Citrus desserts are simply refreshing. These blueberry lemon bars are not only quick to whip up, but will also disappear just as quickly with its lemony filling and crunchy top.
Last week we attended a little elementary school graduation party for my daughter and her posse of dear friends, girls she has been friends with since preschool and kindergarten. These girls are still sweethearts and their families have become wonderful friends to my family.
As we enter the dreaded middle school years for our girls, I know I have these fabulous moms to lean on. To celebrate this pivotal moment in these girls’ lives, I brought some blueberry lemon bars to share.
Why this recipe is so awesome
This is my go-to dessert that I know will be devoured by everyone. My aunt gave me this recipe first, and I have adapted it over the years. And they never last long when I bake up a tray of these lemon bars.
The crust is a buttery shortbread and it holds the coveted sweet and sour lemony filling. Unlike other soft jelly-like lemon bars, these bars have a crunchy crust on top. I usually serve these as plain lemon bars, but have recently begun adding blueberries to them.
Lemon and blueberry are a magical combination!
But most importantly, these lemon bars are super easy to whip up. You only need is one mixing bowl and silicone spoon to mix everything. No fancy equipment necessary.
It is so easy, my daughter and her friends made these themselves at my cooking camp.
Ingredients you need
- Lemon juice and grated zest: You need fresh lemons to make these lemon bars. You could use bottled lemon juice but the zest is super crucial for the lemony flavor.
- Blueberries: I usually use fresh blueberries, but you can use frozen. Just thaw the frozen berries and discard the liquid. You can also use raspberries or blackberries.
- Powdered sugar: We like to dust our final lemon bars with powdered sugar. This is totally optional.
- Melted butter: Although I prefer to bake with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, this is one of those recipes where butter reigns supreme. The shortbread crust tastes so much better with butter!
- Pantry staples: All purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder
1. In a medium-size bowl mix together flour, melted butter and sugar.
2. Press dough evenly into a greased 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned.
3. While the crust is baking, whisk together in the same bowl sugar, eggs, lemon juice and zest until smooth.
4. Stir in flour and baking powder until combined, then pour this mixture over the baked crust.
5. Sprinkle fresh blueberries over the lemony batter.
6. Bake at 350ºF for additional 20-25 minutes, or until top has lightly browned. A crunchy crust will form – that’s ok. That’s what makes these lemon bars so special!
8. Dust top of the bars with powdered sugar. Cut bars in the pan while still warm, but do not remove from pan until fully cooled.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQS
Just like my daughter’s milestones, my baking has evolved. But these lemon bars remain in my arsenal when I need a quick dessert that I know my guests will love.
Some people swear by Meyer lemons. I have made lemon bars with all varieties of lemons and they turned out fantastic. I’ve also made these with Bearss limes. Another family favorite are my kumquat bars.
Unlike the classic jiggly lemon bar, these bars have a crispy crust on top of the lemon filling. You did not make a mistake. This is the way the recipe is supposed to turn out and what makes this lemon bars so unique.
You can keep the lemon bars in a sealed container at room temperature for a couple of days, but they will last longer in the refrigerator. When stored in a sealed container, lemon bars should last about 5 days in the refrigerator.
- 2 ½ cups + 2 TBS all purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 3 TBS lemon juice
- 1 lemon, grated zest only
- 5 oz fresh blueberries
- 2 TBS powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan and set aside.
- In a medium-size bowl mix together 2 cups flour, 1 cup melted butter and ¼ cup sugar.
- Press dough evenly into prepared 9" x 13" baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned.
- In the same bowl as the shortbread crust was mixed, whisk together 2 cups sugar, eggs, lemon juice and zest until smooth.
- Stir in ½ cup + 2TBS flour and baking powder until fully combined.
- Pour over freshly baked crust.
- Sprinkle fresh blueberries over the lemony batter.
- Bake for an additional 25 minutes. The top will be lightly browned and that's ok.
- Cut bars in the pan while still warm, but do not remove from pan until fully cooled.
- Just before serving, dust top of the bars with powdered sugar.
You can make these lemon bars plain without berries or top with raspberries, blueberries or blackberries.
Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 42mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 3g
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