A sweet twist on your childhood favorite, these soft and delicious Peanut Butter & Jelly Oat Bars are filled with a quick homemade strawberry jam and topped with a peanut butter oat crumble.
I turned a childhood (or adulthood, really) favorite into a breakfast/snack/dessert situation to give you some Peanut Butter & Jelly Oat Bars! The base and crumble are packed with peanut butter, sandwiched around a perfectly sweet strawberry jam layer. Oats are added to both the base and topping to add additional texture, but they remain oh so soft.
And guess what! They freeze incredibly well, so feel free to store the leftovers for another time. See the bottom of the post to find out the best way to freeze these bad boys.
Easy Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars recipe
To make the Peanut Butter & Jelly Oat Bars, start by making the quick strawberry jam, then make the base, then the oat crumble!
Quick homemade strawberry jam
- Hull and slice the strawberries, then add them to a saucepan over medium heat and add the sugar.
- Stir occasionally, allowing the strawberries to release their juices and help them along by mashing them down with the back of a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
- Next, mix together the cornstarch and water, drizzle into the strawberries, and stir. Allow the mixture to bubble for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat.
- Fold in the strawberry jam/preserves and allow to sit while preparing the rest of the bars.
Peanut butter oat base
- Start by pulsing ¾ cup of the rolled oats in a food processor (or blender) until they break down slightly. It should not turn into powder.
- Whisk together the flour, processed oats, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), combine the butter, peanut butter and sugar.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix again, then scrape down the sides.
- Drop in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the dough comes together and the flour is just incorporated.
Making the oat crumble
Remove ¼ of the peanut butter dough and place into a bowl. Next, add the remaining whole rolled oats to the dough and combine them using a spoon or fork. Use the utensil to break up the dough into chunks as the oats get combined. It should resemble a crumble/streusel topping.
Assembling the bars
- Line an 8x8" square pan with parchment paper slings so you can easily remove the bars to cut them. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Press ¾ of the peanut butter base into the bottom of the pan, being sure to get the dough the whole way to the sides and corners.
- Bake the base in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove the base from the oven and spread the strawberry jam evenly over top.
- Finally, sprinkle the oat crumble over top of the strawberries.
- Continue baking the bars for another 10-15 minutes until the crumble layer gets slightly brown.
- Allow the bars to cool fully in the pan. Once fully cool, cut and serve.
Yes (ish) and no. You cannot use steel cut oats for this recipe as they will be much too hard without any liquid added. You can use instant or quick cooking oats in a pinch, but they will not provide as much texture as intended with the recipe. Stick with rolled oats if you can!
Yes. Be sure to cool them on a wire rack (or so the base is lifted off of the counter) so the air can circulate. Keep the bars in the pan until they are completely cool. You need the strawberry layer to cool down and set up or else it can squish out while cutting into the bars if they’re still too hot! No bueno.
Store the bars in the pan at room temperature, uncovered. Covering the pan will lock in too much moisture and will cause the bars to get overly soft much more quickly.
YES! These freeze exceptionally well. Wrap the cut bars tightly in plastic wrap, then place into a ziplock bag or Tupperware. These keep in the freezer for two months. When ready to enjoy, remove the plastic wrap and allow the bars to thaw at room temperature on a plate.
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Peanut Butter & Jelly Oat Bars
- Food processor, blender, nutribullet
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer
- 8x8 inch square pan
- Parchment paper
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 210g
- 1 cup rolled oats, divided 100g
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter 240g
- ½ cup + 2 T unsalted butter room temperature 142g
- ½ cup light brown sugar 100g
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced 250g
- 2 T granulated sugar 25g
- ¼ cup strawberry jam or preserves 100g
- 1 T Corn starch 8g
- 2 T water
- Begin by preparing the strawberry layer. Hull and slice the strawberries, then add them to a saucepan over medium heat with the 2T sugar. Stir occasionally and mash them down as the juices develop.
- Once the strawberries are sufficiently broken down and juicy, mix together the corn starch and water, then add to the cooked strawberries. Allow it to bubble for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and stir in the jam.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and grease and parchment line (with overhangs so it's easy to remove) an 8×8 inch square baking pan.
- In a food processor, pulse ¾ cups of the rolled oats until they become smaller. Sand texture is too fine, but you definitely want to break them down a bit.
- Combine the flour, ground oats, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a handheld mixer), beat the butter, peanut butter, and sugar until combined. Add the egg and vanilla, mix until incorporated, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Add ¾ of the mixture to the prepared pan and press down evenly into all corners and sides. Bake for 20 minutes.
- While the base is baking, combine the leftover ¼ of the flour and oat mixture, add in the remaining ¼ of whole rolled oats and bring together with a fork. You will have to break up the mixture a bit, but you want to keep the pieces crumbly (think a streusel topping).
- Spread the strawberry jam layer over the base, then sprinkle the oat crumble overtop of the strawberry layer.
- Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the crumble top gets slightly golden.
- Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then remove and cut into 9 or 16 pieces.