Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

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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.

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

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.

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

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.

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

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.

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

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.

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

Berries ‘n sweet cream is always a good combo.

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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.

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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).

Spread of ingredients such as white cake mix, white chocolate chips, berries, and oats

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)

Pre-baking Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

Flood!

Pre-baking Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars flooded with ingredients

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.

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

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.

Caramel and Chocolate Gooey Bars

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.

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

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.

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

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.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

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 Strawberry Vanilla Mug Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Glaze

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

Microwave Blueberry Banana Oat Cake

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.

Mixed Berry Clafouti

Wash it all down with…

Strawberries and Cream Smoothie (Vegan, GF)

Strawberries and Cream Smoothie

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

Coconut Water Champagne Fruit Punch

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

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Comments

  1. Why want this recipe print? Can you please send me a printable version?
    Thanks so much…
    Sandra

    1. Click on the PRINT button within the recipe card section and it will print out easily, enjoy!

  2. I don’t usually stop to make comments when I see recipes that get my attention but I just had to stop and drool over and over again over this one, my eyes just popped when I saw the pics! My goodness I have not made it yet but my taste buds are dancing with excitement and anticipation for that day. This looks wicked AWESOME!!! Good job!

  3. Dear Averie,
    These bars looked so delicious that I just had to make them! Unfortunately, I must remain gluten free due to health problems, so I used King Arthur’s GF yellow cake mix, following the recipe given. I also live at almost 8,000 ft. in the Rocky Mountains, in CO. The altitude is my additional baking challenge! I made the bars closely following the recipe & it was a mushy mess, although the flavor was great! I even cooked them 20 minutes longer. I realize that you cannot predict what might happen with the altitude here in the mountains, but I was wondering if you tried to make these bars GF at sea level & whether it worked? I’m trying to rule out whether it was the GF cake mix or the altitude that caused my problems. My other question is whether you thawed out the berries? Thank you. Any troubleshooting help you can give me would be much appreciated!
    Sincerely,
    Cindy

    1. I live at sea level and have never modified this recipe from the way I wrote it so really cannot speak to anything more…I do know that baking GF can cause issues but in this situation with them being so wet/moist, I am thinking it was a fruit/watery issue. I would suggest using FRESH fruit in your case since that will alleviate lots more guesswork and if they turn out okay then with GF mix and fresh berries, you know it was the frozen fruit that did you in. For me, wasn’t a problem and didn’t thaw first, just added in cold from freezer. Best of luck!

  4. Just baked the creamy mixed berry white chocolate crumble bar. I had to make a little adjustment. I only had a 13×8 pan so I ended up doubling the amount of flour and oatmeal so I could have enough dough to spread on the bottom of the pan. My husband and I LOVED it!

    1. Oh that’s so great to hear they worked out for you – great thinking on doubling the flour and oat amount. So glad you enjoyed!

      I have a mixed berry cake recipe Monday night/Tuesday that’s coming – stay tuned! :)

  5. These look great. I’m trying to find a recipe for a potluck and was wondering if these sliced well and do you think they would keep at room temp for a little bit?

    1. To be honest, I would probably go with a different bar. Look at these pics and I would recommend any of the non-fruit based ones
      https://www.averiecooks.com/category/dessert/bars The Peanut Butter Cup Crumble (my fave!) OR the Milky Way Bars would be excellent, as would the PB Cookie Bars.

      All of these are very stable at room temp
      https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/05/20-beat-the-heat-no-bake-treats.html

      And for more
      https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/05/25-copycat-recipes-and-cookbook-giveaway.html

      LMK What you MAKE!!!!

  6. Oh my god these look incredible!! Do you by any chance have a recipe for cake mix from scratch, so I can make these without going out and buying a box?!

    1. The thing is that in this application, the directions for the box arent followed, i.e. no oil, and it’s kept super dense like a sugar cookie dough almost. I would try 1 to 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup white & 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 cup butter and mash that into a dense dough. It won’t be exactly the same but it will get you sort of close.

  7. I halved the recipe and made this with fresh pitted cherries today. All I can say as it’s mouthwatering… hit the spot being fruity, creamy, and sweet! Thanks so much for the fantastic recipe!

    1. Oh, and for half of the butter I subbed strawberry cream cheese and man did that add a super delicious twist!

      1. holy moly that sounds good….I havent had strawberry cream cheese in years…and now, I am going to crave it! BTW if you made a half batch, did you actually mix and then halve the egg or just use the whole egg?

      2. Go buy some now! :) I kind of did what you do when you separate egg whites but used the shell itself to cut the yolk in half. Definitely not scientific or exact, but hey, it worked. That was all the cake mix I had left so I had to wing it, haha.

  8. 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. :)

  9. 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.

    1. I have a post going out on Friday with all kinds of things to do with cake mix…stay tuned for that too!

  10. 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?

    1. 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.

  11. 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!

    1. 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!

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

  13. 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!

    1. I would never bake with fresh raspberries either! Black/straw/blueberries, yes, but not raspberries. They’re a delicacy!

  14. 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!! :)

    1. Ive had vanilla-flavored agave and it’s a luxury and so good. I could probably drink the blueberry one straight that you found :)

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

    1. Or if you have a few open, a cup of this one, cup of that one, you can always whip up something fun :)

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

    1. Super easy…just do as I suggested in the recipe or if you come up with a fun twist, LMK! Would love to see them!

  20. 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

    1. I love sweetened cond milk..it’s like, the best. The creaminess, the flavor overall, mmmm, soooo good!

  21. 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!

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

  23. 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.

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

  26. 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 :)

    1. Thanks for saying hi! When I leave certain comments I always wonder, gosh, does anyone read this stuff? And it looks like yes, they do :)

      Don’t be a stranger!

  27. 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!

    1. You guys have such fabulous weather down there this time of year…it’s the perfect time actually IMO!

  28. 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!

    1. 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!

  29. 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! :)

    1. Sometimes frozen is just fine…I mean who has fresh soybeans/edamame or fresh mango or berries year round? Pretty much no one! So frozen totally works :)

  30. 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!

    1. 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 :)

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

    1. 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.

  32. 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 :)

    Melissa

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

    1. Fruit = healthy, yes :) We’ll overlook all the other stuff in them. Haha!

      Thanks for the pin, too!

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

    1. The good thing about baking them is that whatever seeds were present, don’t seem as noticeable to me after baking because I too hate that seeds-in-teeth feeling!

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

  37. 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!

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

  39. 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! :)

  40. 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! :-)

    1. 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! :-)

      1. 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 :)

    2. “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!

  41. 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 :)

    1. 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 :)