Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

Berry season is right around the corner. Well, almost.

I go crazy for berries when they come into season and sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I buy a pint of raspberries, a couple pints of blueberries, and there was that buy one-get one sale on strawberries.

Before I know it I’m up to my eyeballs in fresh berries and need to start finding creative uses for them including baking with them.

But here’s a little secret, I didn’t make this recipe with fresh berries because it’s not berry season, yet I was craving something baked with berries.

I had a bag of mixed berries burning a hole in my freezer and the coconut flakes and white chocolate chips that I incorporated were burning a hole in my cupboard so I tossed them in, too.

Berry lovers, this one’s for you.

The base layer of the bars is a combination of whole rolled oats, cake mix, butter, and an egg.

That doughy layer is topped with coconut and white chocolate chips and baked until juicy perfection.

These bars turned out ridiculously gooey, sticky, and juicy from the natural berry juices.

The sweetened condensed milk made them oh-so-creamy and sweet.

Berries ‘n sweet cream is always a good combo.


Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars (with Vegan and Gluten Free Suggestions)

Makes 16 bars

1 2/3 cups vanilla, white, or yellow cake mix (I used 1 cup white, 2/3 cup yellow based on what I had open)

1 cup old fashioned whole rolled oats

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups berries (I used a frozen berry blend of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries; use what you have, fresh or frozen)

1/3 cup white chocolate chips, optional*

1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes, optional*

1 can (14-ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a 9-by-9 inch pan by lining it with aluminum foil and then spraying it with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, oats, butter, egg, vanilla and mix either with a mixer, with a spoon, or with your hands, kneading it together. The batter will be thick, tacky, and may be difficult to combine, but keep stirring or use your fingers and knead it together, adding a splash of water if absolutely necessary in order to combine. Press the dough it into the prepared pan. It will be tacky, sticky, and a bit tricky to work with, but keep pressing, spreading, and finessing it.

Sprinkle the berries, then sprinkle the white chocolate chips and coconut, evenly over the top of the dough. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top, using a spatula to gently spread and even it if necessary. Bake for 25 to 29 minutes, or until edges of bars begin to barely brown and pull away slightly from the sides of the pan, taking care not to overbake. Note that the middle will not seem very well set and although it will be bubbling, the middle will be jiggly and juicy upon removing from oven and that is okay, you want to keep these gooey. They will continue to set up more after they have cooled but don’t be alarmed if you cannot get perfect squares as these are made to be soft and gooey. Allow bars to cool well before slicing and serving. Optionally, dust with confectioner’s sugar, top with whipped topping or ice cream before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to three months.

To keep vegan, use a vegan cake mix, a flax egg, vegan white chocolate chips, and coconut milk (full-fat), sweetened to taste with agave/maple syrup/sugar, in place of the sweetened condensed milk. To keep gluten-free, use gluten free cake mix. Take care all ingredients used are suitable for your dietary needs.

*If you do not like white chocolate, you can omit entirely or use milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Use slivered almonds in place of the coconut flakes if you don’t like coconut.


I used some white cake mix and some yellow cake mix because I had a couple bags open from other baking projects. Doesn’t everyone have 10 flavors of cake mix on hand and at least 6 boxes open at any given time? Okay, don’t answer that.

Use what you have, like, or have open: vanilla, white, yellow, strawberry would be phenomenal, and I could even see lemon cake mix working in these (maybe half lemon, half white).

Make the dough with the oats, cake mix, egg, vanilla, and press it into the prepared pan.

Top with berries (fresh or frozen, any combination and variety you like), top with white chocolate chips and coconut flakes (or other toppings such as semi-sweet chocolate chips, slivered almonds, other nuts, toffee bits, or toppings you like)


And then bake them, taking care not to overbake. These will look very gooey and underbaked even after the suggested baking time, but take them out of the oven anyway and let them cool. They will firm up considerably upon cooling, but they are still a very ooey, gooey, messy dessert.

The best kind.

They rival these Caramel and Chocolate Gooey Bars (GF with Vegan adaptation) in terms of their gooey, messy, sticky, hard to cut and hold their shape because they’re so juicy factor.

Look at the drippy sweetened condensed milk and berry juice. I wish I could bottle that and drink it any time I need a little pick-me-up.

Why bother with dry cardboard-like desserts when you could have gooey? I will never understand that or who buys $5 scones from fancy bakeries that look like blended woodchips with water added and baked. Overpriced hockey pucks. No thanks.

I think these would be a pretty baby shower, bridal shower, engagement party, brunch, or girly birthday party dessert. Regardless, they’re sweet and very creamy with a variety of textures going on from the berries, oats, cake, coconut, and chocolate chips.

A little bit of everything in every bite. Just the way I like my desserts.

Another pink, springtime, brunch, bridal shower recipe are these Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. The cookies call for half a box of strawberry cake mix; use the other half to make today’s creamy berry bars.

Other related Berry Recipes:

Strawberry recipes here

Microwave Strawberry Vanilla Mug Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Glaze – No actual cake mix needed, and many people have written to say they’ve made this successfully both vegan and GF. The best use of 90 seconds of time, ever.

Microwave Blueberry Banana Oat Cakes – Vegan, GF, two minutes. Substitute any kind of berry for the blueberries

Mixed Berry Clafoutis – This recipe does not get as much love as it deserves. It’s as easy as making pancake batter despite the fancy name. Make the batter in a blender or Vita and it literally takes 30 seconds to make, pour over berries, and bake. It’s incredibly decadent, rich, and I describe it as fancy-tasting custard-meets-flan-meets-pudding.

Wash it all down with…

Strawberries and Cream Smoothie (Vegan, GF)

Coconut Water Champagne Fruit Punch (Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free, No Sugar Added, Small Batch)

Do you like berries?

I love them! Raspberries are truly a delicacy. My dad had raspberry bushes when I was growing up and for about 330 days a year we had none.

For about one month of the year, we had more berries than we could eat and my mom would bake with them, make bars, breads, muffins, crumbles, can raspberry jam, make freezer jam, and we’d give away what we couldn’t use. I could use some homegrown raspberries right about now, though.

Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, cannot go wrong with any of those, either.

What are your favorite berries and how do you like to use them?

Aside from just eating with them as is, I’m always looking for fun new recipes to try.

Thanks for the Kitchen Aid 7-Quart Stand Mixer entries

And the new Tofu Xpress Tofu Press Giveaway entries


  1. my mouth is watering looking at these!

  2. I’m a sucker for strawberries. i could eat them for days. but these bars – oh.em.gee. the look like summer on a plate. Your pictures always make me wish I was one of your neighbors that you share your food with :)

    • I wish I had more neighbors to share WITH. We don’t “need” crack pies and bars and cookies…my friends are always happy when I call them and tell them I’m bringing the treats :)

  3. I absolutely love berries. My favs are raspberries and blackberries, but strawberries are a close rival. Up the hill from my house, Mr. Bird had an entire street lined with raspberry bushes and as his kids and their children had all grown and moved away, he let us girls have the pickings when they were in season. And so, we would take buckets and load up and we would also make jams, jellies, bars, puddings, cookies and cakes and then eat whatever was left with homemade whipped cream or as ice cream smoothies or however we could, really. Then, what we didn’t use, we gave away. Good memories.

    Now, I don’t think there is a day that goes by that my boys don’t have a smoothie with frozen, organic mixed berries with frozen bananas and rice milk or goat’s milk, maple syrup and/or honey. It’s their special treat and boost of energy for when they go off to play soccer or skateboard!

    And for me, I like to take them right out of the freezer and drizzle a bit of coconut milk on them until it freezes to the berry and add a bit of cinnamon and some vanilla stevia. Then, eat it like ice cream. YUMMY! :-)

    • Those bars you made with the berries (and the crack pie, too, btw) look so delicious. I love the gooey part. Goo is where it’s at, baby! :-)

    • gooey is the ONLY way to eat a dessert…never understood the dry crumbly cardboard stuff. My tastebuds only want the gooey and messy and sticky stuff :)

    • “right out of the freezer and drizzle a bit of coconut milk on them until it freezes to the berry and add a bit of cinnamon and some vanilla stevia” — that sounds perfect! You have all these little coconut milk and “shortcut” desserts & snacks that I need to start trying!

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  5. Averie, this is a fantastic post! I love what you’ve made with berries, yumm! I can’t be around blueberries and raspberries: I will eat it all! And I have a very strong berry genes: teenager asked for his birthday 10 shells of raspberries, Costco size! :)

  6. These bars look like the perfect combination of sweet and tart, I love berries and white chocolate together.

  7. averie, this is a bar that i never would have thought of! such a creative way to use those frozen mixed berries (i have some in the freezer right now!) i’m so intrigued by this recipe. :) have a great day averie!

  8. Absolutely gorgeous… and delicious!

  9. Those look ooey gooey good! I love the combination of berries with white chocolate.

  10. Mmm the perfect mix of yummy berries and chocolate for a bar. Love it!

  11. Those look beautiful! Perfect for this time of year. I do like berries but not those with the seeds, which kind of stinks b/c I like their flavors (like raspberries or blackberries). Strawberries are still my all-time fave though. I think it’s b/c they remind me so much of childhood.

  12. Yes to berries! I am a fan of blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. I buy boxes of berries at the farmers market and huge boxes of blueberries at a local produce market. Last year I tried my hand at no/super low- sugar blueberry jam. It worked! I didn’t add any pectin, gelatin, etc. Just cooked the blueberries down and added a small amount of apple juice and a tiny squeeze of honey.

  13. Those bars look delicious. And, since they have fruit in them, we can totally count them as healthy. Right? :)

  14. I LOVE berry season. I also remember picking them as a child. I didn’t like strawberries growing up and was the best berry picker in the family! Then one year, I suddenly developed a taste for them and got a bit slower at filling the basket :)


  15. Oooh, looks delish! I love raspberries, my favorite for sure!

  16. Berries & white choc are a match made in heaven…rivaled only by PB & white choc. ;)

    • I think you’d really like these b/c of the white chocolate and they’re very sweet; and the berries. So many raw/vegan desserts use berries is this is clearly not raw or vegan but I dunno, these just strike me as something you’d like. Of course, PB & Chocolate trumps all.

  17. Berries are never out of season in our house…it’s one of the few things that I can’t resist from my ghetto Asian produce market that always sells them cheaply even in the winter from far away lands. They don’t taste as good as in season, local stuff obviously but I’d just be too sad without my beloved blueberries and strawberries if I had to wait 8 months for them!

    • There are certain things that whether they are “in season” or not in my area I am going to still buy. All purpose flour made from locally grown wheat is a foreign concept to most people, especially those living in a cold-weather climate in the winter but people still buy flour. I sort of look at berries the same way…that’s what the grocer’s freezer case is for :)

  18. I love berries and am seriously craving berry season! I’m glad you used frozen though…I feel like those are still fantastic options. I just used a bag of frozen strawberries for a baked oatmeal that I made this past weekend. Delicious!

    These bars are amazing, plain and simple. Love the gooeyness and adore the colors! Berries or bust! :)

  19. I could have used this recipe this summer – all those raspberries from my garden and the strawberries from berry picking! I always get more than I can use right away too, but I just throw them in the freezer to use the rest of the year. I just finished them off a couple weeks ago and only have one more pint of strawberry jam. Good timing!

    This recipe looks more my speed that the other, you are right!

    • this is the type of thing my mom would have made growing up with my dad’s garden surplus…not this exact thing b/c nothing was ever the same twice but similar. Perfect for you with your garden, too!

  20. Wow, these look so decadent – like a crisp meets a cookie in bar form. :)

  21. Berries! Pick your own just opened here. SO exciting. I think I like raspberries best. Its hard to pick though. I’ve been using them in Kay’s baby food lately!

  22. Your photography is beautiful!

    Found my way over from Fitnessista and wanted to say thanks for the only child love. We’re doing the same thing for the same reasons :)

  23. Feel free to mail me a few batches of these ;) I LOVE berry desserts… especially in the summer!

  24. Averie, these look too good to be true! The pinks and purples form the berries are beautiful swirling with the white chocolate & coconut. what a delightful summer dessert :)

  25. Those look beautiful, I love the look the berries give the bars! This evokes thoughts of a girls weekend with glasses of your coconut water champagne fruit punch. Lovely.

  26. These look so refreshing, Averie! I love berries and the white chocolate looks so good. Love the bright colors too!

  27. I love fresh berries and I love them in smoothies. Although if I have them with dessert I still feel like I need an actual dessert later ;) Gotta have my ooey caramel chocolate something too!

  28. That sounds so yummy! I have been loving berries lately, but even sweeter with white chocolate and condensed milk = heavenly. Not to mention the awesome cake!! Skylar and Scott must be berry, berry happy with mama! :D

  29. So decadently beautiful! I’d be interested in playing around and veganizing those…. or at least making them dairy free. yum!

  30. These looks so good. I love baking with a boxed mix, such a time saver.

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  32. The Berries all mixed up with that chocolate looks amazing!

  33. The bar queen is at it again! I cannot wait for berry season. We have a u-pick close to our house that I’ve been meaning to visit for years. This summer is the year, I just know it!

  34. Pingback: Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars « Recipes

  35. Those bars looks so delectable! While hiking in Acadia, Maine there are innumerable wild blueberry bushes. I like how they’re smaller and less sweet. Blackberries are my favorite to just eat, so juicy and dark!

  36. too pretty for words! Who eats all of these scrumptious desserts? You owe me an email!

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  38. You have been a busy bee since returning from your trip! We found a little raspberry bushlittlest all wooded area just off our back yard–I usually only get a dozen or so tiny berries so it’s a puny harvest! I like all berries so the bars look delicious! Love all that coconut too!

  39. I like any kind of berries…plain, in a smoothie, etc. I recently found an awesome recipe for blueberry pancakes…which I have been obsessed with!!! And just yesterday I found blueberry agave!!! I want to drink it straight out of the bottle…it is seriously THAT good. I think I need to put some on my blueberry pancakes!! :)

  40. I adore berries, especially raspberries and blueberries. I love baking with blueberries, but I’m pretty stingy with my raspberries and usually just eat them as is or pipe some chocolate into them :) Your bars look great, love that you used frozen berries!

  41. i just love your site and your recipes so much!

  42. These remind me a LOT of some cranberry 5 layer bars that I make (also called magic bars). They look delicious!!! YUM!

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  44. Gorgeous bars!!! I envision those at a tea party :-)

  45. Hey Averie,
    I want to try a Dairy Free version of these awesome looking bars. Do you think if I used Carob chips it would be sweet enough though? I’m going to use a almond / cashew cream sweetened with Vanilla Stevia for the milk, it’s almost as thick as sweetened condensed. Just worried that the berries won’t be enough sweetness without the white chocolate. You do so many desserts I thought you might be a good judge before I waste the money on my version.
    Thanks and thanks of course for all the stuff you post about!

    • Yes I think it would be sweet enough but I don’t really love the idea of carob with fruit. It’s just not “my” personal flavor preference. If you want to keep it dairy free, I would just use semi-sweet choc chips and increase the sugar/stevia in the liquid milky substance you use…and either skip the carob, use choc chips, use neither, or use both…basically whatever sounds good to you, do that. And there is no harm in tossing your fruit with a 1/4 cup of sugar, give or take, if need be. Have fun!

  46. I love this recipe idea but i really try to avoid processed/boxed stuff. Do you have any idea what would be a good homemade cake mix that i could substitute in here?

    • Homemade cake mix – you can use one of the recipe sites like allrecipes to come up with homemade cake mix if you don’t have a recipe in your own arsenal. Honestly, cake mix is pretty “harmless”. It’s flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, and yes probably other things but all things considered, it’s definitely one of those “from a box” items that I am okay with using.

  47. I’m so glad you posted this creamy mixed berry bar recipe. I have a couple of boxes of cake mix that I need to use up and strawberries in the freezer. It sounds delicious.

  48. I compromised with this and made what I could with what I had… it turned out a little different, but it was delicious! So glad I keep stumbling onto your blog! I’ll be raving about this recipe on my own in a couple weeks. :)

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  50. i used lemon cake mix and it was fantastic.:D

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