Amish Strawberry Oatmeal Bars (with crumb topping)

These buttery oatmeal cookie bars with a fresh strawberry filling were inspired by a recipe I found in my Amish grandmother’s recipe collection for Oatmeal Rhubarb Bars with Crumb Topping. In the past week I made four batches of these strawberry bars because they were getting scarfed down so fast by my family and friends. Plus, what better way to use up fresh strawberries than in a deliciously buttery oatmeal bar that is easy to compile?!

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Amish strawberry oatmeal bars with crumb topping

Amish Strawberry Oatmeal Bars with Crumb Topping

marilynpeight
These delicious strawberry oatmeal bars are easy to compile and one of the best ways to use up fresh strawberries in the summer months!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Amish
Servings 12

Equipment

  • Saucepan (linked below)
  • Whisk (linked below)
  • 8 inch baking dish (linked below)
  • Mixing bowl (linked below)

Ingredients
  

For the Strawberry Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries washed and hulled *see note
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Oatmeal Base and Crumb Topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions
 

Preheat oven to 350:

  • Place whole strawberries into a medium sized saucepan and mash with a potato masher or fork to release the juices and break down the size to smaller chunks (you can also pulse the strawberries in a blender if you prefer). Stir in sugar and lemon juice, then mix in the cornstarch until no lumps remain.
  • Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil over med-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and stir frequently for several minutes until the strawberry mixture has thickened and the cornstarch is clear. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, then allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • While the strawberry mixture is cooling, combine the oatmeal base and topping ingredients until a wet crumb is formed and all the ingredients have been well incorporated.
  • Press all but 2/3 cup of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of a parchment lined 8 by 8 inch baking dish, ensuring no cracks are visible through the base. Spread the strawberry mixture evenly over the oatmeal cookie base, then sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top of the strawberry layer.
  • Bake the strawberry bars in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the crumb topping is golden and the strawberry filling is bubbling on the edges. Allow to cool, then serve and enjoy!
    Storage notes below.

Notes

If using frozen-thawed strawberries, you will need to drain off the excess liquid from the berries and may also wish to increase the amount of cornstarch added if the mixture seems too thin after cooking. Be sure to use a slurry of water and cornstarch if adding additional cornstarch to the hot strawberry filling. 
Double this recipe to fit into a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. 
Additional notes and step by step photos below. 
Keyword Amish, strawberry oatmeal bars, crumb topping, fresh strawberry bars, easy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Equipment needed for these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars with Crumb Topping:

  • Saucepan You will need a medium sized saucepan to cook the strawberry filling. I prefer to use a saucepan with a handle for easier transportation of the strawberry filling.
  • Whisk A whisk is needed to stir the filling ingredients together and to continue stirring the strawberry filling as it cooks.
  • 8 by 8 inch baking dish I like to use my 8 inch baking dish for the amount of strawberry bars this recipe produces. If you wish to double the recipe, you can use a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.
  • Mixing bowl A small mixing bowl is needed for combining the oatmeal cookie base and crumb topping.

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Ingredients needed for these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars with Crumb Topping: Old fashioned rolled oats, brown sugar, salted butter, cornstarch, lemon juice, salt, baking soda, fresh strawberries, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and all purpose flour.

Can quick oats be used in this recipe?

Honestly, I haven’t tested this recipe with quick oats, but I do believe it would work just as well in the oatmeal base and crumb topping. If in doubt, add just a little quick oats at a time until the base is sturdy enough to form a thick crumb (see photo below for reference), but also wet enough to press into the bottom of the baking dish.

Step 1-2: Place whole strawberries into a medium sized saucepan and mash with a potato masher or fork to release the juices and break down the size to smaller chunks (you can also pulse the strawberries in a blender if you prefer). Stir in sugar and lemon juice, then mix in the cornstarch until no lumps remain. Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil over med-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and stir frequently for several minutes until the strawberry mixture has thickened and the cornstarch is clear. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, then allow to cool for 10 minutes. *Note the strawberry filling will continue to thicken in the oven while the bars are baking.

Can I use a cornstarch slurry instead of adding the cornstarch straight into the strawberry mixture:

Yes, you can. If you want to be sure there are absolutely no lumps of cornstarch in your strawberry filling, you can use a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch and just enough water to create a thick slurry. Wait to add the slurry to the strawberry, sugar and lemon juice mixture until it has been heated. I personally have tried both methods and found both to work, but if adding the cornstarch straight into the strawberry mixture without a slurry, you do have to be sure to stir the mixture well to eliminate lumps.

Step 3: While the strawberry mixture is cooling, combine the oatmeal base and topping ingredients until a wet crumb is formed and all the ingredients have been well incorporated.

Step 4: Press all but 2/3 cup of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8 by 8 inch baking dish, ensuring no cracks are visible through the base. Spread the strawberry mixture evenly over the oatmeal cookie base, then sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top of the strawberry layer.

Step 5: Bake the strawberry bars in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the crumb topping is golden and the strawberry filling is bubbling on the edges. Allow to cool, then serve and enjoy!

Additional Amish Treats You May Enjoy:

Storage tips for these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars:

These strawberry oatmeal bars can be kept refrigerated for up to a week, or at room temperature for a day or two. Because of the strawberry filling, I prefer to keep mine in the refrigerator if storing for longer than a day or two. But, so far they haven’t lasted for more than 48 hours before being scarfed down. These strawberry bars can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Feel free to pin this recipe for later (pin button in the recipe card) and be sure to tag me on Instagram to show off a photo of your own creation of these strawberry bars. Thank you for your support!

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