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Blackberry Jam Shortbread Bars

I’ve been all about simple this summer. Simple salads. Simple dinners. Simple appetizers. And simple desserts. When life is busy and family time is in demand, simple is best. This is one of those simple desserts… one with a simple crust and a simple topping, but also simply one of the most delicious desserts I’ve had in a long time: Blackberry Jam Shortbread Bars.

I brought these to a family barbecue last weekend, and it’s a good thing I did. They were the hands-down favorite of all the desserts at the barbecue. Completely addicting, I must say.

The buttery shortbread bakes up so crisp and crumbly.

The blackberry jam is sweet and smooth and the perfect accompaniment. You don’t even miss the fact that you’re not actually eating any fresh blackberries. I could seriously dive into that ribbon of blackberry right there.

A very light dusting of powdered sugar tops it all off.ย  Just a little bit more sweet on top of all that buttery goodness.

Most importantly, these are incredibly delicious little dessert bars. And even more important than that- they are simple to make… which is nice for the folks who don’t want to cook… or don’t like to cook… or don’t have time to cook. You can put these together rather quickly and you’ll end up with something so nice and impressive to share. Simply good.

Yield: 15 large or 30 small bars

Prep Time: 25 min + chill time

Cook Time: 50 min

Blackberry Jam Shortbread Bars

Talk about a surprise dessert... I brought these to a family barbecue and they were a major hit. We all loved them.


1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup almond flour or very finely ground almonds
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups seedless Blackberry Jam
powdered sugar, for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.

2. Prepare shortbread: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine butter and sugars; beat until creamy. Add vanilla and salt and beat until well combined. Beat the almond flour and the all-purpose flour into the butter mixture on low speed, just until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so. Press the other half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan to form the bottom crust.

3. Bake the crust until it is just beginning to turn light brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Place jam into a bowl and stir very well until it is nice and smooth. Spread the jam evenly over the partially baked crust. Crumble the refrigerated shortbread dough over the jam to form a crumbled topping. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking until the topping is firm and crisp and golden in color, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before cutting into bars.


*Almond flour is sold in a bag (I always buy Bob's Red Mill brand). Ask your market if they carry it.
*If you can find a jar of Smucker's brand seedless Blackberry Jam- 18 ounces- it is the perfect size for this recipe.
*Substitute raspberry or apricot jam if you wish to change up the flavors.
*The bars will keep in a covered container at room temperature for about 1 week. Or keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Source: (adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey)

66 Responses to “Blackberry Jam Shortbread Bars”

  1. postedAug 11, 2011 4:04 AM

    These look FABULOUS Lori!

  2. postedAug 11, 2011 4:10 AM

    Lori these look sooo good!

    I love the overhead shot too. I can SEE the sugar crystals. Love it!

  3. postedAug 11, 2011 4:38 AM

    These look delicious! Great recipe.

  4. postedAug 11, 2011 6:59 AM
    The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    Um YES PLEASE. We looooove shortbread and the blackberry jam sounds amazing! Perfect for summer..!

  5. postedAug 11, 2011 7:05 AM

    What a great combination! This is perfect timing. I have some leftover blackberry jam from last year that needs to be used up, since I’m in the process of canning more. It would be a fun gift to give this recipe along with a jar of homemade jam. Can’t wait to try this!

  6. postedAug 11, 2011 7:59 AM

    shortbread fruit bars are amazing. Aren’t they?

    I love simplifying too. makes life so much for enjoyable. :) although it is fun to spice it up every once in awhile.

  7. postedAug 11, 2011 8:09 AM

    I’ve been wanting to make desserts all summer, but most of my favorites have been too complicated with a one year old and five year old running around. With this recipe, I won’t have to worry about the time! Thanks!

  8. postedAug 11, 2011 8:16 AM

    Please and thank you and I die.

  9. postedAug 11, 2011 9:56 AM

    Mmmm I am in total fruit bar craving mode now!

  10. postedAug 11, 2011 10:40 AM

    These are gorgeous! Perfect for a bbq :)

  11. postedAug 11, 2011 11:51 AM

    I love the look of these, just delicious.

  12. postedAug 11, 2011 12:14 PM

    That looks soo delish Lori!! Bet it melts in mouth sort of decadence :)

  13. postedAug 11, 2011 5:55 PM
    Amanda L. (Tales fro

    These look delicious! I love shortbread bars!

  14. postedAug 11, 2011 5:56 PM
    Amanda L. (Tales from a Kitchen Misfit)

    I love shortbread bars! These look wonderful!

  15. postedAug 12, 2011 12:35 AM

    Simple really is best, and when they turn out as delicious as something that could have taken hours to make its just so satisfying :) these certainly look like they fall into that category! I have everything needed to make these awesome looking treats (although not blackberry ones I fear, definitely need to invest in some blackberry jam!) Gorgeous recipe, thanks :)

  16. postedAug 12, 2011 4:22 AM

    Could I use flour in place of the almond flour, or will the texture be all wrong? Is there a non-nut replacement?

    • August 12th, 2011 @ 4:31 PM

      I’ve consulted some baking folks, and they tell me that you could try subbing 3/4 cup all-purpose flour for the almond flour (so eliminate the almond flour entirely and then add 3/4 cup additional ap flour PLUS a Tablespoon or two of additional sugar). I have not tried this method, but it’s worth a shot. Good luck!

  17. postedAug 12, 2011 4:56 AM

    Fantastic clicks!
    The shortbread bars look very tempting.

  18. postedAug 12, 2011 7:45 AM

    I love the simplicity of this recipe. Shortbread and jam. Yum!

  19. postedAug 12, 2011 11:53 AM

    These look great! I love shortbread…and with blackberries? Perfect!

  20. postedAug 12, 2011 3:51 PM

    I can practically taste them. Love that this recipe is cornstarch-free.

  21. postedAug 12, 2011 5:59 PM

    Oh my. These dooo look scrumptious!!! I must share this with all my friends who’ve been busy putting up blackberry jam….after I try it myself ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. postedAug 12, 2011 8:20 PM

    These look great and I love the shortbread. Sure hope that mine turn out as good as yours. Great recipe Lori!!

  23. postedAug 14, 2011 6:44 AM

    made them yesterday morning. didn’t have blackberry jam, so I used half blueberry preserves and half rasberry. Came out wonderful. didn’t even cool totally and my friends and I finished half. not much left of it today. very easy and quick to make. thank you

    • August 14th, 2011 @ 10:15 PM

      Mmmm, sounds like a great combination!

  24. postedAug 15, 2011 6:58 PM

    These were delicious, but the bottom crust stuck to the pan really horribly. Don’t know if I would bake again because of this. I did not use the almond flour, but increased the regular flour and added some ground pecans. Seemed to be the right consistency, and I sprayed the pan beforehand.

    • August 15th, 2011 @ 7:47 PM

      Hmmm, must have been the changes you made. I did not have any problems at all with the crust sticking to the pan. They came out very cleanly!

  25. postedAug 16, 2011 1:03 PM

    Just finished making some. Husband and daughter could not stop eating them!

  26. postedAug 16, 2011 3:54 PM

    Yum. I love jam and shortbread. I may need a lockbox if I make up a whole pan… or like you, a barbecue to share them :) I am definitely trying these! Thanks, Lori!

  27. postedAug 17, 2011 12:52 PM

    I made these last night for a work party. Everyone loved them and my son was so sad I was taking them to work!! I followed the directions exactly except I did subsitute the 3/4 cup almond flour for 3/4 cup regular all purpose flour. I did not add extra sugar. they were perfect! Came off the pan nicely. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It is one I will use repeatedly and try different jams!

  28. postedAug 17, 2011 1:01 PM

    Oh, I have a similar recipe on my blog and it is AMAZING. You just reminded me that i haven’t made these yet this summer. I must fix that! :)

  29. postedAug 17, 2011 4:10 PM

    Absolutely want these! They look fantastic.

  30. postedAug 18, 2011 7:57 AM

    I like the simplicity. Did you make them when you were at the beach in Cape Cod?

    • August 18th, 2011 @ 7:58 AM

      No, I made them when I came home… for a family bbq. Everyone enjoyed!

  31. postedAug 22, 2011 1:11 PM

    I tried these bars and they are drop dead tasty! I did substitue the almond flour with all purpose flour along with 2 T. of sugar – they will be a big hit at card night here! If my husband doesn’t eat them all before Wednesday! Thanks for your wonderful website and your delicious recipes. I check it everyday – L

  32. postedAug 23, 2011 4:54 PM

    Amazing Lori. They look so comforting and delicious.

  33. postedAug 24, 2011 12:49 PM

    These sound totally amazing! Can’t wait to try ๐Ÿ˜€

  34. postedAug 24, 2011 12:58 PM

    I am all set to make these for our end of the season Pool Party on Labor day. Can’t wait!!!

  35. postedSep 6, 2011 7:59 PM

    I have now made this recipe 8 times in the past 3 weeks. Every single time, rave reviews and nothing left. In fact, my husband requested these for his birthday yesterday, even though I had made a batch the day before for a BBQ. So delicious – and I’ve used up a lot of the jam I canned in the summer. In the event you are wondering, tastes equally great with peach or nectarine jam!

    • September 8th, 2011 @ 6:03 AM

      Wow, so great to hear!

  36. postedNov 5, 2011 5:18 PM

    I could not find almond flour, so I bought some almonds and put them in my food processor to grind them up. Has anyone else tried this? I am just now reading the reviews and wondering if I should just try using all-purpose flour instead. From what I’ve read, no one tried using ground almonds instead of actual almond flour. Now I’m nervous!!! :)

    Having started combining ingredients yet. Debating…. hmmm….

    • November 5th, 2011 @ 5:28 PM

      Almond “flour” is essentially finely ground almonds, so you should be okay with your ground almonds as long as they are finely ground.

  37. postedNov 6, 2011 12:54 PM

    Lori, I finely ground my almonds in my food processor and the end result was wonderful. I’m sure it’s tasty with just using only all-purpose flour as well, but I really think the hint of nut flavor from the almonds adds a really nice flavor. Thanks for a wonderful recipe! Can’t wait to share this with my family and friends! :)

  38. postedJan 14, 2012 9:10 AM

    Never thought I would say this, but these are too buttery/sweet for me. Delicious, yes, but the 3 sticks of butter says it all.

  39. postedJan 31, 2012 11:33 AM

    Gotta try these they look so good!!!

  40. postedFeb 7, 2012 4:51 PM

    Made these today for a play date and they turned out delicious! I used strawberry jam (because that’s what I had on hand) and ground my own almonds for the almond flour. They had a yummy butter flavor and the crumble and jam combo is sooo tasty. Any jam would be fabulous in these. I halved the recipe and had no problems. The kids and adults alike gobbled them up.


  41. postedMar 23, 2012 8:40 PM

    I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a while and now I’m ready to try it. Do you think using whole wheat flour in place of the almond flour would work? And then adding a little almond extract?

    • March 26th, 2012 @ 5:18 PM

      No! Almond flour isn’t a “typical” flour (it’s just ground almonds), and therefore you can not use other flours interchangeably. Stick w/ the almond flour/meal on this one.

  42. postedMar 26, 2012 8:43 PM

    Thanks so much for your reply! I nearly blew it! I will search out the almond flour or grind some almonds..I know it will be worth it!!!

  43. postedMar 29, 2012 1:40 PM

    Just took these out of the oven. I did modify them a bit as I went along. Delicious. I used plum jam, halved the recipe, ground my own $2.99 bag of slivered almonds since almond flour is $12.00 here for a small bag!, used salted butter, added an extra 1/8 tsp of salt, and added 1/2 tsp of lemon juice to the jam. They bottom crust is on the verge of being too buttery, but that won’t stop anyone from eating them!

  44. postedJun 7, 2012 1:53 PM
    Bill Bandhu

    Just made these and they look amazing! Can’t wait to taste!

  45. postedJul 3, 2012 4:45 PM

    The best! I took these to a bridal shower and they were a hit!

  46. postedOct 18, 2012 8:01 AM

    Hi, i’m a novice baker who has only recently gained an interest in baking. This recipe looks delicious to me and i would love to try it; one problem i have with everything i have tried is transferring from pan to cooling rack. I was wondering if you could give me any tips on how to do it smoothly with the recipe before i try it?

    • October 18th, 2012 @ 9:33 PM

      The pan sits on a wire rack, then you cut into bars inside the pan :)

  47. postedDec 10, 2012 9:52 AM

    Can gluten free all purpose flour be used instead of regular all purpose flour?

    • December 10th, 2012 @ 1:37 PM

      I’ve not tried it with GF flour, so I’m not sure.

  48. postedApr 14, 2013 7:26 AM

    If I wanted to swap out the almond flour due to a nut allergy, could I just increase the normal flour? Or could you suggest an alternative please? Thanks so much :-)

    • April 16th, 2013 @ 7:43 AM

      I don’t think so… it would probably be best to find another type of shortbread crust recipe to sub.

  49. postedNov 26, 2013 1:28 PM
    Kathleen Doyle

    The shortbread crust is heavenly! I didn’t have any almonds or almond flour so I ground up walnuts instead. I think I would use a little bit more jam to get a thicker layer and cut the crust amount by a third- just my personal preference. But the flavors are divine! Thank you for a yummy recipe!

  50. postedNov 27, 2013 4:21 AM

    i am allergic to almonds.. what substitute can i use instead of almond flour.. thank you kindly

    • November 27th, 2013 @ 6:45 AM

      It would probably best for you to find a different shortbread recipe then since this one especially utilizes the almond flour.

  51. postedDec 12, 2013 7:19 AM
    Sarah Jane Jenkins

    These were AMAZING! I used black Currant jam and everyone was very impressed. They seemed so fancy but were not that hard at all!

  52. postedAug 4, 2014 2:57 PM

    Can I substitute the almond flour with coconut flour?

    • August 5th, 2014 @ 7:45 PM

      I’m not really familiar with that substitution, so I’m not sure.

  53. postedOct 25, 2014 12:06 PM

    Thank you for the nice recipe.

  54. postedNov 12, 2015 2:16 AM

    Thanks so much for this recipe – I am not a great baker and these turned out awesome!

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