Whole Grain Crumb Bars

Use your favorite fruit combinations in these whole grain crumb bars. They are satisfying enough for dessert, but have less sugar than traditional crumb bars… I won’t tell if you eat one for breakfast.

Strawberries on a cutting board

Strawberries and raspberries in a mixing bowl

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I’m going to be honest. This whole grain crumb bar recipe took a long time to get right. I’m not a natural baker, so making a crust that wasn’t too crumbly, but also didn’t have too much sugar, was a challenge. Though I love the idea of a crumb bar, I often find them to be too sweet or too bland. For this recipe, I use some all purpose flour, but also add whole wheat flour and oat bran to add some nutty-ness. Adding whole grains also conveniently helps them enter the “breakfast” category – score!

Dry ingredients and butter in a stand mixer bowl

Coarse crumbs in a mixing bowl

One of the benefits of testing this recipe over and over (and over!) is that I got to try a lot of different fruit combinations. This version uses strawberries and raspberries, but I have also tried all strawberry, peach & blueberry, all blueberry, and strawberry & peach. All were equally tasty and it is a great way to use up any berries or stone fruit you have around.

To highlight the nutty flavor of the oat bran and wheat flour, I added some finely chopped almonds on top of the fruit layer. This is optional, but offers additional texture and it aaaaaalmost tastes like a PB&J sandwich. It really takes the whole grain crumb bars to the next level. This step is optional, but I highly recommend it. 

Strawberry crumb bars on a white cutting board

Strawberry crumb bars on a white cutting board

Whole Grain Crumb Bars

Course: Dessert
Type: Seasonal
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 15 bars
Calories: 250 kcal
To highlight the nutty flavor of the oat bran and wheat flour, I added some finely chopped almonds on top of the fruit layer. This is optional, but offers additional texture and it aaaaaalmost tastes like a PB&J sandwich.
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What You'll Need

For the dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup oat bran
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 4 cups mixed berries or stone fruit diced if needed
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Optional:

  • ¼ cup almonds chopped

What to Do

Prepare the fruit and the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the fruit, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Stir to combine and set aside.

Make the dough:

  1. In a stand mixer bowl, add all dough ingredients. (Note: this can also be done in a large bowl with a hand mixer.)
  2. On a low speed, mix all of the ingredients together until they resemble coarse crumbs. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Assemble the bars:

  1. Put half of the coarse crumbs into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Press the crumbs into a solid base using your fingers or the back of a spoon.
  2. Pour the fruit and sugar mixture over the base later.
  3. If using, sprinkle the chopped almonds over the fruit layer.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the fruit & almond layer. Do not press down.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the fruit layer is bubbling at the edges and the top crumb layer is golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool, then slice into bars.

Recipe Notes

This version uses strawberries and raspberries, but I have also tried all strawberry, peach & blueberry, all blueberry, and strawberry & peach. All were equally tasty and it is a great way to use up any berries or stone fruit you have around.

4 Comments

  1. This is a super nice dessert idea like the fact you are using whole wheat flower for a sensible treat. Need to bake some soon!

  2. Haven’t had a crumb bar with strawberries in them. These look delicious.

  3. I love that this recipe is versatile and that I can use it a variety of fruit with it; perfect of in-season berries!

  4. A delicious summer dessert. My daughter would absolutely love this

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