These Raspberry Lemon Bars are packed with lemon zest and lemon juice and topped with a flavorful raspberry frosting. These bars are moist and chewy (similar to a blondie) and the frosting is flavored with real raspberries.
If you’re looking for a beautiful and refreshing spring or summer dessert, this is it! This recipe is quick and easy and the combination of lemon and raspberry is incredible.
These raspberry lemon bars are:
Moist and chewy: The texture of these bars falls somewhere between a cake and a blondie. More moist than a cake but more spongy than a blondie.
Loaded with lemon: Lemon zest and lemon juice add just the right amount of tang.
Topped with raspberry frosting: A flavorful and vibrant pink raspberry buttercream gets spread on top of the lemon bars.
An easy grab and go treat: No need to for plates or utensils, serving these bars is a breeze!
*Full recipe below in recipe card*
Begin by making the bars. Combine melted butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Spread the batter into a lined and greased 8×8 pan. Bake for about 18 minutes. Cool completely.
Make the raspberry frosting by combining butter, powdered sugar, freeze dried raspberry powder, raspberry jam, vanilla, and milk. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled bars.
Ingredient spotlight: freeze dried raspberries
Freeze dried raspberries have low water content and are dried out and crispy. They can be found on the dried fruit aisle (I get mine at Target). Note: they are not soft and chewy like a raisin.
Because they are dry they add a deep, intense raspberry flavor without adding too much moisture which could make the frosting thin and runny.
Pulse the freeze dried raspberries in a food processor or blender until ground into a fine powder. If desired, you can remove the seeds by putting the powder through a fine mesh sieve.
You’ll need two medium-sized lemons for this recipe. That should provide enough juice and zest for the bars themselves. I do not add lemon to the frosting, but if you’d like to do so you can add finely grated lemon zest to the frosting. In that case you will need one additional lemon.
Use a fine grater (like a Microplane) or zester to remove the zest from the lemons. Only remove the yellow part of the skin, not the white pith.
Don’t swap the freeze dried raspberries for fresh or frozen raspberries. The extra moisture will make the frosting too wet.
Can’t find freeze dried raspberries? Feel free to swap for freeze dried strawberries which are often easier to find.
Prefer less frosting? Halve the frosting portion of the recipe.
Serving and storage
Serve chilled or room temperature. The bars are more soft and moist at room temp. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Raspberry Lemon Bars
- 1 cup all purpose flour*
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- finely grated zest of two medium-sized lemons
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup freeze dried raspberry powder, see note
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon raspberry jam
- 2 teaspoons milk, plus more, if needed
- fresh raspberries and/or sliced lemon
- Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil or parchment and lightly grease. Set aside.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar for one full minute. Add lemon zest, juice, whole egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, whisking until well combined. Tap the whisk on the side of the bowl to remove all the excess batter, then remove the whisk from the bowl. Add the flour mixture and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until well combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes, until the top is dry and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (the bars should still be pale). Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Frosting (see note):
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, raspberry powder, vanilla extract, and raspberry jam. Beat until fully combined. Add milk, one teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is thin enough to spread. Spread frosting onto the cooled bars.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.