Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars


Looking for an epic summer dessert? You've come to the right place! With loads of strawberries and rhubarb baked on top of the best shortbread, and covered with a beautiful crisp topping, these bars are my go-to for summer! 

I am a huge fan of fruit crisps to begin with, but pairing it with my go-to shortbread takes the dessert to a whole new level. And if you're not into rhubarb, you can use all strawberries. Totally up to you!

The only decision you'll have to make, is whether to top them with the whiskey glaze, or a scoop of ice cream. Or both! This is a no judgment zone!

Happy baking, guys! Remember to tag me over on Instagram with your crisp bars! 



Brown Sugar Shortbread Base

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp. rye whiskey (see notes for substitutions)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Crisp Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, cold & cubed

Strawberry Rhubarb Layer

  • 16 ounces strawberries, quartered
  • 12 ounces rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 tbsp. rye whiskey
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Rye Whiskey Glaze
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tsp. rye whiskey
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange


Brown Sugar Shortbread

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper leaving a one inch overhang, and spray with nonstick again. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, orange zest and salt until light and fluffy.
  3. Add rye whiskey and continue to mix until combined.
  4. Add flour and mix on medium low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl to ensure everything is well mixed.
  5. Press dough into prepared pan and bake for 22-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Crisp Topping

  1. While the shortbread is in the oven, pulse flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in food processor just to combine.
  2. Add in cubed butter & pulse until the butter resembles coarse cornmeal.
  3. Transfer topping to a medium size bowl and mix in oats. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Strawberry Rhubarb Layer & Assembly - Toss the fruit when you are ready to bake it, you don't want the fruit just hanging out!

  1. Toss cut rhubarb & strawberries with orange zest, whiskey and sugar.
  2. Add flour and toss to coat fruit. Top shortbread with fruit mixture right away.
  3. Sprinkle chilled crisp topping evenly over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a  cooling rack and allow bars to cool completely in pan.

Rye Whiskey Glaze

  1. In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar and whiskey together, starting with 3 teaspoons and adding another if glaze is too thick. Add orange zest and stir until smooth.
  2. Drizzle over completely cooled bars with a spoon or a piping bag. I like to cut the bars before I glaze them, but you can also glaze them while still in the pan before you cut them. Totally up to you!


  • Prepare the strawberry rhubarb layer when you are ready to use it. You don't want it hanging out because the juices will start to release & this is one time we don't want that to happen.
  • Make sure the crisp topping is cold when it goes in the oven.
  • Bars need to be completely cool before cutting. If you try to lift them out of the pan while still warm, you risk breaking the shortbread. Still delicious, just not as pretty!
  • You can make crisp topping ahead of time and keep it in the freezer so you're ready to roll.
  •  I love rye whiskey in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite whiskey, or bourbon.
  • If you don't have whiskey on hand, you can make these bars without. Simply add 1 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to the shortbread, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to the fruit filling, and replace the whiskey in the glaze with orange juice. Fresh is best, but use what you have on hand!

For serving:

  • I like to let the bars set in the pan on a cooling rack for a good 2 hours. Then I usually chill them for about an hour because chilled bars are much easier to cut. I then transfer them to a cutting board, cut, and drizzle them with glaze.
  • If you don't have that much time, or don't want to wait, or want to eat one warm with ice cream (just putting it out there!) you can definitely cut into them once they cool down a bit (about 40 minutes - an hour) but please be aware that the shortbread is more delicate while it is still warm, so proceed with caution!
  • Keep bars in an airtight container in the fridge. They are best within the first 2 days. By day 3, the crisp topping will start to lose its "crisp" due to the moisture from the fruit, but they will still be and taste really good!