Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie Bars

We all know that I adore anything and everything with peanut butter. Really. Anything and everything.

Remember a few days ago when I told you that I picked up the Baked Explorations cookbook at a Williams-Sonoma outlet? I couldn’t wait to dig in and the first recipe that I zeroed in on was the Sweet and Salty Brownies (which of course are every bit as amazing as you might imagine). Luckily, I had almost an hour in the car between the Leesburg outlets and the Maryland suburbs to pore over the book, and not long after I flipped to the brownies did I find these peanut butter and jelly gems. And as you can tell, it took me virtually no time at all to whip them up. Anyone who has a soft spot for peanut butter and jelly will have a hard time keeping their hands off of these!

Now, if you’ve been following this site for awhile you might remember that I’ve made Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars before, but these two recipes are quire different. The previous recipe used a base of peanut butter cookie dough, topped with jelly and dotted on top with more peanut butter cookie dough and peanuts.

This recipe takes the premise of peanut butter and jelly bars to a whole new level. It starts out with a base of flaky, buttery pastry dough. On top of that is a peanut butter mixture that reminds me of the peanut butter frosting I love so much. Then pick out your favorite jelly or preserves and spread that on top. And finally, a streusel crumb mixture is sprinkled on top. So pretty much what you have here is peanut butter and jelly heaven. And amazingly, even though the ingredient list looks long, I had every single thing I needed already on hand! Bonus!

Also, I have always been a grape jelly girl. There has never been any wavering. I would turn my nose up at anything else if it wasn’t grape and it wasn’t jelly. (What a little PB&J snot I was!) However, over the last 6 months or so I have completely fallen in love with strawberry preserves. That is now my go-to. What flavor jelly or preserves would you use in this recipe?

One year ago: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Two years ago: Sweet and Sour Chicken
Three years ago: Fresh Strawberry Tart

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie Bars

Yield: 24 bars

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes


For the Pastry Dough:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 egg

For the Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1¾ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Crumb Topping:
¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup traditional rolled oats
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

For Assembly:
2 cups jelly or preserves


1. Make the Pastry Dough: Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9x13-inch pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, using enough parchment to hang over the sides of the pans. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until sandy (about 6 to 10 quick pulses). In a small bowl, whisk the egg and pour into the food processor. Pulse just until the dough begins to hold together.

2. Dump the dough mixture into the prepared pan. Using your fingers, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides just a little (maybe a half inch). Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

4. Remove the pan from the freezer, line it with aluminum foil, and fill it three-quarters full with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

6. Make the Peanut Butter Filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again. Turn the mixture out onto the cooled crust and, using an offset spatula, spread it into an even layer. Put the pan in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the crumb topping.

7. Make the Crumb Topping: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar and use your hands to rub it in until the mixture is uniform in color. Stir in the oats.

8. Place the dry mix in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and beat on low speed until loose crumbs form.

9. Assemble the Bars: Spread the jelly in an even layer over the peanut butter filling. Sprinkle on the crumb topping, covering the jelly.

10. Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until the top is brown.

11. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut the bars and serve.

12. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

(Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations)


70 Responses to “Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie Bars”

  1. Heather (Heather's Dish) on June 10, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Oh goodness, you win! These loil completely sinful 😉


  2. Monica on June 10, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Those bars look like pure heaven!


  3. jess white on June 10, 2011 at 4:29 am

    wow! ill definitely be making these!


  4. Apron Appeal on June 10, 2011 at 5:01 am

    I’m going to try these with sunbutter. I’m pretty sure my kids aren’t going to go for them, since they don’t have a palate for PB but I do…and I miss it, terribly… and almost everyday. Darn nut allergy


  5. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on June 10, 2011 at 6:01 am

    That thick layer of peanut butter looks amazing, these bars look so good!


  6. The Experimental Cook on June 10, 2011 at 6:38 am

    This looks yummy. In fact peanut butter anything is yummy. I make noodle stock from peanut butter and miso and it is the tastiest soup ever!


  7. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on June 10, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Anything with peanut butter in it has to be good and these look amazing!


  8. Emily @Cleanliness on June 10, 2011 at 7:35 am

    This is pure dessert heaven.

    Shoot. I’d make it breakfast and lunch, too!


  9. Arlene on June 10, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I’ve bookmarked this one. I’m with you on those strawberry preserves, though I also love raspberry and cherry.


  10. Rodzilla on June 10, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Those look great Michelle,

    As for jelly, you HAVE to try Giant Eagle’s Wildberry Fusion Jelly, I’ll be so surprised if it’s not your new favorite.


  11. Jenny Flake on June 10, 2011 at 9:09 am



  12. Evan Thomas on June 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Mmm, I just finished a stack of PB&J pancakes, too. I could eat this combo all day.


  13. jillian on June 10, 2011 at 9:28 am

    These look like the best version of this recipe I have seen! I love the generous combo or peanut butter and a jelly and the fact the bar stayed together. 🙂


  14. Maria on June 10, 2011 at 9:46 am

    These have been on my list for awhile. I must make them!


  15. Mona on June 10, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Ooooo…… they sound really good!!! I have alot of PB&J lovers in the fam that would love these!! I’m thinking I will try raspberry jam : )


  16. Amy on June 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

    These sound amazing! I love the peanut butter mousse layer, puts it above any other peanut butter bar with jam!


  17. Tashia on June 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Oh my goodness I have so much baking to do already this weekend but I just MUST do these and send them to my dad across the country for Father’s Day! Thanks BEB!! <3


  18. Amy on June 10, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Ohhhhh my. These look amazing. If I didn’t have rhubarb to get rid of this weekend I’d try these for sure. With grape jelly, my absolute favorite.


  19. jen @ the baked life on June 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

    these look really gooey, yummy. I want them.

    Totally acceptable breakfast food right?


    • Tashia on June 10th, 2011 at 11:51 am

      Why not? I’ve often eaten a PB&J for breakfast 😉


  20. Sherry on June 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I love the layers in this bar! Like peanut butter frosting you say? YUMMMM. And I definitely love raspberry preserves best=)


  21. Paula on June 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

    What a lovely looking treat! Beats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich any day!


  22. Ana Helena Campbell on June 10, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Very deliciously looking!!!


  23. Sharlene on June 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Growing up we always had strawberry jelly in the house so I wouldn’t eat anything else for a long time. I’ve come to appreciate grape but strawberry still holds my heart. I’d love these!


  24. cori on June 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    You may have sent me to PB & J heaven! I am a strawberry jam girl myself.
    Do you think I could use all smooth? I have texture issues and do not like nut chunks in my baked goods…


    • Michelle on June 10th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

      Yes, you could definitely use all smooth! Enjoy! 🙂


  25. natalie (the sweets life) on June 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I’ve made the other variation that you mentioned and went absolutely crazy for them. I can’t wait to try these now and compare!!


  26. Jess on June 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I love how different these look from most pb&j bars you find out there. Not that the other ones aren’t delicious, but the fact that these actually look like dessert-ified sandwiches with distinct layers of peanut butter and jam/jelly…wow. I will definitely have to make these soon, maybe with some blackberry preserves – one of my favorite flavors!


  27. Juju on June 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I am about to go and eat some pb out of the jar, just to make believe I am eating this! This recipe looks MMmmm mmmmmm GoOOOOD! 🙂
    Very happy to of found you on foodbuzz, and subcribing to your blog! 🙂


  28. Sarah Beth on June 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Oh my! These look divine. Thinking of my favorite sandwich combos with peanut butter, I might try drizzling the peanut butter mixture with a little honey in lieu of preserves. Or maybe I’d just slather on Nutella. And bananas. 😀


  29. Steph@stephsbitebybite on June 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I need these in my life right now!


  30. madge @ vegetariancasserolequeen on June 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    My little one loves PB&J. He’d love these too!

    Thanks for sharing!


  31. Kristy on June 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I LOVE PB&J!!! These look scrumptious. I would definitely use either homemade strawberry or strawberry-rhubarb freezer jam… Thanks for sharing!


  32. Sara on June 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I would use (or should I say WILL use (when I make these)) Raspberry or Blackberry preserves! I think the tartness and seeds would be really delish.


  33. Jennifer {Court St. Kitchen} on June 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Lovely looking bars! Love the mix of creamy and crunchy peanut butters to provide a little bit of crunch but not too much. Will be adding these to my ever-growing to-bake list!! : )


  34. Diana on June 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Looks delicious!! Unfortunately, I am not a peanut butter fan 🙁 DO you think I can substitute peanut butter for any nut butter such as almond butter? Thank you!! 🙂

    The pictures look so good! I love the idea of using strawberry preserves 🙂


    • Michelle on June 12th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Diana, If you like almond butter (or cashew butter), go for it.


  35. Lindsey@Lindselicious on June 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Why do I have a weakness for anything PBJ?! This looks so good – love how there is a layer of PB too! I wonder how yummy this would be with almond butter instead. mmmm


  36. Mikaela Cowles on June 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I am jealous you can read in the car! These look amazing. Thank you for sharing. I can’t help but think I need more protein in my diet and these are just the solution. Yep, I’m going to need maybe all of this protein to myself.


  37. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on June 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    These are so pretty! I have never had a PB&J dessert, kind of makes me nervous – not sure why. But these look amazing!


  38. Kris on June 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Yum yum yum! I will be making these tomorrow with homemade strawberry jam. Have you made your own strawberry jam yet? My kids won’t have anything to do with store bought! Thanks for the great recipe! 😉


    • Michelle on June 12th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      I haven’t made my own homemade jam yet, but it is on my list to do this summer!


  39. Katrina on June 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Mmmm such a classic combo! Yum!


  40. Traci B on June 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    These look awesome! I don’t have a food processor though…could I make it like I would any pastry by using a fork and cutting the butter into the flour? When would I add the egg?


    • Michelle on June 12th, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Traci, Yes you can definitely use a fork to cut the butter into the flour. I would cut it all in and then stir in the egg until evenly distributed.


  41. Adrienne on June 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Wow. I made peanut butter and jelly muffins once, but these sound 3,000 times better 😀


  42. Adam on June 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I love peanut butter so much, I’ll honestly eat it on anything, or just off a spoon (sometimes my finger :)). I am and always have been a strawberry jam guy, I love strawberry jam (not jelly). A nice warm slice a fresh bread plus some good strawberry jam is heavenly :).


  43. suzyq on June 10, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Love the idea of these and will give them a try ASAP! My favorite jelly is something dark and slightly more tart…blackcurrant, raspberry or a triple berry that I get at our farmers’ market. I urge you to branch out from grape and strawberry! You won’t be disappointed!


  44. Dave aka The Male Baker on June 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    So random…I just baked from this book this morning and I made the Rosemary Apricot Squares. I was debating whether to make these PB&J Bars. Coincidence?!


  45. Vicki @ WITK on June 11, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I’m a huge fan of raspberry preserves and peanut butter. I think I should make these for myself right now! 🙂 No sharing!


  46. Sandra on June 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    These are lick the plate good.


  47. Lori @ RecipeGirl on June 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I adore that thick layer of peanut butter that I see hiding in that bar!


  48. Tracy on June 13, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    These sound heavenly! I love strawberry preserves as well, but I love anything homemade that I happen to have on hand!


  49. rickki on June 14, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I love your blog!
    I have been inspired to create my own
    Check it out
    Keeping in mind that I jusstt started…


  50. Crystal on June 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I just tried this recipe and these are the best bars! Posted about them here:

    Truly love your blog!


  51. Jessica @ Bake a Little on July 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    These look amazing! I am such a PB&J Girl! I made really similar ones here 🙂 – I am more a jelly than PB girl so they are slightly different yet very similar. Great minds think alike 🙂


  52. Joli on October 30, 2011 at 1:30 am

    This looks yummy! Is there anyway we can substitute the cinnamon in the crumbs? Am not a fan of cinnamon 🙂


    • Michelle on October 31st, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Joli, You can just omit it.


  53. Kaye M. on December 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Hey, I didn’t see if this question was already asked, but could pre-made pie crust be substituted for the pastry dough?


    • Michelle on December 23rd, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Hi Kaye, You could do it if you wanted, but it would definitely not taste the same. The pastry dough bottom for these bars is thicker than a traditional pie crust.


  54. Sheryl on March 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I am hesitant about putting the glass pan from the freezer into the oven, is there a problem?


    • Michelle on March 11th, 2013 at 12:37 am

      Hi Sheryl, I used a metal baking pan for this recipe. If you are concerned about the temperature change with a glass pan, I would recommend using a metal pan.


      • Jesse on August 8th, 2013 at 5:54 pm

        FYI I just used a glass pan with no problem. Apparently hot Pyrex shatters if you get cold water on it (personal experience with that one!) but it does not shatter going straight from the freezer to the oven.


  55. Lovely on May 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    what happens to all the butter in the peanut butter layer? I imagine it melting out all over the crust while baking….


    • Michelle on May 3rd, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Nothing happens to the butter. Along with the peanut butter and powdered sugar, they create a solid layer. The butter does not melt.


      • Lovely on May 7th, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        Well that’s cool it doesn’t…I just can’t add a whole pound of butter to one pan of treats. So what I did for the peanut butter layer was I replaced the butter for 1 brick cream cheese, 1/4C sugar, and 1 egg, vanilla…still adding the pnb of course.


  56. Jesse on August 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I baked a batch of these up today — I can only hope it will be the first in cooking your whole dessert bar series, as the hubby and I are now experts at brownies and blondies and need to branch out. I just had to laugh when I realized how much butter goes into them. Thank goodness guests are coming over to help eat them. Kudos!


  57. Sarah on September 25, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Hi- I just made these and let them bake for about 35 minutes. I just realized that I used jam instead of preserves or jelly. I hope that is ok. They are still hot but seem a little wiggly. Maybe I’ll stick them in the freezer before cutting. Do you know if using jam would make a difference?


    • Michelle on September 26th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Sarah, Jam is traditionally a little bit thinner than jelly, so that could be the reason.


  58. Ilona on March 7, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Yummy, yummy, yummy – that’s all I can say 🙂 I just reduced the amount of butter and sugar in peanut butter filling. Many greetings and thanks for the recipe!


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