Lemon Brownies

Love chewy brownies but don’t want chocolate? Try these frosted Lemon Brownies! They are sweet, tangy and perfect for picnics or afternoon snacks.

I feel like I’m tricking you today by calling this easy dessert a “brownie”. Brownies we know and love are chocolate squares of fudgy cake. So why am I calling these bright colored lemon bars brownies?

It’s because of that texture. Lemon cake is hugely popular, but what if you want something a little more…fudgy…without the fudge? These glazed lemon bars are the answer!

frosted lemon bars

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • light, fluffy texture
  • sweet and tangy flavor
  • makes a small batch
  • melt in your mouth frosting
  • less than 15 minutes to the oven.

What is the texture of lemon brownies?

Lemon brownies have a texture that is lighter and fluffier than your typical chocolate brownies. These brownies are fudgy, yet also manage to melt in your mouth. The texture is somewhere between a brownie and a cake. I personally prefer the lightness that these brownies have because it complements the flavor of the lemon.

You might notice that there is no leavening agent in the brownies like baking soda or baking powder. That is done on purpose to get more of a dense, fudgy texture in your brownie.

ingredients for lemon bars

What you need to make this recipe:

  • All-purpose flour.
  • Granulated sugar.
  • Butter: I used salted butter in this recipe, but if you only have unsalted butter on hand you can either leave it as is or add in a pinch of salt to your batter.
  • Salt.
  • Eggs. Large eggs are standard in baking.
  • Lemons: Use fresh lemons for these lemon brownies. I say this mostly because the lemon zest just can’t be replaced by something artificial or from juice from concentrate. If you do not have fresh lemons you can always add in a couple additional tablespoons of lemon juice from concentrate, but just be aware that the lemon brownies may not have as much zingy lemon flavor.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Powdered sugar.

How many lemons will I need to make the brownies?

You will need 3 lemons to make the brownies. I recommend zesting the lemons before you juice them so that they are easier to zest.

How do you make lemon brownies?

Make the brownies.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Whisk eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Beat together flour, sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla until mixed together well. It will resemble course crumbs.
how ot mkae lemon bars
  • Pour in egg mixture and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Pour batter into a greased or parchment lined 8×8 inch pan.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Take out brownies and let cool on the counter for 20 minutes. This is our secret baking trick for soft chewy brownies!
  • Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let brownies cool until the bottom of the pan is cool to touch before frosting.

Make the frosting.

  • Pour lemon juice and zest into 1 cup of powdered sugar. Stir until all of the ingredients are well incorporated. It’s going to look like there isn’t enough liquid at first but don’t be tempted to add more. If you keep stirring, you will find that it will turn into a thick glaze. Keep adding in more powdered sugar until it reaches the consistency of molasses or cold syrup.
ingredients for a lemon glaze
  • Pour glaze over cooled brownies and sprinkle on additional zest if you’d like. You can use a rubber spatula to spread around the glaze if you’d like.
overhead view of lemon bars

How do I store my lemon brownies?

You can store your lemon brownies at room temperature for up to one week. Store your brownies in an airtight container for maximum freshness.

Can you freeze lemon brownies? You can freeze your brownies for up to three months for best quality. I personally prefer to freeze the brownies without the glaze and add on the glaze once they have thawed, but they should taste just fine if you freeze the brownies with the lemon glaze. They may just be a little messier.

plate of frosted lemon brownies
plate of frosted lemon brownies

Chewy Lemon Brownies

4.50 from 4 votes
Love chewy brownies but don't want chocolate? Try these frosted Lemon Brownies! They are sweet, tangy and perfect for picnics or afternoon snacks.
Servings 9
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients
 

For the brownies:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (~1 ½ large lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (~¾ lemon)
  • 4 drops yellow food coloring (this is optional but will help give your brownies a "yellow" look)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup salted butter (room temperature)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the lemon glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (~1 lemon)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (or more for thicker glaze)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (~¾ lemon plus more for garnishing)

Instructions
 

Make the brownies:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Whisk eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Beat together flour, sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla until mixed together well. It will resemble course crumbs.
  • Pour in egg mixture and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Pour batter into a greased or parchment lined 8×8 inch pan. The parchment paper will help you remove them easily and make clean cuts.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Take out brownies and let cool on the counter for 20 minutes (The brownies will not be done yet. This is to help with some of the fudginess).**
  • Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let brownies cool until the bottom of the pan is cool to touch.
  • Make glaze while brownies are cooling.

Make the glaze:

  • Pour lemon juice and zest into 1 cup of powdered sugar. Stir until all of the ingredients are well incorporated. It’s going to look like there isn’t enough liquid at first, but if you keep stirring, you will find that it will turn into a thick glaze. Keep adding in more powdered sugar until it reaches the consistency of molasses or cold syrup.
  • Pour glaze over cooled brownies and sprinkle on additional zest if you'd like.

Notes

**This baking technique may sound strange, but it will help with the fudginess. I learned this tip from Alton Brown for regular brownies, so I decided to try it with these lemon brownies. It made a huge difference in terms of fudginess. Without this method, the lemon bars resemble a denser cake square (still very tasty though!).
***I added 4 drops of yellow food colors to the lemon brownies to get a more yellow square for pictures. You can make these bars without the lemon coloring if you’d like.
The calories shown are based on the brownies being cut into 9 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 frosted brownie. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 375IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 264
Keyword bake sale, lemon, summer

Other Lemon Recipes

Summer is the time for lemon, and if you’re wanting to bring a touch of summer to colder months, lemon is the way to do it!

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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