Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars

Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars with a quick oatmeal crumb base and a sweet, tart filling that is a cross between lemon curd and lemon cheesecake.

Spring is the perfect time for fruity Desserts like these Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars. They are right at home with other popular favorites such as Cherry Coconut Bars, Apricot Shortbread Bars, and Key Lime Cheesecake Bars.

Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars slice on plate with lemon wedges

These Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars taste like a cross between a lemon curd bar and a lemon cheesecake bar sandwiched between the softest oatmeal cookie you’ve ever made. Take into account how easy they are to make and how bright these flavors are, and these bars will make you feel like Spring has arrived.

Lemon Bars have long been a classic favorite dessert to make, and lemon tarts are actually a most requested dessert by a pretty far margin. The rich filling is both easy and impressive and even though these bars aren’t going to win any sort of a beauty contest, you will think the flavor is out of this world.

If you have time, you can also try them frozen. You’ll love putting these bars in the freezer to enjoy cold and to keep if you have any left over. Another tasty and beautiful option is to dust the top with coarse sanding sugar before baking for an extra crunch. They make the bars look like jewels!

Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars Collage of prep steps

Frequently Asked Questions

What other fruit can be added to Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars?

Try using dried cherries or dried blueberries in the bars. You can make them even better by soaking them in more lemon juice or water. Add sliced freeze dried strawberries on top of the filling and before the crumble for strawberry lemon bars.

Can these bars be made with lime juice?

Absolutely! Use half lemon juice/zest and half lime… or even ALL lime!

What kind of lemons should I use for Lemon Bars?

Any type of lemon will work for these bars, but if you use Meyer Lemons, they are AMAZING. Meyer Lemons are slightly sweeter and very juicy, making them perfect for baking recipes.

How do I add white chocolate to Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars?

Dip the bottoms of these bars in melted white chocolate for an even more over the top experience.

Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars slice on plate with lemon wedges and fork

How to Store Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars

  • Serve: Do not leave Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
  • Store: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 weeks.
  • Freeze: These bars will freeze beautifully for up to 2 months. Layer slices with parchment paper so they wont stick, and store in a sealed freezer bag or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars slice on plate with lemon wedges

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Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars

Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars with a quick oatmeal crumb base and a sweet, tart filling that is a cross between lemon curd and lemon cheesecake.
Yield 12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large egg yolks

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking pan with baking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl add flour, oats, salt and baking soda.
  • Mix in the sugar and light brown sugar.
  • Add the vanilla and melted better together and mix it into the dry ingredients.
  • Press half the mixture into the bottom of your baking pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • While the crust is baking, mix together the condensed milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and egg yolks.
  • Add it to the baking pan once it is done baking and dot the top of the filling with the remaining crumble evenly.
  • Bake for an additional 20-22 minutes.
  • Let cool completely, then refrigerate.
  • The bars slice better cold. If you want to slice perfectly you can also freeze it so the filling doesn’t ooze at all while cutting.
  • If you want to take this over the top you can also freeze the bars then cut and dip the bottom half in some melted white chocolate.
  • Put the bars onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and keep refrigerated.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 400IU | Vitamin C: 5.2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Keyword: Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars, lemon bars

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Easy Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars with a quick oatmeal crumb base and a sweet and tart creamy lemon filling.
Easy Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars with a quick oatmeal crumb base and a sweet and tart creamy lemon filling.
Easy Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars with a quick oatmeal crumb base and a sweet and tart creamy lemon filling.
Easy Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars with a quick oatmeal crumb base and a sweet and tart creamy lemon filling.
Easy Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars with a quick oatmeal crumb base and a sweet and tart creamy lemon filling.
Easy Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars with a quick oatmeal crumb base and a sweet and tart creamy lemon filling.
Easy Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars with a quick oatmeal crumb base and a sweet and tart creamy lemon filling.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Making these…again…EXCELLENT squares! LOTS of lemon flavour, which we love. And very easy to make. Definitely recommend to anyone who loves lemon!

  2. These lemon bars are so delicious. I made them twice in one week.
    I have been trying to eat more gluten free things, as well I have friends who are gluten free so I tried to make them using the gluten free oats and flour. A delicious gluten free option as well.
    Just had a friend request the recipe.

  3. I made these a few months back and truly have never loved a dessert this much! I find it hard to find lemon bar recipes that have the right amount of tart and this one for sure is the perfect blend of tart and sweet. I’m making them again today and will have this in my regular rotation! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Oh my sweet goodness these are delicious. I’ve never rated a recipe before but I was inspired by these yummy bars. Followed the recipe word for word. Pure perfection!

  5. Absolutely delicious! I always double the recipe so I can keep some before sharing the rest. It is a crowd pleaser. I am so glad I came across this. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Honestly this is the nicest slice I’ve ever eaten.
    I don’t bake a lot but both times I’ve made it, it’s turned out perfectly. An absolute winner!

  7. Loved these! I added a bit more lemon juice because I just love the tartness. Recipe came out great– we tried fresh out of the oven and after it was refrigerated. It was a bit easier after being chilled to cut and eat but great either way. I am going to make these again and again.

  8. These were delicious. I made them exactly as recipe described and they came out perfect. Delicious lemon bar with an oatmeal cookie base and crumb like topping. So good!

  9. Delicious, but how to you keep the filling from soaking into the crumble? I followed the recipe, but since the filling is a thin liquid, the “topping” just mixes in with it and it all combines together. I was really hoping for the layered effect, so it was disappointing.

    1. I’m so sorry this comment got stuck and I just came across it. I know your dessert is long gone now, but it shouldn’t be very thin after baking the filling. Perhaps the filling needed to bake longer? The crumble should stay atop it without sinking directly to the bottom.

  10. This recipe is sooo good! But for those counting calories, the count is way off. So do your own math.

  11. follow up for the cookie idea?
    the 5 stars are for the orig recipe
    cookie idea maybe a 3 1/2-4 stars
    need that yummy lemon filling to set off the oatmeal goodness ???

  12. deeeeeelicious!!!!
    i’m trying just the crust for some yummy cookies!!
    baking now will be back with critique?

  13. This is the best Oatmeal Lemon bar recipe I have tried. The additional butter, flour and oats makes a generous batch and baking the bottom portion first really makes the crust so tasty. The egg yolks in the lemon mixture are a nice addition to make it more fluffy. I only used one yolk and plenty of lemon juice and zest. These are so delicious, they are hard to stop eating!

  14. I love lemon flavored desserts, and I’ve tried quite a few traditional lemon bar recipes but they’ve always been a little off balance (too sweet, too tart, not enough crust ect) for my tastes. I had almost given up finding one I really liked.

    This one was PERFECT! The double crust and the lemon paired with the sweetened condensed milk really makes a nice and balanced dessert that’s just sweet, tart, and crunchy enough. I also found the filling to be firmer than the kind made with just eggs and lemon, and coupled with the double crust it made the bars much easier to cut and eat without them falling apart.

    I think if I were to try my hand at traditional lemon bars again I might actually use this crust, since it both tastes better and supports the filling more/doesn’t fall apart as easily.

    These became an instant hit in my house, and I can’t wait to make them again. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. These are amazing!! First time trying them and they are seriously SO good. My family all loved, kids included. I made with gluten free flour for an interolance and no one knew. These remind me of a crisp, but with lemon instead of berries or apples. The oatmeal base and topping is so good!

  15. Someone really special to me made these for me, And I ate the whole pan. I’m not even mad about it.

    1. Quick oats offer a softer, moister finished product so the texture might be different though it will still be delicious! Good luck!

  16. I’m not a huge lemon flavor fan but holy moly these are freaking DELICIOUS!!!! I think in one week I made them three times. When I was out of fresh lemon juice I also used bottled store bought lemon juice but prefer fresh of course!

  17. I would give it 5 but , once again I followed directions and cooked that bottom layer for 15 min. Only cook 5 or it is impossible to get from the bottom of the pan. The rest is the best lemon bar recipe I have had. And don’t press it down hard. Just a light Pat for crust.

    1. If you dip the bottom of pan in a sink of hot water, you can get it out of the pan! These are absolutely delicious! Everybody loves them!

  18. How do you think the filling would turn out if you used a mix of sweetened and unsweetened condensed milk? I would prefer it tart over very sweet, but would that ruin the recipe?

    1. These are delicious! I’ve made 2x now. I crave the creamy, lemony and crumbly goodness! Highly recommend. I’ve made a full and low fat/sugar substitutes version and both turned out well. I think the key is fresh lemon. Great recipe.

    1. It can be tricky but make sure to double wrap the bars in freezer-safe plastic wrap then place them in a freezer safe plastic bag, squeezing all the extra air out before the final seal. They should last up to 6 months is stored properly.

  19. This lemon bar was a huge hit at work! It was so creamy and rich. I love the crust and actually used the recipe for a pie and it worked pretty well. I am thinking to omit the sugar and use it to make a quiche crust next. I feel that the crust is semi healthier compared to regular pie crust (just a little). The oats create good crunchiness. I will definitely make this bar again. Thank you for the great recipe!

  20. Made these for a baby shower brunch – mom-to-be wanted something lemony, and I wanted to make something a bit heartier than a dessert, but still elegant. These oatmeal cream lemon bars (I had some freeze-dried raspberries, so I added those) were a perfect fit! Can’t wait to make them again.

  21. These bars are wonderful! That delicious lemony filling is so perfect with the yummy oatmeal crumble. Will definitely be making these again. Thanks for this great recipe!

  22. This is so good! I even made it with regular salted butter. I’m a pretty traditional lemon square girl…I was a little skeptical of the oatmeal…so freaking good! I can’t say one thing bad about this recipe…amazing!

    I’m new to Pinterest so I don’t know how to look other recipes by who posted this…please reach out!!

  23. Oh Sabrina, my mouth is watering as I look at the photo of your “Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars”! They’re quick to make, sound delicious, and I have all of the ingredients on hand, so I’ll be making these bars later this afternoon. I have no doubt that we’ll enjoy them for dessert this evening.

  24. Hi, I made these lemon bars a while ago, they tasted very nice. I love the lemon flavour, but my crust was very hard. Can you please let me know where I went wrong with the crust because I’d really like to make them again very soon.

    1. So glad you enjoyed them. Did you change any of the ingredients in the recipe? If you’d like you can email me at contact @ dinnerthendessert .com and we can troubleshoot together.

  25. I have made these bars a few times now following the recipe exact and they are absolutley amazing! Very easy and very good!! 2 thumbs up and 5 stars!

  26. I used half lemon and half lime since I only had one lemon. They were really good, but cloyingly sweet so we only ate small bits at a time and some went to waste. The crust was especially good as It was really chewy. I’d take to a gathering, but it was a bit much just for my little family.

  27. I made the lemon bars today. I thought the recipe was well written and they turned out perfectly. Thanks for a great recipe!

  28. I made the lemon bars today. I thought the recipe was well written and they turned out perfectly. Thanks for a great recipe!

          1. They’re a more delicate texture than old fashioned oats so I’m not sure if the crust will hold up as well.

  29. What can I substitute for sweetened condensed milk. I usually use can coconut milk and 3/4 sugar or can I leave it out

    1. You don’t want to leave it out. I haven’t tested this recipe with a substitute for it but if that’s what you usually use as a substitute, you could try it. I’d love to know how it turns out if you decide to try.

    1. Quick oats have been processed and are slightly softer than rolled oats but should work as a substitute. I haven’t test it though and would love to know how they turn out if you decide to use them.

  30. Hi!  New to baking…. if I need to freeze some squares, what is the best method? Individually or several in zip bags or….?  They are very good!  

  31. I made these for my wedding reception and they were a huge hit! My step daughter even asked for me to make them for Thanksgiving this year. I found that buying lemons by the bag is much cheaper than individually. 

    1. I’d stick with dried but if you want to try fresh, just give them a good toss in flour first. Let me know how they turn out!

    1. Yes, these bars are able to be cut and would be wonderful for a bake sale….I’d buy one 🙂 If you think it’ll be warmer where you’ll be for the sale, I might suggest keeping the cool or individually wrapping them to keep them perfect.

  32. I wasn’t crazy about these. They were way too greasy and the condensed milk took away from the lemon taste. I think I’ll stick with y original lemon bars.

  33. These sound absolutely amazing. I love anything with lemon and the crust sounds delish. Can’t wait to try these out.

    1. Sorry this comment took so long to get to, it ended up in my spam filter somehow! Double the recipe and it would work great in a 9×13 🙂

  34. They are in the oven as I’m writing this. I am a bit confused though, because the recipe says at the top that the bake time is 25 minutes, but in the directions you say to bake the crust for 15 minutes, then add the filling and the rest of the topping, and bake for another 22-25 minutes. Should total bake time be 37-40 minutes or am I not reading this correctly? Thank you!
    Re: Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars

    1. Yes sorry, the widget for the recipes has been acting up with cook times listing. It is done in two parts for a total of ~37-40 minutes. I fixed it in the recipe card.

  35. I just made these and they are divine! I love your suggestions too! I’m thinking next time I’ll try strawberries too”

    1. It always makes me happy to hear my readers made one of my dishes and enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!

      1. Hi. How long would these keep in the refrigerator? I’m making them on a Friday to serve on the following Sunday.

        1. Yikes, I’m sorry this ended up in the spam filter for some reason. Covered and in the fridge I’ve had them taste awesome for up to a week.

  36. I love lemon bars so I bet these would be something that I would enjoy making and eating right up! Thanks for sharing!

  37. Ok. My mouth is seriously drooling! The pictures are beautiful, and I could definitely dive into these lemon bars! Thank you so much!

  38. Lemon is my favorite flavor for baked treats. I really have got to try these ASAP! I just need lemons to go on sale. They are so pricey here all of a sudden!