Inspired by my Grandma Clara’s famous and oh-so good Sour Cream Raisin Pie, these Sour Cream Raisin Bars have all that lovely sour cream custard filling flavor in a crisp press-in buttery crust and crumb-topped bar cookie! Absolutely Scrumptious!
Who doesn’t love a bar cookie? And when it has the filling of one of your favorite pies, it can’t be beat! Even though my Grandma’s Sour Cream Raisin Pie is already one of the simplest pies ever to make, these bars are great for families that love easy-to-make bar cookies, or those of us that want smaller portions for smaller hands that just don’t appreciate a slice of pie. Or, you know, for the “cake people”, who don’t know what they’re missing😉.
And, who doesn’t love an Heirloom Recipe, one made with the simplest of ingredients, prepared with equal simplicity, that create such amazing flavors? These are comfort treats at their finest.
If you’ve ever tried my Grandma’s Sour Cream Raisin Pie, then you know why these bars are so delicious, but if not, they may encourage you to try it! (Or check out my post and learn more about my history with this pie!)
These Sour Cream Bar Cookies start with a shortbread-like crust mix that doubles as the crumble over the top. You’ll par-bake the bottom crust to ensure it is crispy, and serves as a nice bed for the creamy custard filling. Then stir together that sour cream and raisin custard mixture and pour it all over the warm crust. Finally, top with the tender crumb topping. And, toss some walnut pieces over the top for some crunch, and bake!
Once completely cooled, you can serve or refrigerate – they do taste even better when chilled! They will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, assuming they last that long.
So, I’m curious, do you have any favorite heirloom recipes that you’ve updated or maybe presented to your family in a form they hadn’t seen before? Let me know!
Looking for other bar cookie recipes? Don’t miss these:
Awesome Tart Cherry Cheesecake Crumb Bars
Dark Chocolate and Orange Marmalade Oat Bars
Sweet’n’Salty Chocolate Peanut Pie Bars
Want to Save Sour Cream Bars Recipe for later? Pin it!
How to make Sour Cream Raisin Pie Bars
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Some things you may need:
8×8 Baking Pan – you know I love a USA Pan! Non-stick, easy clean, super-sturdy!
Kitchen Scale – I always use a kitchen scale when baking because it’s so easy to measure the ingredients precisely without measuring cups! I’ve had This Scale for years and love it!
Mixing Bowls – You can’t beat these OXO Bowls!
Sour Cream Raisin Pie Bars Recipe steps:
Such a simple recipe!
Start by pouring some boiling water over your raisins. Let them set in the water for 10 minutes or so, and then drain. Also melt your butter. Then, you’ll make the dough for the crust and crumble. Just whisk together your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour in the melted butter and mix to form a dough.
Pat 2/3 of that dough into the prepared baking pan and par-bake for 7-8 minutes, until it’s just set and light golden. Save the remaining dough for the crumble on top.
Once the bottom crust is par-baked, mix together all of the filling ingredients at once – sour cream, raisins, sugar, egg yolks, a Tablespoon of flour, salt and vanilla. Pour that mixture over the still warm par-baked crust. Then top with the remaining crust/crumble dough. Finish by sprinkling some chopped walnuts over – they will get nice and toasty!
Lower your oven temperature a bit and bake until crumb topping is lightly golden. The walnuts will be a little darker than when you sprinkled them on, but should not be burned. One of the best signals that baked goods are close to being done is by the marvelous aroma! When you first smell bar cookies, it’s likely to be fully baked in the next 5 or so minutes. Also, the edges of the bar will look like they are just getting ready to separat from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven. Cool completely, then slice.
It’s best to store uneaten Sour Cream Bars in the fridge. They taste best when cold, too! I hope you enjoy this recipe like I do!
Some substitutions you can try:
For All-Purpose Flour: I like to bake with whole grains when I can. In this type of recipe I often substitute Whole Wheat Pastry Flour for half of the All Purpose flour, since they have the same weight 120g/cup.
For the Raisins: Any dried fruit will work. You could substitute dried Bing Cherries, tart cherries, or cranberries. Just be sure to stew them in boiling water beforehand. This will help them retain their plumpness during the bake.
For the Walnuts: Feel free to omit walnuts, or substitute pecans or almonds. Just be sure to watch to prevent burning in the oven. It’s nice to have that toasty crunch on top!
Sour Cream Raisin Bars
Based on my Grandma’s Sour Cream Raisin Pie recipe, these bars are a hand-held, on the go version! Delightfully crumbly butter crust with toasted walnuts holds a gorgeous sour cream custard with plump juicy raisins! An heirloom recipe never tasted so delicious!
For the Crust:
- 1/2 cup (114g) Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) All-Purpose or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (I used half of each)
- 1/2 cup (99g) Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/3 cup Walnut Halves, chopped, or Walnut pieces
For the Filling:
- 1 cup (160g) Raisins, stewed 10 minutes in boiling water, then drained
- 1 cup (240g) Sour Cream (I used full-fat)
- 3/4 cup (150g) Granulated Sugar
- 2 Lg Egg Yolks
- 1 Tbsp (8g) All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp, heaping, Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Natural Vanilla Extract
Make the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 375F (Conventional Oven) or 350F for Convection/Fan. Spray and/or parchment-line an 8×8 Baking Pan.
- Pour boiling water over the raisins, leaving them to stew for about 10 minutes while you make the crust.
- In a Medium Bowl, whisk together the Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, and Salt. Add the melted butter and stir to form a firm-ish dough.
- Using about 2/3 of the dough, press into the prepared pan in a single layer. Reserve the rest of the dough to use as a crumble for the top.
- Place pan with bottom crust in preheated oven for 7-8 minutes. Remove to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.
- After removing the crust from the oven, reduce oven heat to 350F (Conventional) or 335F (Convection/Fan).
Make the Filling and Compose the Bars:
- In a separate bowl, stir together the sour cream, DRAINED stewed raisins, sugar, egg yolks, flour, salt, and vanilla.
- Pour sour cream-raisin mixture over the warm crust, trying to evenly distribute the raisins.
- Scatter pieces of the remaining 1/3 of the dough for the crust over the filling. Top with the chopped walnuts.
- Bake bars for 35-40 minutes until the crust pieces are light golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing and serving.
- Store cooled bars, and leftover bars, completely covered, in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for 3-5 days.
- Serving Size: 1/16 Recipe
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I’ve made these twice now for my grandparents because they cannot get enough of them! They say it’s their favourite dessert EVER. Thank you!
Lindz! This warms my heart! I’m so happy to hear it! I completely understand as the sour cream pie recipe I make is from my own Grandma, and it served as the basis for these yummy bars! I always look forward to the holidays when I make her pie and then usually make these bars a couple weeks later! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment!
Michelle | Sift & Simmer says
These bars look so incredible, Laura! Never thought to add sour cream, but will have to try it soon!
Yes! Thanks, Michelle! Sour Cream is a great addition to a custard – adds that little bit of “extra special”!
Simple, heirloom is always the best. Love how you twisted the pie into bars Laura !
Thanks so much, Davorka! It makes this pie an everyday treat, not just a special occasion dessert!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I have had raisin pie before Laura, but I’m loving this bar version. Perfect for spring and summer picnics!
You’re so right, Mary Ann! And, glad to know you’ve had sour cream raisin pie – I don’t often come across anyone who’s ever tried it! Here’s to more Sour Cream Raisin converts!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
These look like a great bar to bring to a party or potluck!! Unique, delicious and everyone would love it! Desserts with sour cream are so good!
Thanks, Katherine! I totally agree! These are simple and so delicious and satisfying!
Jeff the Chef says
A few years back, I came across a sour cream raisin pie in a restaurant. I was floored, because I thought I’d had a slice of just about every kind of pie known to exist. So of course I had to try it … and it was delicious! So, I’m interested in the recipe you linked to, but in the meantime, these bar cookies look fantastic!
I’ve actually NEVER seen Sour Cream Raisin Pie in any restaurant. Yes, definitely look at my linked recipe, it’s my Grandma’s, which of course was never written down, but someone actually watched her make it and recorded every detail! I think the recipe comes out perfectly every time. The only thing is, that sometimes Grandma added vanilla extract, other times she didn’t have any. So it’s really optional, and does create a slightly different flavor – The only variation I know for this great pie!
These sound so yummy. Plus love that this is like grandma’s!!
Thanks, Kelly! We were fortunate that someone in our family wrote Grandma’s recipe as she made it – she never used a written recipe, so a cousin or aunt watched carefully as she added the ingredients!
Ben | Havocinthekitchen says
I don’t think I’ve ever had raisin in a bars / pie format (I only can recall cookies and buns), but this recipe looks and sounds delicious! To me, raisins have some nostalgic vibes as I don’t eat them as often as in my childhood. I would definitely like a pies of these bars.
Thanks, Ben! Definitely check our my Sour Cream Raisin Pie that I linked in this recipe! It’s totally old-school – my Grandma’s recipe!
David @ Spiced says
What a fun redux of an old favorite! I’m with ya on bar cookies, too – they’re just so easy to pick up and eat. (Of course, that usually means I eat too many – haha.) I’ve intrigued by the custard filling for these bars. It sounds delicious, and I bet Robbie would even take a nibble of these! 🙂
Thanks, David! It’s a super-simple custard that actually thickens in the oven, which makes the entire process easy as can be! I imagine Robbie would also love them, too!
These sour cream raisin bars look amazing Laura. And pretty easy to make too Laura. Thanks for the step by step instructions. Each photograph step of just the making itself looks delicious!
Thanks so much, Neil! Nothing like a super-simple and totally delicious recipe, right?
This recipe is definitely a keeper 🙂
Yay! Thanks so much!
These sound great.Raisins a favorite in our home I put them in cookies, granola, indian desserts and even some of the savory recipes but never made bars. I guess I have to try making. They looks fabulous.
Thanks so much, Balinder! I think you’ll love the way the sour cream balances out the raisins’ sweetness and chewiness!