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.  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.

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.

Yield: 15 large or 30 small bars

Prep Time:25 min + chill time

Cook Time:50 min


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)

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  • Leonor Murphy wrote:

    Hi Lori is it OK not to use the Allman flour ? My my husband is allergic to nuts

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      This particular recipe calls specifically for almond flour– you can “try” to sub all purpose flour, but I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t say for sure if it will work the same.

  • Ester wrote:

    Hi. Can I substitute the 3/4 cup ground almonds with 3/4 cup ground walnuts instead? Will it make a huge difference in taste/texture or…? Thanks! 🙂

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I would imagine the texture will be fine- but the taste will be much different than with almond. Your preference!

  • pam wrote:

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

  • Liz wrote:

    Thank you for the nice recipe.

  • Christine wrote:

    Can I substitute the almond flour with coconut flour?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

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

  • Sarah Jane Jenkins wrote:

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

  • Nina wrote:

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

    • Lori Lange wrote:

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

  • Kathleen Doyle wrote:

    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!

  • Nicola wrote:

    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 🙂

    • Lori Lange wrote:

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

  • carrie wrote:

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

    • Lori Lange wrote:

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

  • Harison wrote:

    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?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

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

  • Stacia wrote:

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

  • Bill Bandhu wrote:

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

  • Gloria wrote:

    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!

  • Gloria wrote:

    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!!!

  • Gloria wrote:

    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?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      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.