Creamy Lemon Triangles

When I first saw this recipe in the June 2008 Every Day Food, I said “Ah Ha, Every Day Food! You are not fooling me!” I knew right away that the “creamy lemon bar” was really key lime pie made with lemons instead of lime in bar cookie form. It was brilliant, of course, like many of the things in that magazine, but I put the recipe aside and waited for a day when I was really craving citrus but too lazy to deal with pie. That, of course, was today.

What’s great about Every Day Food’s Creamy Lemon Bars is they can be served as a bar, which is how my friend Joe served them, or as an elegant dessert, which is how I did it in this photo. To serve in elegant dessert form, just line the pan as directed below, lift the bars when chilled, cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into a triangle. Serve with fresh whipped cream and berries.

My only complaint is, and if you’ve never met a key lime pie you didn’t like you can ignore this, the bars have that distinct chalky flavor of key lime (or in this case, lemon) pie made with lots of condensed milk. They’re still good, but the chalkiness is kind of annoyance. Adding the whipped cream and fruit balanced things out a bit.

lemon triangle

Creamy Lemon Triangles (Adapted from Culinary in the Desert)

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large egg yolks
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest (Joe & I both added this)
Whipped cream and fresh seasonal berries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.

Cream butter, sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add flour and stir just until mixed. Press dough into bottom, going all the way to edges, of lined pan. Prick the dough with a fork and bake for 15-18 minutes.

Whisk yolks, condensed milk, lemon juice and zest until well combined. Remove the baking pan from the oven and pour the filling over the hot crust – place back into the oven and bake until filling is set, about 22 to 28 minutes. Remove and cool completely.

Place the pan into the refrigerator and chill until firm, about 2 hours. Grasp foil, lift from pan, slice bars into quarters, then slice each quarter into a triangle to make 8 triangles. Serve with whipped cream and fresh seasonal berries.

Makes 8.

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  1. Heidi says

    Anna – I don’t suppose you’ve ever made wacky/depression/crazy cake as a 2-layer cake? If anyone has, let me know!

  2. Joanna says

    yummy i love lemon desserts! we’ve been out of ALL citrus fruits in my house for the past 2 days though. we went grocery shopping yesterday, and of course, we totally forgot any lemons or limes. i was looking for lemon juice substitutes for this mac and cheese recipe i made today, and i ended up subbing vinegar for the lemon juice. can u imagine if i tried that for these bars? haha that doesn’t sound too good.

  3. says

    This looks great! I will have to try these soon. I too get those little cravings for citrus and usually make lemon bars. But I may have to sub it out for these, they look yummy!

  4. Carole R. says


    Cookie Madness and Culinary in the Desert are my two favorite blogs. I am surprised that uou don’t adapt more from one another.

  5. says

    How cool to see one of Joe’s recipes here. I read his blog also. I think I must have clicked a link from your blog. These sound yummy!

  6. says

    I have never made Lemon squares by myself (always with my friend who is a lemon lover). These look so creamy, unlike the shockingly yellow ones I am used to! MMMM good!

  7. says

    I just wanted to stop by and say that it was great to meet you at BlogHer conference this year. San Francisco was so much fun. I do hope we get to meet again in the future.

    And this recipe? Mouthwatering. definitely need to make these.

  8. rachel says

    I love lemon..and this does look creamy..but when you mentioned the chalky flavour…got me thinking/…

  9. says

    I’ve don’t think I’ve never noticed that chalky texture when using sweetened condensed milk, but I guess I never really thought about it! I love the triangle look!

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