Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bars

Whisking Wolf
by Whisking Wolf
8 servings
50 min

Sweet and tart and crafted from scratch these Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bars are a lemon lover’s dream. This refreshing treat features a thick, tangy curd bursting with fresh blueberries piled atop a buttery shortbread cookie crust. It’s simple, delicious and the showstopper dessert for your next party.

If instigating was a superpower my sister would be wearing a cape, living in a lair and plotting to piss people off on a daily basis. Instead, she does her evil plotting from the comfort of her home.

The cape and lair are aspirational.

The girl has a sixth sense for knowing what gets on a person’s nerves then poking those nerves with the verbal equivalent of a barbed wire wrapped stick. You’ll just have to take my word that it’s as unpleasant as it sounds.

Strong suit or character flaw, whatever you call it, my sister loves stirring the proverbial pot. Compared to her, I’m the polar opposite. I like to keep my pot stirring contained to the kitchen, but the cruel reality is that I have yet to master this most basic of cooking tasks.

Consequently, I shouldn’t be allowed near a stove unsupervised.

Today my pot of spaghetti was at a full boil when I decided to give it a quick stir. With a wooden spoon in my hand I did a quarter rotation before realizing my thumb was submerged in scalding water.

Herein lies the paradox of my life: I can handmake pasta like my Italian grandmother taught me but I cannot boil it without requiring 1200 milligrams of ibuprofen and a roll of medical gauze.

With my skin as bubbly as 212 degree water, it put the kibosh on any plans to make thumbprint cookies. In the meantime, I considered my options. Going on a crime spree sounded tempting. Now that one of my fingerprints was nonexistent it reduced my chances of getting caught. On the other hand, I could remain a law abiding citizen and make a dessert that didn’t require repeatedly shoving my singed thumb into dough.

I flipped a coin. George Washington’s head told me to stay home and bake so I’m benching my felonious notions and making something so easy it should be illegal: lemon blueberry shortbread bars.

If you have two bowls and ten minutes then that’s all you need to prep the best lemon bars you’ve ever tasted. They start with a soft shortbread cookie crust that’s layered with a luscious lemon curd then finished with fresh, juicy blueberries that bust with every bite. What’s more, this classic summer dessert pairs well with parties and picnics. In fact, it even pairs well with my sister and that rarity makes this recipe a keeper.

Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bars
Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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Shortbread crust
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour unbleached
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar packed
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla pure
  • 1 pinch sea salt fine
Lemon curd filling
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour unbleached
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Shortbread crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line an 8 x 8 glass pan with parchment paper. Leave an overhang of paper for ease of removal.
Pulse crust ingredients in a food processor until a soft dough forms.
Press shortbread dough into the bottom of glass pan using your fingers until packed evenly.
Bake for 12 minutes then cool in pan on a wire rack.
Lemon curd filling
Whisk eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla in a bowl until combined.
Add sifted flour and whisk until combined and smooth.
Pour lemon filling over warm, pre-baked crust.
Sprinkle blueberries on top of filling. 
Bake 25 to 30 minutes until filling is just set and slightly jiggly.
Cool at room temperature for 1 hour then refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
Serve plain or with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Fresh blueberries take lemon bars from plain to perfection. Frozen can be substituted in a pinch but consider yourself warned that they won’t be as plump and juicy.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must for this recipe. Given that, go buy a lemon, cut the lemon, juice the lemon and you’re done. It’s minimal effort and so much better than the pre-squeezed crap at the store.
  • Sift flour before adding to the lemon curd mixture then whisk like crazy to avoid clumps.
  • Bake lemon blueberry shortbread bars in a glass pan. A ceramic pan may work in a pinch but do not use metal.
  • If your oven runs hot, test your lemon blueberry bars for doneness a few minutes earlier than the suggested baking time to avoid overcooking.
Whisking Wolf
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  • Cry Baby Cry Baby on Oct 18, 2020

    One question, are we using the entire egg or just the yolks?

  • Sharon Sharon on Nov 14, 2020

    Is it possible to make this gluten free using either almond flour or gluten free four and could you replace sugar with monk fruit or stevia. Thank you would like to make this for a friend that has celiac disease

    • Whisking Wolf Whisking Wolf on Nov 14, 2020

      Hi Sharon.

      Although I've never tested this recipe with gluten free flour it would be an acceptable substitute for all-purpose at a 1:1 ratio. The sugar substitutes give me a bit of hesitation as monk fruit is sweeter than sugar and swapping stevia has an effect on moisture. If you choose monk fruit, I'd suggest only using 1/2 cup at most. Or, if you're able to do a blend with dietary restrictions, try 1/2 a cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of stevia.

      Hope that helps!