Jam Oat Bars

Photo by Ellie Kessler.

My friend’s mom has been making jam oat bars for years and I often go over and take some home. Last month, I asked her to teach me how to make them myself so I could have them whenever I wanted. This version of the recipe uses more sugar than hers because the original bars weren’t quite sweet enough for me. I also added lemon zest because I have learned that lemon zest makes baked goods so much better. I love these bars because they are delicious and super easy to make, and they use ingredients you can find around the house.


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 15 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 cups of your favorite jam


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 12”x14” baking pan with parchment paper and apply nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a small skillet, heat the butter for four to six minutes. Be sure to stir frequently. Once it’s brown and has a nutty aroma, take it off the heat and let it cool for five minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, oats, lemon zest, salt, both sugars and baking soda. Add the browned butter and thoroughly combine, squeezing the mixture together.
  5. Divide the mixture into ⅓ and ⅔. Pack the bottom of the pan with the ⅔ of the mixture. Add the jam with about ¼ inch coverage, then sprinkle the remaining crumble on top, spreading evenly across the surface.
  6. Bake bars for about 40-45 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway mark until the top is golden brown and the jam is bubbling around the edges.
  7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the bars cool for 10-15 minutes before transferring to the fridge to chill for clean cutting.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter!Current GDS high school students and teachers receive the newsletter automatically.