Lightened Up Lemon Bars

Here's the Dish

One of the desserts that my mom all of the time when I was growing up was lemon bars! I’m pretty sure that almost everyone has tried a lemon bar in their lifetime, considering they are truly a ‘classic’ treat…But if you haven’t tried one you are in for a wonderful surprise! Lemon bars are wonderful because they are basically a ‘portable’ version of a lemon pie, so they are perfect to bring to BBQ’s! The buttery crust compliments the wonderful lemon filling just perfectly…And I can almost gaurantee that even if you don’t like lemon very much, you will love these!

Note: When creating this recipe, I experimented with two types of crust. I created a homemade whole-grain crust, and tried the pre-made shortbread crust. Both were equally delicious, but I decided to feature the pre-made crust because it was easier, and both came out to be the same amount of calories! However, I did post the whole grain crust as well if you choose to go the ‘homemade’ whole grain route!

Method

The estimated total time to make this recipe is 30 Minutes.

1

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9×9 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2

Break apart pre-made shortbread crust, and pour into baking pan. Work shortbread crust in between hands, and press it down to re-form it to fit your 9×13 pan.

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3

Bake crust in pre-heated oven for 8 minutes, and remove from oven.

4

While crust is baking, whisk together egg beaters and lemon juice in a medium bowl (or large measuring cup).

lemon-bars-2
5

Add sweetener, lemon zest, and flour, and continue to whisk until everything is well combined.

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6

Pour lemon bar filling over warm shortbread crust, and return to oven. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until filling is set.

(Note: don’t touch the mixture when it comes out of the oven~ it will leave a finger print!) 

7

Let bars cool completely in pan, and cut into 9 equal sized bars. Dust with powdered sugar if desired!

Note: You may store leftover bars in the fridge, covered for up to one week!

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8

Serve and enjoy!

Ingredients

Pre-made Crust:
1 Pre-made shortbread pie crust
1 1/2 cup Egg beaters
1 cup Sweetener of choice (I used Ideal brand sweetener)
1 tsp Grated lemon zest (or 1/2 tsp lemon extract)
3/4 cup Lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 tbs Flour (you may also use whole wheat pastry flour)
Optional 1 tbs powder sugar for dusting
Whole Grain Crust:
1/4 cup Baking stevia OR 1/2 cup sweetener of choice that measures like sugar 1
1/2 cup Oats (or an additional 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Light butter, softened
*Note*To make this variation of crust, blend all dry ingredients together in a blender or food processor until oats are ground, and add butter. Continue pulsing until crust forms. Press crust into prepared 9×9 baking pan and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Proceed with following steps.

1 I used NuNaturals More Fiber Stevia Baking Blend. If using packets of stevia, I recommend using about 6-8, or adjust according to taste.

Katie's Tip!

You can store leftover bars in the fridge, covered for up to one week!

Nutrition Breakdown

9 Servings (bars)
116 Calories Per Serving
6 g Fat
19 g Carbohydrate
1 g Fiber
5 g Sugar
6 g Protein
4 WWP+*

*Weight Watchers Points per serving

57 Comments

Jordan said:

Oh my goodness these look so good! I’ve totally been craving lemon desserts since warm weather hit…I’m gonna have to try these!

May 28th, 2011 — 6:21am  |  Reply

Rossy said:

Wow! Look AMAZING! and my hubby was JUST telling me how much he love lemon last night- I see a surprise homemade goodie in his future!

May 28th, 2011 — 6:43am  |  Reply

Valerie said:

Ohh…those look amazing! Perfect for this warmer weather…at least I think so.;)

May 28th, 2011 — 9:12am  |  Reply

Laura said:

Is the recipe meant for a 8×8 or 9×9 pan? These look delicious!

May 28th, 2011 — 3:08pm  |  Reply

lisa said:

I dont think ive actually had a lemon bar :O
but these seem so easy to make! Perhaps Ill give them a try! :)

May 29th, 2011 — 9:01am  |  Reply

Rach said:

Katie, these are beautiful!

May 29th, 2011 — 8:19pm  |  Reply

Lauren Drinkwater said:

I can’t wait to try these! Thanks so much Katie!

May 30th, 2011 — 6:29pm  |  Reply

Lauren Drinkwater said:

I actually have a question…I’d love to make some variation of this for a friend of mine who loves lemon but is diabetic and tries to stay away from pies or crusts (even the graham/shortbread type.) Do you have any idea how I could use this filling for something? Thanks so much!

May 30th, 2011 — 6:38pm  |  Reply

Leanna said:

This looks great….is there a place where I could find the calorie info? I have some friends who are really watching their intake.

May 31st, 2011 — 7:38am  |  Reply

katie said:

hey beautiful!!!!!! this looks delicious- another amazing recipe!!! I hope you are doing wonderful!

May 31st, 2011 — 1:38pm  |  Reply

Cara said:

These look wonderful! I love lemon bars, and this recipe looks delicious! I will be sure to make them when I get home!

June 1st, 2011 — 2:59am  |  Reply

Leah said:

Hi Katie! Thank you for your kind comment on Facebook. :)

I am taking lunch to a friend next week and plan to try these Lemon bars! I have never really used anything other than sugar in recipes. Can you share what Ideal brand sweetner is? Is it Stevia?

Thanks!

June 2nd, 2011 — 2:11pm  |  Reply

kate said:

I made a lemon dish today too.. theres just something about lemon that goes perfectly with summertime!

June 2nd, 2011 — 8:13pm  |  Reply

Tori (Fresh Fruition) said:

I love love love lemon bars- I must try this! Gorgeous photos :)

June 3rd, 2011 — 12:33pm  |  Reply

Roberta said:

I made them today & they were DELISH! Tart, sweet, tangy. Thanks so much!

June 25th, 2011 — 6:21pm  |  Reply

Monica said:

I so wanted something fruity, citrusy today and I almost caved and just got a high calorie treat when I remembered how awesome your desserts (well, everything actually) looks. And it’s easy, too. Off to bake some yummy lemon bars. :)

June 26th, 2011 — 3:48pm  |  Reply

Jackie said:

Sound delish. Wish recipe was printed so it could be easily copied.

June 27th, 2011 — 10:49pm  |  Reply

Vanessa said:

I love lemon bars…Or anything lemon flavored for that matter! Great photos!

June 28th, 2011 — 4:49am  |  Reply

sonia @ master of her romaine said:

Amazing! I cannot wait to try these :)

June 28th, 2011 — 11:34am  |  Reply

Kitty said:

Ideal sweetner is Xylitol and much better for us than all the rest.

July 3rd, 2011 — 11:46am  |  Reply

Maggie @MaggieCooks said:

GORGEOUS! love the pictures, what camera do you use :) ?
I’m trying your recipe for sure! :D
greetings from Mexico! :D

July 31st, 2011 — 11:36pm  |  Reply

Toni King said:

I am assuming a serving size is 1 bar for 4 ww points?

September 18th, 2011 — 7:51am  |  Reply

Heather said:

Have you used Coconut Flour in anything? I’ve found it’s really yummy in anything sweet… like this. The recipe looks great – I may try 1/2 coconut flour in the crust though.

October 2nd, 2011 — 7:47pm  |  Reply

Dana said:

I don’t keep things like Egg Beaters on hand and was wondering how many eggs I could use instead. I’m not sure of conversion.
Thanks!

October 12th, 2011 — 1:06pm  |  Reply

Luzi Bergey said:

My daughter and I make Lemon Bars every year at Christmas. We are super excited to try your version and make it part of our annual baking extravaganza:)!

October 29th, 2011 — 7:00am  |  Reply

Gibson Les Paul Supreme Reviews said:

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December 2nd, 2011 — 1:32am  |  Reply

Julie said:

Hey Katie! Just a heads up that Ideal isn’t calorie free like Stevia and Truvia. I thought it was until I looked on there website where they say they actually have 202 calories per cup. http://www.idealsweet.com/faqs/index.html

January 22nd, 2012 — 8:24am  |  Reply

Brenda said:

Made these today and they were DELISH too! This is my second recipe of yours I have made (first, spaghetti squash) and both of them are amazing! I love your website and will be cooking/baking may more of your recipes. Thanks Katie!

January 22nd, 2012 — 7:55pm  |  Reply

Kathy Burress said:

First of all, I love your website and your story! I love the fact that you boldly share of your faith in our Lord.

Now, i wanted to tell you about something that you might want to try – its a sugar called WheyLow and the website is wheylow.com. I have been ordering this from the web for about 10 years – go read about it – it is NOT a chemical but simply sugar put through a process that lowers the glycemic index as well as the calorie count. Best of all, it COOKS JUST LIKE SUGAR! I use it for everything and in anything calling for sugar. It has now become mainstream – Whole Foods is selling it and I think a few others but i still order it in bulk from their webiste. I think you would love it as an addition to some of your recipes that need a sweetner and stevia just doesn’t cook like sugar. If you check it out, let me know what you think….can’t wait to try some of your recipes. I pray God continues to bless you and your avenue for reaching people. Kathy Burress

February 28th, 2012 — 1:49pm  |  Reply

Gisela said:

Just found your site after craving a MickeyD’s Shamrock Shake and wondered about the WW points! I’m definitely stopping at grocery store on way home to pick up the ingredients to try!

Anyway, I started looking at other recipes and notice this one – I lurrrrv lemon bars, so I look forward to trying. I was reading through the recipe and looking at pictures and I noticed a discrepancy, I think:

You indicate to make the bars in a 9X9″ baking dish, but in step #2 you refer to a 9×13″ pan…that’s just an error, right?1?

March 17th, 2012 — 3:04pm  |  Reply

Divya said:

These look yummy! I found your site while looking for weight watchers recipes, and I can’t wait to try these! Hoping to try one of your desserts this weekend! Keep up the great work :)

April 5th, 2012 — 10:25am  |  Reply

Robin said:

Hey Katie! LOVE THE SITE! I tried out the lemon bars bc they are my BFs fav, but I’m wondering why they turned out kinda “eggy”. The center was consistency of like a breakfast casserole? Could it be bc I used a smaller than 9×9 dish? He didn’t have a 9×9, so I used an oblong pirex, which made it kinda thick. Any ideas? The whole wheat/oats crust was awesome btw!

April 30th, 2012 — 12:29pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

yes robin that was it, you need to change the baking time if you have a different size pan! :)

April 30th, 2012 — 12:44pm  | 

Dashing Dish said:

increase baking time next time by 5-10 min!

April 30th, 2012 — 12:45pm  | 

Nicole said:

If I were to use regular eggs, how many would you suggest? Does it affect the points value?

November 29th, 2012 — 8:41pm  |  Reply

Erin O'Brien said:

If using Splenda baking blend would I use your measurements for sweetener? Or, since it measures like sugar, would I use the conversion for 1/2 cup of sugar?

February 5th, 2013 — 9:32pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

you are right! 1/2 cup :)

February 6th, 2013 — 7:27am  | 

Nicole Schauer said:

Hey Katie! These look great, Lemon bars are my fav and I have been looking for a good recipe for awhile now – of course I should have thought to look here first! I was just wondering what other sweetner options would be for the lemon filling? I’m not sure what ideal brand sweetner is and I’d rather not use sugar, could I use Nunaturals stevia packets or the Nunaturals baking blend like I do in most of your other dessert recipes? If so do you have any idea what the amount would be? Thank you!

February 6th, 2013 — 6:10pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

sure could! same amount i’m guessing…cant say for sure since i havent tried it personally

February 7th, 2013 — 10:03am  | 

Chi Chi said:

Thank you ! It’s so amazing :)

July 26th, 2013 — 5:53am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks rossy! :) let me know if your hubby enjoys them! :)

May 28th, 2011 — 7:54am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

me too jordan!

May 28th, 2011 — 7:54am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

either would work laura~ :)

May 28th, 2011 — 5:24pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

oh lisa you have to! :) they are soooo good!

May 29th, 2011 — 5:02pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thank you so much rach! :)

May 30th, 2011 — 3:10am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

I sure do lauren! :) Did you see the whole grain crust option I listed as another option!? I used whole wheat flour and oats! :) Otherwise, you could try phyllo tart shells! :)

May 31st, 2011 — 6:18am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

Thanks Leanna…and the calorie count is at the bottom of every recipe! :)

June 1st, 2011 — 3:27am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks katie!!! you too! xoxo

June 1st, 2011 — 3:28am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks so much cara! :)

June 1st, 2011 — 3:28am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

its a sweetener used with a combination of natural sweeteners…but tastes like and measures out like sugar! :) I actually just discovered it at Meijer (my grocery store) in the baking section! :) Sugar would work too though!

June 3rd, 2011 — 5:55am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

So true Kate!

June 3rd, 2011 — 5:56am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

yeahhhh go monica go! :)

June 26th, 2011 — 4:01pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

correct toni! :)

September 18th, 2011 — 9:29am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

i have heather! in fact, i love it! i use it all the time at home, but i started using it and people were writing me saying they didnt know where to get it, etc. i didnt want to make it impossible for people to make my recipes, so i kind of stopped using it…but i should post more recipes with it for sure… i love it!

October 3rd, 2011 — 3:50am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

wooo hoo! awesome@luzi

October 30th, 2011 — 3:42am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

wow…thank you sooo much kathy! what a blessing you are!

i will look into the whey low! thanks for the awesome advice! xo

February 28th, 2012 — 3:33pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

oh yes, thanks gisela! it’s a 9×9 pan!

March 18th, 2012 — 4:15am  |  Reply

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