Dessert bars are so great because they are simple to make and they're the perfect thing to bring along to parties because they feed a crowd. Simply slice them up into squares and get ready to devour. They are way easier to make than cookies because there isn't any scooping required; just add all of the batter to a large baking pan and into the oven, the pan goes. The best dessert bar recipes usually have layers of flavor and come in a lot of variations like fruit bars, cookie bars, cheesecake bars, and even wedding cake bars. The possibilities are endless, see what you can come up with! I guarantee these dessert recipes will become some of your favorite desserts.
Dessert bars also make a really nice Christmas gift or any other special occasion gifts for friends and family. Who wouldn't want to receive a beautifully decorated package filled with homemade chocolate peanut butter crumble bars? Or pecan pie bars? That could be one of the best gifts ever! They have a pretty long shelf-life and can be baked a few days in advance. They can also be stored in the freezer if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Here is a list of 20 different dessert bars that will definitely make your guests want to come back for another square to eat.
20 Dessert Bars You Need To Try
1. Chocolate Espresso Pie Bars
These fudge chocolatey bars have a nice caffeine kick from the espresso powder in the filling. The chocolate filling is poured on top of a crust made with butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt. You can't have just one!
Here's the recipe from Food & Wine.
2. Red Velvet Seven Layer Bars
These red velvet bar cookies are gooey and sweet with seven layers of glorious ingredients! Red velvet is a popular cake flavor that has a hint of cocoa in it. Here is a twist on another red velvet-inspired food.
The first layer for this easy recipe bar is the red velvet cake batter, which is prepared similar to a traditional red velvet cake. After it bakes for a little, shredded coconut, pecans, sweetened condensed milk, semi-sweet chocolate, milk, and white chocolate are added on top. Get ready to indulge!
Here's the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.
3. Salted Caramel Buttery Crumb Bars
These super easy salted caramel bars are perfect for your sweet tooth and savory tooth. They only require six ingredients too!
Here is the recipe from Averie Cooks.
4. Blueberry Crumb Bars
I love these bars because it's a great twist in a traditional blueberry crumb pie and also easier because you don't have to roll out pie dough! The crumb topping is used for the crust layer as well as the crumb on top.
If you cannot find fresh blueberries in season, frozen would work just fine!
Here is the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.
5. Lemon Bars
These classic and tart lemon bars will make you pucker up. They start off with a buttery crust that bakes while you make the lemon custard. The custard is made with eggs, flour, sugar, lemon juice, and zest.
Once cooled and sliced, it is suggested to dust these bars generously with powdered sugar!
6. No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
These bars will require about ten minutes of your time and you'll need five ingredients; I'd say that's pretty amazing! These desserts bars are similar to peanut butter chocolate candy. To easily remove these from the pan, try lining the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil.
Get the recipe here from Culinary Hill.
7. Nutella S'mores Bars
Pack these up the next time you're sitting by the campfire sipping hot chocolate! These gooey bars are made with a crust using graham crackers, flour, butter, sugar, and vanilla bean paste.
After half of the crust is portioned onto the pan, Nutella is spread over the crust along with dollops of marshmallow fluff. The other half of the crust is crumbled over the top. Amazing!
Here's the recipe from The View From Great Island.
8. Carrot Cake Blondies
These carrot cakes bars are the perfect way to avoid making a whole carrot cake and to whip up a tasty dessert that's great for the holidays. The batter is prepared with a bunch of bright orange shredded carrots as well as warming spices like cinnamon and ginger.
These chewy bars have a texture that's a mix between a cake and a blondie and to top it off, fresh cream cheese icing is spread over these bars! For even more flavor, I like to add shredded coconut and pecans to the batter before baking. Does this count as a daily vegetable intake for the day?
Get the recipe here from Baker by Nature.
9. Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars
Cookies and cream is my go-to flavor and has been since I was a little kid, so these bars have a special place in my heart. The first layer has an Oreo cookie crust. The second layer is cookies and cream cheesecake batter which is made by mixing together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. The best part is that chocolate cookies are folded into the batter before it is smoothed on top of the crust and baked.
Before serving and cutting into squares, melted white and semi-sweet chocolate is drizzled over the top. So amazing!
Find the decadent recipe here from 365 Days of Baking and More.
10. Blackberry Cheesecake Bars
These dessert bars look stunning and you will have them whipped up in no time because there's a shortcut! The crust is actually pre-made refrigerated sugar cookie dough, which will save you time in the kitchen.
The filling is also delicious: ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice, and amaretto are blended together and poured on top of the crust. After baking, blackberry jam is spread on top, and fresh blackberries are for garnish.
Impress your guests with this recipe from Taste of Home.
11. Funfetti Oreo Bars
I'm pretty sure these bars will make you feel like a little kid again.
These colorful cake batter-flavored bars are filled with Oreos, rainbow sprinkles, and mini chocolate chips. They taste as good as funfetti cake!
Here's the recipe here from Sugar Spun Run.
12. Apple Crisp Shortbread Bars
Don't know what to do with all those leftover apples? Try out this recipe-it's almost like an apple crumb pie but in bar form. The crust is a shortbread dough, which is super buttery and tender. The apple layer is very similar to a classic apple pie filling and the last layer is a very simple crumble made with flour, butter, and brown sugar.
Try having just one! Here's the recipe from Sober Julie.
13. Pumpkin Bars
Love pumpkin pie, but not really feeling whipping up a beautiful pie? Well, how about making these easy pumpkin bars! The crust is simple because it uses a yellow cake mix, an egg, and butter. I love using shortcuts every so often!
The pumpkin pie filling is creamy and smooth from the added cream cheese. Pair this drink with these bars and you're set!
Here is the recipe from Recipe Boy.
14. Peach Crumb Bars
These peach bars are sweet and versatile. They are great because you can use fresh or frozen fruit and you can try out using different fruits. The recipe suggests mixing in blueberries with the peaches, yum! See what you can come up with, but sticking to just peaches is delicious, too!
These bars are finished with an easy icing made with confectioners sugar, almond extract, and milk. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top wouldn't be a bad idea either!
Find the recipe here from Saving Room for Dessert.
15. Chocolate Thin Mint Brownies
Take typical brownie bars to the next level with this recipe. Inspired by the well-known and loved Girl Scout cookie, these brownies are chocolatey, minty fresh and fitting for any occasion. The first layer is the brownie, which is packed with chocolate flavor. Stir in extra chocolate chips to the batter because there's nothing wrong with that!
The light green icing has peppermint extract added in as well as a drop of green food coloring. Top that with a chocolate ganache and I'd say these bars are near perfect!
Here's the recipe from Six Sisters' Stuff.
16. Key Lime Bars
These refreshing bars are made with a graham cracker crust and a creamy key lime filling. The filling is made by whipping together eggs, sweetened condensed milk, lime zest, and juice. Don't have access to key limes? Regular limes would be just fine. Key limes tend to be smaller than limes, more tart and aromatic and contain more seeds.
Top the bars with fresh whipped cream and you will have yourself an amazing dessert!
Check out the recipe from Martha Stewart.
17. Samoas Bars
Another popular and delicious cookie by the ever-so-kind Girl Scouts are the famous Samoas cookies. I'm sure I am not the only one who finds so much happiness when a local Girl Scout knocks on the door and asks you to order boxes of cookies. Yes, I will gladly order 10 boxes, maybe more!
These homemade Samoas bars are packed with chocolate, coconut, and caramel and are the perfect thing to make when you have a craving for Samoas cookies.
Here's the recipe from Nutmeg Nanny.
18. Snickerdoodle Bars
These soft and chewy bars are very similar to Snickerdoodle cookies, but do not require any scooping!
The cinnamon batter is spread out on a pan before baking and the top is dusted with a sugar and cinnamon mixture, just like the cookies. Your home will smell like a candle!
Here's the recipe from Back for Seconds.
19. Brookie Bars
Can't decide if you want a brownie or chocolate chip cookie? I know, it's a tough decision for any person to make. Well, have the best of both worlds with these 'brookie' bars. These bars will help solve your dilemma!
Here's the recipe from The Recipe Critic.
20. Cranberry Bars
I always seem to have extra fresh cranberries lying around in my refrigerator after Thanksgiving that I do not want to go to waste. This could be the best way to use them all up!
The tart cranberries taste delicious with the addition of orange zest. I also like to add a little almond extract to the batter. So good!
Here's the recipe from Stuck on Sweet.
Originally published on October 2, 2020