These lemon blueberry bars are made with condensed milk, fresh blueberries, and a graham cracker crust. Blueberry lemon bars are the perfect easy dessert!
This post is sponsored by Klarbrunn.
Lemon Blueberry Bars
You guys – how stunning are these bars!? The best news is that they are super foolproof.
In other words, if you’re like me and think cheesecakes are kind of intimidating (oh my word – the dreaded cheesecake cracks are the worst!), then you’ll love these bars.
These beautiful little lemon bars are sure to make you look like a total baking pro.
Better yet, they don’t need any fancy equipment and they only need to bake for a total of 25 minutes (that’s including prebaking the crust)!
These dessert bars are heavier on the lemon flavor with pops of delicious blueberry flavor. To get the best flavor balance, I highly recommend having one of these bars with an ice cold can of Klarbrunn’s Blueberry Passion Fruit Sparkling Water.
Packed with a delicious blueberry flavor, Klarbrunn’s Blueberry Passion Fruit Sparkling Water complements these lemon blueberry bars perfectly.
Have you tried their water yet? You can find out where to buy Klarbrunn’s sparkling water here.
Condensed Milk Dessert Bars
I opted to use condensed sweetened milk for these bars instead of cream cheese for a couple of reasons.
First, by using condensed milk it’s a recipe that’s easy to mix by hand without any special equipment (like a hand or stand mixer).
Second, I needed the filling to be packed with flavor, but stay relatively thin. That’s because the blueberries have to get out of the oven quickly or they will burst.
By using condensed milk I was able to make a delicious, easy, fast, and decadent dessert.
I prefer these bars with a graham cracker crust, but there are a few other options.
The first option is to use shortbread cookie crumbs. This creates a dense, rich, and buttery crust.
The second option is for all the readers in the UK and some parts of Canada. If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs, simply pulse digestive biscuits in a food processor to make the perfect base for your bars.
Blueberry Lemon Bar Ideas
Here are just a few ways that you could adapt this recipe based on your preferences:
- Swirl in lemon curd or blueberry jam.
- Make an oatmeal crust.
- Add a crumble or streusel topping.
- Try a coconut crust for a summery flavor profile.
- Swap the blueberries for raspberries.
Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Bars
You might be wondering – can I make these bars gluten free? The answer is: Definitely, yes!
I tested the bars both ways, and here are my tips to make the perfect gluten free graham cracker crust.
Mix in 1 Tablespoon of psyllium husk with the graham cracker crumbs before adding the melted butter. It gives a lot of binding power to the gluten free graham cracker crumbs and mimics the binding power of gluten.
Let the crust rest for 10 minutes after you’ve pressed it down, but before you bake it. The gluten free graham cracker crumbs aren’t as absorbent as the gluten ones, so they need a few minutes for the butter to fully incorporate.
How to Make Vegan Blueberry Lemon Bars
This is a very easy recipe to adapt to be plant-based. Here are the swaps you’d need to make.
- Make sure the graham cracker crumbs you use are vegan.
- Swap the butter in the crust for plant-based butter.
- Use condensed sweetened coconut milk instead of condensed sweetened milk.
- Replace the egg yolk with an additional ½ Tablespoon of cornstarch.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need a couple of ingredients and a couple of tools for this easy dessert to turn out perfectly.
The ingredients you’ll need are cornstarch and sweetened condensed milk. The cornstarch binds the dessert together, and the sweetened condensed milk is the base ingredient for the filling that provides all of the sweetness, creaminess, and flavor.
There are two tools you’ll need. The first is a 9×9 baking dish (I recommend using a good quality metal one). The second is a large mixing bowl (I prefer using an extra large mixing bowl because it’s been a game changer in my kitchen and comes in handy all the time).
- 1 cup graham crackers crumbs (certified gluten free if necessary*, 150 g)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (52 g)
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter (72 g, melted)
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 10.5 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- Zest of one lemon
- ⅔ cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 300 F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. It should be a sandy consistency.
- Line a 9x9 dish with parchment paper. It helps to leave excess parchment paper hanging over the edges - these act as a handle to pull the dessert out later. It also helps to add a bit of fat to the dish before adding the parchment paper (butter or oil) - it holds the parchment paper in place. Add the graham cracker crust mixture to the dish and firmly press into an even layer.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then allow to cool while you make the filling.
- After removing the crust from the oven, turn the temperature up to 350 F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch. Mix until the cornstarch is fully dissolved.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolk, stir until fully incorporated and the mixture is starting to thicken.
- Gently fold in the lemon zest and blueberries.
- Spread the mixture evenly over the crust, making sure to spread the blueberries out across the crust.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the center is just set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator. Chill for a minimum of one hour, but 2-3 hours is best.
The measurement for the graham cracker crumbs is different depending on whether you buy premade crumbs or crush your own from graham crackers. To reach the 150 g, you’ll need roughly 1 cup of premade graham cracker crumbs or roughly 1 ½ cups if you’re crushing your own crumbs from full graham cracker sheets.
This recipe calls for ½ cup fresh lemon juice, and creates a tart lemon filling. I love it this way and think it balances perfectly with the sweetness of the crust. If you don’t want yours to have a tart flavor, only use ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice. If you’re using Meyer lemons, don’t reduce the amount of lemon juice.
Don’t overcook the blueberries. The short baking time is very important, and you want to get the blueberries out of the oven before they burst. If the blueberries burst it completely changes the aesthetic of the dessert. It will still be delicious, but it will have a much more rustic look.
Along those same lines - if you don’t want any visible blueberry streaks along the edges of this dessert, you have to be careful when cutting the bars. Use a larger knife and press it straight down (rather than dragging it to cut). You’ll also need to wash the knife after each cut (a little tedious, I know, but the end results are beautiful and so worth it).
If you make this gluten free, use certified gluten free graham crackers crumbs and stir in 1 Tablespoon of psyllium husk before adding in the melted butter.
Serving Size:1 bar (1/16 recipe)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 6.6gSaturated Fat: 3.5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 27.3mgSodium: 81.3mgCarbohydrates: 22.1gNet Carbohydrates: 21.6gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 16.5gProtein: 2.4g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
If you try this recipe, please let me know what you thought in the comments or on Instagram! @keytomylime #keytomylime
Be sure to pin this recipe for later!
The next time you’re craving an amazing dessert with bright citrus flavors and fresh blueberries, try these lemon blueberry bars!