Lemon bars with graham cracker crust are an easy three ingredient dessert that citrus lovers will enjoy.
Heck, even citrus likers will appreciate this dessert, which tastes more creamy than lemony.
Made with a can of sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and lemon juice, this lemon bar with condensed milk recipe is nearly identical to Nellie & Joe's Famous Key Lime Pie Recipe (Just 3 Ingredients).
My Easy Lemon Icebox Pie is another good choice, especially if you don't want to turn on an oven.
These creamy lemon bars are great for spring holidays like Easter or Mother's Day or Father's Day or graduation parties or bridal showers or baby showers.
This was inspired by my Lemon Bar Recipe (Make in One Bowl) and pairs well with Lemon Drop Martini (3-Ingredient Recipe with Limoncello).
- sweetened condensed milk
- egg yolks
- fresh lemon juice
- graham cracker crumbs
- melted butter
- granulated sugar
See recipe card for quantities.
You'll make a graham cracker crust and put it in the oven to bake at 350 for ten minutes.
While the crust is baking, make the lemon bar filling.
If you're looking for more easy desserts, try St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake (aka The Cake You Won't Stop Eating or Mojito Cheesecake or Easy White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake.
If you want more instruction on baking a graham cracker crust read Graham Cracker Pie Crust.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs- substitute a gluten-free crust or gluten-free graham crackers. Misfits Market has a gluten-free shop.
- Gluten-free graham crackers--make your own with this recipe from this recipe for gluten-free grahams.
In fact, if you wanted to make this dessert into a lemon pie with condensed milk, you totally could.
The graham cracker crust can be made in an 8x8 square pan or a 9-inch pie plate.
You don't need to make the graham crust totally from scratch.
I phoned it in and bought graham cracker crumbs at the store.
Got to tell you, I didn’t notice a huge difference between those and when I crushed my own to make a graham cracker pie crust.
- Lemon juice - you could use lime juice instead of lemon juice to make lime bars. I actually made these bars for my mom for Mother's Day yesterday with Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Juice. They were delish. You could also use Nellie & Joe's Key Lemon Juice if you didn't want to juice a handful of lemons.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs - swap out gingersnap or vanilla cookie crumbs instead. The ratios with butter and sugar stay the same.
- Butter - you can substitute margarine instead of butter in the graham crust.
- 8x8 square pan
- measuring cups
- hand mixer
- parchment paper
Store wrapped lemon bars with graham cracker crust in the refrigerator for up to a week.
However, I prefer to freeze these bars and eat them right out the freezer. They have a firmer texture.
You can freeze lemon bars for up to three months.
Slice the bars and place them individually on a cookie sheet or pan and flash freeze them for an hour or two first to firm up.
Then wrap each one individually with plastic wrap or a baggie.
Place the bars in a freezer safe container.
If you're out of sweetened condensed milk see Condensed Milk Substitute.
Don't overcook these bars. Twenty minutes at 350 should do it. Let them cool on a wire rack before placing in a refrigerator to chill for at least three hours.
Or freeze once the bars are at room temperature.
If you make this recipe please leave a comment and/or give the recipe a rating. Thanks! 🙂
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- Crust ingredients
- 1 ¼ graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup melted butter or margarine
- Lemon Bar Filling Ingredients
- 14-ounce can sweetened, condensed milk
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- Whipped cream and lemon zest for garnish (optional)
- Prepare 8x8 square pan. by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray and lining it with a piece of parchment paper for easy removal of bars.
- Melt butter and mix with graham cracker crumbs and sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Pour crumb mixture into parchment-lined pan and press firmly with your hands or the back of a measuring cup or water glass.
- Bake at 350 for ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the lemon fillng.
- Squeeze the juice from five to six lemons into a small glass or ceramic bowl (just not metal, which can react with acid) until you have ½ cup.
- Cut lemons in half and use a large fork or a citrus reamer to juice the fruit.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, empty the sweetened condensed milk, add the lemon juice and egg yolks and mix until combined, about two minutes if using a stand mixer.
- Pour mix into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack until room temperature.
- Place bars in refrigerator or freezer to chill for two to three hours to finish setting up.
- Slice and serve plain or with a dollop of whipped cream.
Be sure to chill bars before serving.
Make sure you use sweetened condensed milk--not evaporated milk.
Sweetened condensed milk is thick and sticky and you'll have to use a knife or spatula to scrape it all out of the can.
Evaporated milk will pour right out of the can--like milk--and your bars won't turn out.
You might also like Donna Hay Banana Bread (Moist!).