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Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bars. A thick, soft shortbread crust is topped with a lemony custard, fresh blueberries and a lemon crumb topping!

Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bars

Servings 16 bars


For the shortbread crust:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup salted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the lemon crumb topping:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice powder optional or see notes for substitution
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cut into small pieces

For the filling:

  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest I used about 3 lemons for this
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

To garnish before serving:

  • Confectioner's sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9" square pan with foil, then grease or spray bottom and sides with cooking spray.
  2. Make the shortbread crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  5. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Scoop the dough into prepared pan, and using a layer of plastic wrap, press the dough evenly into the pan. (The plastic wrap will keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Lift and move the plastic wrap around as necessary to get the dough evenly pressed into the pan.)
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  8. While the crust is baking and cooling, make the crumb topping. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and lemon powder, if using.
  9. Add the cold butter pieces and, using your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until the whole mixture becomes sandy. There should be no visible pieces of butter left. It should be completely worked into the flour. You should be able to squeeze any part of the mixture and have it hold together. This will take you 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  10. Make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice until fully combined.
  11. Spread blueberries in one layer over pre-baked shortbread crust. The crust doesn't have to be completely cool. It's fine if it's just been cooling for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Pour lemon filling over blueberries and spread evenly to make sure it fills in all the spaces between the berries and fills in to the edges of the pan. Tap the pan on your work surface to release any air bubbles and to help the filling to settle into the pan.
  13. Squeeze handfuls of the crumb topping together, then break apart various sized crumbs sprinkling evenly over the top. Gently press crumbs into lemon blueberry layer with flat hands.
  14. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until it starts to get just lightly golden around the edges.
  15. Allow to completely cool. Then, refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight until chilled through and set.
  16. Use the foil to lift the bars out of the pan for cutting. I use a serrated knife to keep the crumb topping intact. Sprinkle bars with confectioner's sugar. Store bars in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

*Always remember to zest your lemons before juicing them.

*If you don't have lemon powder to add to your crumb topping but would still like that lemon flavor, just add the zest of one lemon to the topping mixture before you work in the butter.

*I baked mine about 30 minutes. I would probably push it another 5 minutes the next time.

*If you want to try a thinner crust, go ahead and cut that part of the recipe in half. To cut the egg in half, just lightly beat one egg and then take about 2 Tablespoons out for the recipe.

*I would not use an 8" square pan unless you cut the crust recipe in half.

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