I’m fairly certain these strawberry crumble bars could pass for breakfast — what with the oats and all — but they’re equally at ease when warm with ice cream for dessert.  Your call.   (Jump to Recipe) Strawberry Crumble Bars | Katiebird Bakes

We’ve got a star on our hands today, my friends.  These strawberry crumble bars are dead simple to make, very few ingredients, yet taste like a summer day and (according to Brian) a super fancy Special K bar all wrapped in one.  I’m not sure if that last part is really a compliment, but he meant it to be.

The truth is, these strawberry crumble bars did not start out as bars at all.  They started out as croissants.  Confusing, I know.

Strawberry Crumble Bars | Katiebird Bakes

You see, I created these bars as part of a spring recipe collaboration with over 100 other talented food bloggers, and our challenge was to create a recipe featuring strawberries.  I have a couple recipes on the site already that include strawberries (like scones and cake) but I wanted to create something new and exciting, and maybe you can see where this is going before I could, but I got a little overambitious.

I’d seen a few videos recently on the internets concerning how to make croissants.  Those light, flaky, lovely pastries that I adore but have never been brave enough to tackle myself, best leaving them to snooty French pastry chefs and the like.  But Sally’s Baking Addiction’s recipe challenge this month was to bake croissants, and if you’re interested, you really should check it out – she’s the best of the best when it comes to clear baking instructions.  I felt like it was a sign.

Strawberry Crumble Bars | Katiebird Bakes

So of course, in my eternal wisdom, I determined that the first time I would ever make croissants from scratch would be the time I also attempted to change the basic croissant recipe and make strawberry croissants.  No, not regular croissants that have strawberries inside them — that would be far too simple and pedestrian.  Croissants made with strawberry compound butter instead of normal butter.  And of course, I’d first make that strawberry compound butter myself.  As if croissants don’t already take long enough to make.

Are you rolling your eyes at me yet?

Strawberry Crumble Bars | Katiebird BakesStrawberry Crumble Bars | Katiebird Bakes

I don’t really need to tell you what happened.  You already know.  It was a total and unmitigated disaster.  Not only did it take ALL day, ruin my apartment, and cover me and every possible surface, including my camera, in sticky strawberry butter and flour, the damn things turned out dense and floppy and somehow burned on the bottom and so un-croissant-like that you’d think I tried to make tough strawberry biscuits.

Where is the crying emoji when you need it?

Strawberry Crumble Bars | Katiebird Bakes

After I’d pulled myself together and cleaned (and cleaned, and cleaned…) my apartment, I took a day off baking to reflect.  I realized that in trying to execute on my grand idea of these strawberry croissants, I’d gotten carried away from what the purpose of this little blog really is.

My goal is not to create Insta-famous unconventional pastries; lots of people, far more talented than me, are doing that.  My goal is to create simple yet sophisticated recipes you can make any day (or at least, any weekend day) for yourself, your family, and your friends.  Approachable, yet nuanced (my dad’s word for it).  Ready for any occasion, even just a Tuesday on the couch.  Those are my kind of recipes, and they always have been.Strawberry Crumble Bars | Katiebird Bakes

And so these strawberry crumble bars came to life.  A simple oat, butter, flour and brown sugar base, which doubles as the crumble on top.  Diced strawberries tossed with lemon zest, a tiny bit of sugar, and cornstarch, letting their flavor shine.  A bright lemon glaze to set it off.  This is my kind of baking.

These bars are just as appropriate served with yogurt at the breakfast table as they are warmed with ice cream at dessert.  You honestly can’t go wrong eating them straight out of the pan standing over the stove, either.  Not that I speak from experience or anything.

Strawberry Crumble Bars | Katiebird Bakes

Like I said, Brian calls these “Special K bars on steroids” so take that for what you will.  It’s true that the bright and buttery strawberry flavor is slightly reminiscent of them.  You’ll just have to try them and tell me if you agree.

See below the recipe for links to all the other recipes from bloggers participating in our strawberry roundup!

Strawberry Crumble Bars | Katiebird Bakes
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5 from 2 votes

Strawberry Crumble Bars

I'm fairly certain these strawberry crumble bars could pass for breakfast -- what with the oats and all -- but they're equally at ease when warm with ice cream for dessert.  Your call.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 16 2-inch bars
Author: katiebirdbakes.com


For the crust and crumble:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned (rolled) oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 2 cups finely chopped strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of one lemon (around 1 tablespoon, and you'll use the juice for the glaze)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from the lemon you zested above)


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8x8 inch square pan with parchment paper (easiest method in my opinion) or grease the pan well, and set aside.

For the crust:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt.  Stir in melted butter and vanilla until it's a well-mixed crumble mixture.
  • Set aside 1/3 of the mixture; pour the other 2/3 into the prepared pan and press into an even flat layer with your hands.  Set aside while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:

  • In a medium bowl, toss strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and cornstarch until strawberries are completely and evenly coated.  Pour mixture over top of crust and spread into an even layer.

For the crumble:

  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 crumble mixture over top of the strawberries as evenly as you can, but this isn't an exact science.  Just make sure it all gets on top.
  • Bake for 35-37 minutes, until crumble and crust are golden and fruit may be bubbling, but it doesn't have to be.  LET COOL COMPLETELY IN THE PAN (I put it in the fridge to help it along) before lifting the parchment paper from the pan to remove the bars, otherwise they will fall apart.   

For the glaze:

  • Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Pour over cooled crumble and cut into bars!


Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
Bars will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days.  Reheat in the microwave before serving, or serve cold, whatever you prefer.  I like these bars with yogurt in the morning, or with vanilla ice cream for dessert!

Like this recipe?  Please rate it and leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @katiebirdbakes, and sign up for my email list to receive my recipes straight to your inbox every time I post!

Here are all the other strawberry recipes – happy baking:

Square Meal Round Table’s Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Pavlova

The Cooking of Joy’s Strawberry Matcha Cream Cheese Tart

This Healthy Table’s Strawberry Tahini Shortcake

Flours in Your Hair’s Strawberry Milk Donuts

The Wood and Spoon’s Strawberry Icebox Pie

Smart in the Kitchen’s Rustic Strawberry Galette

The Herb and Spoon’s Strawberry-Jam Filled Brioche Donuts

Better with Biscuit’s Strawberry Cobbler

My Kitchen Love’s Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

Sift and Simmer’s Rose Strawberry Hibiscus Mille Crepe Cake

What Great Grandma Ate’s No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars (Paleo, Vegan)

A Modest Feast’s Greek Yogurt With Crispy Quinoa and Roasted Strawberries

Hola Jalapeno’s Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

Worthy Pause’s Strawberry-Basil Shrub Cocktail

Hot Dishing It Out’s Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jelly

Figs & Flour’s Shrimp Tacos with Strawberry Apricot Salsa

Pie Girl Bakes’ Strawberry Ginger Pie

Crumb Top Baking’s Strawberry Chia Jam Oat Bars

The Gourmandise School’s Strawberry Pistachio Salad

Tiny Kitchen Caper’s Strawberries and Cream Pound Cake

Cook Til Delicious’ Mini Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Ganache

Something New For Dinner’s Watermelon, Tomato and Strawberry Salad with Burrata

A Spicy Perspective’s Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Easy and Delish’s Strawberry Brigadeiros

Plays Well with Butter’s Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese, Grilled Chicken, & Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Katherine in Brooklyn’s Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Sugar Salt Magic’s Strawberry Mousse Tart

The Healthy Sins’ Coconut Flour Crepes Topped with Fresh Strawberries and Coconut Yogurt

Lemon Thyme and Ginger’s Strawberry Basil No Churn Ice Cream

Jessie Sheehan Bakes’ Strawberry Basil Turnovers

Bavette Meat & Provisions’ Pickled Green Strawberries

Rezel Kealoha’s Apple Cider Rose Poached Strawberries with Thyme Flowers

Made from Scratch’s Roasted Strawberry and Basil Ice Cream

Eat Cho Food’s Strawberry Basil Glazed Donuts

What’s Karen Cooking’s Strawberry Eton Mess

More Icing Than Cake’s Strawberry, Balsamic & Black Pepper Babka

Well Seasoned Studio’s Classic Vanilla Layer Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream and Fresh Strawberries

Farm & Coast Cookery’s Strawberry & Thyme Shortcake

Marianne Cooks’ Strawberry Madeleines

Clean Plate Club’s Mini Strawberry Bundt Cakes with Lemon Glaze

My Berkeley Kitchen’s Strawberry Kale Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

The Cinnaman’s Rose Hibiscus Strawberry Icebox Pie

Prickly Fresh’s Strawberry Burrata Kale Salad with Pistachio & Lemon Vinaigrette

Maren Ellingboe’s Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream & Strawberries

Baking the Goods’ Mini Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes

Fufu’s Kitchen’s Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

What Annie’s Eating’s Vegan Strawberry + Basil Ice Cream

Cosette’s Kitchen’s Strawberry Shortcake

Blossom to Stem’s Strawberry Pavlova with Mezcal and Lime

Babby Girl Yum’s Strawberry Spinach Almond Salad

It’s a Veg World After All’s Butter Lettuce Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Le Petite Eats’ Strawberry Orange Blossom Tartlets

Cooking with Cocktail Ring’s Basil Balsamic Strawberry Shortcake

Ful-Filled’s Lilac Sugar Strawberry Shortcakes with Greek Yogurt Whipped Cream

The College Housewife: Mixed Berry Whiskey Crisp

Frosting and Fettuccine’s Strawberry Basil Layer Cake with Strawberry Simple Syrup

Zestful Kitchen’s Strawberry & Pine Nut Brittle Salad


Strawberry Crumble Bars | Katiebird Bakes

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  1. Hi, how could you make this with rhubarb? I know it would need more sugar but figure it would need to cook before. Would love to hear how you might do….
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Michelle – sorry for the delay. I would probably make it the same way (i.e. wouldn’t cook it first) but would add 2 Tbsp extra sugar. Let me know if you try it!

  2. 5 stars
    So glad that I tried this recipe to use up some strawberries I had in the fridge, they turned out marvelously! In a pinch without lemon juice, you can use the exact same quantity of water (for the fruit) and milk (for the glaze). I did out of necessity and it worked just fine!

    Baked to perfection in 35 minutes! The crumble itself could definitely be a base for a variety of fruits depending on season. I see great opportunity for berries and stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums). It tasted reminiscent of granola bars and jam. I cut the strawberries very small and it helped create a very even texture for the middle layer. Would recommend, thanks for the great recipe Katie!

  3. These look delicious!! And oh my gosh I have been in that baking frustration disaster zone too and found taking the day off after is the best remedy! Think I’m gonna make these this weekend! Pinned!