I am really into the idea of pies in bar form. They are easy to serve, easy to store, and even easier to eat! These Blueberry Lemon Bars have a crunchy top and a soft gooey center. This is hands-down one of my favorite recipes. It’s tart, fresh, and perfect for summer!–Dana Pollack

A sheet of blueberry lemon bars with one cut out, laying on a piece of parchment paper.

Blueberry Lemon Bars

4.75 / 4 votes
Blueberry lemon bars have a creamy filling of fresh berries and tangy lemon, layered in between pie crust and a crumb topping. Made to slice and share, they’re like little pieces of pie that you can eat out-of-hand. Both hands, if you like.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Servings24 bars
Calories129 kcal
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time4 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients 

For the crust

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling

  • 2 blocks (8 oz) full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, preferably full fat
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries*

For the crumb topping

  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic

Instructions 

Make the crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly spray a 9-by 13–inch (23-by 33–cm) pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined.
  • Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake until lightly golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool while you prepare the filling and topping.

Make the filling

  • To a large bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar. Using a handheld set on medium speed, beat together until smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon juice, beat until the filling is smooth. Fold in the blueberries by hand.

Make the crumb topping

  • In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar, flour, and lemon zest until it forms a thick, wet dough.
  • Pour the filling onto the cooled crust and top with an even layer of crumb topping. Bake until the topping is golden and the center is just set, 45 to 55 minutes.
  • Allow to cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate for 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Cut into squares and devour.

Notes

*Can I use frozen blueberries in this recipe?

Frozen blueberries can be a lifesaver in lots of baking recipes. In this case, if you’re a little short, frozen blueberries can make up part of your berries but we’d caution against using a full 3 cups. You’ll end up with a really wet and watery filling. Use at least 2 cups of fresh berries (no more than 1 cup of frozen) to maintain a firm interior. And don’t thaw your frozen berries before using—pop them into the batter right out of the freezer. 

Adapted From

Dana’s Bakery

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 129 kcalCarbohydrates: 28 gProtein: 2 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 9 mgSodium: 6 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 13 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Dana Pollack. Photo © 2021 Jesse Korman. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These tangy and creamy blueberry lemon bars were a true hit—a recipe that I’ll be adding to my collection. The ingredients were easy to find and put together. (I already had most everything on hand!)

The crust was a nice contrast to the lemony scented interior. They were decadent enough without being cloyingly sweet or too rich. I was able to yield 28 servings from the 9-x-13 pan. You could increase the size of the bar for fewer, larger servings if you wanted to. I also refrigerated mine overnight. The top crust wasn’t as crunchy, but it was still sturdy and delicious.

For this batch, I used all-purpose flour. I plan on making the recipe again but trying it with GF flour instead. The base crust was done in about 18 minutes, so watch your oven and start checking around 15 minutes. I used primarily fresh berries but was a half cup short and made up the difference with a half cup of frozen. Everything worked out fine but I did bake it an extra 5 minutes.

I made these blueberry lemon bars to take to dinner at a friend’s house for dessert. Everyone liked them. They’re the consistency of pie with a moist center and, of course, the wonderful taste of blueberries. They were well appreciated. And they traveled well, keeping their form for the car trip. They do have a rather thick crust so if you like your pies with a crust on the thicker side, make them as is. Next time, I will make a half crust for a 9×13 pan as I like my crust a little thinner.

These blueberry lemon bars were a party favorite! I brought these to a summer BBQ and they were an absolute hit. Super easy to make. I’d recommend that you line your pan with parchment paper so that you can lift the entire slab out of the pan to cut it. I didn’t do this and found it a bit challenging to cut them and get them out in nice squares. I want to note that the cheesecake layer did have a slightly “curdled” or “grainy” appearance, but the texture was smooth and the flavor was lovely. Just the right amount of lemon to balance out the sweetness. I’d definitely recommend this one.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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