Blood Orange Crumble Bars

blood orange crumble bars sliced into squares

I’m squeezing every last delicious drop out of blood orange season with these Blood Orange Crumble Bars ~  the sweet tart filling is layered into a buttery shortbread crumble dough and what comes out of the oven is nothing short of awesome.


Blood Orange Crumble Bars celebrate winter citrus season

I love my crumble bar collection ~ it’s constantly expanding. The basic recipe is tried and true, and I guarantee it won’t let you down. I may have made a lot of them, but every single recipe that I’ve developed around this shortbread crumble dough has been unique and wonderful in its own way. Sometimes I vary the dough itself by changing up the type of flour, like my whole wheat marmalade bars, or by adding oats (white peach bars) adding spices (pear crumble bars) and sometimes nuts. Other times, I’ll change out the filling. This one gets its special personality from my fabulous Blood Orange Jam*. If you make up a batch of the jam now, you can freeze it and enjoy these bars any time you like.

*No worries if you don’t want to make homemade jam, just use your favorite commercial version. Any type of citrus jam or marmalade works great in this recipe.

Blood Orange Crumble Bars ~ tangy blood orange jam sandwiched in between a crumbly vanilla laced shortbread dough ~

The flavor of blood oranges is almost indescribable…

  • It’s like a delicate combination of tangerine and raspberry, with a hint of floral.
  • Blood oranges look just like regular oranges until you cut into them. The flesh is a gorgeous crimson red.
  • Blood oranges are only available during the winter season, so look for them in your produce section from December to April.
  • Blood oranges make wonderful juice, and cocktails!

That wonderful flavor is intensified when the fruit is cooked down into a jam, and it makes these bars really zingy. If you can’t make or find blood orange jam, you can often find blood orange marmalade, which would be a good substitute. If you’ve got tangerines or clementines you can make a wonderful jam with those, too, see my recipe for Clementine Jam.


Blood Orange Crumble Bars drizzled with glaze

What you’ll need for blood orange bars:

  • butter ~ I always bake with unsalted butter, but if all you have is salted, just leave out the extra salt in the recipe.
  • sugar ~ granulated.
  • flour ~ all purpose, although you can experiment with whole grains, adding in some oat flour, or using a good gluten free baking mix.
  • vanilla extract ~ the best you can find, quality matters here.
  • salt
  • jam for filling ~ this recipe calls for homemade jam but store bought will do fine.

The combination of vanilla and citrus in these Blood Orange Crumble Bars is really delicious ~ I hope you give them a try!

Making Blood Orange Shortbread Crumble Bars

How to use the same dough for the bottom crust AND top crumble

  • Once mixed, the basic shortbread dough will be moist and crumbly.
  • Visually divide the dough into a 2/3 side and a 1/3 side. Don’t stress, this doesn’t have to be exact.
  • Take the 2/3 part and crumble it with your finger evenly across the bottom of your pan.
  • With floured fingers gently press the dough out until it covers the whole bottom. If you don’t have quite enough, steal a little more from the remaining dough in the bowl.
  • After the filling goes down, it’s time for the crumble top. Take the remaining dough and create lumpy crumbles with your fingers as you drop it down over the filling. It’s ok if the topping doesn’t cover everything, that’s the point. You’re going to want some of the filling to peep through as it bakes.

Blood Orange Shortbread Crumble Bars with a knife on parchment paper

We adore blood oranges…

blood orange shortbread bars

blood orange crumble square
4.42 from 17 votes

Blood Orange Crumble Bars

I'm squeezing every last delicious drop out of blood orange season with these Blood Orange Crumble Bars ~  the sweet tart filling is layered into a buttery shortbread crumble dough and what comes out of the oven is nothing short of awesome.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 12 bars
Calories 342kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour


  • 1 cup Blood Orange Jam recipe HERE

optional glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • milk or cream to thin


  • Set oven to 350F. Lightly spray and line a 9x9 square baking pan with parchment paper with long ends so that you can lift the cooled bars out for easier cutting. This is optional.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until well combined and fluffy.
  • Blend in the salt and vanilla. Add the flour gradually and mix until just combined. There should be no more dry flour left, but the mixture will be crumbly.
  • Take approximately 2/3 of the dough and pat it into the bottom of the pan. I like to drop crumbles of the dough all over the bottom to distribute it before I start patting it down, this helps get the bottom covered evenly.
  • Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Using your fingertips, crumble the remaining dough over the jam.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the bars are just starting to turn golden.
  • If you are glazing the bars, let them cool completely before glazing.
  • To make the glaze, whisk the sugar and vanilla with enough milk or cream to get a glaze consistency. Drizzle liberally over the cooled bars.

Cook's notes

  • Normally I love my bars with a glaze of some sort, but with these I found I preferred them without.
  • Store these bars at room temperature covered loosely in foil.  Plastic wrap will make them damp.


Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 513IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Varun Sharma
    January 31, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    4 stars
    Orange crumble bars recipe is looks so yum and tasty.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2017 at 9:12 am

    5 stars
    I made the jam last week. My bars stuck to the parchment paper,( maybe too much jam) so it didn’t look like yours. But the taste was fantastic. I served it out of the pan (cut away some parchment) just scooped it with a big spoon. Definitely a winner. Thank you. Will try the tangerine bar next. Keep up the good work.

    • Reply
      March 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks Joan! It sounds like maybe there was too much jam, but I’m glad it worked out for you 🙂

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    February 14, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    5 stars
    We love crumble bars and the blood orange jam puts them over the top! I bet the flavor is to die for! Thanks for another great recipe Sue.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    I’m a huge fan of crumble bars—and I must put these blood orange gems on my baking list. Gorgeous!!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    February 9, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Crumb bars are my weakness and these look divine – love that pretty vanilla bean drizzle too!

  • Reply
    February 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    They look SO good, Sue! I think this would be my favorite way to use of blood orange jam 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    February 9, 2017 at 6:09 am

    I finally got my hands on some blood oranges, so these will be made in my kitchen soon!

    • Reply
      February 9, 2017 at 7:18 am

      I can’t wait to see what you come up with Jennifer!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Blood oranges taste really good, indeed 🙂

    • Reply
      February 9, 2017 at 7:19 am

      So hard to describe, though, right?

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    February 8, 2017 at 11:39 am

    These are crumble bar perfection! What I wouldn’t give for one or two of those right now. Your crumble top looks amazing! Pinning and sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      February 8, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks Tricia ~ we portioned them out one at a time for breakfast…sheer heaven!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    February 8, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I can never resist crumble bars! These look heavenly with homemade blood orange jam.

    • Reply
      February 8, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Clearly I can’t either, I think I have about a gazillion recipes for them on the blog… 😉

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    February 8, 2017 at 9:07 am

    You’ve got my mouth watering once again! These bars look amazing, and I know exactly what to do with my blood orange marmalade!

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