The Best Shortbread Cookie Crumble Bars

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These buttery shortbread cookie bars are filled with a layer of jam and a crumble shortbread top. They’re made using seven simple ingredients and are the best chewy, crumbly bars ever!

Shortbread cookie crumble bars with raspberry preserves.

Shortbread cookies are the perfect year-round cookie. I love a classic shortbread, but what’s even better are my shortbread crumble bars. They’re great for parties, afternoon tea, or for the holiday season. The buttery, sweet flavor never gets old and is shockingly easy to make using few ingredients! 

The best part about these jam shortbread bars is that they are made with preserves that can be easily substituted for seasonal fruit. I love to use strawberry jam in the summer, and in the winter, they’re great with fig jam!

If you love bars, try my gooey chocolate caramel bars and the best lemon bars EVER! 

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

Ingredient Notes and Shopping List

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.

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

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

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

How do you know when shortbread is cooked? 

The cookies are usually done baking once they turn a light golden brown. I like to take mine out a few seconds before this happens or 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?

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

Can I bake this in a different pan?

Yes! I originally baked this recipe in a 13×9 but recently used a 9×9 pan. The crust comes out a little thicker, and it’s delicious! 

Crumble bar filled with raspberry preserves.
Buttery shortbread cookie bars with a layer of jam in the middle and a shortbread crumble top.

Let me know if you make these raspberry shortbread bars by leaving a comment and review below! 

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Shortbread Cookie Crumble Bars Recipe

Buttery, shortbread cookie bars filled with preserves and dusted with powdered sugar!
4.42 from 62 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 unsalted butter , Make sure the butter is at room temperature. If it's not, microwave it for 25 seconds. 
  • 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.
  • Prepare a ceramic or tin 9×9 square baking pan by buttering the bottom and adding parchment paper. Let the sides overhang so the bars can be easily removed. You can also use a 13×9 baking dish. 
  • Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl at medium speed. 
    Shortbread dough in a bowl.
  • Add in the vanilla and beat. 
  • Next, add the flour, salt, and baking powder and slowly mix until incorporated, forming 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.
    Shortbread being pressed into a baking dish.
  • Refrigerate the pressed dough in the baking dish for 30 minutes too.
  • Bake the dough for 15-20 minutes, then remove. 
  • Spread 12 ounces of raspberry preserves (or any preserves you want!) over the baked crust and then crumble the other half of the dough over the preserves.
    Layer of jam over shortbread crust.
  • Add then crumble the other half of the dough over the preserves.
    Crumbled shortbread crust over a layer of jam.
  • Bake for another 25 minutes. May need more time, so check to make sure the top is a golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool, then dust powdered sugar over the top. 
    A layer of powdered sugar over the shortbread cookie bars.
  • Add a sprinkle of sea salt if you like! 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.

14 thoughts on “The Best Shortbread Cookie Crumble Bars”

  1. If the 9×13 takes 40 min (plus) to bake how long did it take in the 9×9 pan? Did you bake the bottom layer longer than 15 minutes?

    Reply
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
4.42 from 62 votes (56 ratings without comment)

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