Learn how to make the best Lemon Blueberry Bars at home! These crumb bars are SO easy to prepare, totally customizable (use your favorite fruit) and irresistibly delicious! Featuring a fresh blueberry pie filling sandwiched between two layers of buttery, tender oat crumble! These blueberry pie bars will quickly become your family’s new favorite breakfast, snack and dessert!
These handheld blueberry squares are perfect for eating on the go! Plus, they travel beautifully making them the perfect treat for picnics, potlucks, barbecues and summer soirees!
Update: This post was originally published in April 2020. I made updates to the post below to include more information about blueberry pie bars with crumb topping. Plus, I added step-by-step photos and a recipe video to show you exactly how easy it is to make the best blueberry dessert at home!
Hi, friends! If you are a fan of delicious, fresh berries then I have the perfect, irresistible treat for you!
Lemon blueberry bars: overview
These buttery bars feature a rich, delicate, brown sugar cookie-like crust; a thick layer of lemon-scented, juicy blueberry pie filling, and a subtle cinnamon oat streusel topping! They are soft, buttery, slightly sweet and jam packed with fruity blueberry flavor! These heavenly delicious bars taste like a delightfully juicy blueberry pie filled buttery cookie sandwich!
As if that wasn’t enough, these blueberry crumb bars are so simple and fuss-free to prepare! And, they use the same tender crumb mixture for both the crust and the crumble topping!
They are a total crowd-pleaser that is sure to become your family’s new favorite breakfast and dessert!! Plus, they are perfect for summer picnics, parties and snacking on the go!
Don’t feel like fussing about with making a pie or cobbler, but still want a fresh summer berry treat?! Look no further than these crumbly berry bars!
Why you will love these blueberry bars:
- The best taste and texture! These pie bars are soft, buttery, slightly sweet and bursting with plenty of juicy blueberries!
- Three treats in one! This blueberry crumb bar recipe is like a cookie, pie and crisp all rolled into one delicious treat!
- Real blueberries! Featuring a sticky, jammy, lemon-infused blueberry pie filling made with real, fresh berries!! No canned pie filling or artificial flavors here – just intense, enticing real blueberry flavor!
- Easily customizable! If you aren’t a fan of blueberries you can use whatever berry or fruit you love!
- Fresh or frozen berries! These bars are the perfect way to use fresh seasonal fruit; however, if summer fruit isn’t in season you can use frozen fruit, too!
- Easy to prepare! This blueberry bar recipe is incredibly simple and fool-proof to prepare!
- One crumble dough! The tender crumble mixture doubles as both the crust and the topping!
- Travels well! These bars are the perfect handheld treat and easy to eat on the go!
- Stores beautifully! You can easily make a double batch and store some bars in the refrigerator or freezer to have on hand whenever a sweet craving strikes!
- Lemon glaze! While it’s entirely optional, a simple, sticky lemon glaze makes these bars over the top delicious!
What are blueberry pie bars?
Blueberry bars are a baked, fresh fruit dessert. They consist of a sweet, jam-like, fresh blueberry pie filling sandwiched between a delicate, buttery shortbread-like crust and a soft, crumbly streusel topping. Berry bars are very similar to crisps and crumbles, as they all contain fresh fruit and a streusel topping. However, crumb bars are denser and more portable which make them perfect for breakfasts and snacking on the go!
Fruit crumb bars can be made with any variety of fresh or frozen fruit and served for breakfast, brunch, snack-time or dessert.
What is in blueberry bars?
These fresh lemon blueberry bars are made with pantry staple and just a couple fresh, easy-to-find ingredients!
Ingredients in crumble bars with blueberries
- Blueberries: Fresh or frozen will work, however I highly recommend fresh blueberries for the best taste!
- Sugar: Both granulated sugar and light brown sugar are used in this recipe. Granulated sugar for the blueberry pie filling and brown sugar for the streusel.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a fast-acting thickener which makes the filling thick and jammy.
- Fresh Lemon: Both lemon zest and lemon juice add a touch of tart flavor to the filling.
- Old Fashioned Oats: Also known as rolled oats, they add a fabulously chewy texture to the crumble.
- All Purpose Flour: Flour is the base ingredient for the crumble.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder gives the crumble a soft, light texture.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon gives the crumble a warm, inviting taste.
- Vanilla Extract + Kosher Salt: Both ingredients enhance all the other flavors in the recipe.
- Butter: Cubed, cold butter provides moisture and ensures the crumble is rich and crumbly, not dry!
Fresh or frozen berries?
You can use either fresh or frozen blueberries to prepare crumb bars. For the best taste, I recommend fresh berries. However, if you want to use frozen blueberries, go for it! There is no need to thaw the berries prior to preparing the recipe.
Can I use another fruit?
You can easily adapt this recipe to use another fresh berry! Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are all delicious options. Try using your favorite berry or a mixture or berries! Or, you can also use a different variety of fruit all together, such as peaches, apricots, cherries, kiwis, grapes, mangos or even apples!
To use a different fruit to make crumb bars:
- 5 cups: Use a total of 5 cups of fruit.
- Chop large fruit: If the fruit is larger, chop or slice it into small, bite sized pieces.
- Peel fruit with tough skin: I recommend peeling any fruit that has a tougher or inedible skin, such as apples and mangos.
Can I use any variety of oats?
For the best taste and texture I highly recommend using old-fashioned (rolled) oats! Old-fashioned oats have a thicker texture and behave similar to flour, which gives the crust and crumble topping a much better texture! Quick and instant oats have a finer texture which tends to make the crumble dough too dry.
How to make lemon blueberry bars?
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Prepare the filling: In a small saucepan, combine 3 cups of the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and kosher salt. Cook over medium-low heat ,stirring frequently, until the berries start to soften and release their juices.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add in the remaining blueberries, lemon zest and vanilla. Stir well to combine and then set aside and allow the pie filling to cool.
- Prepare crumble mixture: In the bowl of a food processor, add the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until the ingredients are combined. Sprinkle the butter evenly over the ingredients in the food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of water. Pulse until the mixture just begins to cling together.
- Form crust and bake: Transfer half of the crumble dough to the prepared baking dish. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the pan to form a smooth crust.
- Bake crust: Transfer to the oven and bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Add blueberry filling: Evenly pour the cooled blueberry filling over the pre-baked crust.
- Top with remaining crumble: Use your hands to sprinkle the remaining crumble dough evenly over the top of the filling.
- Bake again: Return to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the blueberry bars are light golden brown in color.
- Cool: Remove the pan from oven and transfer it to a wire rack. Allow the bars to cool completely. Once cool, lift the bars out of the pan and transfer to a clean work surface. Slice into squares or bars.
- Serve and enjoy! Drizzle the bars with glaze or sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
How to make blueberry crumb bars step by step photos
(Scroll down for the detailed measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.)
Lemon blueberry bars recipe FAQs
Tips and tricks for the best lemon blueberry bars
- Use a food processor: To make quick work out of preparing the crumble dough, use a food processor! If you don’t have a food processor a little elbow grease will do; however, I recommend substituting the old-fashioned oats for quick oats.
- Use your favorite seasonal fruit: You can easily customize these bars by using your favorite fruit!
- Lemon flavor: These blueberry crumb bars have a subtle lemon flavor. If you prefer a stronger lemon flavor, simply add more fresh lemon zest!
- Glaze: While it is entirely optional, I highly recommend drizzling these bars with the homemade lemon glaze (recipe below) – it takes these bars to the next level of yum!
- Pan size: You can easily halve this recipe and make these bars in a 8×8-inch pan instead of a 9×13-inch pan!
How to know when bars are done baking?
Crumb bars should be baked in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes.
Bars are done when the top is lightly golden brown in color and the filling is slightly bubbling and appears set. Do not over-bake the bars or they will taste a slightly dry versus moist and deliciously crumbly!
To test for doneness, you can use a toothpick. Insert a toothpick into the center of the bars, it should come out mostly clean. A bit of jammy blueberry filling is fine!
When to cut crumb bars?
You should wait to cut lemon blueberry bars until they are completely cool. If you try to slice the bars while they are fresh from the oven, or slightly warm, they will fall apart and resemble more of a crumble or cobbler. Did you decide you don’t have the patience to wait for the bars to cool (who would blame you!?)? No worries – just be prepared to serve them in a bowl and eat it with a spoon! And, then I’d definitely top them with a scoop or two of luscious vanilla bean ice cream!! (This is my personal favorite way to eat them!)
How to cut perfect bars?
Below are tips and tricks for cutting perfect squares of blueberry bars! If you want consistent, perfectly even squares, I recommend utilizing a ruler.
Tips for cutting bars
Follow the simple tips below to look like a pro and cut your blueberry crumb bars into perfect squares!
- Line your pan with parchment paper: It is so much easier to bars on a flat surface than it is to deal with the sides of the pan! Line your baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides – this will ensure you can easily lift the uncut bars out of the baking pan and onto a cutting board!
- Cool completely: Cold pie bars will cut much more cleanly than room temperature bars. Therefore, it’s imperative you allow the bars to fully cool on a cooling rack before removing them from the baking pan. Alternatively, you can cover the bars and store them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
- Score the top of the bars: Before cutting, score or mark the top of the crumble bars to guide where you will be cutting. If you want perfectly even squares, use a ruler when scoring.
- Use a sharp knife to cut bars: Make sure you use a sharp knife to cut the bars! For the best results, make sure you use either a long serrated knife or a short paring knife. Use the knife to cut the bars from the top and down through the bottom of the crust.
- Clean knife after every cut: Be sure to wipe off the knife after every cut is made. The jammy pie filling will adhere to the knife, so for clean cuts you must wipe off the knife!
How to cut 9×13-inch bars into squares?
These lemon blueberry bars are baked in a standard 9-by-13-inch baking pan. There are a few different ways you can cut this dessert into squares depending upon how large you want the squares and/or the desired number of servings.
Pro-tip: If you are cutting the short or long side into an even number (for example, 4 columns or rows), start your first cut in the middle to keep your bars consistent in size.
Standard ways to slice a 9×13-inch dessert
- 12 bars: Cut the short side into three equal columns and the long side into four equal rows. (This size is great if you are looking for very generous serving sizes!
- 15 bars: Cut the short side into three equal columns and the long side into five equal rows. (This is the standard-size for a brownie or cake.)
- 20 bars: Cut the short side into four columns and the long side into five rows.
- 24 bars: Cut the short side into four columns and the long side into six rows. (Shown below – this will yield 2-inch by 2-inch bars, which is perfect if you are bringing these pie bars to a party or potluck!)
Are you looking for new and exciting ways to serve this blueberry dessert? Below are a few of my family’s favorite ways to serve and enjoy these pie bars!
How to serve blueberry bars?
These lemon blueberry bars are incredibly versatile! They’re perfect served as a grab-and-go breakfast treat and part of a brunch spread, or they make a wonderful afternoon snack and easy sweet dessert!
Do you serve pie bars warm or cold?
You can serve these blueberry bars slightly warm, room temperature or cold, depending upon your preference!
- Slightly warm or room temperature: If you serve these bars slightly warm the filling will be very juicy and you won’t be able to cut the bars into perfect squares. I suggest serving warm bars in a manner similar to a cobbler – in a bowl with a spoon, and don’t forget the scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt!
- Cold: If you are looking for a handheld treat, serving these bars cold is your best bet!
What to serve with blueberry crumb bars?
Fruit pie bars are always a hit with practically everyone and they’re always a welcomed treat! Whether you serve them as part of a brunch spread, sweet snack or at the end of a yummy dinner, these bars compliment every meal! Below are a few pairing ideas to help you match your bars to your next meal!
11 ways to have pie (bars) for breakfast or brunch
These bars are the perfect sweet and crumbly morning time treat!
- Fruit: Keep things light by serving crumble bars with your favorite seasonal fresh fruit. We love the combination of fresh strawberries, raspberries, cherries, oranges or blackberries!
- Cottage Cheese: A cup of creamy cottage cheese pairs perfectly with these jammy, fruity bars! If you are feeling adventurous, try breaking the blueberry bar up into your cottage cheese and using it as a topping!
- Yogurt: Not a fan of cottage cheese? Serve your muffins with your favorite flavor of yogurt! We love the pairing of vanilla, blueberry or honey yogurt with these bars!
- Oatmeal: A big bowl of warm, welcoming oatmeal just begs for a sweet little side of blueberry bars!
- Smoothie: Nutrient-rich smoothies are a great light pairing option for these bars!
- Nuts: A bag of heart-healthy nuts are the perfect way to keep your breakfast grab-and-go!
- Granola: Crunchy granola offers a delicious textural contrast to crumbly, jammy bars!
- Overnight Oats: Creamy overnight oats are perfect if you are looking for a hearty, yet healthy breakfast option!
- Eggs: Add some protein to your breakfast by making your favorite style of eggs!
- Breakfast Meats: Do you have a meat eater in your family? Serve your pie bars with a side of ham, sausage, Canadian bacon or crispy bacon!
- Breakfast Sandwich: Make-ahead breakfast wraps and egg sandwiches are always a delicious family favorite!
8 entrees to eat with blueberry pie (bars)
Look no further than these bars for adding the perfect finishing touch to your next family meal!
- Summer Salad: Double up on the fruity goodness by topping a light spinach salad with fresh peaches and strawberries!
- Crab Cakes: If you prefer a lighter fare try pairing these bars with fresh crab cakes!
- Red Meats: Liven up your typical meat and potato dinner by finishing it off with plenty of blueberry bars!
- Pork: Pork and blueberries are a match made in heaven!
- Chicken: Roast or grilled chicken is a classic dinner option that goes fabulously with blueberries for dessert!
- Salmon: Prepare a dinner that packs a healthy punch of protein and fats with salmon – and save plenty of room for crumble bars as dessert!
- Barbecue: Any and everything barbecue goes perfectly with a fruity pie (bar)!
- Vegetables: Looking for a few vegetable sides to complement your dessert? Artichokes, corn, pumpkin and zucchini all pair brilliantly with blueberries!
6 ways to serve blueberry bars as dessert
These six accompaniments will easily elevate your fruit bar experience!
- Lemon Glaze: A generous drizzle of sticky lemon glaze adds the perfect zippy, sweet touch to these bars!
- Homemade Whipped Cream: Fluffy, soft whipped cream is an elegant addition to blueberry bars!
- Ice Cream: A scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream is a classic pie (bar) topper; however, if your feeling venturesome, butter pecan or strawberry are delicious alternatives!
- Irish Coffee: Iconic, smooth Irish coffee and these jammy bars go hand in hand!
- Coffee or Tea: A strong cup of joe or your favorite flavor of hot tea alongside a crumble bar or two is the perfect way to relax and wind down after a long day!
- Warm Cider: Is there anything more cozy than a bowl of warm blueberry crumble and a tall mug of cider?
Tips for storing blueberry squares with crumb topping
Food safety is of the utmost importance, especially when it comes to storage! Please follow the simple tips below to ensure you are properly storing your crumb bars!
How to store them?
lemon blueberry bars do not need to be stored in the refrigerator. To store, allow the bars to cool completely. Transfer them to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Alternatively, to extend shelf life, crumb bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Can you freeze blueberry crumb bars?
Fruit crumb bars can be frozen; however, the texture will change. Fresh baked bars have a deliciously crisp streusel topping. Once the bars are stored in the freezer, they will lose their signature crisp texture. However, they will still taste delicious!
To freeze: Allow the bars to cool completely. Arrange them in a single layer in a large freezer-safe resealable bag. Alternatively, you can layer them between sheets of parchment paper. Store bars in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To use: Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator, and then bring them to room temperature before serving.
Blueberry bar dietary FAQ
Are they gluten free?
These blueberry crumb bars can easily be adapted for a gluten-free diet!
To prepare gluten free blueberry crumble bars:
- Oats: While oats don’t naturally contain gluten, there could be cross-contamination with gluten during processing and packaging! Double check the brand of oats to ensure they are in fact gluten-free.
- Flour: Substitute the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour – just make sure you look for brands that can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for regular flour.
Can I make these lemon blueberry bars vegan?
This blueberry crumb bar recipe can easily be made vegan with a few simple substitutions!
- Butter: Use vegan butter or a vegan butter substitute.
- Granulated Sugar: Ensure your brand of sugar is vegan-friendly. You can use organic, unrefined or natural cane sugar. Or, use a vegan substitute such as date sugar. To replace white granulated sugar with date sugar, use a 1:1 ratio. Note, if you use a different vegan sugar substitute, check the substitution ratio!
- Brown Sugar: Ensure your brand of sugar is vegan-friendly. Or, use a vegan substitute such as coconut sugar. To replace brown sugar with coconut sugar, use a 1:1 ratio.
Part pie, part crisp, part cobbler, and entirely delicious, these homemade lemon blueberry crumb bars are the perfect spring and summer treat! Loaded with juicy berries and brown sugary goodness, these bars will be an instant hit!
Until next week, friends, cheers – to berry delicious bars!
Looking for more blueberry recipes?
If you love these pie bars, try one of these delicious recipes next:
The best Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bar recipe👇
Lemon Blueberry Bars (easy crumb bars!)
- 9x13-inch Baking Dish
- Small Saucepan
- Food Processor
- 5 Cups Fresh or Frozen Blueberries – divided (SEE NOTES)
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 TBS + 1 tsp Cornstarch
- 1 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice - (about ½ small lemon
- 1 tsp EACH: Lemon Zest & Vanilla Extract - (about 1 small lemon)
- Kosher Salt
- 2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats - leveled
- 1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour – spooned & leveled (SEE NOTES)
- 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar – packed
- 1 tsp EACH: Baking Powder & Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Cold Butter – cubed (2 Sticks)
- 2-3 TBS Cold Water
Optional for serving: Powdered Sugar, Cinnamon, Whipped Cream, Ice Cream, Honey, Lemon Glaze (SEE NOTES)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides of the pan (this will make it easy to lift the bars out of the pan). Set aside.
- Prepare the filling: In a small saucepan, combine 3 cups of the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Place pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 6-8 minutes, or until the berries start to soften and release their juices.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat.
- Add in the remaining 2 cups blueberries, lemon zest and vanilla. Stir until everything is incorporated. Set aside and allow filling to cool completely.
- Prepare crumble mixture: In the bowl of a food processor, add the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Pulse until the oats are mostly ground and ingredients are combined. Sprinkle the butter cubes evenly over the ingredients in the food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of water. Pulse until the mixture just begins to cling together and resemble a crumbly dough. Add another tablespoon of water if dough seems dry. (To test: Pick up a tablespoon of crumble dough. Squeeze the dough gently together – it should hold and cling together.)
- Form crust: Transfer half of the crumble dough (about 3 heaping cups) to the prepared baking dish. Use your hands or the back of a measuring cup to press it evenly and firmly into the bottom of the pan to form an even, smooth crust. (Tip: Dampen your hands or the back of the measuring cup with water to prevent sticking.)
- Bake crust: Transfer to the oven and bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden in color. Remove from oven.
- Add blueberry filling: Evenly pour or spoon the cooled blueberry filling over the pre-baked crust.
- Top with remaining crumble: Use your hands to sprinkle the remaining crumble dough evenly over the top of the filling.
- Bake again: Return to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the blueberry bars are light golden brown in color.
- Cool: Remove from oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Allow the bars to cool completely (at least 2-3 hours – SEE NOTES). Lift the cooled bars out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang on the sides. Slice into squares or bars.
- Serve drizzled with lemon glaze (recipe below) or sprinkled with powdered sugar and enjoy!OR Store: Store completely cooled bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Or, store in the fridge for up to 10 days, or freezer for up to 3 months.
- Frozen fruit: You can use frozen berries! There is no need to thaw them first, however you may need to simmer the filling mixture for a little bit longer.
- Lemon substitute: Don’t have lemon? Orange juice and zest is a delicious substitution!
- Flour: It is important you measure your flour correctly! To properly measure flour, spoon the flour into your measuring cup, and then level it off. DO NOT just dip the measuring cup into the container of flour.
- Gluten-free: Use gluten-free oats and flour
- Vegan: Use vegan butter and ensure your brand of sugar is vegan-friendly or use vegan sugar substitutes. (See post for full list of suggestions)
- To quickly cool: You can allow the bars to cool completely at room temperature. Or, you can allow the bars to cool at room temperature for one hour, then transfer pan to refrigerator to speed up the process.
- Warning on slicing bars: If you try to slice the blueberry bars while they are still warm, and before they have cooled completely, they will fall apart. You can enjoy them while warm, just be prepared to serve them in a bowl and eat them with a spoon. I suggest topping them with a scoop of ice cream!!
- Half batch: You can easily half the recipe and bake in a parchment paper lined 9-inch baking pan. You will need to slightly adjust the baking time – it will be shorter. Use a toothpick to test for doneness if needed.
- Lemon Glaze: To make glaze, whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Taste and adjust with an additional tablespoon of lemon juice or a milk if a thinner glaze is desired. Drizzle on cooled bars.
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