These Raspberry Oatmeal Bars with coconut and almond slices are not only a breeze to assemble in a 9" x 13" pan, but they can be ready in an hour and pack all the fruity flavor you could ever want in a raspberry jam bars recipe!
One of my all-time favorite treats has always been raspberry bars - especially the ones packed with coconut flakes, almonds and oats! In my opinion, the more "schtuff" there is in there, the better (just check out my Coconut Butterscotch Blondies for more proof)!
When setting out to design my own recipe, I wanted to make sure it was easy to make. I also wanted to make sure that there were plenty to go around by sizing everything to a 9" x 13" pan, but that they weren't too thick so they could be enjoyed as a lighter afternoon treat with tea or coffee (as I've been known to do).
Using one dough as the crust and the topping keeps the steps in this recipe to a minimum, and the ingredients are flexible so you can probably mix these up with what you already have in the cupboard.
So just grab that jar of berry jam that's been sitting in the pantry since you ran out of peanut butter (because now you know it was destined for better things!), and get to baking!
Jump to (scroll for more!):
Why You'll Love These Bars
- They're simple: these raspberry jam bars are honestly pretty foolproof. The steps are really simple and a number of the ingredients are flexible and will give you some options based on what you have available.
- Lots of oats: the oats add not only flavor, but a great texture and stability to our bars. They also help to keep them tender by making sure the crust can't compact too much.
- Feeds a crowd (or not!): this recipe makes 24 bars in it's standard 9" x 13" pan, so it's a great option if you have a some hungry mouths to feed (just like my Peanut Butter Rice Krispies!). That said, if you'd like a smaller batch, you can always just mix up the ½ batch option (just use the toggle in the recipe card below), and bake it in an 8" square or 8" or 9" round pan instead!
- Not too heavy: I kept the crust nice and thin and didn't overdue the topping so you feel satisfied, but not stuffed after enjoying one of these raspberry oatmeal bars.
- Cinnamon brings it together: you won't really taste distinct cinnamon in the flavor-packed profile of these bars, but this warm and sweet spice really helps to round out and bring all the flavors together with very little effort.
Ingredient Tips + Substitutions
- Unsalted Butter: we're really featuring the butter in this tender crust, so make sure it's unsalted to keep the flavors balanced.
- Quick-Cooking Oats: for this recipe, I love the tenderness that the quick oats bring to the crust for that melt-in-your-mouth butter cookie feel. That said, if you only have old-fashioned oats at home or prefer a heartier, slightly chewier bar, then this recipe will work great with those too.
- Almonds and/or Coconut: the "add-ins" for these bars are flexible. So while they can be made with no additions, I highly recommend them for amazing extra flavor. If you're out of coconut, use all almonds. Out of almonds and coconut, use chocolate chips or peanuts. You get the picture. Just go for ½ cup total of whatever you're adding in and you'll be good to go.
- Jam: I know what you're thinking - raspberry bars really ought to have fresh raspberries! But I promise you, jam is the way to go. Fresh berries release unpredictable amounts of water and can lead to soggy bars. So rest assured in this case, you can use just the jam and know you're getting the best product. Feel free to substitute and other berry jam you like as well!
For a full detailed list of all ingredients and measurements, just head down to the recipe card below!
And please note, that any additional substitutions haven't been tested so I can not guarantee the results. However, if you do experiment and find a variation you love, please let me know in the comments below!
How to Make Raspberry Oat Bars
STEP 1: mix together the dry ingredients (including oats) until blended.
STEP 2: add the butter, egg and vanilla and mix until a uniform dough forms.
STEP 3: add about ⅔ of the dough in big chunks into the bottom of the pan, then press into a solid, even layer.
STEP 4: bake bottom crust for about 15 minutes until just golden brown on the edges.
STEP 5: while crust bakes, mix almonds and/or coconut into remaining dough until evenly distributed.
STEP 6: when the bottom crust is ready, spread jam over the hot crust, leaving a ¼" rim clean around the whole edge of the pan.
STEP 7: crumble the remaining dough in large and small chunks over top of the jam.
STEP 8: bake again for about 25 minutes until jam is bubbling and topping is golden brown. Allow bars to cool fully, then slice, and enjoy!
For a more detailed list of all these steps, just head down to the recipe card below!
Storage + Freezing
- Making ahead of time: these bars keep pretty well, so feel free to make them a day ahead of service if you like. Just keep well-wrapped at room temperature, preferably uncut in the pan, until you're ready to serve.
- Storage: these bars will keep for up to a week in an air-tight container at room temperature.
- Freezing: while you can freeze them for up to a month, I find texturally these bars are best when enjoyed fresh.
Pro Baker Tips
- Stick to jam: I know you may be tempted to try and incorporate fresh berries into these bars. But to keep their crisp, tender texture, I highly recommend sticking with jam as the water content of fresh berries can lead to soggy-bottomed bars.
- Keep jam away from the edges: when spreading the jam on the baked bottom crust, do your best to keep it from touching the pan. Any jam touching the pan will likely burn, which not only leads to an icky flavor, but also a no-fun scrubbing project later.
- Don't skip the add-ins: while these bars are quite versatile and can be made with no add-ins I highly recommend including coconut, almonds, or both as their flavor really helps take these bars to the next level.
- Cool before cutting: for the cleanest cuts, allow the bars to cool fully before cutting and wipe the smeared jam off your knife between cuts.
Yes! The ½ batch of this recipe is well-sized for an 8" square, an 8" round or a 9" round pan. I don't recommend a 9" square as I think you'll find you're a little bit short on the dough to properly fill the pan.
While I would love for you to try my recipes and be able to meet your dietary needs as well, unfortunately any substitution of primary ingredients like butter, eggs, or flour will drastically alter the baking chemistry here and likely compromise the results.
So while you are always welcome to experiment, and I love to hear how it goes when you do, I have not been able to test all those substitutions so I can't recommend them.
I find you will always have better results when baking up treats designed with say vegan butter sticks, flax seed eggs, or almond flour from the start. And luckily, Google can help you find many of my fellow bloggers with delicious recipes in those specialty diet niches!
Totally valid question, but I don't recommend it. See the baking tips in the section above for why!
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⭐ If you gave this recipe a try please give it a ⭐ rating and tag me on Instagram @mint.and.mallow.kitchen so I can see what you're baking up! ⭐
📖 Full Recipe
Easy Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats (see notes)
- 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raspberry jam
- ½ cup sliced almonds, sweetened shredded coconut, or both (optional, see notes)
- ½ cup white chocolate chips (optional)
- Prep and preheat: preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" x 13" pan.
- Blend dry ingredients: mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and oats by hand, or using a hand or stand mixer on low until evenly blended.
- Add butter, egg, and vanilla: add in the butter, egg, and vanilla, and mix on low until a uniform dough forms and all dries are fully incorporated (this may take 2-3 minutes, but resist turning the mixer up which will toughen our dough).
- Prep bottom crust: break apart about ⅔ of the dough (a scant 2 cups, or about 400g) and scatter it across the bottom of the pan. Press crumbs into an even, thin, but solid layer (if needed, you can patch little holes with a few crumbs from the withheld topping dough).
- Blind bake crust: bake crust for 13-15 minutes until there is just a hint of light golden-brown on the very edge, and the dough has lost it’s shine.
- Finish topping (optional): if using, while crust bakes, add sliced almonds and/or coconut to the remaining ⅓ of the dough (a scant cup, or about 200g) and mix just until combined.
- Spread jam on hot crust: once the crust is ready, remove the pan from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Carefully spread the jam evenly over the hot crust, leaving ¼" rim of uncovered crust around the edge of the pan (any jam contacting the pan is likely to burn and stick). Be gentle when spreading as the hot crust is quite delicate.
- Top with remaining dough: crumble the remaining dough in small chunks evenly across the surface of the jam, including any loose coconut or almonds in the bottom of the bowl (note: coverage won't be solid, and jam should still be visible). If desired, sprinkle white chocolate chips evenly across the top of the dough crumbs (see notes).
- Bake again: bake bars for an additional 25 minutes until jam is bubbling and the crumb topping has a touch of golden brown. Allow bars to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
- Slice and enjoy: once bars are fully cooled, slice up these berrylicious oat delights and enjoy!
Test Kitchen Tips
- Quick or old-fashioned oats: for this recipe, I love the tenderness that the quick oats bring to the crust for that almost melt-in-your-mouth butter cookie feel. But if you only have old-fashioned oats or prefer a heartier, slightly chewier bar, then this recipe will work great with those too.
- Almonds, Coconut, or both: the "add-ins" for these bars are flexible. So while they can be made with no additions, I highly recommend them for amazing extra flavor. If you're out of coconut, use all almonds. Out of almonds and coconut, use chocolate chips or peanuts. You get the picture. Just go for ½ cup total of whatever you're adding in and you'll be good to go.
- White chocolate addition: if you’d like to add white chocolate to these bars (in addition to the coconut and almonds), you can either leave the chips whole and sprinkle them over the crumb topping before baking, or melt the chips when the bars are cool and use a fork or zip-top bag with the corner cut off as a piping bag to decorate them with a white chocolate drizzle as shown in the photos here.
- Smaller batch: the ½ batch of this recipe is well-sized for an 8" square, an 8" round or a 9" round pan.
- Other jams: if you'd like, you're welcome to sub another berry jam and know you'll have success. Beyond that, say with orange marmalade or peach jam, you'll probably still have success, but I just can't guarantee that as those jam vary in water content from berry jams and haven't been tested.
- Storage: these bars will keep for up to a week in an air-tight container at room temperature. While you can freeze them for up to a month, I find texturally they're best when enjoyed fresh.