Lemon Crumble Bars | The Domestic Rebel


lemon crumble bars arranged on a white plate with lemons in background

These bright and zesty Lemon Crumble Bars are sure to make you happy! With a luscious, tart and sweet lemon layer and a buttery crumble topping, they’re SO easy and delicious, too!

The weather has been SO confusing here lately, but I am not surprised – it is like this every year, just earlier and earlier as the years go by.

A few days ago, it was full-on springtime weather: sunny, crisp but not too cold or warm and BEAUTIFUL. Ideal and perfect in every sense of those words. My apartment had just about every window open and it was glorious. The very next day? Rainstorm. Cold, windy, overcast. Don’t get me wrong, I love cold and rainy days – in fact, winter is my favorite season! But the weather is just a little hot and cold for me!

I guess that’s what I get for living with a place with virtually no seasons! Our “seasons” are fleeting in inappropriate months (by real spring we’re in full-fledged summer, etc).

a quadruple stack of lemon crumble bars on white woodBut it was one of those fleeting spring-y days when I conjured up the idea to make these Lemon Crumble Bars! I have been on a serious roll with these crumble bars lately and have no intention of stopping (stay tuned for another seriously delicious iteration!) but had to share these ones: the bright, tart, freshness of the lemon cannot be beat! And, my apartment complex has a lemon grove and we still had a huge abundance of lemons, so I was inspired to grab a ton and make these!

a trio stack of lemon crumble bars on a white plateMy crumble bars have two components to them – the crust/crumble and the filling! Here’s a little breakdown about them:

The Crust/Crumble

The crust and the crumble in my recipe are the same thing which makes things SO much easier as it is made in one bowl for easy cleanup and ease of preparation. For this we use granulated white sugar for sweetness, baking powder for some lift, salt to balance the sweetness, all-purpose flour which acts as a foundation to the base and crumble, unsalted butter which helps hold it all together, an egg for moisture, and vanilla extract for flavor.

The Lemon Filling

The lemon filling is the best part, in my humble opinion! This consists of a can of sweetened condensed milk as the base of the filling for gooey factor, some fresh-squeezed lemon juice for moisture and flavor, fresh lemon zest for flavor, and a couple of egg yolks. *Tip: since you’re zesting and juicing the lemons, I recommend zesting the lemons before juicing them! I bought 3 large lemons and got about 4 Tbsp zest and 1/2 cup juice.

These Lemon Crumble Bars are SO bright, tart, zippy and utterly delicious! I know you’re going to love them!

closeup double stack of lemon crumble bars

Lemon Crumble Bars

These Lemon Crumble Bars are seriously amazing! Bright, zippy, fresh and tart with a sweet lemony filling and an irresistible sweet crumble topping make for a simple and delicious bar!

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time45 mins

Total Time55 mins

Course: Bars, Dessert

Cuisine: American, Dessert

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST & CRUMBLE:

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE LEMON FILLING:

  • 14 oz (1 small can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 2-3 med/large lemons
  • 4 Tbsp lemon zest from about 2-3 med/large lemons
  • 2 large egg yolks

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375° degrees F. Line a 13×9 light metal rectangular baking pan with foil or parchment, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray; set aside.

  • For the crumble: In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and all-purpose flour until combined. Add in the cubed butter, lightly beaten egg and vanilla and use a pastry blender or two forks to cut the cubed butter into the flour mixture until flour mixture resembles small pebbles. Dough will be crumbly, and you may want to use your hands to work it.

  • Press half of the dough into the prepared pan and use your hands to compress it into a nice, even layer. Set aside.

  • For the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolks until combined. Pour evenly over the crust in the pan and spread out in an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining crumble topping over the lemon filling layer.

  • Bake for 38-45 minutes or until the topping is light golden brown and center appears set. Cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least an hour or two to set before cutting into bars. Afterwards, it can be stored in the fridge OR at room temperature.

Notes

Since this recipe requires both lemon zest and lemon juice, I recommend zesting the lemons before juicing them. I like using large lemons (I used about 3 large lemons to get about 4-5 Tbsp zest/1/2 cup juice) for this recipe.

lemon crumble bar with bite missing on white woodBright, zippy, and SO tasty! I love these!

best lemon crumb bars photo collage

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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