Berry Crumble Bars

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Strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries combine to make a jammy, sweet filling between a buttery shortbread crust and crumble. Try these summery berry crumble bars for your next party or whenever you’re craving a sweet cookie bar full of fruity flavor.

I have a soft spot for summer fruit in my desserts. From cherry cobblers to fresh loquat cobblers to peach hand pies, I just can’t resist the sweet flavor of fresh summer fruit. But berries—now berries are my favorite.

Every summer, I try to create new ways to enjoy that berry flavor. I’ve mastered a mixed berry cobbler and a seriously delicious strawberry syrup, and now I have these irresistible berry crumble bars to add to the list. It uses my shortbread cookie crust to create a base, and extra cookies are crumbled right on top to make a delicious and unbeatable summer cookie bar.

Recipe Highlights

  • Big Berry Flavor – Three berries combine to make a sweet, tart, jammy filling. Even switch up the berries to suit your preference.
  • Shareable – A cookie bar is a simple way to make a big dessert that’s easy to share, with no need to scoop, cut, or shape individual cookies.

Ingredients & Substitutions

There are two components of a berry crumble bar: the filling and the shortbread that makes up the crust and crumble topping. Here you’ll find details on which ingredients you’ll need and any substitutions I can recommend.

ingredients to make berry crumble bars.
Please ignore the egg! I didn’t realize I’d put it in until I edited pictures a week later!
  • Shortbread Crust + Crumble: To make this you’ll need all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. If needed, you can use vegan butter and granulated sugar.
  • Berries: I prefer a mixture of fresh strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Feel free to swap in raspberries or use frozen fruit.
  • Cornstarch: This is the glue that binds the filling together so you don’t end up with liquid or juice everywhere.
  • Lemon: You’ll use the zest to add flavor to the crust, and the juice to make the berry filling irresistable.
  • Granulated Sugar: Cane, brown, or coconut sugar can also be used.
  • Jam or Jelly: I’ve baked with and without it, but using a light layer of jam or jelly to brush over the baked crust before adding the topping helps it withstand the juices from the berries to prevent leaks.

Tips on Using Frozen Berries:

  • The fruit must be frozen when added to the crust.
  • Use small chunks of berries instead of whole strawberries.
  • Increase the cornstarch by 1 tablespoon to help account for the extra liquid that frozen fruit will produce.

Step by Step Instructions

We’ll start by making a shortbread cookie crust. Once it’s baked and cooled, add the layer of berries and the crumble, and finish baking.

a shortbread crust ready to bake.

Step 1: Shortbread Cookie Crust

Combine the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a bowl. Pour in the melted butter and vanilla and stir until a soft dough comes together. Remove 2/3 of the dough and press it evenly into a 9×13 baking pan or sheet. Dock the dough with a fork and bake at 350°F for 15-17 minutes.

a bowl of chopped mixed berries.

Step 2: Mix the Berries

Cut any large berries into chunks so they’re all similar in size to the blueberries. Combine them in a bowl and toss with the cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice. We like 2.5 cups strawberries, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup blackberries.

a sheet pan with mixed berries spread across it.

Step 3: Glaze the Crust and Fill

When the crust is done, brush it lightly with a berry jam or jelly. We use homemade strawberry jam or my strawberry watermelon jam.

Let it cool, then add the berries on top in an even layer. Crumble the remaining shortbread dough over the top in an even layer. Sprinkle extra sugar on top if desired. Return it to a 375°F oven for 30-35 minutes.

Step 4: Cool and Slice

Let the cookie bars cool so the filling can set before attempting to slice it. Cut the bars into squares after 20-30 minutes and gently lift from the pan. Enjoy!

a pan of baked berry crumble bars.

FAQs

How long are berry crumble bars good for?

The fresh berry filling means these bars will soften quickly after the first day of baking. I recommend enjoying them within 3 days.

Can I freeze mixed berry cookie bars?

Yes, freeze individual sections for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before enjoying.

Can I use different fruits?

Yes. Any berry or stone fruit that’s been chopped up can be used in place of the mixed berry mixture recommended in the recipe.

Does the crust need to cool?

No, you can spread on the jam and then immediately fill it with berries.

a pan of mixed berry cookie bars with two squares on white plates.

Love this recipe? Please consider leaving a 5 star rating in the recipe card below, or a comment to share your experience with fellow home cooks. I hope you enjoy and as always, Happy Eating!

a berry crumble bar on a white plate

Berry Crumble Bars

Mikayla M.
A gooey, jammy cookie bar filled with 3 types of fresh summer berries with a shortbread crust and crubmle topping.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 463 kcal

Ingredients
  

Shortbread Crust + Crumble

  • 470 grams all purpose flour
  • 150 grams powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces unsalted butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon jam or jelly berry flavor preferred

Berry Filling

  • 4.5 cups berries fresh or frozen
  • 85 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch *see notes for frozen
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions
 

Shortbread crust + crumble

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the flour, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter and add in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the butter mixture into the flour and stir until a soft dough forms.
  • Remove 2/3 of the dough and press it into a parchment lined 9×13 baking pan or sheet. (parchment is optional, but helps lift the bars out later.) Reserve the remaining dough in the fridge.
  • Prick the dough with a fork and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the top no longer appears wet and the edges look set.
  • When done baking, remove from oven and brush with the teaspoon of jam over the fork holes. Set aside until ready to fill.

Berry Filling

  • Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Cut large pieces of berry into small chunks so everything is a uniform size.
  • Combine the fruit, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Toss until well coated.
  • Spread the berries over the shortbread crust in an even layer. Break up the remaining shortbread dough and sprinkle it over the top.
  • If desired, sprinkle additional granulated sugar on top, then place in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  • Let it cool so the berry filling can set, then slice into squares and serve.

Notes

Notes:
Frozen Berries: Make sure they’re a uniform size and frozen when going in the oven. Increase the cornstarch by 1 tablespoon.
Berry Ratio: We prefer 1 cup each of blackberries and blueberries, and 2.5 cups of strawberries.
Baking sheet:  If using a shallow baking sheet, place foil or some other protection underneath in case the berry filling bubbles over the edge while baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 463kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 5gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 54mgPotassium: 84mgFiber: 3gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 735IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 2mg
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Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.

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5 from 3 votes

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m one of those people that saves all sorts of berries in the freezer ‘for later’ lol. I used some of my precious berries in this recipe and it was worth it! Thanks for the great recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Great flavor. Loved the texture. Yummy and comforting. It made the perfect afternoon snack. Thanks!

  3. You have a lovely site! Added it to my regulars and added a few recipes to my ‘to try list’. Will be trying this soon. <3