If you’re like me, the holiday season is hectic. It’s filled with trying to embrace the moment (especially as a mom of a little who loves everything related to Christmas), and juggling all the responsibilities with a to-do list that is longer than Santa’s.
If you are looking for something quick and easy to make homemade this holiday season, my go-to is a raspberry bar recipe that requires only six ingredients and less than 15 minutes of prep time.
Prior to being a mom, I’d make huge plates of cookies to give to friends, neighbors, and other people I wanted to thank. Time is a limited resource these days, and I’ve pared down my selections. But this is still a go-to recipe.
If this dessert is served hot and gooey straight from the oven, it’s more like a crisp that can be paired with ice cream. But let it cool and the pan can be sliced into bars that are, depending on how much of the raspberry preserves you like to use, either sturdy or gooey.
Regardless of how you choose to make them, they turn out great. Every time I’ve served these raspberry bars someone always asks for the recipe while grabbing seconds.
The best part: it’s super simple. Dump everything but the preserves into a mixing bowl. Spread the mixture into a pan and you’re nearly done.
You can keep it even simpler by buying pre-chopped pecans, or chop a cup of them yourself. (You can also use walnuts if you don’t have any pecans on hand.) I prefer using an old-school hand crank nut grinder with a glass bottom bowl, not plastic. Just don’t over-grind, or you’ll have nut powder instead of crunchy bits.
Here’s the recipe below. I’ve also included a gluten-free, dairy-free swap in a note at the very bottom.
Easy Raspberry Bars
- 2 ¼ cups flour (for gluten-free swap, see note below)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans (can substitute walnuts)
- 1 cup butter (for dairy-free swap, see note below)
- 1 egg
- 6-12 oz. of raspberry preserves (I prefer more raspberry filling so I use the whole 12-ounce can of Solo Raspberry Cake & Pastry Filling, but use however much you like. See additional brand suggestions below.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except preserves (flour, sugar, pecans, butter, and egg). Beat at a low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Set aside 2 cups of the mixture (about half). Press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 8x8" pan.
Spread raspberry preserves on top of crumb mixture, leaving ½” of edge on all four sides. For an organic option, try Crofter’s Seedless Raspberry Spread or mix things up and make it a strawberry bar with Rigoni di Asiago’s organic Fiordifutta, Strawberries and Wild Strawberries Fruit Spread.
Once you’ve spread a layer of preserves, crumble the reserved crumb mixture on top, like a pile of snow.
Bake 40-50 minutes or until lightly browned. If serving as a crisp, serve warm with a scoop of ice cream. If serving as bars, allow the pan to cool completely, about 1 hour, then slice into bars.
Note: To make this gluten-free and dairy-free, I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1 to 1 Baking Flour and Earth Balance’s Dairy and Soy-free Buttery Sticks.