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!


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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!) 


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!


Serve and enjoy!


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


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?


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.

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.

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 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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