blackberry crumb bars

I have a confession to make: I’m not much of a pie lover. I love the berry filling of a good pie, but I always seem to pick around the crust – it’s just not my thing. I do love shortbread though, so a crumb bar with a vanilla-sugar shortbread crust and a blackberry filling that rivals the best berry pie I’ve ever eaten is my thing.

Bursting with succulent berries (tossed in Chambord because, well, why not?!), these bars are the ultimate taste of summer. Fresh from the oven, the fruit layer is especially jammy, though I’d never pass up a chilled square either. Since I’m in confession mode, I admit that I found myself enjoying buttery crumb morsels straight from the refrigerator. All I need is a reason to make another batch!

Blackberry Crumb Bars
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Crust & Crumbs
2/3 cup vanilla-sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp Chambord
1/3 cup vanilla-sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
4 cups fresh blackberries

For the vanilla-sugar, pulse sugar and vanilla in a food processor until combined.

Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. For the crust and crumbs, whisk together vanila-sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter and egg with a pastry cutter until dough is moist and crumbly. Press 2/3 of the dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish. Toss remaining dough with almonds and water until large crumbs form; set aside.

To prepare filling, stir together Chambord, vanilla-sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl; add blackberries and toss gently to coat. Spoon blackberry mixture evenly over crust, then sprinkle remaining dough over the berry layer. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden. Cool bars completely in pan on a wire rack, then chill dish in the freezer for 10 minutes to make cutting easier. Cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Yield – 20 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 165
Carbs – 24

Subscribe for email posts and never miss a new recipe!


  1. says

    These bars sound wonderful, I love blackberries and tossed with the Chambord, wow! I think they look and sound like a perfect way to enjoy a dessert made with blackberries;-)

  2. says

    Ooh these look so good! The crust is still my favorite part of pie, but this filling looks good enough to eat on its own! YUM!

  3. says

    I’m bookmarking this recipe!!!! I love crumb bars – especially when vanilla shortbread is involved! I want to lick my screen now, Laura. As usual, your pastries are delightful and delicious! Love that pewter-like platter as well! I have a similar one :)

  4. says

    I so agree with the pie crust. My mother makes the best but it’s not my thing either. BUT I love the fillings. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. says

    I am the opposite…i like to eat the crust of pies…hehe. I fidn their texture and slight crunch very appealing! But these bars look divine and i don’t think i will be missing my pie crust too much :)

  6. says

    We must be on the same wavelength, I just made some blueberry crumb bars yesterday! 😀 These bars are stunning!! I love the creative ways you find to incorporate Chambord into your recipes.

  7. says

    I love your crumb bars, Laura. I’m still thinking of your apricot ones actually. :) I bet these would be just as good.

    Love the tray! I was on ebay last night looking for the perfect vintage silver tray to use on the blog but yours looks like an heirloom. :)

  8. says

    This reminds me of happy times on our childhood farm, gathering blackberries along the country lanes. We would arrive home with the baskets and bellies full and black stained mouths. They were usually baked into a great country-style pie by our mother. A great trip down memory lane.

  9. says

    Laura, I swear I think we are on the same wave length in our baking and eating. I had pinned a similar recipe for these bars and was planning to make them with boysenberries! I love berry anything and these bars look fabulous, I can’t wait to try them out!

  10. says

    I always leave a bit of the crust as well – but never the filling. Always eat the filling. What a lovely looking bar. I love cooking with blackberries. What a yummy treat! xx

  11. says

    You ALWAYS make delicious desserts and I don’t know how you don’t lose your control over eating your DELICIOUS desserts… I’ve been so jealous about your desserts you’ve been making and I truly wish that we live nearby. 😀 Well, I’m not too picky about what kind of desserts – I love pies, bars, everything, but not so much cake person (unless it’s from a famous bakery or something)… I’ve been especially enjoying your desserts with fresh fruits!

  12. says

    Such a lush summer recipe! Blackberries are at peak harvest now and this sweet vanilla laced, crumb topped bar would be an irresistible dessert to celebrate the joyful time of summer harvest.

  13. says

    Mmm, the rich colours of the fruit make me long for autumn… the hedgerows will be bursting with wonderful blackberries, just ready for the picking. I’m gonna make sure I go early this year to get a good haul before everyone else steals them all :(

  14. says

    I’m the same way with pie…love the filling, but could skip the crust. I’d much rather eat one of your crumb bars…especially since they’re made with blackberries, mmmmmmmm.

  15. Lora @cakeduchess says

    Your tray is so pretty and your bars are wonderful. I bet the flavor of the blackberries in the chambord is divine. I would probably get distracted and just eat the berries;)

  16. says

    Beautiful photos! they look very enticing and I love the taste of ripe blackberries in the summer. These look exceptionally appealing.

  17. says

    I love pie crust, but I love crumble topping just as much. The blackberries added to the crumb topping sound so delicious. Plus, bars are much more convenient eating than pies, right?! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *