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.
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
Blueberry Lemon Bars
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
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 electric mixer 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.
*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.
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 9x13 pan as I like my crust a little thinner.
Originally published July 06, 2021