Nutty, sweet, and perfectly spiced, these brown butter peach crumble bars are an easy dessert to celebrate peach season! Use fresh peaches or frozen in the recipe. These easy bars are a taste of summer all year long!
Some days, a girl just wants a peach dessert without the commitment of a pie, am I right? We love a good fruit pie around here, but pies take time. Bars, on the other hand, are ready sooner, easier to portion and serve, and have all the satisfaction of a crisp crust and fruity filling.
And these peach crumble bars are perfection!
In fact, these peach bars are a perfect dessert for crust lovers! The brown butter shortbread crust is amazing all on its own.
What is brown butter?
Brown butter, also called browned butter, isn’t something you buy at the store. You make it!
You take unsalted butter and melt it in a skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly and watch until you see brown flecks all along the bottom of your skillet.
The butter will smell a little nutty and very rich.
Once you’ve hit this point, stop! Immediately transfer the butter to a heat-safe dish to stop the cooking process and set it aside to cool.
You can make browned butter in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
Pro Tip: This is a HUGE time-saver when you’re preparing for a lot of baking or holiday cooking.
Brown butter is great in all sorts of dishes, both sweet and savory. Try it in these brown butter chocolate chip cookies, or swap it out for regular butter next time you roast vegetables!
How to assemble brown butter peach crumble bars…
The assembly for this dessert is pretty straightforward, and if you’re okay rinsing out a bowl between steps, you can use one bowl to mix it all up!
Random note, every time I talk about using one bowl, a voice in my head booms “one bowl to rule them all!” And I sigh, because I really don’t remember anything from those movies, so… yeah. Anyone else?
The first layer is the brown butter crust. The sweetener in this layer is powdered sugar, which gives a fabulous texture!
Just know that when you’re pressing the crust into your pan, it will look crumbly, you’ll think you did something wrong. You didn’t! Trust the process and it will all come together in the oven, promise.
The middle layer is the peaches, naturally.
I am a lazy baker and do not add work where it is not needed. Maybe not lazy, but with kids and life, I’m a busy baker. Either way, less steps are best steps.
Use fresh or thawed frozen peaches. Each peach yields about a cup-ish of fruit, and 4 peaches work best for this recipe. If you think you need more peaches because yours are small, add a bit more. It’s fine.
What you want is a single, relatively even layer over the base of the bars.
Finally, we get to the crumb layer! And since I’m in an over-sharing mood today, when I was baking this and making the layer, my mental soundtrack went something like “I like big crumbs and I cannot lie…”
But seriously, the best texture will come from a mix of large and small crumbs. Cut in the butter just enough to get a nice mixture and then leave it. I don’t brown the butter for this layer most of the time.
That being said, if you happen to have more browned butter on hand, feel free to use it!
A few more recipe tips for beautiful bars…
Remember how I said these bars are faster to make than a pie? It’s mostly true, especially if you make your pie crust from scratch.
What I didn’t mention is that if you want really pretty clean cuts, you need to let these bars cool before slicing. So you still have to wait a bit. If they’re slightly warm, you can get a clean-ish cut, but the first square removed won’t be pretty.
Destroy the evidence and no one will be the wiser.
If you want razor-sharp square edges though, let the bars cool completely. You can even refrigerate them until they’re really cold for the best results. In the photos, the bars were completely cool but not refrigerator-cold.
To store the bars, place them in an airtight container after they’re completely cool, in layers. Separate each layer with wax or parchment paper.
You may store them either for 2 days on the counter, a week in the fridge, or a month or two in the freezer.
If you want to freeze them, individually wrap the bars in plastic wrap and then place them in an airtight container. They’re a super fun treat to include in work or school lunches. Remove one from the freezer and place it in the lunchbox. By the time lunch rolls around, it will have thawed, and be ready to enjoy!
I hope you love this brown butter peach crumble bars recipe, darlings!
If you want another fabulous fruit crumble bar recipe with a decidedly fall twist, don’t forget to check out my caramel apple crumb bars – they’re a fall favorite here!
Happy baking, my lovelies!
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me in photos and share the site with a friend. Good food is always best shared. <3
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, browned and chilled (see notes)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 4 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (about 4 cups)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (see notes)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 2/3 cup rolled oats (see notes)
- You can do this step in advance! Brown the butter by melting over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it becomes fragrant and lightly browned. Remove immediately to a glass container and refrigerate for 2 hours until chilled.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and grease an 11x13" casserole dish.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and powdered sugar for the base layer.
- Use a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like grainy wet sand. It might seem a little dry, that's okay.
- Press the crust into the casserole dish and bake for 18 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, peel and slice your peaches if you haven't already. If using frozen peaches, thaw them in the microwave and drain the excess liquid.
- Mix the peaches with sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cardamom, if using. Set aside.
- Prepare the streusel topping by mixing together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and oats in a bowl. See notes.
- Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles very coarse wet gravel. Set aside.
- When the crust has finished baking, remove it from the oven and layer the peach filling over the crust.
- Top the peaches with the streusel as evenly as possible.
- Bake your bars for an additional 45-50 minutes until the streusel is a light golden brown.
- Allow the bars to cool to room temperature before slicing. The cleanest cuts will come from bars that have been chilled in the refrigerator until cold.
- Cut and serve the bars once cool (or chilled!). Extra bars can be stored at room temperature for a day, in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or individually wrapped and frozen for up to a month or so.
- If you don't have browned butter on hand and you don't have time to brown the butter and let it chill so you can use it, just use regular chilled butter. The flavor won't be identical, but it's still really good.
- The cardamom is optional if you are someone who doesn't like the flavor. Using just cinnamon or skipping the spices in the filling altogether is a choice you can make based on your preferences. With fresh peaches, you may choose to adjust so the natural flavors really shine through.
- Old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking oats will work for the crumble. Steel-cut oats are too thick and won't soften enough to provide a good texture in this recipe.
- If you really don't want to get two mixing bowls dirty. I understand! Just make the peach filling, layer it on the crust after it's baked, rinse the bowl (or wipe it with a paper towel), then make your streusel.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 324Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 84mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 3g
These nutrition values are estimates. Exact values will vary depending on the ingredients, brands, and quantities used.