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Iced Lemon Bars

by on April 5, 2011 · 14 comments

Today was a lemon bar kind of day, but I didn’t want to make the usual type and was glad to stumble across this recipe. Unlike typical lemon bars, this one has a streusel topping.

lemon bars stacked

I found the original version in one of my favorite cookbooks, The Wellesley Cookie Exchange. That book never lets me down, but I have to say these were even better than expected. The streusel layer added a new level of texture to the mix and overall, the bars reminded me of the ones I tasted last year in Minnesota which seemed have an extra layer of cake. But these were better because I could really taste the butter in the shortbread and the balance of salt was just right.

iced lemon bars

These weren’t too lemony and without any adornment on top, looked kind of plain. An opaque lemon glaze solved that problem so I included glaze in my version of the recipe. I also made these in the food processor which saved a lot of time.

lemon square

lemon bars on foil



Iced Lemon Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lemon bars with icing
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • 2 cups (252 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz (228 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups (294 grams) granulated sugar (castor sugar)
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons (31 grams) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9 inch metal pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Measure out 1 cup of crumbs and set aside.
  3. Pour remaining crumbs into prepared pan and press them down slightly (they’ll be very dry). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the filling. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl. Whisk in sugar, lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of flour and baking powder. Spread over top of baked crust. Sprinkle reserved cup of crumbs over top. Bake on center rack for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely. Lift from pan and set on a cutting board. Drizzle cooled bars with glazed (below). Let the glaze set then cut into 36 bars (or however many you want).
  6. To make the icing, melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add the sugar and stir until thick and pasty. Add the lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until smooth and a drizzling consistency. You may drizzle it onto the squares or put it in a bag, snip off the corner and pipe it on.

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Published on April 5, 2011

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanette April 5, 2011 at 10:05 pm

These look delicious! Thanks for sharing. I was just thinking about lemon cookies today and wanted to share this recipe with you. I made these and they are truly one of the best cookies I have ever tasted. Here is the link from the website where I found them. Cheers~

Cookie Sleuth April 5, 2011 at 11:05 pm

These look tasty! I was actually thinking about lemon bars this afternoon!

Katrina April 5, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I just made some cream cheese lemon bars on Saturday and saw some others on another blog today and they all look good. Tis the season for lemon! Love that these are different.

Alli April 6, 2011 at 12:07 am

So funny…I rarely make lemon bars and I literally just got home from making them at my boyfriend’s house! These look delicious.

Shannon in Canada April 6, 2011 at 4:36 am

I love lemon bars and these look lovely! I am going to make these this afternoon, and going to browse around (your site of course) for a couple other kinds of bars to make. I just found some mini pans (3×5) and am excited to try them out by making little batches of a few different things I have been wanting to try! If that makes me a total baking geek, then I am fine with that!!

Jenny W (The Housewife Project) April 6, 2011 at 6:26 am

Ok, these look really good! Now you have me craving lemon bars.

Sue April 6, 2011 at 7:25 am

I was craving lemon bars last week, but managed to get through it without making any. I love that this recipe can made in the food processor and you included weights. I bet they go together really fast!

Caroline April 6, 2011 at 7:40 am

This would be the perfect thing to cure my lemon craving right now. Delicious! I love the dash of icing on the top, as well!

Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie April 6, 2011 at 7:43 am

Yum- lemon bars with streusel!

Jennifer April 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

Those look really good. I love lemon and my family does not, but I have a bake sale to bake for in a couple of weeks, so I’m bookmarking this for then.

Mary Lynn April 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Nice change with the streusel topping – will be baking tonight….

Jules April 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I can’t believe someone else uses that cookbook! It has the absolute best gingersnap recipe in it. I’ve literally never baked anything else. I may have to try it!

Anna April 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

Jules, that book is a classic. I love it. Thanks so much for the gingersnap tip.

Gloria January 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I just made these …I’m eating them warm and they are delicious! I can smell and taste the butter!!! My personal preference is I think they could use another tablespoon or two of lemon juice-as you say they are not too lemony. I did add the zest of one lemon into the crust and the juice of one big lemon plus bottled juice to make 6 T. They will appeal to everyone and that’s what I’m going for. I’ll make the glaze tomorrow and they’ll be ready for testing! I have meyer lemons for the glaze. Never used them before. Hope they are good! THANKS for this recipe!

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