Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars

It seems crazy to think that with over three years worth of recipes here on Brown Eyed Baker, that this the first-ever recipe for something involving blackberries. I’m seriously astonished. You’d think that I had cast them off into the land of unfit berries. Do you remember the Land of Unfit Toys from the classic Rudolph movie? Always disturbed me – they cast off  “broken” toys to some iceberg island? What kind of message does that send to kids? Anyway, off of my tangent and back to blackberries… As far as berries go they are probably my 3rd favorite behind blueberries and strawberries. But still, a 3rd favorite out of all summer fruit isn’t a bad position to be in, and they certainly deserve more space here than I have given them. These Blackberry Pie Bars are a fabulous place to start.


This is a fabulous dessert that consists of a shortbread  crust, a creamy blackberry pie filling and topped with crumbles of the same wonderful shortbread crust. The result is an almost custard-like pie filling bursting with blackerry flavor, all encompassed by a buttery shortbread crust and topping. Although I didn’t have any in the house at the time, this could only be made better with a supersized scoop of vanilla ice cream sitting on top of it. It makes for the perfect summertime dessert.

A few notes on this recipe:

♦  I like to make shortbread and pie-style crusts in the food processor, but if you don’t have one you could easily use a pastry blender, two knives or forks, or your fingers to incorporate the butter into the flour/sugar mixture. Just remember to work it as little as possible and if the butter has warmed up by the time you’re done, just pop the bowl into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so to give it another chill.

♦  The 6 cups of blackberries called for in the recipe comes out to a little less than 2 lbs of fresh blackberries. If you find it easier or more economical to use frozen fruit, substitute two 16-ounce packages of frozen blackberries, defrosted and drained.

♦  It’s important to give this the full hour to cool before slicing it; in that time the dessert finishes baking and sets up so that when you slice it the filling doesn’t ooze out all over the place and it stays together.

♦  Blackberries don’t quite do it for you? Are you more of a raspberry or blueberry fan? Substitute your favorite berry in place of the blackberries!

Blackberry Pie Bars

One year ago: Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies
Two years ago: Lighter Chicken Parmesan
Three years ago: Taco Rice Salad

Blackberry Pie Bars

Yield: 18 bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


For the Crust and Topping:
Zest of 2 lemons
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

For the Blackberry Filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
6 cups fresh blackberries


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with butter; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and the lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until all of the sugar has been moistened. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the lemon sugar, all-purpose flour and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the pieces of butter are no larger than the size of peas, about 10 to 12 pulses.

3. Measure out 1½ cups of the crumb mixture to use for the topping and put it in the refrigerator until needed. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.

4. To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust and make sure all of the blackberries are in one layer and not sitting on top of one another.

5. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling. Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.

(Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker)


108 Responses to “Blackberry Pie Bars”

  1. Amy on May 24, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Looks delicious!


  2. Eliana on May 24, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Thanks for highlighting blackberries so beautifully in this recipe. I often times get sad because they are so delicious but don’t get nearly as much love as their other berry brothers and sisters.


  3. Cookbook Queen on May 24, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I swore off blackberries as a child…my mom would send us to go pick them so she could make tarts, and it took forever in the heat to get enough!! As an adult, I have started loving them again!! This looks so good!!


  4. Maria on May 24, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Those blackberries are so plump! Love this dessert!


  5. Heather (Heather's Dish) on May 24, 2010 at 11:27 am

    my mouth is seriously watering right now…the photos are stunning and the recipe sounds like it’s to die for! you’d have to roll me out of the room if i had a pan of those babies 🙂


  6. Julia on May 24, 2010 at 11:37 am

    These look WONDERFUL!!!! I love blackberries too, in fact, they might be my third favorite berry behind strawberries and huckleberries.


  7. Jenny Flake on May 24, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Mmmmm, wish I could grab a piece through my computer!!


  8. Ana Maria on May 24, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    …You just made my day with this recipe! I have some frozen blackberries; I’ll try the recipe later this week and let you all know how it goes(today I’m baking blackberry scones!)…


  9. Jen @ How To: Simplify on May 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    These bars look absolutely beautiful! I’ll have to add them to my “to bake” list since they look so delicious!


  10. Kristen on May 24, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Blackberries grow like weeds by my in-laws (Seattle area). I need to see about stocking up when we visit this summer. Those bars sound delicious.


  11. Erin @ The Sweet Life on May 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    This is one of my go-to recipes. My husband requests it for his birthday treat, and it makes wonderful use of the pounds and pounds of blackberries I get from my MIL every summer. It’s without a doubt one of my favorite baked goods…EVER.


  12. Erin at The Healthy Apron on May 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    whoa…these look amazing!


  13. Tracy on May 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Blackberry is my favorite berry! This dessert looks heavenly!


  14. Katrina on May 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Yum! These look great. The little blackberries on top really make the photo nice 🙂


  15. dr.fine on May 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I am almost swooning just looking at this! I love blackberries and can’t wait to make this. Just by reading the recipe I know it is yummo! TFS


  16. maggy on May 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pie bar! So clever AND delicious looking. YUM!


  17. Fuji Mama on May 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    These look absolutely amazing! I love cookie bars with a shortbread base.


  18. Karla on May 24, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    These look absolutely amazing! This is going on my summer to-make list once my sister shares some of her garden’s blackberry bounty with me!!!


  19. Cookin' Canuck on May 24, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    I, for one, am glad that you posted a blackberry recipe because they are one of my favorite berries. These look fantastic!


  20. Jonesie on May 25, 2010 at 4:27 am

    After the sugar cookies I think these will be the next thing I try…I reviewed your White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies on my blog this morning check it out THANKS AGAIN!


  21. Armelle on May 25, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Yummi ! It looks sooo good ! thanks a lot for this wonderfull summer receipe !


  22. Lauren @ Crave. Indulge. Satisfy. on May 25, 2010 at 11:42 am

    This looks delicious! Blackberries are my favorite!


  23. simple hungry broke on May 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    a diet cheat-worthy recipe


  24. Heather @ (The Single Dish) on May 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I want these right now! WOW, love this recipe! I might just make it this weekend, just hope berries are on sale!


  25. Chef Dennis on May 25, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    it looks delicious!! The shortbread crust is perfect for this dessert!
    thanks for sharing!


  26. Megan on May 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Sometimes I think blackberries are the forgotten fruit. They are deep, dark and delicious. Beautiful!


  27. theUngourmet on May 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Beautiful! I adore blackberries!


  28. Jean on May 25, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I want one now! 🙂


  29. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } on May 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    These look amazing and I am sure they taste even better!


  30. C and C Dish on May 26, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Blackberries do it for me…lol These bars look wonderful!


  31. Belinda @zomppa on May 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    LOVE blackberries!!


  32. kiki on May 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    This is heavenly!


  33. norm on May 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I have to weigh in to defend the toys, they were misfits, not unfit! lol, seriously these look SO delicious!


  34. The Housewife on May 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    You’re a goddess! I love these bars..they’re so pretty! Again.. bookmarked!


  35. Magic of Spice on May 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Wow, these look so yummy:)


  36. Kim on May 27, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I made these yesterday and it is a most delicious, beautiful dessert. THANKS!!


    • Michelle on June 1st, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      So glad you liked these Kim! I’m craving more of them!


  37. bridget {bake at 350} on May 27, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Yuuuum! I love blackberries! And I feel so healthy eating them…even if it is in pie form!


  38. ivoryhut on May 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Mmm. I love shortbread crusts. This looks so delicious!


  39. Kevin (Closet Cooking) on May 29, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Those bars look so good!


  40. How To Eat A Cupcake on May 31, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Wow! This looks so refreshing and yummy! I have a blackberry bush in my front yard, so I suspect this recipe will come in handy soon! 🙂


  41. Gitte on June 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Your Blackberry Pie Bar looks so moist and delicious. Now I feel inspired to bake something with berries.


  42. Foodlvr on June 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    These look so good. Man… I want a piece. I love blackberries but not their seeds. They get stuck in my teeth. I can buy them in July at the farmers markets. I am going to save this and make a pan in July.


  43. Jeane on June 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Hiya! Well, I am eating this as I type (Be Jealous!)

    This is an excellent recipe! One of the few that actually turned out the way it looked! I made two changes, both were out of necessity though. I only had 4 containers of blackberrys and I used a soft whole wheat flour (I picked it up thinking it was all purpose white,) which worked fine. The amount of berrys worked out really well too.

    I can see this recipe being absolutely perfect with blueberry’s and even peaches! It is awesome and I am definitely making it again! Thank you, Thank You!


    • Michelle on June 18th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Jeane,

      Awesome! So glad you are enjoying these! Thanks also for the tips on the subs, and I agree that blueberries, peaches and many other fruits would be great in this recipe.


  44. AJ on June 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I wanted to bake my blackberries into something and I was originally torn between pie and cobbler but these bars were a happy medium. They were so so sooo GOOD. That lemon sugar really makes the crust/topping even better. I used two 12 oz containers and that was enough. I let the bars sit for a couple our hours to cool and set before I cut into them. I know it’s a desert but they taste great for breakfast with some milk.


    • Michelle on June 18th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      Hi AJ,

      So glad you liked these; I am also guilty of having them for breakfast (multiple days in a row!).


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  46. Rebecca on July 3, 2010 at 1:40 am

    These look amazing. Found you through the recipe roundup at How to simplify. Love your site!


  47. Colleen on July 19, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I just made this and oh, is it good!! The crust is buttery and flaky and the blackberry layer is creamy and wonderful. We used 4 cups of blackberries and 2 cups of blueberries just because that’s what we had and it was great!! Thanks for the recipe!


  48. finn on July 25, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Just got my blackberries from my “supplier” (retired blackberry picker/fisherman) Tried out this recipe last night. My crust however did not turn out “flaky”. It looked wonderful and pressed nicely but took at least 20 minutes to bake. Perhaps too much butter? Or do I need a larger pan for a thinner crust? Was also thinking of sub-ing cream cheese for the sr cream in the filling. Any thoughts? btw-i live just down the road in wv. Would love to come to your house and gorge on anything choc & peanut butter. I am also an addict.


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  50. Samantha on May 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm


    I just tried this recipe with blueberries as they were buy one get one free at the giant eagle. I have to say I loved it, my boyfriend loved it and my coworkers!! I added 1/4 cup less sugar as my berries were already really sweet.

    I wanted to ask, since you are nearby, do you know of any good farmers markets in or around the city?




    • Michelle on May 19th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Sam, This is my first year really trying to do the local thing so I haven’t been to many farmers markets, but I love Soergel’s up in Wexford – they have tons of local produce.


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  52. karmin on June 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    OMG that looks so yummy!!!


  53. Ileana Keltz on June 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    My husband requested these for Father’s day. I too love blackberries, after blueberries, they are my favorites.


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  56. julie on June 29, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I recently found your website and have become obsessed with it! It is fantastic!!! I love all the pictures. So this was my first recipe attempt and it turned out perfect! I also made home-made vanilla ice cream to go with it and WOW! Thank You!!!


  57. Appliance repairs on June 30, 2011 at 5:16 am

    These bars look absolutely beautiful! I’ll have to add them to my “to bake” list since they look so delicious!


  58. Taylor Lynn on July 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I’m going to make these today so I have them ready tomorrow for the 4th of July. Would you recommend storing them in the fridge overnight? Also, would they be best served chilled, room temperature, or warmed? Thanks for the recipe!


    • Michelle on July 6th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

      They are best chilled or at room temperature, definitely not warm. I would store them in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!


  59. Reanna on July 17, 2011 at 9:35 am


    Made these yesterday morning from some blackberries I picked up at the farmer’s market. I only had 3 cups left (oopsie, guess I ate too many…) so I cut the recipe in half, and put it in an 8 X 11. I still got 18 fairly good sized bars. I brought them along on a picnic, and got RAVE reviews! This is a recipe I’ll be making again!

    Also, I didn’t butter up the pan, and everything came out just fine. I think the crust probably has enough butter.


  60. Alicia on July 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Oh my goodness. I made these last night and brought them to work this morning. SO. GOOD. Thanks for the recipe. I did discover that you shouldn’t cover them until they are pretty well cooled. I put a lid on mine last night while they were still pretty warm and the heat created condensation on the lid which dripped down onto the bars. So, the top was kind of soggy, but still so delicious!!


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  63. fridge repair on October 3, 2011 at 1:01 am

    yum yum..I put them in the fridge for 30 mins they tasted great chilled…Must have summer treat


  64. fridge repair sydney on October 4, 2011 at 1:19 am

    yumm yumm I love all the spin off ideas others came up with to make them yummier


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  66. Callie on January 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Just now posting how delicious these were (last summer!) Kids picked fresh berries while camping and they were just awesome in these bars. thanks!!!!!


  67. Hilary M. on February 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I made these today, with raspberries instead and I didn’t have a grater thingy so I just used the lemon juice instead of zest and it still turned out amazing!! It’s so yummy! Thanks for sharing!!!


  68. Lisa Williams on March 2, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Made these last night and they were AMAZING!


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  72. Molly O'Loughlin on July 18, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Blackberries and shortbred in one gooey dessert, what could be better?!


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  75. Laura Dembowski on August 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I made these bars the other day and posted about them on my blog. They were fabulous, one of the best things I’ve made. It would be the best thing ever if you’d come take a look 🙂 Here’s the link:


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  77. CS Hearing on August 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I think I just died a little bit on the inside, omg. That looks amazing.


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  81. Sarah on February 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Hi! I’m supposed to bring a dessert to a party this week, and I’m trying to pick between this recipe or your peach crumb bar. Could you please tell me the comparisons/contrasts between the two? And was this crust harder/firmer than the other egg-filled crust? etc.


    • Michelle on February 15th, 2013 at 1:06 am

      Sarah, The biggest difference is that the peach bars are a true crumb bar – they have a fruit filling with a crumb topping. The blackberry bars have more of a custard texture – the filling is creamy. I’ll be completely honest – I don’t remember which crust was firmer.


      • Sarah on February 15th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

        Thank you so much for replying and you did help! (except maybe now I’m actually planning to make both… Hehe. The more (desserts), the merrier??). One last question. How do you think these (and conversely, the peach bars) are without the lemon? I don’t like too much tartness with my sweets, but if you feel like it’s essential to help really make these bars more complex/delicious, I’ll trust you!! And can you taste the lemon pretty well or is it just a hint or is it more than that?

        P.S. Sorry for the plethora (SAT word, hehe) of questions!


        • Michelle on February 16th, 2013 at 10:48 am

          Hi Sarah, The lemon is definitely noticeable in these blackberry bars, but not really in the peach bars. You could omit it if you don’t care for it.


          • Sarah on February 16th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

            Thanks so much for the help! I’ll tell you how they turn out. 🙂


          • Sarah on February 18th, 2013 at 12:05 am

            I just made the peach one (but used raspberries) and they were fantastic!


  82. Erin Smith on April 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I’m making these right now…there in the oven as we speak. Was the filling suppose to be thin? Mine can out really thin. I still used it. Hopefully they turn out OK. Thanks for the great recipe!


  83. Annie Harrington on April 28, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I am NOT a baker, I am NOT a natural, I am NOT known for my baked goodies at potlucks. That being said, I am now KNOWN thanks to this recipe! They were licking the pan! So, here’s the only change: In the frozen north here in NH blackberry season is about 6 minutes long so I used a bag of frozen mixed berries drained, and slightly sweetened with a little powdered sugar, and then followed your recipe exactly. Even the kids were eating this. Thanks so much. And by the way, this was a fun recipe to play with.


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  85. Mona Burnett on October 17, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Making these for a large dinner party in a couple of days but need to make the day before. Can they be left in a container on the counter or is refrigeration the best? Thank you!


    • Michelle on October 17th, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Mona, I would refrigerate them.


    • KJ Hudson on October 27th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      I’m 13 and own my own baking company, this is my best seller and is so easy to make enjoy 🙂


  86. KJ Hudson on October 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I’m 13 and own my own baking company, this is my best seller and is so easy to make enjoy 🙂


  87. maria on January 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Ugh forgot to bake the crust first and just added the filling and couldn’t do anything do u think it will turn out


    • Michelle on January 7th, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Hi Maria, The crust might end up being under baked or soft.


  88. Kiri on January 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Just made these and can barely control myself ’til it’s cooled. Used blackberries I’d picked & dehydrated this last season & threw in some blanched, crunched-up hazelnuts into the top strudel. The smell was wonderful while it baked and the filling tasted fantastic prior to baking. I made it as a tart & the filling recipe was perfect to fill the pan, as was the crust recipe. Let it bake an extra 8 minutes due to depth.


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  91. Laura Dembowski on August 1, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Just wanted to tell you I made these with cherries and loved them! Just posted on my blog and it would make my day if you’d check them out 🙂


  92. Heidelind on September 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    My first time baking with blackberries:) great success!


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  94. Alexis on December 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Hi, wondering if these are a good “make ahead” dessert? I’m baking today for Christmas eve which is 5 days away. Most of my desserts are chocolatey so a fruit based treat would be perfect!


    • Michelle on December 21st, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Alexis, I think 5 days would be a little bit of a stretch for these; I’d make them within 2 days of serving if you could.


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