Whole Lemon Bars

Added on by Caroline Zhang.
Whole Lemon Bars | Pass the Cocoa

Happy spring! Like, for real this time. In Boston temperature has finally risen to the point where I would actually consider it spring-like. Even better, they've gotten out the multi-colored lawn chairs here in Harvard Yard! They're so bright and happy.


And you know what else is bright and happy? Whole lemon bars. They're the perfect balance between tart and sweet; sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, and with a very bright citrus flavor. And yes, I used the whole lemon, peel, pith, and all in these.The skin of the lemons give a little bit of texture.


I followed David Lebovitz's Whole Lemon Bar recipe, and it turned out amazing. I had spent about 2 weeks hunting the web for the perfect lemon bar recipe before finally deciding on this one. (To check out my scavenger hunt, visit my Pinterest board.)

The crust of this wonderful bar is flaky, buttery, and sweet, perfectly balancing the tart filling. It's also super easy to make; there's no cutting in cold butter or anything.


David Lebovitz recommends using an organic or un-sprayed lemon, but I was too lazy to go to the store to get one, so I just washed a normal lemon very well before using. And hey, I'm still alive.


I highly recommend making these. Their sweet-yet-tart, bright lemony flavor is perfect for spring, and they're super easy to make. The filling is made in the food processor, and the crust can be made in one bowl. Enjoy, everyone!


P.S. For more lemon recipes, check out our delicious Chewy Lemon Cookies

1 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 medium lemon (organic is best)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 eggs, room temperature
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8-inch pan with foil, with the ends of the foil extending over the sides, and grease with vegetable oil or non-stick spray.

For the crust, mix together the butter, flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla, until just smooth.

Firmly press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden-brown.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Cut the lemon into wedges, removing any seeds.

Place wedges in the food processor along with sugar and lemon juice and blend well. Add eggs, cornstarch, salt, and butter, and blend until smooth. (It’s okay if there’s a few small pieces of pulp still there.)

After the crust is done, reduce oven temperature to 300.

Pour the filling over the crust and bake for about 25, or until the center is just set. Let cool completely.

Remove from the pan, and peel off the foil. With a sharp knife, cut 16 squares. Dust with powdered sugar and serve