5 Ingredients or Fewer

Oat Streusel Jam Bars

July  9, 2018
15 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 9x9-inch pan
Author Notes

Here, one shaggy dough does double the work: First, as a oatmeal-cookie like foundation. Second, as a streusely topping. Between is a gooey layer of jam. I prefer a dark-hued variety, like blackberry or blueberry or plum, for color contrast. —Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

This is one of our Big Little Recipes. Read more here: 4-Ingredient Oaty Jam Bars for Better Breakfasts, Happier Days. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Oat Streusel Jam Bars
  • 3 cups rolled oats, divided
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, roughly chopped, plus more for greasing
  • 1 (13-ounce) jar blackberry jam (about 1 heaping cup)
  1. Add 2 1/4 cups rolled oats to a food processor. Blend until a fine flour forms. Add the brown sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Scatter the butter evenly on top and pulse until a shaggy dough just starts to form. Add the remaining oats and pulse a couple times to incorporate.
  2. Remove 1 1/4 (loosely packed!) cups of streusel. Spread out the clumps (clumps are good!) on a plate and stick in the freezer to firm.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F. Arrange a baking rack in the bottom third of the oven. Line a 9- by 9-inch baking pan with parchment. The easiest way to do this is cut a roughly 12- by 12-inch square. Now cut slits inward from each corner—this will help the paper fold into place. Smear a bit of butter inside the pan. Place the parchment inside and smooth out with your hands.
  4. Press the remaining oat streusel into the lined pan, forming an even layer. Spread the jam on top. Take the streusel from the freezer—it should be very firm—and sprinkle on top.
  5. Bake—on a rack toward the bottom of the oven—for 50 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan, then use the parchment to remove from the pan, and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Cut into 16 or 12 or 9 pieces, depending on how big or little you like your jam bars.
  6. These freeze well. I like to wrap them individually and grab on my way out the door.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jenn Ugo
    Jenn Ugo
  • Hev Stewart
    Hev Stewart
  • Ellie Irving
    Ellie Irving
  • Yvette
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Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

31 Reviews

Jenn U. June 8, 2021
Obsessed! Per paige’s suggestion I replaced half the butter with a 1/2 cup of peanut butter (natural, unsweetened and unsalted) and loved the result! I used earth balance vegan butter and added 1tsp of vanilla and a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon for extra flavor :) this is a great base recipe, thank you so much!
Hev S. November 16, 2020
Wish these recipes had metric amounts to for those of use from the U.K. and other areas that use the metric system.
Ellie I. December 19, 2018
I did as Paige suggested and replaced one of the sticks of butter with a 1/2 cup of peanut butter. It worked out great! I baked them in a 10 x 7 and cooled in the fridge before slicing. Delicious but still feel wholesome. Thanks for the recipe!
MamaP October 16, 2018
I have made these about 6 times now and love them. I have to be judicious when I make them because I eat so many. Having said that, this recipe doesn't work great for me as-is. I think the salt is offensive. I use 1/2 tsp. of salt. I've tried the original version with 2.5 tsp. (crazy) and also 1 tsp. I like 1/2 best but some people might like 1 tsp. I also add 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. almond extract and some lemon zest. I put these in the fridge before cutting, and they don't crumble at all. But, I keep them in the fridge at all times. Even 10 minutes on the counter and they begin to crumble. They freeze really well, if you can stop eating them long enough to freeze them. Such a great base recipe. Thanks!
Yvette September 19, 2018
Didn't work for me - I used less butter than the recipe called for based on the comments and it still was a buttery mess. I agree with the comment that oats and butter do not act the same way as flour and butter. My husband and kids wouldn't eat it. Went into the bin.
Em August 11, 2018
This is the second time I've made these. First time, I used vegan butter, and while the taste was great, they were soft, not the texture I was looking for. Today I made them using unsalted butter and added a layer of white chocolate and some left over semi sweet chocolate chips that I blitzed together in the processor. I added this to the crumb layer and covered that with strawberry preserves before adding the topping. Very tasty! Love this recipe. Thanks for sharing it!
kareema August 11, 2018
I made these last night, and if I make them again, I will do a couple of things differently: less salt and butter. Some spices in the dough to make it more interesting. And most importantly, I would add more oats to the streusel component, as when it was baked, mine just spread out into a layer like the bottom. And maybe less sugar. Mine was SUPER, almost diabeties-inducing sweet.
Paige July 21, 2018
I swapped out one stick of butter for 1/2 c. chunky peanut butter, and also spread a thin layer of peanut butter on top of the bottom cookie layer. It made for a delicious, filling, PB&J-inspired breakfast. I've been eating these every day for three weeks and still look forward to them every morning!
Emma L. July 26, 2018
Yum! Can't wait to try that.
za'atar July 15, 2018
This was a good idea, but for me it was WAY too salty. I would try again with about a tsp. less salt and a little less butter.
Emma L. July 26, 2018
Sorry to hear that, za'atar, but thank you for sharing your feedback!
Emily July 14, 2018
I made these to recipe, only omitting the butter under the parchment paper. Good but so rich my kids couldn't eat them and there was solidified butter on the bottom of the bars. Perhaps 1 stick of butter is more appropriate?
Linda July 15, 2018
Would love to make this for a gluten-allergic friend. Would like to hear if 1 cup or 1 stick of butter is better for this recipe. Thanks!
Emma L. July 15, 2018
Hi Emily—I'm so sorry to hear that! The flour to butter ratio here is comparable to a shortbread dough (generally 1 cup flour to 1 stick butter). You may be able to lower the amount of fat, but I can't speak to how they'll turn out because this was the ratio we ended up liking best.

Linda, if you do want to adjust, I wouldn't recommend starting with 1 stick—that would be half the amount of butter, which is a pretty big drop. 3/4 cup (or 1 1/2 sticks) would be safer. If you do try, let me know how they turn out!
Linda July 16, 2018
Emma - Thanks for your reply and words of advice.
kareema August 11, 2018
Yes, but an oat/butter mixture doesn't act like a flour/butter mixture. I would definitely add less butter.
Linda August 11, 2018
I made the recipe as written. Got raves. When I make it again I will use 2 Tbsp less butter, to make make it easier for all the butter to be incorporated. Used plum preserves. Whatever you use, be sure to use a quality jam or preserve - makes the dish.
Babette's S. July 13, 2018
THIS IS A MESSAGE FOR FOOD 52 WEBSITE CONTENT RECIPE EDITORS: Why do so many of the Food 52 recipes omit Prep & Total Time in the "PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT VERSION"??? I've noticed this before. Also, it would be nice if a photo (when there is one in the original recipe) be included in the Printer Friendly Version. This recipe is an example of where the Prep & Total Time values are missing in the Printer Friendly Version. Just asking & suggesting.
Emma L. July 15, 2018
Hi, thanks for letting us know! I'm sorry that's happening and will notify our team accordingly.
kareema August 11, 2018
Personally, I don't want a picture - it uses up the color ink in the printer too quickly. Some websites have a great printing feature where you can choose what you want printed - picture/no picture; nutritional data or not; prep time or not, etc. Those I really like.
Foodie71 July 12, 2018
I cook for a no-dairy kid - any idea how dairy-free butter works in this?
Emma L. July 12, 2018
Hi! I haven't tried this recipe with margarine, but I think it should work out. If you try, let me know how it goes!
Linda August 11, 2018
Made this with Earth Balance butter flavored margarine sticks, for a dairy allergic friend - worked very well, with a good buttery flavor.
Taryn August 27, 2018
I made this recipe with about 50/50 coconut oil and butter, and it was very tasty but pretty oily. During the baking it actually seemed like it was frying in the oil. I was worried it would be too crumbly but it was fine once it had cooled.
Sherman F. July 11, 2018
Can I use steel cut oats for these? I’ve got some gorgeous raspberry jam I made.
Emma L. July 12, 2018
Hi! I haven't tried using a food processor to make oat flour from steel-cut oats, so not sure how the machine would handle it. The bigger catch is the weight conversion. This recipe was developed with rolled oats, so starting with 2 1/4 cups steel-cut would be likely give you a different amount of flour, and I'm not sure how that would affect the recipe. Which is to say, I'd stick with rolled oats to be safe!
FrugalCat July 10, 2018
Tart, seedy raspberry jam!
Katie July 10, 2018
If I already have some oat flour, how much should I use? I'm guessing the 2 and 1/4 cups of oats would be less than that amount of oat flour.
Emma L. July 12, 2018
Hi Katie! I believe that it would be in the 1 1/2 to 2 cup range, but I'll have to buzz up some oats to double check and get back to you.
Carrie L. July 14, 2018
Also in possession of lots of oat flour so am eager to hear how much to use instead of rolled oats. Awaiting your reply to Katie
Emma L. July 15, 2018
Hi again Katie and Carrie! I just processed the 2 1/4 cups oats and it turned out to be 2 1/4 cups oat flour.