The Best Oatmeal Raspberry Bars

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light brown baked bars with icing and fresh raspberries on white plate with one on napkin in front and glass of milk nearby

I enjoy baking snacks and desserts for my family and friends (baking is how I express my love and affection). In all my years of baking, I’ve found that these really are the best oatmeal raspberry bars ever and are a favorite with my family.  These bars make wonderful holiday or anytime gifts and are also perfect for afternoon snacking.  It’s almost back-to-school time. Can you believe it?  I like to make a special after-school snack for them during the first week of school. It’s gives my children something to look forward to and helps ease the transition back into our school day routine.

one light brown baked bar with raspberries and glaze on napkin with school worksheet and pencil, glass of milk and plate of baked browns in background

These oatmeal raspberry bars have been a favorite recipe of mine for years (decades, even) and have become one of my children’s favorite treats, too. With three children, a working dad and mom, a dog and leopard gecko, getting in the back-to-school routine again can be a bit of a challenge. Our family after-school routine consists of walking in the door, saying hi to mom (and the dog), grabbing a snack to eat while reading for pleasure and then immediately hitting the homework. Having an enticing homemade treat the first week or so of school helps us all get back into our after-school routine.

I knew I’d find a wide variety of Quaker breakfast and snack options at Walmart. So while I was there picking up school supplies, I ran by the breakfast aisle to pick up better for you breakfast foods and lunchbox snacks. I like to have a variety of mom-approved breakfast choices that my children can prepare for themselves in the morning. The same goes for the snacks they pack in their lunchboxes. One of the great things about having kids that are in the tween and teen years is that they can prepare their own breakfasts and make their own lunches. My job is now to make sure that I provide them with good options  for them to choose from.

Keeping a family of five happy means providing choices. I’ve found that having variety packs of oatmeal and granola bars makes everyone happy (especially mom, since there are no complaints).  And I can just add, that 20% more in a box of cereal (that my kids love) at back-to-school shopping time makes this mama happy, as does 25% less sugar in our granola bars! 

The recipe for these raspberry oatmeal bars uses basic items I usually have in the pantry.  One time though, I only had the variety pack of Quaker Fruit & Cream Instant Oatmeal in my pantry. I substituted 6 packets of oatmeal (using a mix of Strawberries & Cream and Bananas & Cream packets) for the oats. Using the Fruit & Cream Instant Oatmeal gives the bars a more delicate flavor and texture.

overhead view of sugar, flour and pieces of butter in glass bowl next to measuring cups and box of instant oatmeal

You start by mixing the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda together. You then cut the cold butter into the dry mixture. If you have a food processor you can use that, but I find the old-fashioned method works better and makes fewer dishes to wash.

bowl of baked bars dough, jar of berry jam and baking pan of dough with layer of berry jam

Once you have the butter cut into the dry ingredients, add the oatmeal. Press two-thirds of the dough into the greased pan. Spread the raspberry jam over the dough. Pat the remainder of the dough over the jam and bake.

The Best Oatmeal Raspberry Bars
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5093 calories
906 g
366 g
149 g
43 g
89 g
1374 g
1516 g
526 g
6 g
48 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 5093
Calories from Fat 1302
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 149g
Saturated Fat 89g
Trans Fat 6g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 39g
Cholesterol 366mg
Sodium 1516mg
Total Carbohydrates 906g
Dietary Fiber 25g
Sugars 526g
Protein 43g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  5. 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  6. 1 1/2 cups oatmeal - I use 6 packets of Quaker Fruit & Cream Instant Oatmeal
  7. 2 cups raspberry jam
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. Mix flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles course crumbs. Cut the oats into the mixture
  3. Press 2/3 of the dough into the baking pan. Spread the raspberry jam over the dough evenly. Spread the remaining dough evenly over the jam and gently press down.
  4. Bake approximately 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
  1. After the bars are cut; mix 1/4 cup softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Add milk until the icing is the right consistency. Drizzle icing over the bars.
  2. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
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overhead view of light brown baked bars with icing and fresh raspberries on white plate

These really are the best oatmeal raspberry bars, but to make them an even more special treat I drizzle a bit of cream cheese icing over the bars and add fresh raspberries.  

overhead view of light brown baked bars with icing and fresh raspberries on white plate and one on a napkin by plate

Pssst, don’t tell my kids, but adding fresh berries is a great way to sneak some fresh fruit in with their snack.

one light brown baked bar with raspberries and glaze on napkin with school worksheet and pencil, glass of milk and plate of baked browns in background

They grab an oatmeal raspberry bar, fresh berries, a glass of milk and are almost happy to start their homework. You should also try my Oatmeal Blueberry Cookies for an after school snack.

light brown baked bar with jam filling with glaze on top and fresh raspberries broken open with crumbs on white napkin

The great thing about these raspberry oatmeal bars is that it makes a batch large enough for snacks all week long. I can whip up a batch on Sunday and have a snack that my family will enjoy for the upcoming week. And because it makes a large batch, you can easily fill several gift baskets if you are using this recipe for holiday gifts or gifts for any occasion.

light brown baked bars with icing and fresh raspberries on white plate

These really are the best oatmeal raspberry bars ever. Give them a try and see what your family thinks. How does Quaker help you and your family succeed in your back-to-school routine?

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    1. Thanks, Winnie, coming from you that means a lot! These bars really are delicious and I have to watch myself or I’ll sneak one every single time I pass the kitchen.

  1. You had me even before you put the cream cheese on top. I’m sure they wouldn’t last very long in my house. #client

    1. I’m with you about the plain bars being amazing, Carolyn. I have to plan ahead and only make these when I won’t be alone in the house with them.

  2. Susan, what a smart idea to use packets of flavored oatmeal for this recipe. I have to admit, I would have never thought of doing that. I probably would have run to the store to buy what I needed. I am happy to see that this recipe not only sounds delicious, but looks like it is pretty easy to make also. I am wondering, can you use any type of jam? I bet my family would like them too.

    1. I’m sure any type of jam would be delicious, but I think something that’s a bit tart or tangy would compliment the oat taste the best.

  3. Mmm, these sound delicious! I like that it makes a large batch so you won’t have to make dessert again for awhile.

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