Fruit filling layered with tart cream and brown sugar cookies crust make up this picture-perfect strawberry bars!
Bakers of any level can whip together this super easy cookie bars recipe! I use pie filling to make it extra easy — and so you don’t need to worry about the season for these fruit cookies!
Make strawberry bars in the spring or summer; swap out the strawberry filling to make peach crumb bars or apple bars; or add your favorite nuts to make pecan pie bars! Versatile, easy, and yummy, these bars are always the best choice.
I adore any dessert recipe that bakes up fast enough to satisfy my cravings — and these bars come together in 30 minutes flat!
- Berry versatility
- Great in any season
- Beginning baker ease
- Three layers of YUM!
How To Make Strawberry Cream Bars
Mix all the ingredients for the crust, and in a separate bowl combine all the filling ingredients. Assemble in a baking pan. Bake. Voila!
If you’re looking for healthy strawberry recipes… this is not one. But don’t we love those best of all?
Three layers of goodness come together to make an unforgettable strawberry cream bars experience — gooey strawberry filling, tart sour cream, and a crumbly, buttery cookie crust. Let’s break each layer down!
This strawberry cream bars recipe breaks down into three delicious layers that come together with berry, creamy, sweet perfection!
Filling: I use strawberry pie filling for ease in this recipe and also so I can easily swap for any other pie filling flavor. Apple, blackberry, blueberry — the possibilities are endless!
- BUT I will say that it is totally possible to use your own fresh fruit if you need recipes to use up strawberries — simply cook your strawberries with a little sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan until they reach the pie filling consistency you like.
Sour Cream: If you’re new to baking, you might scoff at using sour cream in a sweet recipe. But don’t turn away! You’re in for a world of flavor deliciousness. Not only does sour cream bring a rich, smooth texture to your desserts, it also adds a tang that not even yogurt can replicate. Go for the sour cream!
Cookie Crumb: I use lots of brown sugar for the cookie crumb crust — no white sugar in this stuff! Brown sugar brings a richness in flavor thanks to the higher molasses content. You’ll love the extra punch!
I treat these bars as I would traditional strawberry pie — with one big difference!
Can You Freeze This?
Unfortunately, no. This is where these strawberry cream bars differ from strawberry pie — the sour cream filling brings dairy richness to these bars, but it means you can’t freeze them. Dairy like this and freezers don’t mix!
Make Ahead Tips
The best way to make this recipe ahead is to fully assemble and stop right before baking. You can store the unbaked bars in the fridge — covered! — for up to two days.
How Long Can You Keep This?
Once your bars are fully baked and cooled, you can store them in the fridge for up to five days. Any longer, and the berries will start to bleed into the cookie crumb — and while the taste won’t be any worse for wear, the texture will be quite soggy.
Now, the fun part I hinted at — the variations!
- It is so easy to turn these strawberry bars into lemon bars! Simply swap for canned lemon pie filling and you get a play on lemon squares. You can even go further and swap the sour cream for cream cheese and get lemon cheesecake bars.
- You can use cranberries to transform it into cranberry bars are great if the weather’s a bit cooler and you need a holiday treat! Cranberry bliss bars are a coffee shop favorite!
- Yes, add coconut! Coconut bars are a delicious alternative to these bars. The result is very similar to my coconut cream pie bars — rich yet sweet and simply delicious! Or keep that lemon pie filling from above and make lemon coconut bars!
- You can substitute blueberries too! From lemon blueberry bars to blackberry pie bars to tart, bright raspberry bars, the limitations are only what pie filling you can find!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup strawberry pie filling
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line an 8X8 baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Add flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a medium and whisk until ingredients are evenly combined. Add butter and combine until mixture is the size of peas and is crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup of crumb mixture and set aside to use for the topping. Press the remaining crumb mixture into prepared baking pan. Set aside and prepare to fill.
- Add the sour cream, sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix until all the ingredients are evenly combined. Spread filling over prepared crust. Drop spoonfuls of strawberry pie filling evenly over sour cream filling. Gently swirl pie filling with a sour cream mixture with a spoon. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture evenly over top.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-28 minutes or until the top of bars begin to brown and center of bars is "set". Cool completely and serve. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Want more fruit desserts? Here are some irresistible treats!
- Orange Creamsicle Cookies – The summertime favorite in a cookie!
- Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies – Citrus and chocolate – YUM
- Blueberry Bars – Great with vanilla ice cream
- Pumpkin Pie Bars – Autumn in a bar!
- Apple Pie Bars – An Americana classic!
That berry filling, the sour cream smoothness, the crumbly buttery cookie — I can’t pick a favorite layer of this strawberry bars recipe!
What did you make these strawberry bars for? Let me know in the comments!
Source: Adapted from Crunchy Cream Sweet