Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blackberry-Lime Bars

When I saw this recipe for blackberry blondies on the Baking Bites blog, I knew I had to make them, but I knew as well that I would not be content if they did not have a) some whole grains, lest they glide too lissomely down the palate, and b) a burst of lime to perk up the batter and give tang to the berries.

I tweaked the recipe twice. The first time, I cut the sugar a little, and added some lime zest and juice. The bars were fluffy, thick, and crackly on top, with a perfect appearance and mouthfeel. Despite their charms, however, I wanted to crank up the lime and crank down the sugar. The second attempt yielded a moist, succulent bar that packed a citrus punch that delighted all tasters, but at the expense of the crackly crust and chewy texture. 

Here is my best attempt at combining the two efforts. Play in this sandbox as you please: you can't go wrong with the flavors involved.

serves 12 normal or 6 gluttonous people (it is hard to eat just one piece)

meant for an 8 × 8 or 9 × 9 baking pan 


1 stick butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup sugar
shake of salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
slightly more than 1/2 cup white flour

1/2 cup oat flour (or other whole-grain flour)
1 1/2 to 2 cups blackberries

zest of one lime
juice of one lime


Preheat the oven to 350.

Grease the baking pan.

In a bowl, whisk butter and sugar until well-combined.

Beat in salt, egg, vanilla and almond extracts. 

Add zest and juice of lime.

Stir in flours and mix until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.

Fold in blackberries until they are evenly distributed.

Pour batter into baking pan and smooth gently.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until bars are set and golden-ish on top.

Place pan on a cooling rack and let cool completely before cutting. This makes 12 large bars or more smaller ones if you don't like your guests very much.


  • Using the juice of half a lime rather than one lime will yield a fluffier, chewier bar. 
  • If your lime is exceedingly juicy, you may want to add a tablespoon or two of flour to balance it out.
  • No matter what you do, these bars will be welcomed by all. The ingredients are so simple and the flavors so tantalizing, you can't go far wrong. 
  • White chocolate chips might be a nice addition. If you go for this, I'd cut the sugar down to 1/2 a cup.  


4 stars. They stay good for about a week if you keep them in an airtight container.


  1. That is NOT what they looked like, as I gazed into the bubbling mush, which looked back at me mournfully, ominously, perhaps a bit menacingly...

    1. The bubbling mush was another of the Toppled Chef's experiments.