These oatmeal strawberry bars are the perfect dessert for the summer! With fresh strawberries and a tart lemon juice glaze, these strawberry crumb bars are full of vibrant flavors. Make them for a picnic, backyard barbecue, or bake sale- or just because you love fresh strawberries!
Why We Love This Recipe For Oatmeal Strawberry Bars
Our homemade strawberry oat bars are bursting with juicy strawberries with an easy sweet crumble topping. This fresh strawberry dessert is a great way to use fresh, juicy, summer strawberries.
- So simple to make: Our method uses the same mixture for the bottom crust and crumb topping!
- Super adaptable! You can use the recipe as a base and swap in other berries or spices. Swap some oats for toasted nuts if you’d like some crunch!
- These easy strawberry oatmeal bars can be made ahead
- Made with whole grains including whole wheat flour and rolled oats
- Lemon juice glaze is tart and compliments the sweet strawberries
If you love crumb bars, don’t miss our Cranberry Crumb Bars!
More Summer Dessert Recipes
Key Ingredients for Oatmeal Strawberry Bars
- Fresh Strawberries: The ripest strawberries you can find will give the best flavor; Remove the hulls and then cut them into small pieces. This will ensure good texture and help the bars from getting soggy.
- Whole Wheat Flour: We like white whole wheat flour for baking, so if you find that at the supermarket, that’s what we recommend. Otherwise, regular whole-wheat flour works well. The wheaty flavor doesn’t really come through much in this recipe, and whole-wheat does add a little nutritional benefit in the form of added dietary fiber.
- Old-fashioned Rolled Oats: Besides the strawberries- the oats are the star of the show. We liked this best with rolled oats (also known as old-fashioned oats) but quick oats also work if that’s what you have on hand.
- Sweetened Shredded Coconut: Coconut and strawberry are a great flavor pairing. Adding the coconut to the crumb mixture adds sweetness and texture.
- Light Brown Sugar: To keep this recipe simple (and so you don’t have to go to several grocery stores for the ingredients) we chose brown sugar for great texture in the crumble topping and bottom crust. If you prefer to cook with unrefined sweeteners, just choose another granulated one. Feel free to sub cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, maple sugar or coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
- Unsalted Butter: Melted. Helps with browning.
- Honey: Provides additional moisture.
- Cornstarch: Helps thicken the juices in the strawberries.
- Lemon juice: Flavor enhancer; provides acidity and balance from the sweetness.
- Powdered sugar: We love the additional confectioner’s sugar glaze on top of the crumb bars. Note that the glaze is optional.
- Baking Staples: Baking Powder, Kosher Salt, Unsalted Butter, Cinnamon and Vanilla extract
Step By Step Instructions To Make Oatmeal Strawberry Bars
Step 1: Preheat and Prep
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with pan spray and line it with parchment paper so the paper is overhanging the two sides like handles.
Step 2: Make the Crust
In a large bowl, stir the whole wheat flour, oats, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt until combined. Pour the melted butter and honey into the combined dry ingredients. Stir the mixture until it forms clumps and the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
Step 3: Bottom Crust
Set aside about 1 ½ cups of the crumble mixture for the topping, and then firmly press the rest into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.
Step 4: Bake Crust
Place your pan into the preheated oven until it’s brown on the edges and the center is set, which will take about 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven to cool.
Step 5: Make Strawberry Filling
In a small bowl, stir together the strawberries, cornstarch, and some lemon juice until just combined. Spread the strawberry mixture over the pre-baked crust in an even layer.
Step 6: Add Reserved Crumb Topping
Sprinkle the reserved crumble mixture evenly over the berry mixture.
Step 7: Bake
Bake in the preheated oven, until the crumb topping smells toasty and looks golden. This should take about 20 to 25 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, for about 1 hour.
Step 8: Prepare Icing
Whisk the powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little bit of the remaining lemon juice in a medium bowl until the icing is smooth. Add a little more juice to thin if desired.
Step 9: Glaze and Slice
Using the parchment paper handles, lift the bars from the pan. Drizzle them with the glaze, slice, and serve.
FAQs and Expert tips
You can omit the coconut, but I would recommend adding more oats to make up for their loss.
You can use quick-cooking oats, or instant oats, instead of old-fashioned oats or rolled oats. There will be a slight difference in texture- but the recipe will come out just fine with either.
For rhubarb or apples/pears, you should cook it first before adding it to the filling.
- Make the crumb ahead of time and store it in the fridge overnight.
- An alternative would be to bake the bottom crust and store it at room temperature overnight while storing the top crumb in the refrigerator to assemble the next day.
- Make the lemon glaze ahead of time and store it in the fridge overnight, covered tightly so no skin develops.
- To freeze, make the recipe as written and then wrap the fresh strawberry bars in plastic wrap individually. Put all wrapped bars in an airtight container and freeze.
Keep the bars refrigerated for up to 3 days; individually wrapped in an airtight storage container for up to 1 month.
Substitutions and Variations
- After strawberry season is over, try these bars with raspberries or blueberries instead. Stone fruit is another fruit to try in the filling. Peaches would be wonderful with the flavors of this buttery crust! The key is to cut the pieces small since there’s not a lot of time in the oven for the fruit to break down.
- Substitute any type of spice based on preference. Try a teaspoon of ginger instead of cinnamon.
- Add a little lemon zest to the fruit filling to enhance the lemon flavor
- Add chopped nuts to the crumble topping. Swap ¼ cup oats with ¼ cup of the toasted nuts of your choice, like walnuts or pecans.
- Use melted coconut oil instead of butter.
- Add a small amount of almond extract to the crumble mixture.
Expert Tips To Prevent Soggy Fruit Bars and to Cut Cleanly
- Prebaking the bottom crust gives these delicious strawberry oat bars a sturdy base so they don’t get soggy when adding the strawberries.
- The strawberries are lightly baked and therefore emit less moisture, and the strawberry mixture has cornstarch in it to capture juices that come out while baking.
- Cutting the berries small ensures that they bake. If you cut them too big they will still be raw.
- Use a flat-bottom object like a jar or spoon to help press the crust down evenly and firmly. This will make sure the bottom crust will be evenly thin, baked evenly, and won’t let the strawberry filling leak underneath.
- Mix the berries, cornstarch, and lemon juice right before you’re ready to place the mixture on the baked crust, otherwise, it will become too juicy.
- For the cleanest-looking bars, refrigerate them for 1 hour after baking, and then cut them with a sharp, clean knife.
Additional Strawberry Recipes To Try
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Happy Cooking! ~Katie
These oatmeal strawberry bars are the perfect snack or breakfast choice for the summer! With fresh strawberries and a tart lemon juice glaze, these healthy crumb bars are full of vibrant flavors. Make them ahead of time for a delicious and nourishing grab-and-go snack!
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 1/2 cups finely chopped strawberries
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray with pan spray and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides like handles.
- Make the Crust: Stir whole wheat flour, oats, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, until combined in a large bowl. Pour in the melted butter and honey; stir until it forms clumps and the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
- Set aside about 1 ½ cups of the crumble mixture for the topping, then firmly press the rest (about 2 ½ cups) into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Place into the preheated oven until brown on the edges and center is set, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Make the Filling: Stir together strawberries, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon lemon juice until just combined in a small bowl. Spread strawberry mixture over the pre-baked crust in an even layer.
- Sprinkle the reserved crumble mixture evenly over the berry mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven, until crumb topping smells toasty and looks golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Prepare icing: Whisk powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little of the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a medium bowl until smooth. To adjust the consistency, add additional lemon juice.
- Using the parchment-paper handles, lift the bars from the pan. Drizzle with glaze, slice, and serve.
- Select any berry based on preference
- Substitute any type of spice based on preference
- For the cleanest-looking bars, refrigerate for 1 hour, then cut with a sharp, clean knife
- Mix the filling right before you add it to the crust to avoid the fruit from macerating
- Don’t skip prebaking the bottom crust, this allows the bottom to set so it does not get soggy
- Make the crumb ahead of time and store in the fridge overnight or bake bottom crust and store baked crust at room temperature and top crumb in the refrigerator overnight and assemble the next day
- Make the glaze ahead of time and store in the fridge overnight, covered tightly so no skin develops
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Active Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 257
- Sugar: 15 g
- Fat: 10 g
- Carbohydrates: 39 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 3 g
Keywords: strawberry oatmeal bars, oatmeal strawberry bars, strawberry oat bars, oat strawberry bars, healthy strawberry crumb bars, strawberry bars