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”

Comment Pages 1 2
  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!).


  45. Pingback: 36 Fabulous Recipes for Summer | Brown Eyed Baker

  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.


  49. Pingback: Pumpkin Pie Bars | Brown Eyed Baker

  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.


Comment Pages 1 2

Leave a Comment

(Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for your patience! If it is your first time commenting you may want to review the Comment Guidelines.)