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Creamy Lemon Bars (+Video)

These Creamy Lemon Bars have a delicious graham cracker crust and filled with a thick lemony filling and topped with fresh whipped cream!

A THICK AND CREAMY LEMON BAR RECIPE

I don’t think anyone in my family has a love for all things lemon like I do. These lemon bars are my new favorite. A thick creamy filling and a crunchy crust. You get a little sweet and a little tart. It’s the perfect combination of flavors. These bars are totally worth the time and effort it takes to make them.

close up shot, slice of creamy lemon bar on a white plate, topped with a lemon slice and slices of lemon in the background.

TIPS FOR MAKING LEMON BARS

  • You must use fresh-squeezed lemons for this. The bottled stuff just doesn’t compare and will give these a weird, fake taste. Take the time to squeeze fresh lemons. You won’t regret it.
  • This same recipe can be used for key lime bars! Just substitute the lemon in the recipe for key limes!
  • Store-bought graham cracker crumbs will work in this too.
  • These bars are homemade so you must give them time to turn out properly.
  • They need to cool in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours but overnight is best.
Homemade Creamy Lemon Bars recipe with graham cracker crust from The Country Cook, pictured sliced on a white plate and topped with a lemon slice.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • graham crackers
  • salted butter
  • egg yolks
  • lemon zest
  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • heavy cream
  • sugar
graham crackers, salted butter, egg yolks lemon zest, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, sugar.

HOW TO MAKE CREAMY LEMON BARS:

FOR THE CRUST:

Preheat oven to 350f degrees. In a food processor, pulse together the graham crackers and butter until thoroughly combined (it should be the texture of wet sand.) Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 11 x 7 baking pan. Note: If you don’t have an 11 X7 baking pan, you can use a 9 x 9 square baking dish, the bars will just be a little thicker. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool and leave oven on.

graham cracker crust pressed into the bottom of an 11 by 7 baking dish

FOR THE FILLING:

Mix egg yolks and lemon zest with an electric mixer until VERY thick, about 5 minutes.

egg yolks whipped until thick in a clear bowl with a handheld electric mixer

Slowly add sweetened condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly. Add fresh lemon juice and mix until combined. Spread filling evenly over crust and bake at 350f degrees until filling is just set (about 12- 15 minutes.)

lemon filling poured on top of graham cracker crust in a baking dish

Let cool completely  – then refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

FOR THE TOPPING:

Beat the cold heavy cream with powdered sugar until fluffy. Spread evenly over the lemon bars.

fresh whipped cream on top of fully cooled lemon bars

Decorate with lemon zest, slices of lemon etc. Keep bars refrigerated.

Homemade Creamy Lemon Bars, sliced, in a white baking dish, shown with two slices removed from dish

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Homemade Creamy Lemon Bars, thumbnail photo

Creamy Lemon Bars (+Video)

These homemade creamy lemon bars start with a delicious graham cracker crust and filled with a thick lemony filling and topped with fresh whipped cream!
5 from 33 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, melted

For the filling:

For the topping:

Instructions

For the crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350f degrees. In a food processor, pulse together the graham crackers and butter until thoroughly combined (it should be the texture of wet sand.)
  • Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 11"x 7" baking pan. Note: If you don't have an 11"x 7" baking pan, you can use a 9"x 9" square baking dish, the bars will just be a little thicker. 
  • Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool and leave oven on.

For the filling:

  • Mix egg yolks and lemon zest with an electric mixer until VERY thick, about 5 minutes.
  • Slowly add sweetened condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly.
  • Add fresh lemon juice and mix until combined. Spread filling evenly over crust and bake at 350f degrees until filling is just set (about 12- 15 minutes.)
  • Let cool completely  – then cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

For the topping:

  • Beat the cold heavy cream with powdered sugar until fluffy.
  • Spread topping evenly over the lemon bars. Decorate with lemon zest, slices of lemon etc. Keep bars refrigerated.

Video

Notes

Freshly squeezed lemon juice should be used in this recipe (not the bottled stuff.)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 172mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Originally published: July 2012
Updated & republished: June 2020

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34 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just made these this afternoon. I tend to change things from time to time so I do yours as well. I made the crust from lemon oreo cookies. And since I make a lot of cheese cakes, I felt this needed a block of cream cheese as well. Mine turned out fabulous!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  2. Hi, The recipe looks quite good. Can I make this in a large disposable aluminum baking tray for a crowd of 28? How long would I bake it then?
    Thanks in advance
    M

    1. Hi M – you probably could but I have never tested that out so I couldn’t tell you a baking time. Sometimes the disposable baking pans don’t cook evenly or can get very hot and burn the bottom before the rest of it is done baking. You would just have to test it. Sorry I’m not more help on that.

  3. 5 stars
    These lemon bars turned out pretty good, my husband enjoyed them. However I’m a lemon fiend and these are too sweet without enough tart lemony goodness. Two cans of sweetened condensed milk is just too much, and I didn’t even put the whipped cream on top. Next time I’ll make these with one can of condensed milk in an 8×8″ pan. I also recommend using more than 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs for a slightly thicker crust; 1 cup is too thin in my opinion. Overall pretty good recipe!

  4. Hi Brandie, I’m new to your sight and I just want to say that I LOVE everything about your recipes, music, & video’s. Thank you so very much, I already made the Best 7up cake last night an sent to the church I go to. And everyone LOVED it. I love to cook an bake!!!!!!!

  5. 5 stars
    I meant to also say I’ll be trying these soon… have already printed off the recipe ! Sorry, I meant to say that in my prior reply… duh! 🙂 Thanks again.

  6. 5 stars
    OMG these look “heavenly”!! Anything “lemon” has to be yummy…. and I just recently made your “Lemon Dream Cake” and it was delish! I’ve made it twice now and it’s definitely a keeper! 🙂 Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!