Creamy lemon filling sandwiched between a brown sugar crust and crumb topping. With the crust and topping made from the same mixture this super easy dessert comes together quickly and easily. The flavor and texture of these Lemon Crumb Bars make them a crowd pleaser. They will be met with rave reviews!
Say hello to Lemon Crumb Bars. With a buttery-brown sugar-oatmeal cookie base, a creamy sweet and tart lemon layer in the middle, and a crunchy crumbly topping. The perfect balance of flavors and textures with a pop of fresh lemon favor all throughout. If you like my Oatmeal Jam Crumb Bars, Oatmeal Fudge Bars, or Nutella Crumb Bars it’s time to get excited, because I used a similar recipe for this lemon version!
Crust and crumb topping: The crust and crumb topping are made from the same mixture. It’s similar to a brown sugar oatmeal cookie dough. It’s buttery, sweet, and it comes together in minutes. Press some of the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and reserve the rest for crumbling over the top.
Lemon filling: A mixture flavored with sweetened condensed milk, fresh lemon, and vanilla. Whisk all the ingredients and pour over the pre-baked crust.
Bake: The crust will bake on its own for about 10 minutes, then pour over the filling, sprinkle on the crumb topping and return to the oven.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Fast and easy: All the components of this recipe come together in under 15 minutes.
No fancy equipment: No electric mixer needed. Everything is done by hand in bowls with a whisk and spoon.
Flavor: Sweet and tart lemon paired with a buttery brown sugar crust and topping. An incredible flavor combo!
Texture: Creamy filling with a slightly crunchy topping and soft yet sturdy crust.
- Line your baking pan with foil or parchment paper. This will prevent the bars from sticking, and it allows you lift the whole pan of bars out of the pan for easy cutting and serving. Bonus: clean up is a breeze!
- Make sure your brown sugar is fresh and soft. Hard or lumpy brown sugar won’t blend into the crust/topping as easily.
- Use fresh lemon juice, it has a better flavor than a packaged product.
- Use a fine zester/grater for the lemon zest and only grate the yellow part. Don’t use the bitter white pith.
- Allow the bars to cool completely. The crust will be really soft when they are warm (from the melted butter). Once the butter cools the bars will firm up.
Serving and storage
Serving: Serve at room temperature or chilled. The colder they are the crunchier the crust and topping will be.
Storage: Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I have not frozen these bars before but I would assume that you could freeze them. I typically freeze baked good for 2-3 months.
- Lemon Cream Pie
- Lemon Loaf Cake
- Lemon Coconut Cake
- Peanut Butter Bars
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
- Creamy Lemon Bars
Lemon Crumb Bars
Crust and topping:
- 1 cup cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- One 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 generous tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 pan with foil or parchment paper (leaving overhang on two sides for easy removal). Spray with nonstick spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine, flour, oats, salt and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, whisk butter, brown sugar and vanilla until well combined (this will take at least one full minute). Add dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until combined.
- Pull out about ¾ cup (a little less than half) of the dough and set that portion aside (it will be the topping). Dump the remaining dough into the prepared pan and press it down into a flat even layer (it will be very buttery, that's ok). Bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk all filling ingredients until combined. After the crust has baked for 10 minutes, pour the filling over the crust. Gently spread into an even layer. Be careful, the crust underneath will be soft and undercooked, you don't want to break it. Crumble the reserved dough over the filling and return to the oven for 17-20 minutes, until the top is light golden brown and the filling is set. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.