What to make for birthday treat?

Is your birthday coming up? A friend’s birthday? Boyfriend? Girlfriend? Husband? Wife? Son? Daughter? Co-worker? I LOVE birthdays! Everyone deserves to have a wonderful, special day on the anniversary of their birth.

Birthday cake is a classic. There is no more iconic way to celebrate. But, what if you want to do something different? Or if the birthday-person-of-honor isn’t a big cake fan?

Two of my girl friends from college are having a celebration, and I knew I wanted to make something new and special.

Enter: Shortbread birthday bars! Remember the razzle dazzle bars I made a couple months ago? Well, this is the birthday version of those.

A rich, buttery shortbread crust is topped with a raspberry jam & chocolate chip filling, with a brown sugar crumble topping, and rainbow sprinkles on top & throughout all the layers.

Even though there are 3 layers, this is a one-bowl recipe– easy clean up!

And while it’s not as iconic as cake, those colored sprinkles scream “celebration!” #amiright?!

This makes one 13×9 inch pan of bars, and they are RICH. I’d cut them on the small side. You can always have a second one! 🙂 This is a great recipe to make for a birtday party or celebration because there are plenty to go around! + no utensils needed to eat ’em. Super easy.

Let’s get this party started!

Birthday Bars!
Makes about 48 bars, depending on the size

Cookie Layer Base:
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks, large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sprinkles

Jam – 6-8oz your favorite jam. I used Trader Joe’s reduced sugar raspberry
1 cup chocolate chips

1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
dash cinnamon
1/4 cup sprinkles

Finishing touch:
1/4 cup melted chocolate
more sprinkles!


1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9in pan with foil and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.

2) Let’s make the cookie layer base. In a large bowl whisk together the butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks. Whisk whisk whisk until it’s all mixed together. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles. Press the dough into your prepared pan.

3) Next, the filling. Spread the jam evenly over the cookie layer. Sprinkle on the chocolate chips.

4) Now, the topping! In that same bowl that you made the cookie layer base in, whisk the topping butter and brown sugar. Whisk whisk whisk. Then, add in the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sprinkles. Sprinkle the topping on top!

5) Bake the bars in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the topping is juuust the perfect light golden brown.

6) Allow the bars to cool on a wire cooling rack. While they’re cooling, finish off with the finishing touch– chocolate and more sprinkles.

7) I used about 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. To drizzle, take a fork, dip the tines in the chocolate, and wave back and forth over the bars. Lastly, sprinkle on the sprinkles! As many as you’d like 🙂

8) Allow the bars to cool completely. Or…allow them to cool for about 30 minutes, and then cut them. They’ll be a little messier, but..warm, buttery rich sweet chocolate raspberry shortbread bars…does it get better than that?

Of course, I made these to bring to a birthday celebration, so, I just had one two fresh from the oven. The rest are goin’ to the partay!

The perfect, non-cake birthday treat.


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