Blueberry bars are a simple summer dessert that come together in less than an hour with minimal prep time! They’re packed with fresh blueberries that are sandwiched between two flaky layers of dough. Lemon juice and zest add sunny brightness while balancing the sweetness.
These delicate blueberry crumble bars are perfect for any occasion, and people won’t believe how easy the recipe is! Bring these to your next summer party, picnic or potluck.
Every year when summer rolls around and local blueberries start popping up, I’m absolutely giddy. I want to use them in desserts, roast them, make jams and curds, add them to salads, and eat them by the handful. They are little jewels of sweet, juicy flavor.
These blueberry bars are an excellent way to use fresh, seasonal blueberries.
The dough used for the crumb topping and bottom crust is very mild tasting, even with a bit of lemon zest. The subtle flavor takes a backseat to the sweet and tart blueberries.
The cooked blueberries pop in the oven, letting the juices escape and creating a beautiful looking dessert bar. I always make sure there are a few berries hovering near the top of the crumb layer.
Because of the egg in the dough, these are very delicate, more so than other bar recipes I’ve made previously (like these strawberry vanilla jam crumb bars, which have an actual shortbread crust).
Blueberry Bars Ingredients
I love how easy this fresh blueberry dessert is, and how few ingredients are needed to make them. For the crumble layer, you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour
- Lemon zest
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Unsalted butter
- Egg yolk
And for the blueberry layer, you’ll need:
- Granulated sugar
- Lemon juice
- Vanilla extract
- Fresh blueberries
How to Make Blueberry Bars
These blueberry bars require just 10 minutes of hands-on prep, which is one of the many reasons why I love them. You first need to make the crumble layer, which serves as both the crust and the crumble topping. To make the crumble layer, whisk together the dry ingredients, then use a pastry cutter or fork to cut in the butter and egg yolk (the mixture will be crumbly, which is what you want).
Press half the dough into the bottom of an 8×8-inch pan, then make the blueberry layer by mixing together all the ingredients in a separate bowl. Spread the blueberry mixture over the crust, then sprinkle the reserved crumble topping over the blueberries. Bake the blueberry bars until the top is golden brown and the sides are starting to bubble.
How to Store Blueberry Bars
These blueberry crumble bars will stay fresh up to five days if stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. I like them cold straight from the fridge!
Tips for the Best Blueberry Bars
- Make sure to cool these bars completely before slicing, or they’ll fall apart (and you’ll burn the roof of your mouth).
- Fresh blueberries are best in this recipe, and I’d avoiding using frozen.
- The butter should be fridge cold when it’s diced and added to the crumble mixture. If the butter is too warm, it won’t cut into the dough well and your crumble topping won’t be as crumbly as it should be.
- For the best flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon juice in this recipe.
More Blueberry Dessert Recipes:
If you like this blueberry bars recipe, you’ll also enjoy my Blueberry Buttermilk Cookies, Wild Blueberry Curd Ice Cream, Wild Blueberry Cream Tart, Blueberry Bourbon Crisp, and Blueberry Passionfruit Cheesecake Parfaits. For even more easy blueberry recipes, check out my blueberry archives.
For the crumb layer:
- 7 ounces all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups, 198 grams)
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces, 100 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
for the blueberry layer:
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (1 3/4 ounces, 50 grams)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (approximately 1/2 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and picked through
- Place an oven rack on the center shelf and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a nonstick 8x8 inch pan with butter or baking spray.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour and lemon zest, breaking up any clumps. Whisk in the sugar, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined. Use a fork or pastry blender to cut in the butter and egg. The dough will be crumbly. Press half the dough into the prepared pan.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth. Add the blueberries and gently toss with a spatula to combine. Pour the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the blueberry layer.
- Bake for 38-42 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sides are slightly bubbly. Cool to room temperature before cutting into squares. Depending on the desired portions, these can be cut to 9 larger squares, 16 smaller squares, or 12 medium rectangles.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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