Blueberry Crumb Bars

Favorite SummerBakingBar cookieBlueberry

Don't feel like fussing with pie but still want a blueberry treat? These crumb bars with their jammy sweet berry filling should do the job nicely!

Photography Credit: Cindy Rahe

Blueberries are such a popular snack in our house—my 3-year-old son eats them by the handful. But they also make their way into a lot of the baking and cooking I do.

He often requests them in pancakes and muffins, and more recently, in these blueberry crumb bars.

HOW TO MAKE BLUEBERRY CRUMB BARS

These bars are packed with a generous layer of fresh blueberries sandwiched between a shortbread base and a crumb topping. The blueberry layer turns jammy as it bakes!

Both the base and topping are made from the same mix: two-thirds gets pressed into the pan to create the crust and the remaining third gets crumbled over top. This makes these an easy treat to put together with minimal fuss.

Blueberry Crumb Bars with Shortbread Crust

USE FRESH OR FROZEN BLUEBERRIES

You can swap fresh berries for frozen here if you like. No need to thaw the berries; just be sure to bake the bars an additional 10 minutes, or until the filling bubbles and sets.

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Updated July 5, 2019 : We tweaked the crust on this recipe per reader feedback to make it easier and more foolproof. Enjoy!

Blueberry Crumb Bars Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups (312 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (198 grams) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the blueberry filling

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Method

1 Preheat the oven and prep the pan: Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and line an 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on two sides.

2 Make the dough: In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt together a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until you get a fine, sandy texture—all of the butter should be incorporated.

Add the egg yolk and pulse until it’s combined, 10 to 15 times. The crumbs should hold together when squeezed in the palm of your hand. If they do not, sprinkle a tablespoon of water over top and pulse a few more times.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or a fork. It will take longer, but work just fine.

Crumb Bars with Blueberries add the butter Crumb Bars with Blueberries make the crust

3 Refrigerate the crumb topping: Scoop out about 1/3 of the crumb mixture and press it into a bowl, which helps to make larger clumps of crumbs for the topping. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until needed for the topping.

Crumb Bars Recipe with Blueberries press the top crust into a bowl and refrigerate

4 Press the bottom crust into the pan: Firmly press the remaining 2/3 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan to create the base for the bars. I like to use a measuring cup to press the crumbs into the pan and really compact the crust.

Blueberry Crumb Bars with Shortbread Crust press the crust into the pan

5 Make the blueberry filling and top with crumbs: In a mixing bowl, toss the blueberries with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and zest together to coat. Spread the berries over the crust.

Remove the remaining crumb mixture from the fridge and crumble. Crumble it with your fingers and sprinkled over the blueberry filling.

Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars combine the blueberries, zest and sugarCrumb Bars Recipe with Blueberries add the crust to the filling

6 Bake the crumb bars: Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until the blueberries are bubbling and the crumb topping is golden. Remove the bars from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely in the pan, at least 2 hours, before lifting from the pan using the parchment and cutting into squares.

Once cooled and sliced, the bars can be transferred to an airtight container and kept at room temperature for about a week.

Crumb Bars with Blueberries cut the bars

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Cindy Rahe

Cindy Rahe is the recipe maker and picture taker behind Hungry Girl por Vida. She loves to bake from scratch and make things that taste as good as they look. Cindy was born near Seoul but grew up in California and Nevada. She believes strongly in homemade birthday cakes, creamy coffee, and making room for dessert.

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17 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBlueberry Crumb Bars

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Susan

    I made these today using blackberries instead of blueberries and they were delicious! It looks like I printed the recipe just before the parbake reference was changed, so I did parbake the crust for about 12 minutes. I also used a larger pan–12×9″, I think, and added a few more berries to make up for the larger surface area. They cut perfectly and tasted great! Thanks for providing me with a fun way to use up some of our blackberries!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Chani

    Hello,
    Can you please specify how long to par bake the crust for?
    Thank you!

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Arturo

    This is my third time making this dessert. My wife and I love it, maybe too much. Rich buttery and tart, a great combination. Thanks so much for this recipe. My only request would be to have the nutritional value since i am logging food in a fitness profile. On the other hand maybe I don’t really want to know. : -)

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Janelle

    I used frozen blueberries, cooked an extra 15 minutes (as per the instructions) and it was so delicious!! Will definitely be making again.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Emma Christensen

    Thanks for the feedback, Shawntell!

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