Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars

Cookie Butter. Brown sugar. Streusel topping.

Three things I love, all rolled into one.

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars

These bars are based on my one-bowl blondie recipe that I’ve relayed and parlayed. It uses melted butter, which means no mixer. They come together in five minutes by hand in one bowl, so you have precisely one item to wash.

Make the bars by melting one stick of butter in a microwave-safe bowl, then add an egg, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and stir to combine. I used light brown sugar since it’s less robust than dark brown, and I didn’t want to overwhelm that glorious cookie butter flavor. I made sure to use heavy hand when adding the cinnamon and vanilla as I always do; they’re two of my favorites.


Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars

Then, stir in a heaping one-third cup of Trader Joe’s Smooth Cookie Butter or Creamy Biscoff Spread. Biscoff and Cookie Butter are virtually interchangeable, especially in baking, and Biscoff is available in many grocery stores and big box retailers like Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart. Or you can order Biscoff Spread from Amazon or from Lotus Bakery. No excuses please that you can’t get it.

Or just make your own Homemade Cookie Butter. It’s not exactly-exactly the same as the real thing, but very close. And in these bars, it would be exactly perfect. The Huffington Post wrote an article about this recipe, which was pretty cool.

Cookie Butter

If you’ve never had Cookie Butter or Biscoff , the easiest way to describe it is to imagine gingerbread cookies, cinnamon, and spices, pulverized into a thick, dense, rich spread. It’s thick like conventional peanut butter, not thin or runny like almond or sunflower seed butter. The flavor is unlike any other spread; so unique and wonderful.

Cookie Butter

Eyeballing it right out of the jar and into the mixing bowl is fine. I hate to waste precious cookie butter that becomes stuck to the sides of a measuring cup, both wasting it and creating more dishes in the process. A little extra won’t hurt if you eyeball things on the more generous side like I do.

There’s a tiny bit of grittiness from the crushed gingery cookies, which adds to its appeal.

Cookie Butter

After stirring in the cookie butter, stir in the flour until just combined, and transfer the mixture to a foil-lined 8-by-8-inch pan. The layer won’t be very thick in the pan, but it’s going to be topped with glorious streusel topping.

To make the streusel topping, combine half of one stick of butter, cinnamon and sugars, oats, flour, and either stir it together, cut it together with a pastry cutter, or just use your hands until pea-sized buttery nuggets form. I use my hands because it’s the fastest and in less than a minute, it comes together.

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars

Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter in the pan. It’ll seem that there’s lots of it, almost too much, but it magically soaks in while the bars bake. Plus, I love streusel topping and can never have too much. I could and do go around picking it off. Case in point, these Mango Muffins with Streusel Topping

Bake the bars for about 30 minutes and until the center is set and the edges have firmed up. The edges are the best clues to the bars being done because it’s hard to really see what’s going on in the center of the pan underneath all that streusel topping. At 29 minutes, I observed edge pieces that were quite firm and crusting over, and knew it was time to pull the pan from the oven.

Once out of the oven, I drizzled two tablespoons melted Cookie Butter over the top of the bars, to add both visual appeal and boost the flavor even more.

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars

They’re everything I hoped they’d be, and more. The cinnamon-and-spice quality is definitely present. Cookie butter is full of gingerbread cookies and cinnamon, and since I added to the cinnamon load by adding it to the batter and to the streusel topping, the bars were bursting with a warm, comforting quality.

Coupled with vanilla, and the depth of flavor from the all-brown sugar sweetened batter that takes on caramel tones while baking, the flavor combination is just heaven sent. If Cookie Butter could get any better, pairing it with extra cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar is how.

There’s also plenty to chew on. Mono-textured desserts like custards and puddings are usually too blah for me. I like to sink my teeth into things, and these bars are just that. The streusel topping crisps up and adds so much texture to an otherwise soft and smooth bar. The bars require some serious chewing and chomping as well as some dental floss later on to get all that texture out from your teeth.

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars

The underside and the edges baked up extra-chewy, which was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t even use bread flour, which makes things chewier than all-purpose. The interior of the bars are dense, tender, moist, soft, and just melt in your mouth. The top streusel layer protected the interior from the oven’s heat, so it stayed wonderfully soft and moist. The brown sugar caramelizes while baking and adds so much caramely depth of flavor.

There are no chemical leaveners used in this recipe; no baking powder or soda, so the bars stay flat, dense, and are not at all cakey. I dislike cakey blondies or brownies. If these were brownies, they’d be the super dense, fudgy variety, with zero amount of cakiness.

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars

I make so many desserts and although we always enjoy them well enough, but not every single thing is earth-shattering, and doesn’t get my family oohing and ahhing. These, however, were oohed and ahhed about plenty.

The recipe makes just 9 squares, which is what I typically yield from my 8×8 pan recipes, and those 9 pieces went quickly. Gone in 24 hours.

I want one more bite.

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars - Have Cookie Butter/Biscoff you don't know what to do with? Make these brown sugar, buttery, streusel-topped easy one bowl-bars!

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars

These easy and fast bars combine three things I love: Cookie Butter, brown sugar, and streusel topping. The bars are soft, tender and moist in the center with lots of chewiness around the edges. The streusel topping adds tons of texture to the smooth Cookie Butter and brown sugar interior. The flavors of cinnamon-and-sugar, and gingerbread cookies (that’s what Cookie Butter is made from) are very pronounced in these soft, chewy, caramely bars. If Cookie Butter could get any better, pairing it with cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar is how.


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted you could also use browned butter)
1 large egg
1 cup brown sugar, packed (I used light; dark may be used for more robust flavor)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
heaping 1/3 cup smooth Cookie Butter (or creamy Biscoff; peanut butter will lend a different flavor but may be substituted; or use Homemade Cookie Butter)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch salt, optional and to taste
Streusel Topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter (half of one stick), softened
1/2 cup whole rolled old-fashioned oats (not quick cook or instant)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (I used light; dark may be used for more robust flavor)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1+ teaspoon cinnamon, to taste (I used 2 teaspoons, add to taste)
2 tablespoons Cookie Butter, melted for final drizzle after baking


  1. Bars – Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter, about 1 minute. Allow the butter to cool momentarily so you don’t scramble the egg.
  3. Add the egg, 1 cup brown sugar, vanilla, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and whisk or stir until smooth.
  4. Add the heaping 1/3 cup Cookie Butter, and stir to incorporate.
  5. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula; set pan aside.
  7. Streusel Topping – In the same bowl you made the batter in (provided you scraped it fairly clean with a spatula), add all the streusel ingredients except the 2 tablespoons cookie butter for final drizzle post-baking, and work the mixture with a spoon, a pastry cutter, or your hands until small pebbles form. Sprinkle topping evenly over base layer (it looks like there’s quite a bit, but it seeps in during baking).
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly; and the edges are set and have pulled away slightly from sides of pan. It will be hard to determine how set the center is because it’s hard to see what’s going on underneath the streusel topping and edges are the best clues. I baked for 29 minutes, at which point most edges were quite firm, crusted over, and the corners were crisping. Testing for doneness in the center with a toothpick is another clue; toothpick should come out mostly clean.
  9. After pulling pan from the oven, heat 2 tablespoons of Cookie Butter in the microwave to melt, about 15 seconds.
  10. Immediately and evenly drizzle Cookie Butter over the top of bars.
  11. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Store bars in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Biscoff Marshmallow Chocolate Bars (no-bake) – Fast, easy, and 5 minutes to make. A twist on the bars my grandma used to make with pink and green marshmallows and peanut butter. These use regular marshmallows, graham crackers, and it’s glued together with a melted Biscoff-chocoalte mixture

Caramel Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars (GF with Vegan adaptation) – The base and the top streusel layer are one in the same, a major time-saver. PB & J, brown sugar and oats, with caramel sauce baked right in

Cookie Butter Funfetti Triple Chip Bars – An easy bar that pairs Cookie Butter with melted sweetened condensed milk. The sweet sauce is drizzled over the top of the cake-bars before baking

Brown Sugar Maple Cookies – Buttery, very flavorful, soft and chewy. The brown sugar takes on caramel tones while baking, giving the cookies great richness and depth of flavor

Chocolate Banana and Biscoff Graham Bars – Bananas and chocolate are a great pairing and adding Biscoff before baking it all into a melted and gooey layered bar is a great way to use those ripe bananas

Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies – The blondies have peanut butter mixed into the dough, and peanut butter is swirled on top. They were the springboard for today’s recipe, although they use PB rather than cookie butter, but the ratios and principles are similar

Browned Butter Caramel and Butterscotch Bars – Dark brown sugar, butterscotch and oodles of caramel combine in these dense, rich, robustly-flavored and easy bars

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze – The flavor of cinnamon rolls with none of the work or long waiting time. There’s a thick layer of streusel topping baked right in to this easy cake

Do you like Cookie Butter or Biscoff?

Streusel Topping?

Feel free to link to your favorite recipes.

117 comments on “Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars”

  1. Streusel and I are total besties;)

  2. Ohhhh! I always wondered where the gritty texture in the cookie butter came from. Now I know! I actually haven’t bought it before, so I didn’t have a package to read the information from. I’ve tasted it in various dishes (most recently from a food truck), but never had it at home. Thanks!

  3. The streusel topping is definitely what captured my attention. I love the texture change compared to the bar–the sweet crumbles! The gooey-ish center in these pictures is making me drool too. They look fantastic!

  4. Pingback: Oats and Oatmeal Recipes

  5. Streusel and cookie butter in one bar–and the bar layer looks so gooey! Streusel is my favorite topping for apple pie, muffins/coffee cake. Our 6 inches of snow came a day later than originally predicted, but it makes me want to stay in all day and bake! I’d love to make some of everything you’ve posted this week and then take it into work tomorrow!

  6. These sound so freaking fabulous! I like cookie butter AND Biscoff for different reasons, but they are both super delicious.

  7. I have yet to bake anything with cookie butter though I have a zillion and one ideas in the works. My little guy was asking for blondies the other day so I will have to try these for him! Thanks Averie!

    • I love making blondies using 1 stick melted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 tbsp vanilla with 1 cup flour stirred in. Bake in an 8×8 for 20-25 mins, and whatever other add-in’s along the way from choc chips to raisins to M&M’s to coconut to PB you want to use, go for it!

  8. Streusel is my FAVORITE of all time! Growing up my mom use to have starter on the counter (you know the one that a friend gives you and you feed it, it multiplies and then you give it to more friends) and she use to make the most Delicious Amish Friendship Bread (it had a streusel topping). I love it so, I mean I pretty much could eat an entire bowl of just the topping.

    I happen to have everything on hand to make these, which I plan on making in the next day or two! :) I am running a marathon in less than two weeks and I can almost guarantee one of these will be in my fuel belt to eat along the way!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Please LMK if you try them and I’d love to have a starter and make Amish Friendship Bread – something I need to try my hand at!

      • I’ll let you know when I make them! And I am happy to email you the recipe for the starter I have. Unfortunately, I don’t have attribution for is since it was just scrawled on an index card and passed along with a cup of the starter. I am sure you have some amazing and tasty variations on the original! :-)

  9. Cinnamon, spice, vanilla? How can you possibly go wrong there? And add in some “butter”? I need to be sure to eat breakfast before opening your blog posts ;-)

  10. These look AWESOME. Everything is better with cookie butter, and the streusel topping on these sends it over the top. And always my favorite part – only one bowl to clean!!! :)

  11. Love one bowl desserts – especially those containing Biscoff spread. We have a snow day here today so I might have to make these bars!

  12. I love the idea of only having one bowl to clean up at the end. Dishes are definitely my LEAST favourite part of baking. This makes it simple and fun. But now what do you do to keep yourself busy when the cookies are in the oven…? :)

  13. I can totally see why these would get oohs and aaahs! They sound amazing. I love TJ’s cookie butter!

  14. I live in Holland and speculoos spread is very popular here but no one seems to actually bake other treats with it. Definitely making these bars sometime soon, yum!

  15. You describe these so thoroughly that I think I’d be craving them even without your wonderful photos. I know I am the last hold out on the planet…I’ve never tasted this spread! You’ve really made the case for me that I need to get myself to TJs today. These bars look and sound spectacular.

  16. I can’t decide which I like better, I always stock up on cookie butter/ biscoff whether I am at TJS or World Market. These blondies OH MA GAAW!! THey look so moist, I can just imagine myself picking at them straight from the oven.

  17. These look soo gooey chewy amazing. Streusel is my weakness!

  18. I love your love of cinnamon (and cookie butter!). Not sure how you keep coming up with new ways to use both, but keep the recipes coming! :D

  19. Woah do these look good – I love all the things going on in these dessert bars. I bet the streusel on top lends a wonderful textural pop. And the dessert bars underneath – gah, I could just eat the whole pan. Lovely!

  20. I can tell I’d have to hide these from myself… they look like love at first bite!

  21. OMG, the density in these bars is really tempting! Love cookie butter treats and these are on my list now :) Pinning! PS: I just wonder if there is any difference in taste between Biscoff and TJ cookie butter….

    • For the most part, I find them to be very, very close. Especially in baking, interchangeable when they’re melted and baked into something with many other ingredients! thanks for the Pin and after your Biscoff Muddies, I thought you’d like these!

  22. Oh dear, I’m definitely a sucker for struesel topping! I’m always very heavy handed with the cinnamon and vanilla too. I hate putting a definite measurement on them in my recipes because I know that I prefer sometimes double or triple the amount, but not all people like that … but I adore them!

  23. You make so many delicious looking desserts, I just want to spend a week making them all…. if only my bank account and waist could afford it! The next time I have a dessert day this might be what I make.

    • I make sure to cook with things that are quite commonly found. I’d estimate that this entire pan of bars cost me maybe…$3 bucks to make. Probably less. A little sugar, an egg, oatmeal, flour, a bit of butter…nothing too expensive. Trust me, I don’t have money for $20 threads of saffron:)

  24. WOW! So many magical ingredients in one bar :)

  25. Oh my god. These are a MUST MAKE Averie!! The brown sugar (love!), the streusel (everything is better with streusel), the cookie butter (!!!), the texture, the caramelization (not a word), the moistness, the chewiness, softness, thickness – I think you just created a perfect dessert bar! I am in love with them and I know you must have thought of me making these. All that brown sugar. :) These are gorgeous, too! Beautiful photos too! You outdid yourself!

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