Lemon Creme Crumb Bars


Imagine a thick crumb bar with two layers similar to the struesel on top of a muffin, then picture sandwiching those layers together with a lemon creme filling that is similar to a lemon bar. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Well it is, and here you have it. To give you an idea of how delicious these really are, I made these yesterday and we finished most of them off. My husband gets home from work today carrying a gallon of milk, so I ask him, “what’s the milk for? We have milk, I just bought some.”

Lemon Creme Crumb Bars | Cooking Classy

He replies, “I’ve been dreaming about those lemon bars all day and wanted to make sure we had some milk to go with them. Please tell me there’s some left?”

I thought it was funny because we always have some kind of sweet at our house because of how much I bake, and we always have milk – I rarely run out. But these bars are over the top and completely irresistible, so once you’ve tasted one you’ll forever be dreaming about them :). I’m already thinking of making them again. Enjoy!

Lemon Creme Crumb Bars | Cooking Classy


Lemon Creme Crumb Bars


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt*
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, rolled oats, salt and baking soda. Stir in granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix until no clumps of sugar remain. Stir vanilla into melted butter and pour mixture over dry ingredients. Using a spoon, stir mixture until evenly moistened. Sprinkle half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 8 by 8-inch baking dish and gently press into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside (leaving oven heated at 350 degrees).
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and lemon extract until well blended. Pour mixture over crumb crust in baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining crumb mixture. Bake in preheated oven 23 - 26 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature, once cool cover and refrigerate 30 minutes - 1 hour (I actually loved this cold), then remove and cut into squares. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
  3. *If using salted butter reduce salt amount to 1/8 tsp
  4. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Liz: Love this recipe. Thank you. June 26, 2013 at 1:26pm Reply

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar: That lemon creme looks so lovely!! June 26, 2013 at 2:22pm Reply

  • Zainab @ Blahnik Baker: These looks so amazing and I can’t get over the crumb layer!! June 26, 2013 at 4:18pm Reply

  • Deb: You have my undivided attention! My favorite cookie is Lemon Bars. Lemon creme with a crumb topping just took Lemon Bars to another world! A scrumptious recipe! June 26, 2013 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: They look incredible & I love that they have texture!!! Normally lemon desserts are very smooth and one-dimensional. This is perfect for me b/c I love texture and the contrasts! June 26, 2013 at 6:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Averie – I hope you try them sometime these are one of my new favs! June 26, 2013 at 8:16pm Reply

  • Julie @ Table for Two: These bars look so fantastic! I love everything lemon!! June 26, 2013 at 6:56pm Reply

  • Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe: These are probably the yummiest and most appealing baked goods I’ve ever seen. I have to admit I’m a huge lemon-lover and am always looking for new recipes involving it, so be sure that I’ll try this recipe as soon as possible!

    p.s. I’ve just found your blog and am already completely in love with it! All your recipes look amazing! Great job :)

    xo, Elisa June 26, 2013 at 11:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Elisa :)! I hope you do try these soon and I hope you love them! June 27, 2013 at 6:55pm Reply

  • sharon: These look so good. Have you ever doubled the recipe? June 27, 2013 at 6:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t but I imagine you could and just bake it in a 13 by 9. I should double it next time though because I love them! June 27, 2013 at 8:58am Reply

    • Denise: I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9×13 glass pan. I figured since it was so much work to make it, I better make a lot :) May 4, 2014 at 3:18pm Reply

  • angela @ another bite please: that is so cute about your husband…mine would be the same way too…saying ang don’t eat all those save some for me…and he loves a big glass of milk with baked goods. June 27, 2013 at 6:02am Reply

  • Jessica@AKitchenAddiction: I love lemon bars! This creamy, crumb bar sounds incredible! June 27, 2013 at 7:31am Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: Love this! And that mile high crumb topping?! PERFECTION! June 29, 2013 at 5:09pm Reply

  • Geri Bocchieri: These were phenomenal. I doubled the recipe, used a 9×13 glass pan. They came out perfect and were truly incredible. Everyone was raving over them. No changes needed….a permanent keeper!!!! July 1, 2013 at 6:30am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you thought they were phenomenal Geri!! I think I need to double mine next time too :)! Thanks so much for your comment! July 1, 2013 at 9:00am Reply

  • Oksana: They are so delicious! I was looking for a recipe to make something for our upcoming Independance Day Party. I found a perfect one!! They came out so good!!! Thank you. Definately will try your Peach Crumb Bars recipe… July 5, 2013 at 6:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you liked these Oksana! I hope you do try the Peach too :). Thanks for leaving a comment! July 5, 2013 at 8:40pm Reply

  • Lilian: Yo lo hice, y me quedó exquisito, me encantó! Delicioso y lindo. July 7, 2013 at 6:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Me alegra que te salieron bien Lilian! July 12, 2013 at 9:48pm Reply

  • celeste: I own a restaurant and make my own desserts. I’m always looking for new things. Found this on Sunday, made it on Tuesday and I must say it is absolutely FABULOUS!
    Easy to make and they are simply divine. I can’t say enough. I’m not even a lemon lover, but I gotta go with what my customers like. I’m sure this will be a keeper. Beware….they are very rich little pieces of heaven. BTW-I doubled the recipe and it was perfect. July 10, 2013 at 6:39am Reply

  • Gabrielle: These were delicious! Such a nich change up from regular Lemon Bars/Slice. Really liked it and have a feeling I’ll need to make another batch very soon. July 14, 2013 at 10:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked them :)! July 15, 2013 at 4:01pm Reply

  • Patty: This turned out great! My only issue was getting it out of the pan because I pressed the crust down too firmly. I’ll try pressing it “lightly” as you instructed and maybe even lining the pan with parchment paper. Now I’m anxious to try your blueberry and your peach bars! July 17, 2013 at 4:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad they turned out great for your Patty! And yes next time I’d recommend using more butter in the dish or using parchment and that should help :). July 17, 2013 at 9:34pm Reply

  • Mandy: I made these tonight and my family loved them! They actually wanted me to make them again tomorrow night. Thanks for the great recipe! They are a perfect summer dessert :) July 24, 2013 at 7:08pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you family loved these Mandy! Thanks for your comment! July 26, 2013 at 9:07am Reply

  • Lemon Creme Streusel Bars | LoveCreateNourish: […] found the recipe originally on Cooking Classy. She has way better pictures than I […] July 31, 2013 at 5:30pm Reply

  • Susan M: Made these today – delicious! Nice an lemony with the zest, and love the crunch from the rolled oats. Thanks for sharing, I will make these again! August 4, 2013 at 7:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Happy to hear you liked them Susan and will make them again! Thanks for your comment! August 4, 2013 at 7:30pm Reply

  • Diane Segel: I added blueberries. Sinful August 12, 2013 at 7:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Love that! What a delicious idea! August 13, 2013 at 8:51am Reply

  • Kelly Ferraro: This recipe, was fabulous. August 13, 2013 at 8:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you thought so Kelly! Thanks for leaving a comment! August 13, 2013 at 8:43am Reply

  • Diane: I added blueberries on top of the lemon then added crust heavenly!!!!! August 14, 2013 at 6:11pm Reply

  • Maaike: I have a new addiction… There are really amazing! Yum! Thanks for the recipe! :) August 22, 2013 at 11:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome Maaike! I’m so glad you liked them! Thanks for leaving a comment! August 22, 2013 at 12:43pm Reply

  • Creamy lemon bars – MiCook: […] ja… dát in combinatie met de foto’s & de lijst met ingrediënten (ik had daadwerkelijk gewoon alles in huis!) deed mij besluiten om meteen de keuken in te duiken. […] August 23, 2013 at 1:10am Reply

  • Jo: Do you think these would freeze well? and how would I wrap them…I love lemon anything. Can’t wait to try! September 6, 2013 at 7:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think these should probably freeze just fine. I would probably just store them in a large freezer ziploc bag. September 7, 2013 at 7:42pm Reply

  • Penny: Re: Lemon Crème Crumb Bars
    I wonder if evaporated milk could be substituted for the sweetened condensed milk. The cookies are great, but a bit too sweet. September 19, 2013 at 4:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It probably could be but you would likely want to add in more egg to make it thicker as sweetened condensed milk has a thicker consistency than evaporated milk. September 19, 2013 at 4:51pm Reply

  • Nancilynn: Could I use the entire egg instead of just yolks? September 22, 2013 at 9:38am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend it. It would probably be too much egg. September 29, 2013 at 12:44pm Reply

  • Katie @ Katie Kay’s Kitchen: Loved these! I’ve made them twice before for company and they were a huge hit. I instructed my kids in baking them today, and they did a great job! The crust/topping is so delicious, and I love that you only have 2 steps because the crust and topping are one and the same. September 22, 2013 at 5:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear they were a with for your company! And that’s great that your kids were able to make them! Thanks for your comment Katie! October 1, 2013 at 5:26pm Reply

  • Jenn: My favorite pie has always been lemon meringue, with a graham cracker crust. You totally captured that deliciousness in these bars! This was my first time to your blog, and I can safely say you have a new fan. :-)

    And now I must go eat another bar… October 3, 2013 at 9:45pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to have a new fan Jenn :)! Thanks for leaving a comment, I’m glad you liked these bars! October 4, 2013 at 6:43am Reply

  • Barras de Avena con Crema de Limón ‹ Ken's Oven: […] que finalmente la semana pasada nos reunimos y las hicimos. La receta la encontré en un bello blog Cooking Classy y como siempre, fueron las fotos las que nos hicieron decidirnos por esa receta. Sólo le hice un […] October 6, 2013 at 6:16pm Reply

  • Sarah: Hi, this recipe looks AMAZING! I was just wondering if you can put in whole eggs instead of just the yolks? I hate to throw away the whites, would it effect it much? October 21, 2013 at 1:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend it, instead I’d recommend that you reserve the egg whites for another use like meringues, macarons, angel food cake cupcakes, white cake or any of the other baked goods that call for egg whites. October 25, 2013 at 5:51pm Reply

  • Olivia Sequin: This bars got rave reviews from everyone that tried them! They are very sweet but great if you want something that isn’t chocolatey. The crumb topping and base is to die for! November 17, 2013 at 3:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for letting me know they were enjoyed Olivia! I’m so happy to hear everyone liked them! November 24, 2013 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Oatmeal and lime custard bars – How To Bake @ CASA Veneracion: […] on a recipe from Cooking Classy. I doubled the custard and used limes instead of […] November 25, 2013 at 11:59am Reply

  • Sonia: Made these, delicious!! December 8, 2013 at 12:09am Reply

  • rachel: Hello, Im dying to make these today but ran out of rolled oats in the pantry and too lazy to go to the grocery now. What can I substitute for the crumbs? January 6, 2014 at 11:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think the oats are really the best thing for these, either quick or rolled. You could chance it and try something else but I can’t think of a great substitute for oats. I hate when I run out of stuff, sorry about that. January 7, 2014 at 10:06am Reply

  • Claudia: Heavenly! Nothing else needed to describe these! Will make these again and double the recipe for sure! June 27, 2014 at 1:51pm Reply

  • Lisa: I made these for my coworkers months ago. They’ve been asking for more. I made them tonight for a nice surprise tomorrow. The house smells fabulous as they’re baking. I think I better leave one or two for my dear husband. July 22, 2014 at 6:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad they’ve been enjoyed :)! August 13, 2014 at 9:02pm Reply

  • Tania: We love lemon bars, but these with the crumble are so much better. I made them a few months back for our trivia team and they were a hit, not one crumb left to bring home and enjoy with our morning coffee. I double the recipe and make them in a larger pan, they turned our perfect. Last week at trivia these bars were requested for tonight, so they are in my oven as I type. We can’t wait for tonight, lemon cream bars and trivia, who could ask for more. Your recipe is a winner. Thanks for sharing it with the world. August 12, 2014 at 12:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So great to hear it Tania! Thanks! August 25, 2014 at 3:02pm Reply

  • Katie: Have you Everest added blueberries right before you put the top crumble layer on? August 21, 2014 at 12:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tried that before but it sounds good as long as it doesn’t make the filling too runny. August 21, 2014 at 11:34pm Reply

  • Crystina: I wanted to know what you did with your egg whites? Did you makew a mousse or a meringues? Can I leave the egg whites overnight ina container? May 9, 2015 at 8:53pm Reply

  • Rebecca: Do these freeze well? July 11, 2015 at 7:08pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tried so I can’t say for sure. July 11, 2015 at 11:23pm Reply

  • Kristin H: These were really yummy! It’s an easy, Spring-like dessert. Perfect balance of sweet, salty, and tart. It’s a keeper! March 1, 2016 at 6:01pm Reply

  • Nicole: Just made this recipe and it is so delicious!
    I had a small piece before chilling too. Beautiful lemon flavor and the crumble is irresistible :D! May 19, 2016 at 11:50am Reply

  • Rukeya: Delicious! Can I use less sugar for my next batch? June 13, 2016 at 11:57pm Reply

  • Patrice: If I don’t have lemon extract what else could I use? June 16, 2016 at 5:30pm Reply

  • Maria: I used gluten free all purpose baking mix, extra oats, Truvia baking blend instead of the granulated sugar, 3 tbsps of lemon zest and no extract, and added 1block of cream cheese for the filling and used the whole eggs. So so good, everyone wants the recipe! June 24, 2016 at 3:39pm Reply

  • Sandi: I tripled the recipe and made it for my brother’s wedding instead of wedding cake (along with a dozen other cookie and bar recipes). This was one of my favorites, in no small part because I could make it a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge while I was frantically baking all of the other items. I love the lemon-but-not-too-tart flavor. Also, it finally gave me something to use the Penzey’s lemon extract I’ve had in my cupboard for years. July 11, 2016 at 2:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: What an honor to have this served at your brother’s wedding! So glad you loved it! July 11, 2016 at 2:24pm Reply

  • Erica: These sound and look amazing! Do you thik that adding either white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips to the crust/topping would work? Which would you recommend? I have made a lemon bar with white chocolate over the shortbread crust and they turned out pretty good. I would mix the chips into the shortbread the next time I make them so its more subtle instead of a layer. I’m thinking that might work here also. Any thoughts? August 21, 2016 at 12:31am Reply

  • allison: THESE ARE SO GOOD they turned out perfectly. The crumb topping is amazing. Thank you so much for this recipe! April 2, 2017 at 12:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Allison! April 18, 2017 at 1:18pm Reply

  • Mary: These are wonderful. I had lost the recipe I am so happy to have found it
    Two questions:
    1. Would it be possible to substitute chopped walnuts for the rolled oats
    2. Is there anything I can substitute for lemon extract
    Thank you April 9, 2017 at 7:28pm Reply

  • Brenda: Tart, tasty and nice crunch!! These are my new favorite lemon bars! Thank you for sharing a very easy and effortless recipe!! April 29, 2017 at 2:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked them Brenda! April 30, 2017 at 12:14am Reply

  • Claire: I liked the flavor combination, but I would have preferred these a little thinner. As others have said, they were very difficult to cut and release from the pan. I would love to see these made in an 11 by 7 pan to make them ever so slightly thinner, but of course that would require more lemon filling. April 30, 2017 at 12:30pm Reply

  • Melani: This was quite nice, i added a little bit more fresh lemon juice, and it cane out great! Nice an chewy! I defnitly preferred them cold so i left them in the fridge! July 24, 2017 at 7:48am Reply

Add your comment:

Copyright 2011-2017 Cooking Classy
Design by cre8d