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Gluten Free Blueberry Bars with Crumb Topping

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Small batch gluten free blueberry crumb bars combine a bright blueberry filling with an incredibly soft sugar cookie base.  Made with a flavorful almond flour blend, the dough is used for the base and crumb topping and is delicately sweetened to allow the gooey blueberries to be the star.  This is an easy dessert bar recipe that fits right into spring and summer baking!

Three perfectly stacked gooey blueberry gluten free crumble bars on a blue plate.

 Gluten Free Blueberry bars with crumb topping

We have blueberry muffins and blueberry donuts – now we need a blueberry bar.  I love that dessert bars are like two treats in one – a gooey fruit filling and a buttery soft cookie.  That is these bars.

Like all my recipes, this is a small batch recipe that makes about 6 bars – depending on how big you cut your slices.  And you can always get creative on the shape you cut your bars.  No rigid rules on that because they will taste just as good in the end!

You’ll Love These Bars Because …

  • Tons of fresh blueberry flavor – The thick blueberry filling layer pays tribute to the bright and sweet berry.  
  • Soft sugar cookie base – The base of these blueberry crumb bars is incredibly soft and delicately sweet.  Which allows the blueberry filling to shine.
  • Easy – I love these bars because  you don’t have to cook down the blueberries first.  A simple mix of the dough for the base is really all the prep work needed.
  • Great for spring or summerSpring and summer desserts almost require fresh berries.  Whether it is these blueberry bars, or a mini lemon blueberry upside down cake, each celebrate the seasonal fruit.
  • They don’t taste gluten free! – A goal for all my gluten free recipes is to make sure you can’t tell they are made gluten free.  And a large part of that is the almond flour blend I use – which is flavorful
Gooey blueberry filling on a side view of a gluten free blueberry crumble bar.

All That You Need To Make The Blueberry Gluten Free Bars

Ingredients

  • Blueberries – My preference is always fresh so you get the vibrant flavor.  Otherwise, frozen will work if they are thawed and drained.
  • Almond Flour – I recommend blanched almond flour because is ground finer and without the almond skins.  The almond flour is what add structure, tenderness, and flavor to the blueberry crumb bar base.
  • Arrowroot Flour – When combined with almond flour, arrowroot makes the flour mix incredibly soft and give the bars a slight chew.
  • Salt – Salt is wonderful at balancing and enhancing flavors.
  • Unsalted Butter – I prefer unsalted (room temperature) butter because I like to control the salt myself.
  • Powdered Sugar – The powdered sugar is what keeps the bar base soft.  Much like the softness of my pecan snowball cookies and soft matcha cookies.  
  • Vanilla Extract – For a little extra flavor in the cookies and filling.
  • Lemon – We use lemon juice and zest in the blueberry filling.  Because blueberry and lemon go together wonderfully – just like a summer blueberry lemonade!  I recommend an organic lemon since we use the zest.

Baking Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Hand Held Mixer – You can use your hand mixer, but the stand mixer will also work for these matcha cookies.  See the notes in the recipe for the special small batch mixing bowl I use with my stand mixer.
  • 6-Inch Cake Pan with Parchment Paper – You can also use a 6-inch round cake pan to make bar wedges, or 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Tips For Blueberry crumb Bar Success

  • Use fresh berries – I say this with all my fruit recipes so you get the most vibrant flavor.  
  • Bring the butter to room temperature – This will make mixing the dough easier, and the bars will bake more evenly.
  • Chill the dough for a few minutes – This allows the flavors to develop in the dough.  I suppose it isn’t required, but I like to recommend it, especially when working with gluten free doughs.
  • For a thicker bar base, reserve less dough for the topping – I tend to make my bars slightly thicker.  If you do to, reduce the reserve for crumb topping by 1 to 2 tablespoons.
  • Cool the bars in the pan – This allows the blueberry filling to cool and set.  Otherwise, if you try to take the bars out of the pan warm, the filling may ooze out everywhere.
  • Cool the bars completely before enjoying – I say this for almost all my gluten free recipes because I find gluten free bakes just taste better when they are cool.
  • Dollop with some whipped cream – How about a little blueberry whipped coconut cream to amp up the blueberry?!
Two blueberry crumble bars with gooey blueberry filling stacked on a table.
Blueberry crumble bar close up on a table.

FAQ’S: Gluten Free Blueberry Crumb Bars

Can this recipe be doubled to make a larger batch?

I have not tested it, but I think it would work fine. I would recommend an 8 inch pan if you double the recipe.

Will a 1:1 gluten free flour mix work instead?

I can’t say for certain. I find the cup for cup mixes to be drier than my almond flour blend. Chances are you may need to adjust other ingredients to get a good flavor and texture.

Can I use a different fruit like strawberry, blackberry, or even cherry to make a crumb bar?

You sure can! I already have a cranberry gingerbread bar and cranberry pecan bar recipe. For any larger berry (or fruit), I would recommend cutting them into large pieces before baking so the filling gets bubbly, but still has fruit chunks.

Do I have to chill the dough before baking it?

I recommend a few minutes in the fridge before baking to give the dough time to hydrate and develop flavor. Though you can certainly skip this step if you must.

Can I freeze the dough?

Yes. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then slide into a Ziploc. Freeze for 2 to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator. You may need to bring the dough to room temp to make it pliable enough to fit into the pan.

Can I freeze the baked bars?

Yes. I would wrap the bars individually – so they don’t stick together – then place the wrapped bars in a Ziploc. Freeze for 2 to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator.

Gluten free blueberry crumble bars in a short stack on a small wooden plate on a table.
Three perfectly stacked gooey blueberry gluten free crumble bars on a blue plate.
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5 from 3 reviews

Gluten Free Blueberry Crumb Bars

Yield: 6 Bars
GF
Small batch gluten free blueberry crumb bars combine a bright blueberry filling with an incredibly soft sugar cookie base.  Made with a flavorful almond flour blend, the dough is use for the base and crumb topping and is delicately sweetened to allow the gooey blueberries to be the star.  This is an easy dessert bar recipe that fits right into spring and summer baking!
Prep30 minutes
Cook40 minutes
Chill15 minutes
Total1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients
 

Gluten Free Crumb Bars

Blueberry Filling

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon tapioca flour (or cornstarch)
  • pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Gluten Free Crumb Bars

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
  • Line a 6-inch square cake pan with parchment paper – Cut two strips of parchment to fit the sides of the pan, and long enough to hang over the sides. Line the pan with the paper strips crossed. This creates a sling to lift the bars out of the pan. Lightly grease any exposed areas of the pan, so the bars don't stick.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot flour, and salt.
    1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon blanched almond flour, 6 tablespoons arrowroot flour, ½ teaspoon salt
  • In a medium mixing bowl using a hand held mixer, or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Note see the Notes below for using the stand mixer.
    5 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In increments, sprinkle the dry ingredients over the butter mixture and beat on low speed until all of the flour has been added. Once all the flour is added, turn the speed up to medium and beat until all the flour is incorporated, no dry streaks remain, and a moistened dough forms. Note – The dough will seem dry as you're adding and mixing in the flour, but continue to mix and a dough will form.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the crumb dough for the topping. Refrigerate until ready to use. Press the remaining dough into the prepared pan using your fingertips or a small measuring cup to pack tightly and into all corners. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to allow the dough to hydrate and develop flavor. Note – If you prefer a thicker bar base, reserve a little less dough for the crumb topping.
  • Pre-bake the crumb base for 15 minutes, or until the top looks light golden brown. While the base is baking, prepare the blueberry filling.

Blueberry Filling

  • In a small mixing bowl, add the blueberries, lemon juice and zest (if using), tapioca flour, salt, and vanilla extract. Toss well to combine and fully coat the blueberries. Set aside at room temperature. Note1 small lemon will be enough to get the juice and zest. I recommend an organic lemon because we are using the zest.
    1 cup fresh blueberries, ¼ teaspoon lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon lemon zest, ½ teaspoon tapioca flour, pinch salt, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Once the crumb base is done pre-baking, keep the oven on, and set on a wire cooling rack. Spoon the blueberry filling over the top of the base – you do not need to let the base cool because it is going right back into the oven. Drizzle any remaining liquid over the top of the blueberries.
  • Sprinkle the reserved crumb dough over the top of the blueberry filling. Bake the bars for an additional 40 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the blueberry filling is bubbling.
  • Cool the bars completely in the pan set on a wire cooling rack. Once cool, carefully lift the bars out of the pan and cut into desired slices. Enjoy!
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RECIPE NOTES

  • Serving Size – This is a small batch recipe and tested as a small batch.  I can’t say for certain how doubling the recipe will work.  However, I would recommend at least an 8-inch baking pan for a larger batch.
  • Baking Pans – You can also use a 6-inch round cake pan to make bar wedges, or 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • Using A Stand Mixer – You can use a standard mixer with attachments with a smaller 3-quart mixing bowl.  The standard size mixing bowl will just smear the ingredients along the side of the bowl.
  • Lemon Juice and Zest – Both are entirely optional, but do add a nice vibrancy to the filling.  I recommend using an organic lemon since we use the zest.
  • Bar Base Thickness – You can bake a thicker bar base if you prefer.  Just reserve a little less dough for the crumble topping.  
  • Ingredient Swaps – I have only tested the recipe as written.  However, you can swap in tapioca or cornstarch in the bar base and filling.
  • Freezing The Dough – The dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.  Shape into a disc, wrap tightly, and freeze.  Thaw in the refrigerator.
  • Freezing Baked Bars – Baked bars can be frozen for up to 2 months.  Wrap tightly, freeze, thaw in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature when ready to serve. 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

NUTRITION ESTIMATES

Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 334IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
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about the author ...

I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!

I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you! Click here to learn more about me!

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