These simple-to-make Blueberry Shortbread Crumble Bars combine sweet juicy lemon-blueberry filling with buttery shortbread. They are perfect for every occasion and all-year round.
Being English, we love crumble in this country. What better way to turn fruit crumble into fruit bars? And it couldn't be any easier. The base and topping of these Blueberry bars are made with a delicious buttery shortbread that's used for the base, and the crumble topping. Easy!
The crumble is melt-in-your-mouth amazing and surrounds a sweet blueberry filling. After baking, the blueberries turn jammy and sticky. These bars are perfect for the Summer months but with frozen blueberries available all year, there's no excuse not to make these!
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Uses basic ingredients. All the ingredients are basic pantry or fridge staples. I bet you have most of them right now!
- Packed full of flavour. The shortbread is buttery, crumbly, and melts in your mouth whilst the blueberries turn sweet and jammy once baked. Every bite is delicious!
- Simple to make. Two bowls and a spoon are pretty much all you need. Quick, easy, simple, delicious. It doesn't get better than that!
- Suits every occasion. Whether taken to the office, potluck, picnic, or baby shower- these Blueberry Bars will be well received anytime.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Whilst the ingredients may be standard, I provide a couple of notes on any substitutions. Plus I include what you can add or change in the variations section below.
- Plain flour - Use plain flour (all-purpose) rather than self-raising flour. Using a digital scale provides the most accurate way to measure the flour. You can substitute some of the flour for whole wheat flour or even almond flour.
- Sugar - I've used only granulated sugar to keep the crumble light to suit the lemon and blueberries. But you can use a combination of light or dark brown sugar too which provides more caramel notes to the shortbread.
- Baking powder - This ensures the crumble is soft yet has a crisp exterior once baked.
- Salt - A must so that the crumble doesn't taste bland. It's always a good idea to season your sweet food.
- Unsalted butter - Cold, cubed unsalted butter is added to the crumble mixture to help create those large crumble bits we all love!
- Egg - the yolk of 1 large egg, lightly beaten is just enough to bind the crumbled ingredients together and form a solid base for the bars when baked.
- Blueberries - I've used fresh as they're in season and beautifully flavourful and juicy. But if fresh blueberries are too pricey, or they're out of season, then you can use frozen too.
- Lemon - Lemon juice and zest is added to the blueberries for a fresh citrus layer to the flavour. Lemon always pairs so wonderfully with blueberries.
- Corn flour - Don't miss out on the cornstarch. This helps thicken the filling as the blueberries burst whilst baking. Without it, you'll have a very liquidy filling that will make your crumble soggy.
- Add nuts: Add chopped almonds into the shortbread crumble for a nutty crunchy mix.
- Add in other berries: These blueberry crumble bars are so perfectly versatile. Sub the blueberries for any fruit such as blackberries, nectarines, or plums. It will all taste amazing!
- Drizzle in a lemon glaze: Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice for a tangy glaze and drizzle it all over the crumble bars when they've cooled.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make
With only two components, the crumble and the filling, this dessert takes minimal time to prepare.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Make the Shortbread Crumble
STEP 1: In a bowl add dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix together (Images 1 & 2).
STEP 2. Add cold butter. Add the cold cubed butter and rub the mixture and butter together between your fingertips. You want to achieve a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs but also has some large clumped pieces (Images 3 & 4).
Note: Chop the butter into small cubes, or even go so far as to grate the butter instead of chopping it. Use your fingertips as noted above or use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter.
STEP 3. Add in the beaten egg. Pop the egg yolk into the bowl and mix in with a spoon. Then use your fingers to start squeezing the mixture together (Images 5 & 6). Make sure to get right to the bottom of the bowl and scrape up the dry bits.
Make the Blueberry Filling
STEP 4. Mix blueberry filling ingredients together. Add the sugar and cornflour into a bowl and mix together. Then add the blueberries, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix all together (Images 7 & 8)
STEP 4. Prepare the pan. Grease and line with parchment paper a 23x23cm (9x9inch) baking pan. It's important to line the pan with paper so that once the bars are baked, it's easy to remove them from the pan and slice them up.
TIP: Make sure there's an overhang with the paper so that you can use it as a sling to lift the bars from the pan.
STEP 5. Add half of the crumble to the baking pan. Pour half the crumbled shortbread mix into the prepared pan. Use your fingertips to level it off and press flat into the base of the pan (Image 9).
TIP: Use the base of a flat cup of measuring cup to help create a smooth flat base.
STEP 6. Layer fruit onto the base. Spoon the blueberry filling onto the crumble base in the pan and level with the back of the spoon (Image 10).
STEP 7. Add the remaining crumble and bake. Sprinkle the remaining crumble onto the top of the blueberry filling (Image 11). Squeeze some clumps together so that you get big crumbly bits on the top.
Bake. Pop the pan into a pre-heated 180C oven and bake for 35 minutes until lovely and golden. You'll be able to hear the blueberries bubbling away
🥣 How To Serve
Leave the Blueberry Shortbread Bar to cool for ten minutes in the pan, then use the paper sling to carefully lift it onto a wire rack. Leave it to cool fully. The blueberry filling will thicken and set as the bars cool down.
Refrigerate the bars for a couple of hours to get clean slices when cutting.
These Blueberry Crumble Bars are incredible warm, room temperature, or cold from the fridge. Literally, anything goes!
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- Paper sling. Leaving an overhang with the parchment paper helps to lift the bars out of the pan when they are cooled.
- Use a cup or glass to flatten the oatmeal crumble base. To get that super flat crumble base to your bars, the base of a glass or measuring cup pressed firmly onto it helps give the professional finish.
- Crumble chunks. Who doesn't love some gnarly crunchy crumbs on the top of the bar? Just squeeze some of the mixtures together when layering the crumble mix over the blueberry filling.
📋 Recipe FAQs
The most likely cause of this is if there was too much flour added to the shortbread crumble mixture. This can happen if you use measuring cups to measure out the flour. It's very easy to pack in more flour into the cup than is needed and this will add dryness to the crumble. The best way to measure out all your ingredients is to weigh them on a digital set of scales. They can be found at most kitchen stores or online for minimal cost.
Absolutely. That's what makes these so brilliant. You can make and bake the whole tray, then let it cool and store it overnight. It will taste just as delicious the next day.
❄️ Storage and Freezer Instructions
To store: Store these Blueberry Shortbread Crumble Bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To freeze: Wrap each bar in parchment paper and plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or heat in the oven at 110C (230F) for 20 minutes or so.
🍰 More Bars & Brownies Recipes
If you tried this Blueberry Shortbread Crumble Bar recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Blueberry Crumble Bars Recipe
Crumble Base and Topping
- 350 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 220 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 15 g cornflour (corn starch)
- 375 g blueberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Crumble Base and Topping
- Prepare the baking pan. Grease and line with parchment paper a square baking pan 23x23cm (9x9inch). It's important to line the pan with paper so that once the bars are baked, it's easy to remove them from the pan and slice them up. Leave an overhang of paper to use as a sling to lift the bars out. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the mixing bowl and mix together.
- Add in cold butter. Add the cold cubed butter and rub the mixture and butter together between your fingertips. You want to achieve a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs but also has some large clumped pieces.
- Add in the beaten egg. Pop the lightly beaten egg into the bowl and mix in with a spoon. Make sure all the dry bits at the bottom of the bowl are mixed in. Use your fingers to squeeze together the mixture into clumps.
- Mix blueberry filling ingredients together. Combine the sugar and cornflour into a medium bowl and mix. Then add blueberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Add half of the crumble mix to the baking pan and flatten. Pour half the crumble mix into the prepared pan. Use your fingertips to level it off and press flat into the base of the pan. Or use the base of a measuring cup or glass to get a super flat base. Set aside.
- Layer fruit onto the base pan. Spoon the blueberry filling onto the crumble base and in the pan and level with the back of the spoon.
- Add the remaining crumble and bake. Scatter your remaining crumble mixture over the blueberry filling. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and the filling is oozing and bubbling.
- To serve. Remove from the oven and cool for a couple of hours to chill sufficiently and not fall apart when you lift them out of the baking pan. Wait until the filling has set before using the paper sling to lift the bars out of the pan onto a chopping board and slicing and serving. (Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours for nice and neat slices).
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.