again.
No matter the season, I love using fresh ingredients in the kitchen. In the summer, that means all sorts of berries and other fruits. Strawberries are one of my favorite summer ingredients, especially when it comes to baking. I’ll often pick them up at the farmers’ market with no real recipe in mind, only knowing that I’ll come up with a delicious strawberry treat at some point that week.
Strawberry Crumble Bars are one of my favorite ways to use fresh strawberries in the summer, though you can make them with frozen berries year-round. These are always a crowd favorite, so I often find myself making them for picnics and potlucks.
These strawberry squares are made up of 3 layers – the crust and top are both an easy crumble topping and there’s a delicious strawberry layer in the center.
If you make these once, I promise they’ll become a summer staple for you!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the Crust & Crumble Topping:
- All-purpose flour – The basis for the crumble topping.
- Almond Flour – Add a subtle nuttiness to the recipe that complements the strawberries.
- Rolled oats – Oats add a nice texture to the topping.
- Sugar – Regular granulated sugar works perfectly.
- Unsalted butter – This should be softened to room temp. Always unsalted butter when baking over salted. You can always add salt to butter via the recipe but you can’t take too much salt out.
- Vanilla – Adds great flavor to the crust.
- Baking powder – Helps this rise and turn into a fluffy, crumbly topping.
- Salt – Just a pinch. A tiny amount of salt works to enhance the flavour of many dishes.
For the Filling:
- Strawberries – You can use frozen or fresh strawberries.
- Sugar – Balances the tart strawberry and lemon flavors.
- Lemon – You’ll use lemon juice and lemon zest in the filling.
- Flour – Just a small amount is added to the filling to thicken the strawberry filling when once the strawberries cook and release their juices.
- Cornstarch – Helps further thicken the strawberry filling mixture.
- Fresh thyme – My secret ingredient to add depth to the flavour. Absolutely optional!
How to Make Strawberry Crumble Bars
Add all of the ingredients for the crust and topping and mix to form a crumb mixture. I like to first break up the butter with a pastry cutter. Then I use my hands to rub the butter into the flour and oat mixture. Sort of like when you rub your fingers and thumb together if you were making the universal sign for “money”. Watch the video to come out soon and you’ll see what I mean!
This method was taught to me by my Grandma. It allows you to rub the butter into the dry mixture without over mixing and maintaining the ripples of buttery goodness that need to be weaved amongst the flour for a crumbly texture.
This same technique for mixing flour and butter is essential to my recipe for making flaky shortbread.
Press half of the crumb mixture into a 9×13 pan lined with parchment paper. Make sure to press down the edges and corners so that you have a firm base. This will make the dessert squares easy to pull out of the pan without the edges falling apart.
In a large bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients. Evenly coat the strawberries with the cornstarch and flour mixture.
Spread the strawberry mixture over the crust, then sprinkle on the remaining crumble topping. Pressing down lightly to seal so the crumbs won’t roll off later.
Bake at 375º F for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let rest for an hour on a cooling rack, before slicing.
How to Store These Strawberry Dessert Bars
Your strawberry squares with crumble topping can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend putting a layer of parchment paper between each layer of bars, so they don’t stick together. You can also store them in the fridge.
Can I Freeze Strawberry Squares?
Yes, these Strawberry Crumble Bars can be frozen. The easiest way to do so is in an airtight freezer-safe container, with sheets of parchment paper between each layer. You can also double-wrap the bars in plastic wrap and foil, to avoid freezer burn.
Allow to thaw on the counter before enjoying. They’ll last for up to 3 months.
Can I Make This Recipe With Other Fruits?
Yes! You can make these crumble bars with any fruit in season. Peaches, apples, and all types of berries make good options. The crumbly oat topping tastes fantastic no matter what fruit it’s paired with, though you may need to adjust cooking time.
More Strawberry Recipes:
- Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting
- Strawberry Rhubarb Overnight Oats
- Homemade Strawberry Lemonade
Strawberry Crumble Bars
- 9" X 13" baking dish
- Large Bowl
- Medium bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Paring knife
- Pastry cutter
- Mixing Spoon
- Parchment Paper
Crust & Crumb Topping
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temp
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 lbs strawberries (about 2 1/2 quarts) washed, hulled and quartered
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp fresh thyme (optional) minced
- Add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl and use a pastry cutter to break up the butter. Then using your hands to blend the butter into the dry mixture to create an oatmeal like texture that is even throughout.
- Line a 9" x 13" baking dish with parchement paper. and spread half of the oatmeal mixture out over the bottom. Press down to form a solid base making sure that the corners and edges are right to avoid crumbling when you cut and remove them.
- In a large bowl add all of the ingredients for the strawberry filling and mix well to ensure the sugar, flour and cornstarch have the opportunity to coat all fo the strawberries.
- Pour the strawberry mixture evenly out over top of the crust.
- Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over top of the strawberries and press down lighty to ensure they don't roll off after baking.
- Bake at 375 F for 45-55 minutes or unil the crumb topping is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to let cool for about an hour before cutting and serving.