A mix of sweet and tart makes these an instant classic.
This is one of our favorite desserts to make and serve. Just like a lemon square, they are fruit-forward, but complemented by the most delicious shortbread crust and almond glaze topping. And because they are fantastic served at room temperature, they can be made a day or two in advance!
How To Make Raspbery Linzer Bars
The beloved Linzer bar has quite an interesting history. The original recipe dates back to 1650 with a Veronese (Verona, Italy) origin, but it became popular in the U.S. when an Austrian world traveler, Franz Holzhuber brought the recipe to Milwaukee, and its popularity quickly spread. Its name comes from the city of Linz, Austria.
The bars can easily be made in stages, and done well in advance.
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The Ingredients You Will Need
The ingredients of this cake are simple and straightforward and easy to find. Many of them, you’ll probably already have on hand.
Here’s What You’ll Need
Flour – All purpose
Sugar – Granulated
Brown sugar – Dark or light (we love the extra molasses flavor in dark)
Salt – Just a pinch
Lemon – Just the zest from the skin, you can still save the lemon for another use
Butter – Unsalted, and chilled
Raspberries – Fresh is best, but frozen will work, too
Cornstarch – For thickening
Confectioners’ sugar – Also known as powdered sugar
Heavy cream – Or half-and-half, or whole milk
Almond extract – Vanilla extract will work, too
EXPERT TIP: It’s important to allow both the crust and the filling to cool before spreading the filling over the crust. Both can still be a little warm, but you’ll have the best results if they have cooled and fully set.
Tips For Perfect Raspberry Linzer Bars
Keep the Butter Cold – Butter is a key component for the crust and topping. To help “cut” the butter into the dry ingredients, we highly recommend cubing the butter. Make sure it’s nice and cold, and working one stick at a time cut the stick into strips and then cube each strip. Add to a bowl and then keep chilled while cubing the remaining butter.
Don’t Overcook the Raspberries – Once the raspberries start to cook, they will break down, and if they are fresh, will release their natural juices. Only cook them for about 2 minutes. You want a spreadable sauce, but it shouldn’t be too thin. Also, leaving some of the raspberries intact adds a nice texture to the filling.
Allow To Cool After Baking – The cooked caked should be allowed to cool somewhat before slicing into it. You can cut it right out of the oven, but the filling will still be somewhat runny and the glazed topping will completely melt when added. It’s perfectly fine to serve them slightly warm, however. Chilling the cake in the refrigerator will expedite the cooling process.
EXPERT TIP: When adding the topping, make sure the small cubes of butter are evenly distributed. As the butter melts in the oven, it is absorbed into the dry ingredients and makes a slightly crispy top. If at the end of the bake time, you see powdery dry ingredients in places, use a spatula to spread it into the buttery areas.
How To Serve and Store
Linzer bars are the perfect mix of tartness with sweetness. But, they are pretty rich. Resist the temptation to cut the squares too large.
If using a 10″x10″ or a 9″x9″ pan, we recommend cutting four rows in both directions. This will yield 16 bars.
The bars will keep nicely in a container lined with parchment or wax paper on the counter for several days. They can be refrigerated for up to a week.
EXPERT TIP: You can drizzle the glaze topping on after you cut them, or directly in the pan. We love to use a spoon to drizzle them over the cooled bars, however, you could also pipe the glaze in a zigzag formation over the entire cake before cutting. The glaze should be thick, but spreadable. If too thin, add more powdered sugar, if too thick, add a little more cream, until it’s just right. It will thicken as it sits, too.
These treats are wonderful any time of the year, and they are so easy to prepare, they are fun to make on the spur of the moment.
But they are always a hit when served for a special occasion. We love serving them as a dessert after a wonderful Easter feast. But, they’re also a perfect sweet treat for showers, birthday parties, or any type of celebration.
Besides being delicious, they are beautiful and very testing.
Other Fruist-Based Dessert Recipes to Try
We love all kinds of desserts, but those that start with a luscious fruit are spectacular. Here are some of our favorites that you should consider making:
But for now, aren’t you getting excited about making this delectable dessert?
There is just something addictively scrumptious about this classic dessert.
We have found that even those guests that claim they don’t like raspberries love these gems.
The filling is the perfect match for the buttery shortbread crust and crumbly topping. Dessert perfection!
Ready to make a dessert that’s been satisfying sweet tooths for generation after generation? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag @HowToFeedaLoon!
Raspberry Linzer Bars
- 10"x10" baking pan or 9"x11", or 9"x9"
For the Crust
- 1½ cups unsalted butter 3 sticks, cold, cut into small cubes, plus extra for greasing (room temp)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar packed
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
For the Filling
- 4 cups raspberries fresh, 1 lb
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
For the Glaze
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar aka powdered sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream or half-and-half, or whole milk
- ½ tsp almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 10x10-inch square baking pan
Make the Crust and Topping
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, granulated and brown sugars, salt, and lemon zest.3 cups all-purpose flour, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup dark brown sugar, ½ tsp Kosher salt, Zest of 1 lemon
- Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small peas (you can also use a food processor to do this).1½ cups unsalted butter
- Transfer ¾ of the mixture to the prepared pan and press firmly to make an even layer on the bottom and slightly up the sides.
- Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Set the crust aside to cool while you make the filling. Chill the remainder of the crust mixture in the fridge.
Make the Filling
- In a saucepan, stir together the raspberries, granulated sugar, and cornstarch.4 cups raspberries, ⅓ cup granulated sugar, 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves and the berries are juicy, but not completely broken down, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Assemble and Top with Glaze
- Spread the raspberry filling over the partially baked crust.
- Crumble the chilled crust mixture over the filling.
- Bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
- Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
- For the glaze, in a bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, cream, and almond extract. Whisk the ingredients together until combined.1½ cups confectioners' sugar, ¼ cup heavy cream, ½ tsp almond extract
- Drizzle (or pipe in a crisscross pattern) over the top of the cake. Serve at once, or store in a container with a tight-fitting lid for up to 5 days.
POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in September, 2016, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in March, 2023!