Fancy an easy peach dessert recipe? Then look no further than these Easy Peach Crumble Bars. A buttery shortbread forms the base and crumble on top, and is then filled with a juicy filling of sweet, seasonal peaches. This makes a perfect picnic or light summer dessert.
If you love crumble bars as much as I do (!), then you'll love the Raspberry Chocolate Crumble Bar that involves copious amounts of raspberries PLUS chocolate ganache. I mean - really! I've also tapped into Small Batch Baking (sign up for my E-book if you haven't already for more small-batch recipes) and created a Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bar. Fear not if you're worried that rhubarb is out of season - I recommend substitutions in the post.
Now let's get back to this fabulous Easy Peach Crumble Bar at hand. The shortbread crust and crumble topping are made with the same mixture - how easy is that!! I've browned the butter in this recipe to give an additional nuttiness and depth of flavour. Combined with the hint of cinnamon and chopped almonds for crunch - it's sensational!
The filling combines fresh white peaches, and juicy nectarines tossed with lemon and vanilla and baked between the shortbread base and crumble topping. Once baked, the result is a bar that is nutty and slightly spiced but filled with the soft, sweet, fruity goodness of seasonal fresh peaches in every bite. Heavenly!
You'll love my French Peach Clafoutis if you're a peach fan!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy to make. Uses the same mixture for both base and crumble topping
- Flavoursome. With the addition of brown butter, brown sugar, and flaked almonds in the topping, the flavour is heightened to new levels
- Seasonal goodness. The recipe uses fresh peaches but sub with nectarines or apricots. If they're out of seasoned, use tinned peaches.
- Makes a great make-ahead dessert. Make these the day before you'd like to serve them. They get better overnight!
- Uses basic equipment. You need nothing more than a small saucepan to melt the butter, two medium mixing bowls and a square baking pan.
Shortbread base and topping
- Brown butter - Unsalted butter is used in my recipe. I go into detail about how to brown butter a little further below. Once golden brown, it maxes out on a nutty flavour. (and smells great too!)
- Plain flour - Use plain flour (all-purpose) rather than self-raising flour. Using a digital scale provides the most accurate way to measure the flour.
- Golden granulated sugar - I used golden sugar for its addition of molasses - standard granulated sugar will work just as well.
- Brown sugar - This higher moisture sugar packs in the depth of flavour, molasses, and added moisture. Win-win and win.
- Whole almonds - They provide a lovely crunch that works well with the cinnamon spice. Feel free to omit or sub with rolled oats.
- Baking powder - This ensures the crumble is soft yet has a crisp exterior once baked.
- Salt - A must so that the crumble doesn't taste bland. It's always a good idea to season your sweet food.
- Egg - 1 large egg, lightly beaten, is enough to bind the crumble ingredients together and form a solid base for the baked bars.
- Unsalted butter - Some cold, cubed unsalted butter is added to the crumble mixture to help create those large crumble bits we love!
Fresh peach filling
- Fresh peaches and nectarines - I used white peaches and yellow nectarines but sub these for apricots, yellow peaches, plums or a mix of them all.
- Golden granulated sugar - Again, totally fine to substitute with granulated sugar.
- Lemon - The zest and juice of lemon add some zing to the filling.
- Vanilla extract - Extract or vanilla bean paste can be used to layer the flavour.
- Cornflour - It helps to soak up the fruity juices so that the crumble base doesn't turn to mush!
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
With only two components, these Peach Crumble Bars are simple bars to pull together. The addition of the brown butter does add 5-10 minutes onto the timing, but it's well worth it as it adds an incredible amount of flavour that pairs so well with the peaches.
1. Brown the butter. The best way to gain flavour. Here's how we do it: Add the butter to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it melts. Continue to heat until the butter is bubbling and becomes foamy. Whisk occasionally. The butter will start to turn golden, and as you whisk, the foam will die down.
Once brown specks appear on the bottom of the pan and the butter is a rich golden brown colour, pour it into a heatproof bowl and bring it to room temperature. Remember to scrape in all those brown bits - that's where the magic flavour lives!!. (Image 1)
2. Prepare pan. Grease and line with parchment paper a 23x23cm (9x9inch) baking pan. It's important to line the pan with paper so that once the bars are baked, it's easy to remove them from the pan and slice them up. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
TIP: Leave an overhang with the parchment paper so that it forms a sling that can be easily lifted. (Image 2)
3. In a bowl, add dry ingredients. Add the flour, both sugars, chopped almonds, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix together. (Image 3)
4. Add in brown butter and egg. Pop the lightly beaten egg and cooled brown butter into the bowl and mix in with a spoon. (Image 4)
5. Add cold butter. Lastly, add the cold cubed butter and rub the mixture and butter together between your fingertips. You want to achieve a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs, but it also has some large clumped pieces. (Image 5)
6. Add half to the baking pan and bake. With the shortbread mixture, we now get to create the base of the crumble bar. Pour half the mix into the prepared pan. (Image 6)
Use your fingertips to level it off and press flat into the base of the pan. See TIP below to get a super flat base. (Image 7). Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. (Image 8) Leave the oven on when you remove the pan.
TIP: Use the base of a glass or measuring cup to create a super neat flat base.
Fresh peach filling
7. Prepare the peaches. Peel and de-stone 5-6 peaches and cut into cubes. If you would prefer to, you can leave the skin on. (Image 9) I set aside a handful of peach slices to use for decoration. (Image 10)
8. Add peaches and flavour enhancers to the bowl. Add the chopped peaches into a large bowl and mix together with the lemon, vanilla extract and sugar. (Image 11) Add the cornstarch into the peaches and mix until coated. (Image 12)
9. Layer fruit onto the base pan. Spoon the peach filling onto the shortbread base. See TIP below on keeping the juice from the fruit out of the baking pan. (Image 13)
TIP: Use a slotted spoon to lift the cut peaches from the bowl into the pan. This leaves as much of the liquid as possible. If you add all the juice, then the base will go all soggy- not what we want!
10. Add the remaining crumble and bake. Sprinkle the remaining crumble onto the top of the peaches (Image 14). Squeeze some clumps together to get big crumbly bits on the top (Image 15).
If I have any leftover slices of peach, then I nestle a few into the crumble (Image 16). Bake for 35 minutes until lovely and golden. (Image 17)
Now for your test of patience! Leave the bars to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then use the paper sling to lift them out and onto a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Slice into 16 bars. If wanting super neat slices, then refrigerate the bars for a couple of hours so that the filling can firm up before slicing with a knife.
Recipe pro tips
- Paper sling. Leaving an overhang with the parchment paper helps to lift the bars out of the pan when they are cooled.
- Use a glass to flatten the crumble base. To get that super flat crumble base to your bars, the base of a glass or measuring cup pressed firmly onto it helps give the professional finish.
- Discard the juice of the fruit filling. Avoid getting a soggy crumble bar base by using a slotted spoon to transfer the fruit filling into the baking pan.
- Crumble chunks. Who doesn't love some gnarly crunchy crumbs on the top of the bar? Just squeeze some of the mixture when layering the crumble mix over the fruit.
I initially made this recipe in 2019, and instead of making it in one large baking tray, I made individual peach crumble cups. They are a fantastic variation on a crumble bar. If you are taking these bars over to a friend's house or to a picnic outside, the individual servings work SO well.
In my original recipe, I used whole wheat flour rather than plain (all-purpose flour) and omitted the cinnamon and almonds in the crumble. For the filling, I used peaches and apricots and added thyme leaves for a herby lift.
Why did I update to bars? To be honest, I'm playing by the rules of the SEO gods and crumble bars are a whole lot more popular than crumble cups. But I loved that initial recipe and still wanted to share how you can convert these bars into cups.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely. Just make sure that you drain the liquid out from the can as much as you can before using them.
I personally use a sharp knife to cut the skin off. If the peaches are ripe, I actually find the skin peels off easily.
However, you can dunk the peaches/nectarines in boiling water to 'blanche' them. Score a small, shallow X into the skin at the base of the stone fruit. Then, pop them into a saucepan of boiling water for 40-60 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in an iced water bath for a minute. Take the fruit out and pat dry, then use your fingers or a pairing knife to peel the skin off.
The most likely cause is if there was too much flour added to the shortbread crumble mixture. This can happen if you use measuring cups to measure out the flour. It's very easy to pack in more flour into the cup than is needed, and this will add dryness to the crumble. The best way to measure out all your ingredients is to weigh them on a digital set of scales. They can be found at most kitchen stores or online for minimal cost.
Absolutely. That's what makes these so brilliant. You can make and bake the whole tray, then let it cool and store it overnight. It will taste just as delicious the next day.
The crumble can also be made in advance and frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Thaw on the countertop at room temperature before using. Frozen peaches can be used but make sure to thaw them, draining away any residual moisture before using them.
How to store and freeze
- To store: Store these Easy Peach Crumble Bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- To freeze: Wrap each slice in parchment paper and plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or heat in the oven at 110C (230F) for 20 minutes or so.
Tools you’ll need
- Small saucepan: Needed to brown the butter.
- Medium mixing bowl: You'll actually need two of these. One to make the crumble mixture and one to make the peach filling in.
- Square baking pan 23x23cm (9x9inch): The best size for these crumble bars is as you get 16 perfectly sized bars.
More stonefruit recipes that you may like
If you tried this Peach Crumble Bar Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you're there!
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This post was originally published in August 2019 but has been updated with new photos, new content and a revised recipe.
Easy Peach Crumble Bars Recipe
Crumble base and topping
- 170 g unsalted butter
- 350 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 100 g golden granulated sugar
- 55 g brown sugar
- 45 g whole almonds, chopped
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 75 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 650 g stoned fruit, peaches & nectarines
- 50 g golden granulated sugar
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 g cornflour (corn starch)
- Brown the butter. Add the butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it melts. Continue to heat until the butter is bubbling and becomes foamy. Whisk occasionally. The butter will start to turn golden and as you whisk the foam will die down. Once brown specks appear on the bottom of the pan and the butter is a rich golden brown colour, pour it into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Remember to scrape in all those brown bits.
- Prepare the baking pan. Grease and line with parchment paper a square baking pan 23x23cm (9x9inch). It's important to line the pan with paper so that once the bars are baked, it's easy to remove them from the pan and slice them up. Leave an overhang of paper to use as a sling to lift the bars out. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
- Add dry ingredients to a bowl. Add the flour, both sugars, chopped almonds, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix together.
- Add in egg and butter. Pop the lightly beaten egg and cooled brown butter into the bowl and mix in with a spoon. Make sure all the dry bits at the bottom of the bowl are mixed in.
- Add cold butter. Add the cold cubed butter and rub the mixture and butter together between your fingertips. You want to achieve a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs, but it also has some large clumped pieces.
- Add half of the crumble mix to baking pan and bake. Pour half the crumble mix into the prepared pan. Use your fingertips to level it off and press flat into the base of the pan. Or use the base of a measuring cup or glass to get a super flat base. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave the oven on when you remove the pan.
- Prepare the peaches. Peel and de-stone 5-6 peaches and cut into cubes. If you would prefer to, you can leave the skin on. I set aside a handful of peach slices to use for decoration.
- Add peaches and flavour addins to the bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl, toss the fruit, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract until mixed together.
- Layer fruit onto the base pan. Spoon the peach filling onto the shortbread base. Use a slotted spoon to keep the juice from transferring to the baking pan.
- Add the remaining crumble and bake. Sprinkle the remaining crumble onto the top of the peaches. Squeeze some clumps together so that you get big crumbley bits on the top. If I have any leftover slices of peach, then I nestle a few into the crumble. Bake for 35 minutes until the crumble is lovely and golden and the fruit filling is bubbling.Leave to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before °transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a sharp knife into 16 squares.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.