Lemon Blackberry Bars

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | June 14th, 2023 | Desserts, Recipes
When I originally published this recipe, the world was pretty different, and it was only four years ago. My daughter and I do live far apart from each other, but neither is what I was thinking then. Currently, I am in Lexington, Kentucky, and she is in Phoenix, Arizona. However, when we get together we do still like to cook and bake. You can take the girls out of New Hampshire, but you can’t take their passions.

The original post

When your kids follow in your footsteps and enjoy cooking, it’s a fine commonality to have. My college-aged daughter often sends recipes to me, and I do the same with her. I am not sure how many we sent back and forth during the last school year with the intention of making them this summer. There definitely were quite a few.

With her working locally and living at home this summer, we had a decent amount of time to try a good amount. However, between each of our work schedules, travel plans, and social commitments, we probably didn’t make as many as I would have estimated. In fact, as we approached the middle of the month mark for August, I realized we needed to cram another recipe or two into our summer. So, we began to discuss dessert. What was it she would like?

Her request was simple- something lemon-y, tart yet sweet. I definitely could get behind that idea. I love the yin and yang of most food pairings, so tart and sweet work for me. I’ve made all sorts of lemon creations: scones, cookies, biscotti, and more. Now it was time to make something brand new!

Citrus and berries- Mmmmm. . .

With lots of berries available currently and the natural affinity berries and lemons have for pairing, such as Tuesday’s Lemon Raspberry Tiramisu, that seemed like a good angle to take for a new recipe. From there it was easy to think of these bars, which really are quite different from my basic Lemon Squares. The addition of oatmeal in the crust and the different recipe for the lemon filling combine to make a whole new treat.

So, here we are in the last week of August. As this article publishes, my daughter’s back at school, ready for her senior year. Our recipe sending should begin again in the coming weeks, as each of us find recipes that we think the other will enjoy as much as we do.

I’d say that this year I’ll do a better job of storing these recipes in one place for us to cook. However, she’s a senior planning her post-college life. If her plans work out, next summer she’ll be in a new place, starting her career. Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t start a recipe file for us. We can save those for mom and daughter weekends in the future.

Lemon Blackberry Bars

Michele Pesula Kuegler

3 words- tart, sweet, & satisfying

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 42 minutes
Cooling time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours

Course Dessert

Servings 20



  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter chilled
  • 1-1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 6 ounces blackberries



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray sides only of 13×9 baking pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, and both sugars
  • Cut butter into small pieces, and add to flour mixture.
  • Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in butter until it is the size of peas.
  • Add the oats and vanilla and stir well.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of your baking pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • While the crust is baking, mix together the condensed milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and egg yolks.
  • Remove crust from oven; pour lemon mixture over the crust.
  • Sprinkle blackberries over the lemon mixture; press down gently to cover.
  • Bake for an additional 20-22 minutes. (Lemon mixture should feel firm to the touch.)
  • Let cool completely, then refrigerate.
  • Optional: before serving, sprinkle each slice with powdered sugar.

Keyword lemon bars, lemon blackberry bars, lemon dessert
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