Strawberry Jam Bars

These Strawberry Jam Bars are for the big kid inside of all of us. Two layers of soft, buttery peanut butter cookie with a sweet layer of strawberry jam in between, they are everything I grew up loving about PB&Js (and quite frankly, still do), turned into a pick-up-with-your fingers, lick-them-once-you’re-finished dessert affair. They’re equal parts nostalgic and new and will have you craving a cold glass of milk, episode of your favorite after-school cartoon, and, of course, a second helping!

Soft and buttery healthy Strawberry Jam Bars. Easy and DELICIOUS! Two layers of peanut butter shortbread cookie with a layer of sweet strawberry preserves in between. They taste like a thumbprint cookie but are much easier to make! One of the best healthy strawberry dessert recipes. Kids love them too!

If it’s been a while since you’ve had peanut butter and jelly together, let me tell you something right now: it’s even better than you remember.

A few weeks ago, a friend brought me some strawberry jam, and I decided to use it for what may be jam’s ultimate purpose: an old school PB&J. HEAVEN.

In addition to making me feel like a kid again, I was reminded of the beautiful simplicity of this notorious combo: salty and sweet. Fruity and nutty. Sticky and creamy.

Peanut butter and strawberry jam might not be fancy-restaurant worthy (or even unfancy-restaurant worthy), but it’s the kind of well-rounded flavor experience that never ceases to surprise and delight.

Store-bought or homemade strawberry jam is layered over a peanut butter crust to make these easy Strawberry Jam Bars.

Since I still had plenty of my friend’s jam left in my refrigerator, I started to look for other recipes using strawberry jam.

I’ve made a few strawberry jam desserts in the past (See: Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars and Banana Blueberry Bars), but each of those felt more about the other filling ingredients than the jam itself.

On the fresh strawberry side, these healthy Strawberry Oatmeal Bars are another favorite strawberry dessert, but I was hungry for something different. Shortbread jam bars crossed my mind as well, but I wanted a dessert that felt a bit more ooey-gooey.

The answer to my Strawberry Jam Bars craving: peanut butter!

Chopped salted peanuts are sprinkled on top of these easy whole grain Strawberry Jam Bars for a salty-sweet crunch.

Strawberry Jam Bars—A Classic Recipe with a Twist

I sincerely hope that I never feel too old or too “foodie” to enjoy an old-fashioned PB&J, especially when it’s in the form of a jam-stuffed peanut butter cookie bar.

In addition to being comforting and nostalgic, these Strawberry Jam Bars boast modern updates. They are made with white whole wheat flour, which is so light and mild, you’ll never suspect these jam bars are whole grain.

The recipe has enough butter to make the bars taste like a true treat, and the rest of the moisture and tenderness comes from nonfat Greek yogurt.

Healthy Strawberry Jam Bars made with whole wheat flour, peanut butter, and strawberry jam. The whole family will love them!

Finally, to give the Strawberry Jam Bars a “grown-up” edge, I sprinkled the top with roasted, salted peanuts. This last touch gives the bars a bewitching salty-sweetness and extra pop of texture.

Strawberry Jam Bars. The classic flavors of peanut butter and jelly in an easy dessert!

As you may suspect, these Strawberry Jam Bars taste wonderful snitched right from the container, especially when you should be eating lunch instead. (They are kind of like a sandwich, right?)

That said, if you can muster up enough patience, the extra minute you’ll need to warm one up in the microwave and top it with vanilla ice cream will be very, very worth your while. 

Recommended Tools to Make Strawberry Jam Bars

Soft and buttery healthy Strawberry Jam Bars. Easy and DELICIOUS! Two layers of peanut butter shortbread cookie with a layer of sweet strawberry preserves in between. They taste like a thumbprint cookie but are much easier to make! One of the best healthy strawberry dessert recipes. Kids love them too!
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Strawberry Jam Bars

Yield: 1 (8x8-inch) pan
Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins
Soft and buttery Strawberry Jam Bars. Two layers of peanut butter shortbread cookie with a layer of sweet strawberry preserves in between. Easy recipe made with whole grains and real ingredients. One of our favorite healthy strawberry desserts!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter — at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg — at room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup  white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup strawberry jam — or raspberry jam or other jam
  • 1/3 cup salted peanuts — coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat an 8x8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Line with parchment paper, leaving some overhanging on two sides like handles, then coat with spray again.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, Greek yogurt, and sugar on medium speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the vanilla, egg, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until the flour disappears.
  5. Portion two-thirds of the dough into the prepared baking pan and spread over the bottom into an even layer with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Break small pieces of the remaining dough evenly over the jam (you’ll have some bits of jam showing through). Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the bars are golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then, using the parchment paper handles, lift the bars onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.

Recipe Notes

  • Store leftovers well wrapped at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Vary it up: For a peanut-free version, try swapping the peanut butter and peanuts for almond butter and chopped toasted almonds. You can also use any flavor of jam you love, not just strawberry. I plan to try a blackberry or raspberry and almond version next!
  • To make gluten free, replace the all-purpose and whole wheat flours with a 1:1 GF all-purpose blend.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Homemade Dessert, Healthy Strawberry Bars, Strawberry Jam Bars

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1square (of 16)) — Calories: 247, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Carbohydrates: 30g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 20g, Protein: 6g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Soft and buttery healthy Strawberry Jam Bars. Easy and DELICIOUS! Two layers of peanut butter shortbread cookie with a layer of sweet strawberry preserves in between. They taste like a thumbprint cookie but are much easier to make! One of the best healthy strawberry dessert recipes. Kids love them too! #strawberry #strawberrjam #healthy #dessertrecipes

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

6 comments

  1. shawnna Griffin Reply

    hey girl- these bars look so good! Y’all have a great weekend!

  2. PB&J is my favorite combo ever! Love these

  3. This Recipe is so delicious, amazing and easy to make! Thanks for a great treat that is somewhat guilt free, definitely will make these again.

    • YAY Demi, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for giving it a try and taking the time to review!

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