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Sour Cream Raisin Bars

Hello, hello!

Who doesn’t love a nice regional dessert?  Or just a regional food, for that matter?  Up here in Minnesota we have a few.  One is the oft-eaten tater tot hotdish, a favorite of grandmas and lunch ladies at elementary schools throughout the state.  And the other is the loved sour cream and raisin pie.

Sour cream and raisin pie is a custard pie, dotted with raisins, and topped with a billowing, cloud-like layer of fluffy meringue, burnt to perfection.

But what do you do when you don’t feel like making pie?

And what do you do when you REALLY don’t feel like making meringue?

Why, you turn that pie into bars, of course.  And I’m pretty sure that’s how sour cream raisin bars were invented back in the day.

The meringue has been replaced by crumble topping…and I mean, come on…who doesn’t love a crumble topping?

These bars, like the pie they were created from, can be found all over the place.  Actually, it’s seems kind of weird to say, but one place where the sour cream raisin bars are REALLY good is this auction house about 45 minutes from here.  I’m not sure how it is everywhere else in the country, but in Minnesota auctions mean a snack cart or a snack stand where sweet elderly ladies whip up bars that make you smile, and this is one they ALWAYS make.

Grandmas just understand good food, don’t they?

Even if you’re not from Minnesota and think these bars sound a little “out there”, give them a try.  I mean, what’s not to love?  1.  An easy recipe where the base and crumble are made form the same batter.  2.  A custard filling.  3.  CRUMBLE TOPPING.

Have I mentioned the whole crumble thing enough yet?  I feel like I need to emphasize it.  Because CRUMBLE TOPPING.  😉


Sour Cream Raisin Bars
  • For base and crumble topping:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • For filling:
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1½ cups raisins
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Mix the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt together. Slowly add to the butter mixture and blend together. The mixture will be crumbly.
  4. Measure out roughly 2 cups of this crumble mixture and set it aside for your topping. Pat the remaining crumbs into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then cool slightly.
  6. While this is baking make the filling by combining all the filling ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  7. Pour filling over cooled crust. Cover with reserved crumbled topping.
  8. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, then cool completely before serving.


{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen March 1, 2017, 7:15 am

    Regional food is the best, Amanda. I have never had sour cream raisin bars but your description is making me drool. That custard filling sounds awesome. Can’t wait to try this. 🙂

    • Amanda March 10, 2017, 12:54 pm

      Thanks so much!

  • Sues March 1, 2017, 12:36 pm

    Ooh oatmeal raisin cookies are my favorites, so I think I would really enjoy these!!

    • Amanda March 10, 2017, 12:54 pm

      If you like oatmeal raisin you’ll definitely like these. Thanks so much! 🙂

  • annie@ciaochowbambina March 2, 2017, 6:48 am

    Mmmm- I love how homey and comforting these bars are! Delicious!!

    • Amanda March 10, 2017, 12:54 pm


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