Lemon Cream Pie Bars

03.11.2014

Isn’t any time of year a great time for a vibrant and refreshing lemon dessert? One of the great things about lemons is that the majority of the year I’m able to find good ones at the grocery store. They are a longer lasting fruit so they aren’t like berries where you have to use them within a few days or they go bad (you know, those tart, mushy, lifeless berries you are so sad to see when you open your refrigerator and realized you forgot to use them). Lemons are much more forgiving. I store in them in my fridge for a few weeks and they still taste fresh. And what is one of the first things you think to make when life hands you lemons? Lemon cream pie of course. This time around it’s in a more modern bar form that everyone is going to find hard to resist. Forget a round pie, bars are the new “it” thing.

Lemon Cream Pie Bars | Cooking Classy

For these I used salted butter in my crust, I like how it balances out the sweetness and any light bitterness or sourness from filling (use butter that has 100g of sodium per serving or less). Occasionally I prefer to use salted butter rather than adding in salt on my own because it seems to blend better. Like with these, the salt wouldn’t really have a chance to dissolve and blend in if I added it on it’s own, and it would seem overpowering. If you really want to though, feel free to use unsalted butter.

These creamy bars are loaded with fresh lemon flavor and they are so easy to make. They really do just melt in your mouth. I love the scent that filled my kitchen making these with all the fresh lemon aroma while zesting, juicing and baking. It makes it hard to be patient for the few hours of cooling they have. These are definitely worth waiting for though. Enjoy!

Side note: this recipe only uses egg yolks, so don’t toss out those egg whites, use them and make one of these recipes here.

Lemon Cream Pie Bars | Cooking ClassyLemon Cream Pie Bars | Cooking Classy

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Lemon Cream Pie Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (from 11 1/2 full sheets)
  • 7 Tbsp butter , melted (I used salted)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Whipped Topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp granulated sugar , to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. In a mixing bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and granulated sugar until mixture is evenly moistened. Press mixture into an even layer in prepared baking dish. Bake 11 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
  2. (Once crust has cooled) To a large mixing bowl add, sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream, egg yolks, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice and whisk mixture until well blended. Pour into cooled crust and bake (still in preheated 350 degree oven), 28 - 30 minutes, or until edges appear set and middle still slightly jiggles. Cool at room temperature 1 hour, then cover with plastic wrap and chill 3 - 4 hours, until set. Cut into bars and top with whipped cream just before serving. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
  3. For the topping:
  4. In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer (or using stand mixer), whip heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Store in refrigerator, use within several hours of preparing.
  5. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

31 comments

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction: Just when I think a simple lemon bar can’t get any better! Jaclyn, lemon is my absolute favorite and these are a must-try. Love your photography here. I’m always amazed at your creativity in food styling! Trying to get a little more creative myself. Gorgeous bars! March 11, 2014 at 12:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Sally :)! March 11, 2014 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Danae @ reciperunner: Lemon desserts are the best! I crave them any time of year, which is great since lemons are always available. These lemon cream pie bars look fabulous, pinning this to make very soon! March 11, 2014 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): These bars are just stunning, I love the layers (and lemon, of course!). March 11, 2014 at 12:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Laura! March 11, 2014 at 12:58pm Reply

  • Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness: These photos are breathtaking! Just stunning! And I love lemon bars, they are one of my favs! These are perfect for Spring :) pinned! March 11, 2014 at 1:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Taylor! That’s so nice of you to say! March 11, 2014 at 7:02pm Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: These bars are stunning, and I adore the way you photographed them! And of course, they sound absolutely delicious. Pinned! March 11, 2014 at 1:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Rachel!! March 11, 2014 at 8:23pm Reply

  • Diana: These look heavenly! I will definitely be trying them this weekend. March 11, 2014 at 2:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love them Diana! March 11, 2014 at 8:24pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: They’re just beautiful! I love how you did the topping/frosting with the ‘stripes’. How did you do that? I need to figure that out! LOL Pinned & would love a big bite! :) March 11, 2014 at 2:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Averie! It was one of those random things when you just don’t know how to decorate them so you just try whatever :). I used a Wilton 125 tip (the rain drop shaped one) and piped the whipped cream in stripes over the top, each one slightly overlapping the previous. March 12, 2014 at 8:16pm Reply

  • Jennifer: My sister, Michelle, and Jim just gave my husband and I one of these lemon bars to try. PHENOMENAL! I’m making them tomorrow and eating the whole pan before my kids come home from school! It’s the little things in life, right? March 11, 2014 at 6:52pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked these Jennifer!! And yes it is definitely the little things in life :). March 11, 2014 at 8:22pm Reply

  • Chloe @ foodlikecake: Your photos are gorgeous and I love lemon! March 12, 2014 at 9:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thank you Chloe! March 12, 2014 at 11:14am Reply

  • Norma | allspice and Nutmeg: These look divine and I can’t wait to try them. March 12, 2014 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Maija: I JUST pulled out a box of lemon cake I got free from the store and hesitated. I thought “it’s got to get better than this…” and here you are!! Thanks for your inspiration! March 14, 2014 at 10:02am Reply

  • Brittany: Made these over the weekend and they are fabulous!!! Highly recommend! March 16, 2014 at 6:52pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked these lemon cream pie bars Brittany! Thanks so much for leaving a review! March 23, 2014 at 5:06pm Reply

  • minnaminna: Jacyln, this is the 4th recipe I’m trying since reading your blog! I was thinking of making these ahead of time. How long do they last in the fridge? Or are they freezable? March 17, 2014 at 9:52pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wish I knew for sure I’m not sure how its texture would hold up? I wish I could say for sure but I rarely freeze baked goods so I’m never good at answering that question. Sorry! They should last 2 – 3 days in the fridge though. I’m so happy to hear you’ve been trying my recipes! March 17, 2014 at 10:43pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: Jaclyn, these bars are stunning! They’re almost too pretty to eat! March 24, 2014 at 11:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Chung-Ah! March 31, 2014 at 8:49pm Reply

  • Cathy: These lemon cream pie bars are stupendous.
    Delectable, a real crowd pleaser. I made 2 batches
    and all that was left was crumbs. Everyone loves these wonderful, lip smacking bars.
    Thank you so much for sharing Jaclyn. March 31, 2014 at 2:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much for leaving another review Cathy! You are so nice :)! March 31, 2014 at 7:32pm Reply

  • Diana: Absolutely delicious! I did not have an 8 in square pan. I used a 9 in round cheesecake pan. It leaked a little butter from the crust but it didn’t seem to matter. I cut them like a tart. Plated them with berries and piped whip cream. Everyone loved it. April 21, 2014 at 3:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That’s a great idea Diana! I’m so glad you liked these! May 6, 2014 at 6:29pm Reply

  • Salsera77: Absolutely yummy… My husband loves lemon pie and to try out a new recipe, I made those… He loved them!!! I used half unsweetened and half sweetened condensed milk, though… hmmmmmm to be repeated May 27, 2014 at 5:40am Reply

  • Erin {Delightful E Made}: Hi Jaclyn! These lemon cream pie bars look absolutely dreamy! Such a great dessert for these hot summer days. Have pinned and will be sharing on facebook, with proper link back to your site, of course. July 23, 2014 at 5:16am Reply

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