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Sweet summer berries layered on top of a buttery cookie crust make up these delicious Mixed Berry Crumble Bars. Impossible to resist, each bite is fresh, bright, and perfect for summer.
Fresh and sweet summer dessert bars
I adore fresh berries in the summertime. A handful of ‘em makes for a great snack and they really add something special to a glass of Blueberry Lemonade and a sliced Galette for Two. You can’t go wrong with a colorful and bright berry medley in meals, snacks, or even desserts.
In this recipe for Mixed Berry Crumble Bars, I’m making summer berries the star of the show! A medley of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries atop a buttery cookie crust will delight your friends and family at any party or celebration. It’s also one of the easiest make-ahead dessert bar recipes to save on time and stress!
The rich buttery base and sweet berry crumble on this summer dessert are sure to please adults and kids alike. Serve the bars with some Sweet Cream Ice Cream on top for an easy to serve and satisfying summer dessert!
Berry bar ingredients
This party-ready dessert is made with a cookie crumble crust and a tart berry filling. Each element comes together easily using pantry staple ingredients:
Cookie crumble and crust
This cookie crust is made with simple ingredients and tastes just like a shortbread cookie. A lot of crumble bar recipes use oatmeal, cinnamon, or nuts in the crust which can give the bars a warm/autumn vibe. Instead, I wanted mine to taste light and bright for summer.
Made with flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla, the firm crust will hold the berry layer and while a reserved portion is crumbled on top. The end result is a sweet, buttery, crisp, and delicate dessert!
I used a mix of fresh blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Fresh, seasonal berries will always give you the best flavor, but you can make the bars with frozen berries if you prefer. Just don’t thaw the frozen berries beforehand and use only 1 tablespoon of raspberry liqueur so the filling doesn’t have too much liquid.
You can make crumble bars with any medley of berries you like! Use only one type, add some strawberries or cherries into the mix, or follow the recipe to a tee. Whichever you decide, just make sure the amount of berries you use matches the ratio in the recipe.
The sweet filling
Mixing the berries in a bowl with cornstarch before layering them on the crust will thicken the juices released from the berries as they bake. It’s a crucial ingredient and will prevent your dessert bars from becoming soggy.
Lemon zest, sugar, salt, and raspberry liqueur (like Chambord) mixed into the berry filling will add some extra depth to the bars. These help to brighten and sweeten the filling and give it a nice balance.
How to make mixed berry dessert bars
This dessert is easier to make than a pie but still more exciting than a batch of cookies. Here’s how it’s done, step by step:
Step 1: Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter.
Step 2: Cut the butter into the flour until the dough is crumbly.
Step 3: Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
Step 4: Press all but 1 cup of the dough into your prepared pan.
Step 5: Make the berry filling by mixing the berries with cornstarch, liqueur, sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Pour the filling and the leftover cup of dough over the crust in the pan.
Step 6: Lastly, bake the cookie bars on the bottom rack of the oven until the filling is bubbly and the topping is lightly browned.
Can I make them ahead of time?
Yes! You can whip these up three days ahead of time and keep them in a sealed container at room temperature. To keep them longer, store the bars in an airtight container or wrapped in the baking dish in the fridge. This will keep them firm and fresh.
It's time for some berry goodness!
Okay, friend! It's your turn to bake up a batch of this berry-packed dessert. When you do, leave a comment below so we can hear how much you and your party guests love them!
Mixed Berry Crumble Bars
- parchment paper
- dry measuring cups and spoons
- 9-inch square baking pan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups raspberries
- 1 ½ cups blackberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a 9-inch by 9-inch metal baking pan with parchment letting the parchment hang over two opposite sides of the pan. Spray the parchment with nonstick cooking spray, especially on the sides of the pan.
To Make the Crust
- Whisk flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
- Mix in butter and cut it in with your fingertips until the butter is covered in flour and the size of peas.
- Add in egg and vanilla extract until combined, but still crumbly.
- Transfer all but 1 cup of loosely packed dough into the parchment-lined baking pan. Firmly press the dough into an even layer in the pan.
- Whisk cornstarch, sugar, lemon zest and salt together in a large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to coat.
- Pour the berry mixture onto the dough and spread into an even layer.
- Crumble the reserved dough over the berries.
- Bake on the bottom rack of the oven until the filling is bubbly and the topping is lightly browned, about 45 minutes minutes.
- Allow bars to cool for 1 hour and pop into the fridge for 1 hour to make them easier to cut. Cut into bars and serve.