July 31, 2022

Blackberry Bars

I am lucky to live in an area where blackberries grow wild. I always look forward to summertime when the bushes are fruiting and you can eat berries right off the hedge. The juicy ones even leave your fingers purple, but that is part of the fun!

These easy blackberry bars have fruit filling sandwiched between flaky layers of pie dough. The filling is jammy and tart while the dough melts in your mouth. These blackberry bars are wonderful for breakfast, snacks, or an after-dinner dessert.

This easy recipe is a keeper as you can change the fruit to fit the season. Your friends and family will gobble them up.

Recipe adapted from The Joy of Cooking by Rombauer, 1997 edition. Adapted from shortbread pie crust and pie filling recipe.

Blackberry Bars

Sweet blackberry filling surrounded by flaky shortbread pie crust. These bars are pure bliss and adaptable for any season.


Anne Voss


Crust and Topping

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (380g)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, cold and cut into pieces (2 sticks, 226g)


  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (67g)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (just a pinch)
  • 5 cups fresh blackberries (645g)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Add flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt to a food processor. Pulse until mixed.
  3. Add whole eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and butter. Pulse together until the butter is cut into small pieces and the dough has a crumbly texture.
  4. Spread half of the dough mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  5. Place the remaining half of the dough mixture temporarily into the refrigerator to keep the butter cold.
  6. In a bowl mix together sugar, cornstarch, allspice, and salt.
  7. Add blackberries and lemon juice. Toss berries in sugar mixture until no white remains.
  8. Let the berries sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to marinate in the sugar mixture.
  9. After 10 minutes, evenly spread the blackberry mixture over the crust in the baking pan.
  10. Remove the remaining dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly on top of the blackberries.
  11. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top edges of the bars are light golden brown.
  12. Allow the bars to cool completely so the fruit juice can set up.
  13. Cut bars into squares. Cut the squares in half from corner to corner to make triangle-shaped bars.
  14. Store bars in an airtight container or storage bag.

Makes 20 large square bars or 40 smaller triangle bars

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Recipe Notes

Below you will find tips and tricks to help achieve the best results possible!

ripe blackberries on the bush next to colander full of fresh picked berries


Butter - make sure the butter is cold before adding it to the dry ingredients. Cold butter helps to make the dough flaky. Also, chill the topping dough until ready to use so that the butter does not get too warm. You might need to break up the dough with a fork before sprinkling it on top of the blackberry filling.

Blackberries – if picking your own berries it is nice to have a combination of sweet and tart, as well as a mix of soft and firmer berries. These bars also have seeds from the fruit, but I like the texture the seeds add to the dessert.

Extract – vanilla extract is a staple for baking, but you could also use almond extract as it pairs well with the fruit.

ingredients needed to make blackberry bars

Supplies Needed

Food processor or pastry blender

9 x 13-inch pan lined with parchment paper

Other needed supplies include a mixing bowl, measuring spoons, and measuring cups or kitchen scale.

side view of blackberry bars showing the layers and fruit filling

Tips and Tricks

A food processor makes it very easy to combine all the dough ingredients. However, you can also cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or even a fork and knife. You are looking for small pea size crumbs of butter in the dough, but it is okay if there is some variation in crumb size.

For clean-cut bars, refrigerate bars and cut them while cold. That will result in bars with sharp edges.

baked tray of blackberry bars with a bars removed next to a bowl of blackberries


If you prefer your berries sweeter, you can increase the amount of sugar in the filling to 2/3 cup.

Cinnamon can be substituted for allspice, or you can omit spices altogether.

If fresh berries are not available, frozen berries can be used but they need to be thawed and drained so the bars do not become soggy.

If you choose to increase or decrease the number of berries for the filling, make sure to use one teaspoon of cornstarch for every cup of berries.

You can substitute other fruit such as apples, peaches, blueberries, etc. A combination of fruit could also be used. Peaches and blackberries would be nice. I also plan to make an apple version of these bars for the fall.

This recipe can also be halved and baked in a 8 x 8 inch pan. If halving the recipe use one whole egg in the crust and reduce the baking time to 35-40 minutes.

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September 20, 2022
We (Me & my family) love this recipe! I have made it a handful of times using a strawberry/rhubarb filling and once with fresh picked blackberries.I’m already planning to try it with peaches and with apples that were mentioned in the recipe.
August 12, 2022
Such a good recipe and look forward to having this for years to come!