Raspberry bars

Mom’s Raspberry Bars DSC 1109

My Holiday Baking Song (with apologies to “Deck the Halls”)
’Tis the season to start baking,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Making raspberry bars for the taking,
Fa la la la la la la la la.

Don we now our cups and spoons,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Days are short now, hello Moon!
Fa la la la la la la la la.

Stir the butter with the flour,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Wipe off that frown, don’t be sour,
Fa la la la la la la la la.

Turn on the oven, grease your sheets,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Drop balls of dough to make your treats,
Fa la la la la la la la la.

Cookies will make people happy,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Genuine joy, never sappy,
Fa la la la la la la la la.

It’s cold outside, but my kitchen is warm,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Baking for others, night to morn,
Fa la la la la la la la la.

Whew, there’s something about this time of year that makes me feel musical! I have to say (much to my family’s disappointment) I’m not one to go to church very often. But I always look forward to Christmas Eve services because I get to belt at the top of my lungs some of my favorite songs.

Technically, however, it’s not Christmas yet. Nor is it even Advent, which doesn’t start for a few days. Growing up with an Episcopal priest for a mom, we were always made very aware the differentiation between the two seasons. For a few years, in fact, we didn’t even put up our tree until Christmas Eve. The upside to this waiting was we celebrated the full 12 days of Christmas, which meant a new gift for each of the 12 days. And while I didn’t receive a partridge in a pear tree, life still felt like a song.

Mom’s Raspberry Bars | Homesick Texan

Mom started making her raspberry bars about 10 years ago and there’s nothing particularly Texan about them, but trust me, they’re addictive. She fills tin after tin with these at the holidays, and if there are any left by Christmas Day it’s only because I’ve squirreled some away to take back to New York with me. She also sends them to me in the mail from time to time, and it’s always a happy day when they arrive, as even the most miserable grump will soften and smile after one bite. To quote one grateful eater: “These are pure heavenly decadence. Can I have another, please?”

Mom’s Raspberry Bars | Homesick Texan

They’re not complex—just a mixture of raspberry jam, almonds, and white-chocolate chips all nestled on a buttery cake base. But it’s the combination of flavors that make me (and everyone else) swoon. They’re highly portable and make a great gift or dessert offering. Just make sure there’s enough to go around, as these usually disappear fast.

So, ’tis the season to start baking! Fa la la la la la la la la!

Mom’s Raspberry Bars DSC 1109
5 from 1 vote

Mom’s raspberry bars

Servings 4 dozen bars
Author Lisa Fain


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups vanilla chips
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 cup raspberry preserves
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Remove and add 2 cups vanilla chips. Let stand, do not stir.
  3. Beat eggs in mixing bowl until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at high speed until lemon-colored. Stir in chip mixture; add flour, salt, and almond extract. Beat on low speed just until combined.

  4. Spread half of the batter in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and the top feels firm. It will continue to bake in the next step, so don't over bake it. 

  5. Stir remaining chips into remaining batter. Set aside. Melt fruit spread in saucepan, then spread evenly over baked layer.

  6. Gently spoon the remaining batter evenly over fruit. Evenly sprinkle the top with the almonds. Bake 30-35 minutes more, or until the nuts are beginning to brown and top layer is golden brown and firm. Like a cookie, it will continue to cook and harden after removing from the oven, so be sure not to over bake it. 

  7. Let cool and then cut into squares or bars. Store in an airtight container for 1 week. Can also be frozen.

  1. These are gorgeous looking treats
    Fa la la la la la
    More than the eyes do meet
    Fa la la la la la
    Something truly yummy
    Fa la la la la la
    May I have one for my tummy
    Fa la la la la la

    (I tired) Hugs!

  2. nikkipolani

    Hurray! A ship-able recipe is very useful just now as I’m making up parcels 🙂 Thank you.

  3. christine (myplateoryours)

    These sound wonderful. I’ve always thought I would like your mum and this is just more evidence. They sound great as they are, but I am not really a raspberry girl. Do you think these would be as delish with cherry jam?

  4. Boy, if I were ever to come work with you, I’d really really want to have the cubicle next to yours so I could have first dibs on the treats!
    I bet your co-workers love you!

  5. Blue Yonder

    Lawsy mercy! You do know the way to a girl’s heart. These look divine!

  6. You can come bake and sing in my kitchen any time!

  7. Okay, I NEVER do this, but after reading this recipe I ran out and grabbed white chips so I could whip this up immediately, and I am SO glad I did! It’s heavenly! The only reason my husband and I stopped short of inhaling the whole pan is so that he can bring the leftovers to share with his platoon tomorrow. Thanks SO much for this awesome recipe!!

  8. Sounds delicous.

    I don’t think I could get 72 pieces out of it though.

  9. Been trying to figure out what to make my norwegian co-workers. Think this will do just fine!
    Hope you had fun in Texas for Turkey day! I head to Houston for Christmas!! First time in 5 years and I am SUPER excited!
    thanks for the recipe!

  10. Lisa,
    These are gorgeous — not your average Christmas cookie. Many thanks to you and your Mom. Also thanks for putting “Deck the Halls” into my head for the next three hours… 🙂

  11. mmm. i’m so making this for dessert Christmas Eve. Thanks for the recipe. these look so hearty and satisfying. yum!

  12. Lisa Fain

    Meeta–Thanks for joining me in song–I love your lyrics!

    Nikkipolani–You’re welcome and they do ship very well.

    Christine–I think they’d be wonderful with cherry jam as cherries and almonds go so well together. Plus, the cookie is more about the almonds and rich vanilla.

    Ann–They do love the sweets, that’s for sure!

    Blue Yonder–Why thank you!

    Lydia–I just may take you up on that offer if I’m ever in Rhode Island!

    Sarah–Hurrah! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. Aren’t they addictive? That took some restraint to save some for your husband’s platoon (though I know the bars will make them very happy!)

    Amelia–That would probably be 72 very small pieces.

    Kathryn–Wow–it’s been five years? Have a wonderful trip!

    Susan–Thanks! And there are far worse songs than “Deck the Halls” to have stuck in your head.

    Linda–They’re very satisfying, though it’s hard to eat just one. Enjoy!

  13. Drool, drool, slurp, slurp…

    Oh man, do these look good! I wonder if your mom would consider adopting me? 🙂

    p.s. Am I correct in assuming that 4 cups of chips weighs about 24oz? You know, since I live in a deprived part of the world where white chocolate is only sold in bars…

  14. Wow, sounds so decadent! You had me at one cup butter…

  15. Any baked good that includes raspberry jam (or raspberry in any form) has my immediate attention.

  16. Sounds yummy (even though I’m not a fan of white chocolate…) My husband (diabetic) can probably have it if I substitute splenda for the sugar. The fruit spread that I found in San Antonio at HEB is very low in sugar and fantastic tasting! Perfect! Thanks!

  17. AnnieKNodes

    Mmmm…almonds, white chips, raspberries. With recipes like this I’m never going to lose those last few pregnancy pounds. Tip: Don’t have a baby right before the holidays.

  18. Fa la la la la, la la la la… it is baking time isn’t it 🙂

  19. Wow, that’s really cool that your mom was an Episcopalian priest.

    Yeah, I know, the first thing I pick up on is not the food, but that.

    Anyway, I love baking with almonds in – either slices or the paste. Especially the paste.

  20. ….and her mom still is an Episcopal priest!
    I do love baking these for you and your brother.
    I generally prefer all things chocolate, but this non-chocolate cookie is definitely worth the calories.

  21. Rosa's Yummy Yums

    I love bars! Those look scrumptious and highly “dirty”! Yummy!



  22. Ooh, I can’t wait to try these! Thanks for sharing with us! 🙂

  23. Used blackberry jam as I had no raspberry. My diet hates you now, in the best way.

  24. SteamyKitchen

    I sang the whole way through! my kids think i’m nuts!

  25. Homesick Houstonian

    I’m tempted to try this with dark chocolate chips….

  26. WOW that sounds good – I think I’ll make that today.. It’s cold and raining here and it’s the perfect time to bake.. Thanks for sharing !

  27. Kelbeaux

    Holey Moley Batman! This sounds like a wonderful treat for Christmas Eve. Transportable? I dont think they will make the drive from Round Rock to Angleton. They may all be consumed before hitting the city limits of Hempstead. LOL

  28. Lisa Fain

    Melissa–Hmmmm, I thought it was 8oz to a cup–though I’m not very good at conversions.

    Nicole–“You had me at one cup of butter” I love it–can I borrow that line sometime?

    Julie-Raspberry jam always gets my immediate attention as well, though I’m not that fond of the berries in their natural state.

    Jodie–If you don’t like white chocolate, I reckon they’d be tasty with dark as well.

    AnnieKNodes–That’s what New Year’s resolutions are for, to get rid of all that holiday cheer!

    Cynthia–It is indeed!

    Oliva–I’ve never baked with the paste. What do you make?

    Mom–Well, it is white chocolate so that sort of falls into the chocolate category.

    Rosa–They’re very scrumptious, so much I can’t stop eating them!

    K–You’ve very welcome.

    Pouncy–It feels good to be hated in the best way–I’m glad you enjoyed them!

    SteamyKitchen–Doesn’t everyone sing out loud what they’re reading on the Internet?

    Homesick Houstonian–I think they would be great with dark chocolate chips.

    MSjena–These cold, rainy (or snowy) days are the BEST for baking!

    Kelbeaux–Ha! I have to agree, it takes great will to not eat all of them in one sitting.

  29. Mmmm… As far as I’m concerned, almonds and raspberries are a match made in heaven…

  30. Mansi Desai

    wow!! these are so amazing!!! I can smell the lovely flavors and they are oozing with your mom’s love in the form of that gooey raspberry jam!!!:) thanks so much for sharing the recipe with us:)

  31. Happy cook

    Just saw this in the cookie site from susan, they are just delicious looking.
    Will try them.
    I have raspberry jam left so should try it

  32. These are beautiful. And I just love that your mother still sends them to you.

  33. love these. they look amazing!

  34. Made your Mom’s Raspberry Bars. They were a big hit!

    Thanks for sharing your/her recipe.

  35. these cookies are a killer! thanks for sharing the recipe, i’ll definitely try it in the future.

  36. Half Baked

    Love the song! Now that that tune’s stuck in my head I guess I’ll have to whip up a batch of your yummy looking Raspberry bars:)

  37. Lisa Fain

    Dana–I agree with you wholeheartedly!

    Mansi Desai–They are amazing, and I’m very grateful that Mom bakes them for me.

    Happy Cook–I hope you enjoy them!

    Habeas–Thans! And no matter how old you are, it’s always nice to receive care packages from your mom.


    CC–Yea! I’m so glad they were a hit!

    Eliza–You can’t go wrong with these, that’s for sure!

    Half Baked–Tis the season to start singing!

  38. michelle

    Oh… I’ve gotta try these! Good luck in the finals! 🙂

  39. Anonymous

    Indeed, these are addictive. I keep making ’em over and over and over again to try and get over my addiction. It hasn’t worked . . . and I’m glad. Thanks for a great recipe.

  40. I have been making a few batches of these every year since you posted – this is the 5th year and they are loved every time. Thanks so much for sharing!

  41. plainsgal

    Finally had the need for dessert and the white chocolate chips on the same day! These are divine, and the tart raspberry jam is a great spring flavor. Thanks for another keeper!

  42. Help! I so want to make and love these! But the recipe has me spread half the batter in a pan, fold remaining chips in rest of batter, then spread meltd raspberry on BAKED cake in pan. How long have I baked this first layer at 325F?

    • Lisa Fain

      Deborah–You bake it for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. There was some strange code in the line and that instruction disappeared but it’s back now. I’m sorry about that but grateful you noticed so it could be fixed. Enjoy!

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