Berry Oat Crumble Bars

Eating a strawberry that was picked ripe will ruin those cardboard imposters at the supermarket. Many of the fruits found in grocery stores are picked in an unripe state (often chemically-ripened off the vine, although not in the case of strawberries). This increases their shelf life and their ability to survive transport. But these shortcuts rob the fruit of vital maturation time on the plant, where it develops the sugars that make it delicious. That’s why strawberries from the supermarket often taste like clouds of nothing. But it’s strawberry season in Florida, and the farmers markets I frequent are dripping with sweet, just-harvested fruit. I could talk about why you should turn them into these crumble bars, which are sweet enough for dessert but not so decadent that you couldn’t eat one for breakfast…or we could all collectively listen to The Crumble Song.

This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from somewhere else


For the oat mixture:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into 1-inch pieces (or make it vegan by substituting 1 1/2 cups olive oil)

For the Berry Mixture:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 pound berries of choice (slice strawberries, leave others whole)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. 
  • To make the oat mixture, combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined but still crumbly.
  • Firmly press 3/4 of oat mixture into the pan to form the crust, reserving the remainder for topping. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
  • While the crust bakes, make the berry mixture by combining all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • For a crunchier crumble, allow crust to cool once it comes out of the oven. But if you don’t mind a softer bottom, go ahead and top the crust with the berry mixture, then sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake for approximately 45 minutes until things start to bubble and the crumble on top looks golden brown.