Mom’s Raspberry Bars DSC 1109

Raspberry bars

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!

5 from 2 votes

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


  • Preheat oven to 325° F.
  • Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Remove and add 2 cups vanilla chips. Let stand, do not stir.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Stir remaining chips into remaining batter. Set aside. Melt fruit spread in saucepan, then spread evenly over baked layer.
  • 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. 
  • Let cool and then cut into squares or bars. Store in an airtight container for 1 week. Can also be frozen.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. plainsgal says:

    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!

  2. 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?

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      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!