Whole Lemon Bars

I love all things lemon.  The other day I was thinking of how I could make my lemon bars more lemony.  And that got me to thinking about a lemonade recipe that I’ve made for years that uses whole lemons. 

So, I got this idea to make Whole Lemon Bars using a whole lemon…just like the lemonade.  Easter is only a couple of weeks away now, and these will make a delicious and refreshing dessert.

Whole Lemon Bars

Whole Lemon Bars

I lined my pan with parchment paper for the ease of lifting the bars out for cutting.  Because of this, the outer edge of the crust did not seal well against the pan which caused the filling to ooze between the paper and the crust, resulting in a rather messy outer edge. 

This didn’t affect the taste. But I do think I’ll use foil next time.

Whole Lemon Bars

My original recipe calls for lemon juice.  I replaced the juice with a puréed lemon.  For that, I used my food processor, but I’m sure a blender would do the trick too. 

I puréed the lemon for about 3 minutes with the sugar and several teaspoons of lemon juice.  Mine had some tiny lemon bits in it, and I loved it that way. 

If you prefer not to have them just process it a little longer.  I did use an organic lemon since the whole lemon was being used.

Whole Lemon Bars

These lemon bars are truly delicious.  They have the same texture as my original recipe even though you use the whole lemon. 

These bars have a slightly crunchy shortbread crust with a moist, super-lemon- flavored filling. A good dusting of powdered sugar gives them a finishing touch.

If you have a love for lemon flavors be sure and check out my Lemon Puppy Chow and my Fresh Squeezed Lemonade.  This lemonade is not the one I referred to above, but it’s delicious and super refreshing.  I will be putting the one I mentioned earlier up here before to much longer.

Whole lemon bars dusted with powdered sugar, cut into squares and served on a silver platter

Whole Lemon Bars

Serving Up Southern
5 from 1 vote


Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 stick melted butter

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon preferably organic
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    For the crust:

    • In a medium bowl mix the flour, powdered sugar, dash of salt, and the melted butter.
    • Press the ingredients into the bottom of a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Bake crust for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

    For the filling:

    • Cut both ends off of the lemon, cut it in half and remove all the seeds. Slice into thin slices.
    • Put lemon slices into processor or blender with sugar and lemon juice and purée until liquified.
    • Add the eggs, cornstarch, dash of salt, and melted butter and blend until smooth.
    • Pour onto hot crust and bake 25 – 30 minutes, or until filling is not longer jiggly. Cool and cut into bars. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

    Disclaimer: Nutritional values (per serving) are approximates only and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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    1. 5 stars
      I’ve been craving lemon and this was just the ticket! Using the whole lemon was new to me but I’m sold! The buttery crust is a nice compliment to the smooth and creamy texture of the lemon. Enjoyed them very much.

      1. I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipe Joyce! I love using the whole lemon. If it works with lemonade it’s bound to work in other recipes too – like this one. :)

    2. So you use the peel of the lemon and all? (I mean minus the seeds and ends as mentioned.) I mean, I get zesting a lemon, but I never knew you could use the whole peel.

      1. That’s right, Melissa! You use the whole lemon – peel and all. You’re processing it into a liquid. As I mentioned, when using a whole lemon in a recipe I always try to stick with organic. Let me know if you decide to try them.

    3. What an interesting way to make lemon bars! I’ll definitely try it. I’ve been searching for a really good recipe. The last one I tried had WAY too much crust. Yours look perfect.

      1. Kim at Serving Up Southern says:

        Thanks Kim! I’m a sucker for about anything lemon, and this method takes the lemon flavor up a couple of notches without making the bars taste bitter. I’d love to know how you like them. :)

    4. We have the world’s best lemons in Santa Barbara, thin skins and sweeter than store bought. I have always thought about using whole lemons in a meringue pie. Would method be the same. Using whole lemon for liquid ingredients?

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