Blackberry Crumble Bars

Sweet, buttery, and jammy! These Blackberry Crumble Bars have a shortbread-style crust, blackberry jam filling, and the best buttery crumb topping. They have 5 simple ingredients, so making this berry crumb bar recipe is a breeze!

Stack of blackberry pie bars on a plate.

It’s no secret that one of my all time favorite fruits is the blackberry. If you catch this berry during peak season, it’s sweet and has an amazing flavor.

I try to make as many recipes as possible using fresh blackberries. Some of the ones we’ve shared over the years are our blackberry crumble pie, blackberry goat cheese salad, and an apple blackberry crumble.

But, sometimes you can’t get fresh blackberries or they don’t taste great. And that really stinks when you have a craving for a blackberry dessert.

That’s why John and I decided to make these blackberry crumble bars with blackberry jam. You don’t have to worry about finding fresh berries, cooking down the filling, and getting the sweetness just right.

All you need to do is make the shortbread crust, add the blackberry jam, and sprinkle on the buttery crumble topping. That is it!

So, so simple. Enjoy the easiest and best blackberry crumble bars. No fresh blackberries required!

Kim’s Tips

Tips

Make sure the butter is cold. When you prepare the shortbread crust and crumb topping, use cold butter straight from the fridge.

Refrigerate it. If the dough gets too warm, assemble the crust in the pan and refrigerate it for 30 minutes or so before baking. Place the crumb topping in the fridge until ready to use.

Use a food processor. If possible, use a food processor to make the shortbread dough. Place the ingredients for the dough into the food processor and pulse until everything is well mixed and balls begin to form.

Line the baking pan. Don’t forget to line the baking dish with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, use aluminum foil with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. These bars are sticky, and they’ll stick and burn to an unlined pan.

Don’t over bake the bars. While you want the crumb topping to get cooked through, you don’t want to over bake these blackberry crumble bars. The outer edge that touches the hot pan gets a little chewy. This is normal. Over baking will burn the outer edge and cause caramelization of the sugars in the jam.

These bars don’t get golden brown. Many bars, pies, cookies, etc. turn golden brown as they bake. Our blackberry crumb bars don’t get that golden color on top. They get lightly browned and the crumble topping gets a little crispy but not super crunchy.

Let them cool. This is super important. After the bars bake, let them cool at room temperature for 30-45 minutes then put them in the fridge until completely cooled and set. This helps the jam solidify and makes cutting the bars so much easier.

Batch of berry crumb bars on brown parchment.

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerator: Store leftover blackberry crumble bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Note: They are wonderful cold or reheated for a few seconds in the microwave until just barely warm.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What texture should the shortbread dough have?

The shortbread dough should be soft, form balls of various sizes, and will hold together when pressed. It’s important that you use cold butter when preparing the dough or it won’t hold together properly.

Are there separate doughs for the crust and crumb topping?

Our blackberry crumble bars use the same shortbread dough for the crust and the crumb topping. You’ll use about ⅔ of the dough for the crust and the remaining ⅓ for the topping.

Can I use blackberry jelly in place of jam or preserves?

No, we don’t recommend using blackberry jelly in place of jam or preserves. Jelly has a different consistency and sugar content than jam or preserves, causing the filling to burn more easily during baking.

Can I use another fruit filling?

Yes, you can definitely use another fruit filling in place of blackberry jam. Some good options are raspberry, blueberry, or even a mixed berry preserves.

Just make sure that whatever substitute you choose has a similar consistency to blackberry jam to prevent the filling from burning or not setting properly during the baking process.

Do blackberry crumble bars freeze well?

Yes, blackberry crumble bars can be frozen for up to 2 months. However, it’s important to note that the texture may change after freezing and thawing.

The crumble topping may not be as crunchy and the jam layer may become slightly watery, resulting in a texture that is less appealing than when fresh.

Stack of blackberry pie bars on two plates.

Blackberry Crumble Bars

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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cool Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 16 Servings

Ingredients

For the Shortbread Crust and Crumble Topping

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Blackberry Filling

  • 18 ounces blackberry jam, or preserves (we used store bought)

Instructions
 

To Make the Crust and Crumb Topping

  • Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Place the ingredients for crust into a food processor, and pulse until a soft dough forms. (If you don't have a food processor, use a mixing bowl and your hands or a pastry cutter to mix the ingredients.)
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    ¾ cup unsalted butter
    ½ cup light brown sugar
    ½ teaspoon salt
  • Divide the dough into thirds (it's ok to eyeball it). Place ⅓ of the mixture in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • Press the remaining ⅔ of the dough into the prepared pan. Form it into an even layer and bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let the crust cool before adding the filling.

Add the Filling

  • Spoon the jam onto the cooled crust and carefully spread it in an even layer.
    18 ounces blackberry jam

Add the Crumble Topping and Bake

  • Remove the remaining ⅓ of the shortbread dough from the refrigerator, and use your hands to break it into small pieces. Sprinkle the dough pieces over the jam.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 350°F, and bake for another 30-40 minutes.The jam will bubbles around the edges and the crumb topping will turn light brown and get crispy on top.
  • Let the blackberry crumble bars cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator to cool completely and set.

Suggested Equipment

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 bar. Actual calories will vary.
*If using a glass pan, lower the oven temperature by 25°F and increase the cook time by 10-15 minutes.
 
*Skip to Tips.
 
*Skip to Storage.
 
*Skip to FAQs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 248kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 86mgPotassium: 53mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 266IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of More Than Meat and Potatoes and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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