These apricot bars are super easy to make and can be enjoyed as either a snack or a dessert. This recipe can be used with any style of jam you like. The bars are crumbly, buttery, and rich!
I love having jam in a sandwich with some cheese (especially on my more lazy days). Even though that's a delicious snack, I've always wanted a more exciting way to use jam. So I decided to make apricot jam bars! I love using jam in baking because I don't have to worry about which fruits are in season and which aren't, so this is a year round treat.
These bars only need one bowl and about 10 minutes. This recipe also features a really simple crumb topping using the same dough as the bottom crust. They come together very quickly, and they make a great snack or dessert. I guess you could say these bars are ... jammin'!
How To Make Apricot Jam Bars With A Crumb Topping:
Start by creaming together softened butter and sugar. Mix your butter and sugar together until all of the sugar has dissolved into the butter and you're left with a thick paste.
Next, add in the eggs and vanilla. Add your eggs in one at a time, making sure to beat well in between additions. Your mixture may look a little grainy and separated at this point. That's perfectly normal. Add your vanilla and mix it in as well.
Add your flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix everything together until you get a ball of dough and you no longer see any dry flour. You may need to use your hands to get everything well incorporated.
Divide the dough into 2 portions. This part is customizable, depending on how thick you want your bottom crust to be and how much crumb topping you'd like.
My personal preference is 2:3 ration. So ⅔ of the dough for the bottom crust and ⅓ of the dough as the crumb topping, but it's really up to you.
Working with the dough you portioned out for the bottom crust, press it into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Take care to ensure you flatten your dough evenly and try not to work it up the sides of your dish (because those portions can burn).
Spread jam on top of your bottom crust. You can use as much or as little jam as you'd like here, which is why I give a range instead of a specific measurement. I personally like a very thin layer of jam, so I used a ⅓ cup of apricot jam here.
Although I chose to use apricot jam in this recipe, you can use any jam you like. This recipe works with any fruit jam.
Add flour to your remaining ⅓ of dough. This is just to make it more crumbly.
Top your jam layer with the crumb topping. Evenly spread the remaining ⅓ of your dough in your baking dish.
Bake in the center of a preheated 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes. You'll know your jam bars are done when they turn a light golden brown on top.
Cool for about 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature. I personally like to have these slightly warm, but they're also great after they've cooled completely to room temperature.
Apricot Jam Bar Substitutions and Add-Ins:
Like I mentioned above, you can use any jam you'd like with this recipe. I've tried this with apricot, raspberry, strawberry, and blackberry jam, and it turned out great every time. I'm sure it would also work with other fruit jams, I just haven't tried it myself. If you do try this with another jam, let me know how it goes in the comments below!
If you wanted to change these bars up a bit, you could use a little less all-purpose flour and replace it with some oats or nuts. Almonds, pecans, and walnuts are just some of the nuts that would be great here. You could also add some unsweetened flaked coconut to this recipe.
Make these bars gluten free: You can replace the all-purpose flour in this recipe for some gluten-free flour to make gluten free jam bars. You can also use almond or coconut flour (or both) instead (if you like their flavor).
Make these bars dairy free: For a dairy free version of this treat, you can just swap out the butter for vegetable shortening.
Make these bars vegan: For some vegan jam bars, use soft (not melted) coconut oil instead of butter. You'll also need to scale back the amount of flour you use since you're not going to be using eggs.
Check out these other recipes!
- apricot jam filled sandwich cookies
- fudgy brownies
- classic blondies
- New York style cheesecake bars
- simple powdered sugar icing (perfect topping!)
Apricot Jam Bars with Crumb Topping Recipe
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar * see notes
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- 2 & ½ cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup apricot jam (or jam of your choice) ** see notes
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhanging parchment paper to make it easier to transfer. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat together until sugar is fully dissolved and you're left with a thick paste. Add eggs in one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and mix in.
- Add 2 and ½ cups of flour, as well as your baking powder and salt to the butter/egg mixture. Mix until it starts coming together into a rough ball of dough. I find it easiest to start mixing with a spoon, and finish off by hand.
- Divide your dough into one large piece (about ⅔ of the dough) and one smaller piece (about ⅓). Pack ⅔ of the dough into the bottom of your 9x13 inch baking pan into an even layer. Spread jam over the top of the dough. Set aside to work on the crumb topping.
- Add 3 tablespoons of flour to the remaining ⅓ of dough. Mix until you have a dry, crumbly mixture. Sprinkle the crumbly mixture evenly over the jam layer.
- Bake the assembled jam bars in a preheated 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top turns a light golden brown. Remove from the oven. Cool for about 20 to 25 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.