brownies & bars

Lemon Crumb Bars

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Lemon Bars with a oatmeal and brown sugar crumble topping. Creamy, tart, silky smooth lemon cream with a thick layer of a sweet oatmeal crust and a thick sprinkle of crumble on top. 

Creamy, tart, silky smooth lemon cream with a thick layer of a sweet oatmeal crust, and a good sprinkle of crumble on top. This is for all the lemon lovers out there. These lemon cream crumb bars are perfectly tart, sweet, and crumbly.

LEMON BARS

These lemon bars continue to be a favorite at our house. They are so easy to make and turn out perfect each time, which makes them the best thing to make for potlucks, gatherings, or dessert. 

Plus, they have sweetened condensed milk in them! I mean that basically guarantees that they will be amazing. That stuff is just amazing! Like if I could handle all the sweetness I could probably drink a can of it.

Creamy, tart, silky smooth lemon cream with a thick layer of a sweet oatmeal crust, and a good sprinkle of crumble on top. This is for all the lemon lovers out there. These lemon cream crumb bars are perfectly tart, sweet, and crumbly.

Old-Fashioned Oats. These are bigger and heartier oat flakes (compared to quick oats) which gives more texture to the bars. They can be substituted with quick oats if that’s what you have in your kitchen. I always keep both in my pantry so I have only ever used old-fashioned oats. 

Salted Butter. I always use salted butter when baking and cooking. I think it has more flavor and makes baked goods taste better. With that said, you can use unsalted butter but for best results use salted butter. 

Sweetened Condensed Milk. Please do not use the low fat or fat-free sweetened condensed milk. The taste is funky and it usually has added stuff to make up for the loss of the fat and sugar in the real sweetened condensed milk. 

Lemon Zest. Recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of lemon zest which is equal to 1 large lemon. Make sure you zest it before cutting it and squeezing it for the lemon juice. Use a citrus zester or the fine side of a cheese grater. The lemon zester is the best thing to use and can be bought on Amazon or any store for cheap. 

Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice. Fresh lemon juice is the only way to go in this recipe. No “lemon juice” from a bottle please. For 1/3 cup lemon juice you will need 2 large lemon or about 3 smaller ones. I always get one extra just in case one of the lemons has like no juice. 

 

Creamy, tart, silky smooth lemon cream with a thick layer of a sweet oatmeal crust, and a good sprinkle of crumble on top. This is for all the lemon lovers out there. These lemon cream crumb bars are perfectly tart, sweet, and crumbly.

MY TIPS FOR THIS RECIPE

  • Use fresh squeezed lemon juice from a lemon! This is so important for the best flavor. The bottles lemon juice does not even compare to fresh. 
  • Make sure the bars cool completely and then put them into the fridge for a couple hours to get cold. This is a cold dessert. Plan ahead of time if you need these for an event or gathering. I usually make them the morning of the day I need them….. or the day I want them 🙂 
  • Store leftovers in the fridge. As the bars sit out at room temperature they will soften up slightly. 
  • I would recommend using the real deal sweetened condensed milk. Not the low fat or fat-free.
  • To get the most juice out of the lemon, roll it between the palm of your hand and the countertop back and forth. You will start to smell the fresh lemon juice being released and it helps get the most juice out of the lemon. 

Creamy, tart, silky smooth lemon cream with a thick layer of a sweet oatmeal crust, and a good sprinkle of crumble on top. This is for all the lemon lovers out there. These lemon cream crumb bars are perfectly tart, sweet, and crumbly.

These are really good! The lemon flavor really shines through thanks to the fresh lemon juice & fresh lemon zest. It’s not tart at all. Combined with the sweetened condensed milk it is amazingly creamy and sweet. 

TRY THESE OTHER LEMON DESSERT RECIPES

5 from 1 vote
Creamy, tart, silky smooth lemon cream with a thick layer of a sweet oatmeal crust, and a good sprinkle of crumble on top. This is for all the lemon lovers out there. These lemon cream crumb bars are perfectly tart, sweet, and crumbly.
Lemon Cream Crumb Bars
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
22 mins
Total Time
32 mins
 
Lemon cream crumb bars are creamy, tart, silky smooth lemon cream with a thick layer of a sweet oatmeal crust, and a thick sprinkle of crumble on top. This is for all the lemon lovers out there. Perfect summertime dessert recipe.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dessert, lemon, lemon bars
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 327 kcal
Author: Jessica - Together as Family
Ingredients
oat crumble
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
creamy lemon filling
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 large egg yolks
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray. For easy removal and cutting, line with parchment paper or tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, rolled oats, sugar, brown sugar and baking soda.

  3. Add in melted butter and vanilla. Stir until evenly moistened.
  4. Press half of the crumb mixture (set aside the other half) into the bottom of the baking dish and gently press down. Bake for 12 minutes.

  5. Remove from oven and set aside to let cool slightly while you make the lemon cream filling. 

  6. To make the lemon cream combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Pour over the cooked crust and smooth out. Sprinkle the reserved oat crumble on top and gently press down.

  7. Bake for 22-25 minutes. The middle will still look pale and loose but the edges should be golden brown. Let cool completely. 

    Once cooled, cover and put in fridge for 1 hour. Cut into bars and serve. Store leftovers in the fridge. As these bars sit out at room temperature they do become softer (mainly the filling).

Recipe Notes

You could probably use quick oats or the regular old-fashioned oats called for in the recipe. I always have both on hand but if you only have one, then they can be interchanged easily. Quick oats are a finer texture while whole oats are bigger in size and provide more texture to the bars. 

 

12 tablespoons = 1 stick + 1/2 stick

 

To get the most juice from the lemon. Place the lemon between the palm of your hand and the countertop. Roll it back and forth. You will start to smell the juice release which yields lots of fresh lemon juice for the recipe. 

 

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Carlee
    May 10, 2015 at 8:27 am Ah! I haven't thought about TGIF TV in forever! Happy Mother's day to you and your mom!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      May 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm It was the best, wasn't it?!? Happy Mother's Day to you as well :)
  • Reply
    Cortney
    May 10, 2015 at 3:07 pm So sweet! Loved what you shared! Happy mothers day to you too!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      May 12, 2015 at 10:39 am Thanks Cortney :)
  • Reply
    Amy Black
    May 10, 2015 at 4:04 pm Thanks for the kind words Jessie. We still have cream tuna. I love you and I love being a mom. No better career in the world.
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      May 12, 2015 at 10:39 am I was thinking you still made it ;) If I were closer I would make these lemon bars for you :) Love you!
  • Reply
    Tammy Comstock
    May 10, 2015 at 4:58 pm What a great tribute to your Mom!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      May 12, 2015 at 10:38 am Thanks Tammy :)
  • Reply
    Ashley
    May 12, 2015 at 10:15 am These look absolutely delicious! If lemon is in the name, then it's definitely for me :) Thanks for sharing!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      May 12, 2015 at 10:38 am Thanks Ashley :) These have just enough lemon flavor without being sour & tart. Plus, the crumb topping is to die for!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it :)
  • Reply
    Marisa
    May 16, 2015 at 3:17 pm This looks so good!! Your mom sounds awesome! In the ingredients you list vanilla extract but in the recipe you say lemon extract, I would love to make these but want to use the right extract. Thanks!!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      May 16, 2015 at 8:08 pm Oh my gosh! Thanks so much for catching that. The original recipe called for lemon extract, but I did not add it (it's expensive and not normally something I have on hand). I will fix it. Do not add any extract, unless you want extra lemon flavor.
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      May 16, 2015 at 8:11 pm I am sorry Marisa..... Ignore my last comment. The 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (mixed in with the melted butter) is correct. I fixed the directions to reflect it. It is correct now. Thanks so much for the sweet comment and for stopping by :)
      • Reply
        Marisa
        May 16, 2015 at 8:13 pm Thank you!!! I am going to make these this week since we are supposed to have rain AKA a cool day to bake :)
        • Reply
          Together As Family
          May 16, 2015 at 8:20 pm Oh yay! I love rainy baking days :) I think I may have just confused everyone more! Let me know if you have more questions. I fixed the recipe & directions, so what it says is the correct way. Thanks again for stopping by.
  • Reply
    Halimah
    May 16, 2015 at 7:26 pm Oh this reminds me of my childhood and the bars my mum used to make. In the ingredient list it says to use vanilla essence, in the recipe it says lemon essence. Which is correct please?
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      May 16, 2015 at 8:12 pm So sorry! It is fixed now. The 1 teaspoon vanilla extract is correct. Ignore the lemon, I deleted that in the directions. Sorry for the confusion.
  • Reply
    susan connor
    May 17, 2015 at 12:22 pm I love anything lemon and am always looking for new/different lemon recipes....can't wait to try this one My mother,also,used to make creamed tuna for our dinner,served on toast,sometimes with peas mixed in. I am 64 years,miss my mother dearly and yes,I still have creamed tuna on toast sometimes.
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      May 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm Susan, your comment made me giggle. I grew up on creamed tuna so it was nice to hear that someone else knows what it is :) I think I actually remember my mom putting peas in it, now that you mention it. I should probably make it for my kids one of these day to bring back the memories! Thanks so much for your sweet comment and for visiting :)
  • Reply
    Liz
    May 22, 2015 at 1:14 pm These bars look so delicious. Thank you and have a great long weekend!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      May 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm Thanks Liz! I hope you get a chance to try them, they're sooooo good :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting, you have a great long weekend as well.
  • Reply
    STEVE SOFIA
    January 14, 2016 at 5:16 pm Just took this lovely looking creation out of the oven.If it tastes anything like how it looks,I'm in business.Thanks!
    • Reply
      Together As Family
      January 14, 2016 at 7:37 pm I hope you love them! The hardest part about these bars is letting them cool for so long. Thanks for coming back to leave your comment :)
  • Reply
    Dee
    November 15, 2018 at 12:05 am What an amazing recipe. Loved it. I'll be making these again.

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