My lemon bars with graham cracker crust are full of citrus flavor! Featuring a crisp and buttery graham cracker crust, they’re a wonderfully sweet dessert. Enjoy as is or with whipped cream!
If you’re familiar with the blog, you know that I’ve already shared a few recipes made with tart and fruity lemons.
These lemon cranberry bars are delicious, these sweet lemon blueberry cookies, and I love this Jello lemon meringue pie too. I also often use lemon in savory dishes, but today is all about dessert.
On the menu? Lemon bars with graham cracker crust!
They are filled with citrus flavor and are paired with a buttery homemade graham cracker crust to create a classic treat.
I grew up on lemon bars, and my version is just as good as your childhood memories — if not better!
There are a lot of recipes out there for lemon bars with graham cracker crust and condensed milk, and I typically find that they’re too heavy.
The good news is that I don’t use any condensed milk in mine!
I like making these to have around the house, and I’ve also brought them to a few parties.
They’re always a hit! Enjoy them as an after-dinner treat, or as a mid-afternoon snack. Hey, you could even eat them for an indulgent breakfast — I’m not one to judge!
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- The ingredients you’ll use in my healthy lemon bars with a graham cracker crust. You’ll need a whole lot of lemon!
- How to make the homemade graham cracker crust for bars so you don’t end up with mushy results.
- FAQs on how to make healthy lemon bars with graham cracker crust and condensed milk.
If you’re a fan of fruity desserts, this is the ultimate recipe for you! There may be a lot of steps, but I’ll walk you through it every step of the way.
How To Make Lemon Bars With Graham Cracker Crust
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, or spray it with nonstick baking spray.
STEP TWO: Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt to a large bowl and stir to mix. Next, add the melted butter and stir until the mixture looks like wet sand.
STEP THREE: Pour the crust mixture into the prepared pan and press it down into an even layer — it should be about ¼-inch thick.
Bake for 8 minutes, then set it on a wire rack to cool while you make the lemon layer. Pre-baking the graham cracker crust for the bars will prevent it from going soggy.
STEP FOUR: Add the granulated sugar, flour, and eggs to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Then, add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and stir.
Slowly add the lemon juice while whisking constantly and make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
STEP FIVE: Pour the lemon mixture into the baking pan with your crust. Bake for 40-43 minutes, or until the center is set. Remove the bars from the oven and allow them to cool at room temperature. Once they have cooled a bit, place them in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours (overnight is better) before slicing.
STEP SIX: Sprinkle a layer of powdered sugar on top before you slice. Serve as is or with whipped cream!
Do I Need To Use Condensed Milk To Make Lemon Bars With Graham Cracker Crust?
Nope! That’s why I consider my version to be healthier than other recipes.
Lemon bars with graham cracker crust and condensed milk tend to be a lot sweeter and denser. My recipe is a lot lighter.
What Is Lemon Bar Crust Made Of?
Some lemon bar recipes use shortbread made with sugar, flour, and butter. While I do love this type of crust, I tend to prefer to make a graham cracker crust for bars instead.
Again, it’s a bit lighter than traditional recipes.
How Do You Cut Lemon Bars Without Sticking?
For extra clean slices, run a sharp, flat-bladed knife under hot water before you cut into your healthy lemon bars with graham cracker crust.
Wipe down the knife between each cut. This quick trick will ensure your bars won’t stick together!
Why Do My Lemon Bars Taste Like Eggs?
Whether you’re making lemon bars with graham cracker crust and condensed milk or my version, you may find that the end results taste a bit, well, egg-y.
This is a sign that you overcooked your bars! Make sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid this.
Other Dessert Recipes You’ll Love:
- Raspberry and White Chocolate Loaf Cake
- Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake
- Lemon Curd Cookies
- Lemon Biscotti
- Chocolate Covered Pecans
Lemon Bars With Graham Cracker Crust
Lemon bars with graham cracker crust are so easy to make! Packed with citrus and sweet flavors, they’re the perfect snack or dessert.
For the Graham Cracker Crust
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Lemon Layer
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 8 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9x13” pan with parchment paper or spray it with nonstick baking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt.
- Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Transfer the crust mixture to the prepared pan and press it into an even layer– it should be about ¼” thick all the way along the bottom of the pan.
- Bake the crust for 8 minutes. Then set it on a wire rack to cool while you prepare the lemon layer.
For the Graham Cracker Crust
For the Lemon Layer
- In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, and eggs until well combined. Next add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Slowly pour in the lemon juice, whisking constantly. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Carefully pour the lemon layer on top of the crust. Bake the lemon bars for 40-43 minutes, or until the center is set and no longer jiggles when lightly shaken.
- Remove the bars from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature. Then transfer them to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to overnight) before slicing.
- When ready to serve, add the powdered sugar to a fine mesh sieve and dust it evenly over the lemon bars.
- For clean slices, run a sharp flat-bladed knife under hot water and wipe it clean with a towel. Make one cut into the lemon bars and repeat the process until the lemon bars are completely cut. A clean knife is key to clean slices!
- Storage: Store any leftover lemon bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 61mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.