Blueberry Cream Cheese Bars are layered dessert bars with a toasted pecan crust, whipped cream plus cream cheese filling, and a topping made with fresh blueberries.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Bars
This blueberry cream cheese bar recipe is a copycat recipe of Magnolia Bakery’s Blueberry Jamboree. The bakery first opened in New York in 1996 and is known for classic American baked goods. Since that time, the bakery has expanded to locations worldwide. These copycat Blueberry Jamboree dessert bars give you a creamy and nutty bite with a blueberry topping.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Bars Ingredients
There are three important (and delicious) parts to this recipe–the blueberry topping, nutty crust, and cream cheese filling. Here are a few reminders about some of the ingredients needed.
Blueberries: I prefer fresh blueberries for this recipe, but you could also use frozen berries.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is mixed with cold water to make a slurry. This is added to the blueberry mixture to thicken it up. (If you add cornstarch directly to the hot mixture, the sauce will be clumpy.)
Lemon Zest: Be sure to wash the lemon well before zesting.
Pecans: To make the recipe easier, buy pecans that have already been finely chopped. Otherwise, use a food processor to chop the nuts. If you don’t have a food processor, a pastry cutter works well for softer nuts, like pecans. Or, an apple cutter could also be used.
Heavy Cream: Also known as heavy whipping cream, heavy cream contains 36-40% fat. The cream is the dairy that supplements the cream cheese, giving the cheesecake filling a smoother texture.
Cream Cheese: Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature.
How to Make Blueberry Topping
You will need to make the blueberry topping for these bars first. The sauce will have to chill in the refrigerator as you prepare the other two layers. To make the topping for the blueberry cream cheese bars, first, add 2 cups of blueberries and both sugars to a large saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the sugars have dissolved. (The blueberries will pop as they heat; that is okay!)
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water. Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir until the mixture has thickened. Then, mix in the lemon zest. Finally, remove the pan from the heat and fold in the remaining blueberries. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to let cool for a few minutes before putting it in the refrigerator to chill completely.
How to Make the Crust
While the blueberry topping is chilling, it’s time to make the crust. First, toast the pecans. To toast the pecans, add the chopped pecans to a skillet over medium heat. Toast the nuts until browned and fragrant, stirring frequently. This will only take a few minutes. Remove the skillet from heat to let the pecans cool a bit.
When ready, combine the melted butter, flour, and toasted pecans in a medium bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake the crust for 15 minutes at 325°F. Remove from the oven and let the crust come to room temperature before making and adding the whipped cream and cream cheese filling.
How to Make Blueberry Cream Cheese Bars
The final step in making these bars is to make the whipped cream and cream cheese filling. To make the filling, first, make the homemade whipped topping. To make the whipped topping:
- Don’t aim for “stiff peaks”. You want the whipped cream to keep its shape and be soft, billowing peaks.
- Wait until peaks start to form before adding in the confectioners’ sugar. I much prefer confectioners sugar in this recipe, as it dissolves entirely and leaves a smooth texture. If you choose to use granulated sugar be sure to add it immediately at the beginning and whip it with the cream.
Once you have the whipped topping made, set it aside and add the softened cream cheese to a separate bowl. Beat the cream cheese until it is creamy. Then, gently fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese.
Finally, pour the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust and top with the chilled blueberry mixture. Let the bars chill in the refrigerator for about an hour before cutting and serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- 3½ cups fresh blueberries, divided
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ⅛ cup (25g) brown sugar
- 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1½ tablespoons water
- ¾ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup (110g) toasted pecans, finely chopped
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups (220g) sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
Preheat oven to 325°F and line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 cups of blueberries, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Blueberries will start to pop as they heat, this is normal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until the cornstarch is dissolved.
Pour the cornstarch mixture into the blueberries and stir until thickened.
Add the lemon zest. Stir to combine.
Remove from heat and fold in the remaining blueberries.
Pour the blueberry mixture into a separate bowl. Allow it to cool a few minutes before transferring the bowl to the refrigerator to chill as you make the crust and filling.
To toast the pecans, add them to a medium skillet over medium heat. Toast until browned and fragrant, stirring frequently (3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.
When ready, in a medium bowl, combine melted butter, flour, and toasted pecans.
Press into the bottom of the prepared 9×13-inch baking dish.
Bake 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
Add heavy cream to a mixing bowl. Start mixing at the lowest speed, and then gradually increase speed to medium until the cream starts to get thicker. (The gradual progression prevents you from spraying yourself with cream.)
When the cream starts to thicken, stop the mixer. Slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar and then resume mixing again, starting with low speed and increasing to medium speed, and eventually moving to a high speed. The cream will thicken and start to peak.
In a separate large bowl, add cream cheese and beat until creamy.
Gently fold the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust.
Top with cooled blueberry mixture.
Chill in the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.