When I planned the menu for Caroline’s birthday party, these bars were something of an afterthought.  They helped round out the dessert portion of the menu, adding another berry treat for our little berry fiend.  I suspected they would be good but oh.my.gosh, people, these were definitely the highlight of the spread.  The buttery, crumbly crust with a hint of lemon and the amazing blackberry filling are an irresistible combination.  These bake up very thick, so you can cut them on the small side.  The recipe doubles easily in a 9 x 13-inch pan to feed a larger crowd.  This recipe will undoubtedly become a total staple for bringing to spring and summer parties, potlucks, and more.  I’m looking forward to trying it with other fruits as well.


For the crust and topping: 

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • ¾ cup (12 tbsp.) unsalted butter, cold

For the filling: 

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cups sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 15-16 oz. blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained of excess juices)


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with foil and grease lightly.  In the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest.  Pulse briefly to blend.  Cut the butter into small cubes, then add to the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Process in short pulses to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until only small pieces of butter remain and the mixture is crumbly.

  • 02

    Reserve ¾ cup of the mixture for topping the bars.  Add the rest of the mixture to the prepared pan and press to form an even layer of crust on the bottom of the pan.  Bake 12-15 minutes, until light golden.  Let cool 10-15 minutes before proceeding.

  • 03

    In a medium bowl, make the filling mixture.  Combine the eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, lemon juice and vanilla.  Whisk until smooth.  Gently stir in the blackberries with a spatula.  Spread the filling mixture over the pre-baked crust in the baking pan.  Crumble the reserved topping mixture over the filling evenly.

  • 04

    Bake until the top is beginning to brown and the bars are just set, about 45 minutes.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.  Chill to firm up before slicing and serving.


  • ateaspoonofhappiness

    Oh wow. These look so tasty! I think I’m going to make them with the frozen berries that are just sitting in my freezer. YUM!

  • Ah! LOVE when this happens! I was wondering what to do with the small bag of blackberries I froze last season. Thanks!

  • Emily Clark

    Oh yum… I can’t wait to make these!!!

  • Kierstan

    These look great! I have some blueberries and orange zest on hand so might try a slightly adapted version this weekend.

  • These are beautiful! Cant wait for summer!

  • LisaR @ Who Stole My Baby?

    They look like they’re mostly made of berries, instead of a bunch of silly flour or something. I like that.

  • Natalie Mason

    Hi Annie! I just wanted to say I absolutely love your blog- I also am a resident and inspired by your creativity! I’ve created as well where I can share recipes and have a writing outlet http://pinchofflavor.blogspot.com/
    Thanks for all your lovely stories and recipes!

  • Misty Lynn

    Hooray for a blackberry recipe! We have a ton of blackberry bushes on our property and I’m always looking for new ways to use them. They aren’t fun to pick, but they sure are good to eat.

  • marcie @ flavor the moments

    These look like something I need very soon! I’ve been wanting to bake with blackberries, and this is the perfect thing!

  • Lynda Olsen

    These bars look amazing…just so happens I have some blackberries!

  • That’s my kind of pie crust… you don’t have to worry about it looking pretty! Seriously, these look and sound delicious… will definitely be trying them!

  • Annie Standing

    These look delightful! I absolutely adore berries as well, I really don’t bake with blackberries enough even though I love them. Definitely be trying these out :)

  • Erin- Table for 7

    love the blackberries..they look divine!

  • Steffanie Kuehn

    Your blog makes me really happy. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it!

  • disqus_6O5KPibRBP

    look very moist! I would love to sink my teeth into one of those!

  • Colleen

    These look amazing. Thanks for sharing the tip for doubling in a 9 x 13 pan. How long would you bake them in a larger pan?

  • liberalteapot

    I make a variation on these that are half almond frangipane, based on a bakewell pudding, they always go down a treat.

  • JanetFCTC

    These look amazing. I can imagine the wonderful variations using other berries too. YUM!

  • I LOVE the look of these! Perfect for spring, too!

  • I have been really enjoying your site. These look flipping delish!

  • Tracy

    Pie bars sound much easier for parties and such. Caroline is lucky to have you as a mom!

  • Now I can’t wait until our berries that grow in the backyard are ready…it will be a long wait now that I will be dreaming about this recipe~

  • My 6 yr old niece is a berry lover as well. Thanks for this recipe, Annie.
    judy w.

  • bwinkler

    I just made these with blueberries tonight, and added sliced almonds to the topping. So delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

  • annieseats

    I would maybe increase the baking time by a few minutes, but not much more than that. Enjoy!

  • Oh, man. These look SO good. I’ll have to find some good blackberries at the market this weekend for this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • Made these for trauma ICU co-workers and they were a huge hit with doctors and nurses alike!

  • Colleen

    Absolutely fantastic! I actually used the recipe as is with a 13×9 pan (didn’t read closely when prepping) and they came out great and a decent thickness. So tasty!

  • Tina

    I made these last night for a dinner party along with two other desserts, and these were the start of the night! Everyone kept raving about the blackberry bars. Thank you so much for a delicious and easy dessert.

  • bigbearswife

    Blackberries are quickly becoming one of my favorite fruits. this would be perfect for me.

  • As soon as you say “buttery, crumbly crust”, I’m in :) Love these!

  • Tutu

    Hi! Just wondering, but would you know if this would be good to ship in the mail for about 3-4 days? :)

  • annieseats

    I personally do not think it would be a good idea to ship these.

  • Melody Sowden

    I made these and they are delicious! I made them in a 9×13 pan it worked out very well.

  • katy

    i just baked these, and they smelled so wonderful that i couldn’t wait for them to cool before i tried them. my kids are going to be seriously disappointed if they all get eaten hot tonight before they get to taste them.

  • beth

    made these last night. They were really good. Looking forward to trying them with raspberries and blueberries.

  • disqus_6O5KPibRBP

    These bars were awesome. That’s all I have to say.

  • Made these today, so yummy! I used orange zest because I forgot to buy a lemon – still delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  • Diane

    I made these for a family/friend get together and they were seriously the star of the desserts! Everyone kept commenting about them, even my husband who doesn’t really like berries and pretty much always prefers chocolate. I used a triple berry mix I get from Costco (blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries) and it turned out fantastic! Thanks for the recipe! I love your blog!

  • greenspade

    just made these today. i made some substitutions based on what i had on hand so i used frozen cherries instead of blackberries and i used orange juice and zest instead of lemon juice and zest. these were so easy to make! the crust is tender and easy to cut and the contrast of the colors with the dark cherries against the light crust is visually stunning. these will be served with a dollop of whipped cream – i can’t wait to see their happy faces. thanks for another terrific recipe, annie! your recipes are so reliable =D

  • NRS

    Annie, were you able lift the bars out with the foil sling or did you have to cut them in the pan? Thanks!

  • annieseats

    I think I had to cut a few in the pan to get it started and then was able to lift them out.

  • Served these yesterday for my son’s first communion party and wow! Thank you for this great recipe!!

  • Annie

    I made these yesterday, and they’re the kind of dessert that you just can’t stop eating. We LOVE these bars, and will be making them again and again. Thanks, Annie!!

  • Tarah

    Made these twice….both to rave reviews.

  • Diane

    These were fabulous! I substituted raspberries because I prefer the lemon raspberry combination more. They are even better on the second day!

  • Guest

    I made these today. All I can say is SCRUMPTIOUSLY DELICIOUS!!!!!

  • Guest

    I made these today. Simply scrumptious and easy to make.

  • Vera White

    Baking these right now. Made with freshly-picked blackberries.

  • Ya

    Oh Yummy! Gonna to make these but with maraschino cherries since we cannot find berries in this part of the world. Hope it will come out well.

  • Ya

    I made this today and it was awsome. Only alternative I did was I used sultanas and cherries since I did not have blackberries. Thanks Annie for your great recipes.

  • Maggie

    Adding strawberries and blackberries is amazing!

  • Jennifer Humiston

    What is with the flour in the filling? Its crossed out in the ingredient list but still in the instructions. Do you use it or not?

  • annieseats

    Hi Jennifer,
    If flour appears crossed off to you, it’s because you clicked on that ingredient. It’s a function of my recipes meant for cooking, so you can cross out ingredients after you have used them. Enjoy!

  • Lara Langeneckert

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it in both 9×9 and 9×13 pans, and it works equally well; I personally prefer a thinner bar, so I choose 9×13 when I make them now. It seems to work beautifully with one pound (more or less) of any fruit. This weekend, I made it with pears. I added about 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to the crust and substituted 1/2 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats for 1/2 cup of flour. If I did it again, I’d just add the oats instead of subbing (to make for a thicker crust), but they turned out deliciously chewy and fall-flavored. I’d definitely try with apples, or maybe a mix of apples and pears, possibly adding some cranberries as well. Thanks again for such a flexible recipe, Annie!

  • disqus_6O5KPibRBP

    I’ve made these and loved them! Do you know how well these freeze? Thanks!

  • annieseats

    I haven’t frozen them but I think they would probably freeze well. Glad you enjoyed them!

  • rinfinn

    I just made these the other day and they are so so so good! Thanks so much for the recipe!