Berry Buttermilk Bars

These berry buttermilk bars are the perfect dish to bring to that summer potluck. Their tangy flavor is bright and cheerful, and they feed a crowd. You can use any combination of berries you like - I usually use a mix of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.


Berry Buttermilk Bars

Yield: 16 servings 

Total cook time: 1 1/2 hours


Shortbread Base

  • Granulated Sugar: 1/2 cup (105g)
  • Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature): 1 cup (2 sticks)
  • Flour: 2 cups (280g)
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon (4g)
  • Lemon Zest: 1/2 teaspoon

Berry Buttermilk Filling

  • Assortment of Fresh Berries: 18 oz (about 3 cups)
  • Lemon Zest: 1 tablespoon
  • Granulated Sugar: 1 cup (210g) + 2 teaspoons
  • Eggs (Large): 4
  • Flour: 4 tablespoons
  • Lemon Juice: 2/3 cup (150ml)
  • Vanilla Extract: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Buttermilk: 1 cup (250ml)
  • Powdered Sugar: For dusting


A Few Notes:

  • You can also make this in an 8x8 square pan, just cut everything in half.
  • Don't have buttermilk on hand? You can make your own! Add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to your cup of whole milk and let it sit out on the counter for 10 minutes.
  • I like these best served straight from the fridge!


Pairs Well With:

*Special equipment: 9x13 baking pan

The How To (Shortbread Base):

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Line the pan with a length of parchment paper (the paper should extend up over the short sides, so you can easily lift the bars out of the pan). Butter the parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Reduce the speed to low, then add the flour, salt, and lemon zest. Run the machine until the mixture forms a cohesive dough. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan (plus 1/4 inch up the sides!)  Bake at 350 degrees until golden, 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.

The How To (Berry Buttermilk Filling):

While the base is in the oven, start your filling! In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until combined. Whisk in the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and buttermilk. Add the flour, then stir until thoroughly incorporated (there should be no visible streaks of flour!). 

Pour filling onto prepared base. Arrange the berries evenly on the top, then sprinkle with the reserved 2 teaspoons of sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until set. Let cool completely on a wire rack (you can put it in the fridge to hurry this along). When completely cool, cut into rectangles (I ended up with 21 approximately 3"x 1-3/4" rectangles) and dust with powdered sugar.

Keeps in the fridge for up to a week.