It was my hubby's birthday this week! He's a simple man who doesn't require much fuss or attention but we sure do love him in this house so of course we wanted to make his day special. He's not much of a cake eater so I asked if there was something special he'd like to have on his day and his first response was "are raspberry bars too much to make?"
These bars may seem decadent and I'm sure you're envisioning lots of steps but they are THE simplest dessert I know how to make and they come with lots of endorsement.
I've briefly mentioned our coffee shop venture in the past, but what I haven't told you is that when we first started out I did all the baking from scratch (with a two year old and seven month old at home - what was I thinking?!?!). As our business grew and expanded and changed I was always trying to add new offerings in the bakery department. The key was that the recipes had to be easy, inexpensive, duplicatable and have the WOW factor. This recipe is all of those things!!
This recipe was actually never meant to be a keeper - it was a stand in until I found more keeper recipes. I was browsing through a shortcuts cookbook I had and thought this could fill the need. The crazy thing is that once we started serving these babies we had a hard time keeping them in stock - I was making raspberry bars ALL the time. The list of ingredients is so short and incredibly easy that I'm almost embarrassed to think about how hard we worked to keep this recipe a secret for years. Because trust me we got asked about it repeatedly.
Are you ready for it?
All you need are 4 things: Raspberry Jam, Butter, Oats and....Yellow Cake Mix.
*as this "always from-scratch" baker holds her head in shame*
I feel like this is somewhat reminiscent of those stories where people talk of their grandmother's delicious pound cake only to find out that it was store bought and all she did was defrost it from the freezer before serving it! This is a little better - it does require some work and skill - although not much so the upside it that nearly anyone can make this.
I always double this recipe and bake in a stoneware bar pan - they come out perfectly each time.
Start by mixing together the oats and cake mix, drizzle melted butter on top and stir until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
Take 2/3 of the crumbs and press into the bottom of the pan to form a crust.
Spread raspberry jam over the crust. I leave a little bit of space so the the jam doesn't boil over when being baked.
Sprinkle remaining crumbs over the top and pop in the oven!
These smell amazing while they're cooking....and are doubly delicious when served warm with a little vanilla ice cream!
Happy Birthday - We love you daddy!
Raspberry Crumb Bars
- 1 (18.25 oz) package yellow cake mix
- 2 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 (12 oz) jar raspberry jam *I use seedless
- Combine cake mix and oats. Stir in butter until mixture is crumbly.
- Press about 3 cups of the mixture evenly into a greased 13x9 inch pan
- Spread preserves over crumb mixture.
- Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture and pat gently to level topping
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Cool completely in pan on a wire rack and cut into bars.
*Adapted from Cake Mix Miracles Cookbook*