The Best Shortbread Cookie Crumble Bars!

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These shortbread cookie crumble bars are incredibly easy to make, buttery, and filled with raspberry jam. They’re made using seven simple ingredients and are truly the best chewy, crumbly bars ever!

Shortbread cookie crumble bars with raspberry preserves.

Shortbread cookies are the perfect year-round cookie. They’re great for parties, afternoon tea, or holidays. The buttery, sweet flavor is one that never gets old and they are shockingly easy to make using few ingredients!

The best part about these shortbread cookie crumble bars is that they are made with preserves that can be easily switched out with seasonal fruit.

Shortbread bars filled with raspberry preserves, dusted with powdered sugar.

How to Make Shortbread Crumble Cookies

Ingredients

Butter – Unsalted, organic butter when possible.

Granulated Sugar – This is used to sweeten the buttery crust.

Vanilla Extract – Enhances the flavor of the ingredients.

All-Purpose Flour – Creates structure in the crust.

Baking Powder – Helps the bars rise.

Raspberry Preserves – The center of the recipe and what flavors the bars with cherry.

Shortbread dough.

Measure out all of your ingredients.

Make sure the butter is at room temperature. If it’s not, microwave it for 25 seconds.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a ceramic or tin 9×9 baking dish by buttering the bottom and adding parchment paper to it. Let the sides overhang so the bars can easily be removed. You can also use a 13×9 baking dish too.

Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl at medium speed.

Add in the vanilla and beat.

shortbread dough being pushed into a baking dish.

Next, add in the flour salt, and baking powder and slowly mix until incorporated and the mixture becomes a dough.

Divide the dough in half and place one half in the refrigerator and evenly press the other half into the bottom of the baking dish.

Refrigerate the pressed dough in the baking dish for 30 minutes.

Bake the dough for 15 minutes, then remove.

Spread 12 ounces of raspberry preserves (or any preserves you want!) over the top and then crumble the other half of the dough over the preserves.

Shortbread crumbles over raspberry preserves.

Bake for another 25 minutes. May need more time.

Shortbread cookie crumble bars before being cut

Remove from the oven and let them cool, then dust powdered sugar over the top.

Cut them into squares and enjoy!

Crumble bars with powdered sugar and filled with raspberry.

You can easily switch the preserves in this recipe to match the season or a party! All you need to do is replace the raspberry preserves with another option. Here are some more flavor ideas:

  • Blueberry
  • Apple
  • Cranberry
  • Peach
  • Blackberry
  • Fig
  • Orange

Another tip – You can use any preserves you would like even homemade. For this recipe, we used Bonne Maman which has a wide variety of flavors that would all work well with this recipe.

Shortbread crumble bars with powdered sugar and a large raspberry on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

The biggest difference is the ingredients. Sugar cookies tend to have less butter and the recipe uses eggs, milk, and other ingredients making it a soft, sweeter cookie. 

Shortbread is typically made with just flour, sugar, and butter. We add extract to ours, but it’s always a simple recipe for a more biscuit, buttery type of cookie. Perfect for tea and coffee!

Crumble bar filled with raspberry preserves.

How do you know when shortbread is cooked?

The cookies are usually done baking once they begin to turn a light golden brown. I like to take mine out a few seconds before this happens or right when I see the edge of the cookie turn light brown. 

If it’s dark brown, you have cooked them too long.

Do you have to refrigerate shortbread dough?

We recommend refrigerating the dough as it makes for a better cookie. You can also freeze the dough for up to 3 months.

What type of sugar should I use to make shortbread crumble bars?

Granulated sugar is best for shortbread cookies. It’s common to use confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) but after making several versions and testing sugars, granulated sugar wins for us!

Can I use salted butter in this recipe?

You can use salted butter in this recipe, but if you do skip adding the 1/4 teaspoon salt to the recipe.

Can I bake this in a different pan?

Yes! I originally baked this recipe in a 13×9 but recently have been using a 9×9 pan. The crust comes out a little thicker and it’s really tasty!

shortbread cookie crumble bars

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If you’re making a pie, try the best shortbread cookie crust!

crumble bars

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Shortbread Cookie Crumble Bars

Buttery, shortbread cookie bars filled with preserves and dusted with powdered sugar!
4.42 from 34 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 15 bars
Calories: 369kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter , room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 oz raspberry preserves, or any flavor you like

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until combined.
  • Add in the vanilla extract.
  • Add in the flour, salt, and baking powder and blend on low until incorporated.
  • Prepare a 9×9 baking dish by buttering the bottom and adding parchment paper to it. Let the sides overhang so the bars can easily be removed. Note – You can use a 13 x 9 rectangular pan as well. The crust will be a little thinner.
  • Divide the dough in half and place one half in the refrigerator and evenly press the other half into the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Refrigerate the pressed dough in the baking dish for 30 minutes.
  • Bake the dough for 15 minutes, then remove. 
  • Spread 12 ounces raspberry preserves (or any preserves you want!) over the top and then crumble the other half of the dough over the preserves.
  • Bake for another 25 minutes. Note, that baking times vary. If you need an extra 5-10 minutes then that is okay! You need to be able to check and tell when your crumble bars are finished. They will have a very slight, golden brown color to them.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool, then dust powdered sugar over the top.
  • Cut them into squares and enjoy!

Notes

Use any flavor of preserves you like. 
Baking times will vary so continue checking on the shortbread.
Refrigerate the dough before baking.
This recipe can be baked in a 13×9 or a 9×9 pan. Originally I baked them in a rectangular pan, but have recently been baking them in a square pan for a thicker crust. I actually prefer the square pan!

Nutrition

Serving: 15g | Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 567IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
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Shortbread Cookie Crumble Bars

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11 thoughts on “The Best Shortbread Cookie Crumble Bars!”

  1. 4 stars
    I printed out this recipe over a month ago intending to make them for the holidays. I followed the directions and they didn’t bake in the time on my print out. I then looked at the recipe on Pinterest and noticed that the baking times were different from the print out! My total baking time was about 40 minutes and they never really browned. The top crumbs kind of melted flat and have little holes in them. They don’t look very attractive but they are delicious!

    Reply
  2. Currently in the middle of the recipe now, and noticed the oven temperature isn’t listed in the printed recipe so thankfully I found it here on your blog! In the middle of baking these now and I’ll update after they’re done! Thank you for this recipe!!

    Reply
  3. Hi I baked these and unfortunately the baking time was way off. I bake all the time and followed the directions exactly. After the total 25 minutes the bottom layer was raw and I had to bake them for an additional 20 minutes and then turn off the oven and leave in another 10 minutes before they were done. Once done though they were delicious! Are you sure about the baking time?

    Reply
    • Hi Jill! I’m glad they turned out for you! Baking times can vary and it’s best to know when they’re done by a golden brown top! For us the extra 25 minutes was perfect but there are so many variables that go into that. Happy they worked for you!

      Reply
  4. 5 stars
    These are so pretty – perfect for the holidays! But I liked the suggestion to use different jams to tailor these for celebrations year ’round. Such an easy little treat anytime!

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    Thank you for the tip about freezing the dough. I’m going to make all the dough early and then just have the kids pull out whatever cookies they want to make each time. These look amazing!

    Reply

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