Lemon Bars With A Shortcut
While Lemon Bars themselves arent terribly difficult, they do take a bit of time. I made these sweet squares even more simple by adding a twist cake mix!
Lemon Bars with Cake Mix are still delicious, but just a bit easier to whip up making them a perfect go-to sweet for sharing!
Ingredient Easy Lemon Bars
Shared by Amy Desrosiers | Updated on
Sweet and tangy lemon bars come together easily. All you need is yellow cake mix, butter, and canned lemon pie filling to make these delicious lemon squares.
If youre in the mood for an easy lemon dessert, look no further than these 3-ingredient lemon bars! Made with just a handful of common ingredients, they come together quickly and are a breeze to bake. Serve them up warm with a scoop of ice cream for a fun and simple dessert that everyone will love this summer.
When it comes to desserts with just a few ingredients, you can count me in! I am the master of easy-to-bake desserts that require minimal effort! From Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake to 3 Ingredient Oatmeal Banana Cups I know what busy people crave! That is why these lemon bars are a hit. There are no measurement cups, spoons, or messy ingredients to fuss with. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive to make.
Cake Mix Lemon Squares
If you are a fan of easy dessert recipes these Cake Mix Lemon Squares are where its at. Lemon cake mix is baked and glazed with a sweet lemon glaze, perfect bar recipe for spring!
I have to admit that Im a lemon lover. Now my husband on the other hand is not. But thats ok, because I dont like to share half the time anyways so these Cake Mix Lemon Squares I can have all the time all to myself.
Easy dessert recipes are essential in my house. I have a HUGE sweet tooth and I like to have desserts that I can easily whip up and these Cake Mix Lemon Squares are absolutely falling in that category.
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Gooey Lemon Cake Bars Recipe
I based these lemon bars off of this easy Gooey Butter Cake recipe. By just changing it slightly they become a whole new dessert.
If you love lemon treats as much as I do youre going to fall head over heels for these cake bars! Theyre full of zesty lemon goodness, like sunshine in bar form.
You can make these even prettier by adding some fresh raspberries or strawberries on top as a garnish, but they dont need any help being tastier.
Try them and youll understand, Gooey Lemon Cake Bars are divine. Hands down. No question.
Why These Lemon Bars Are Best
These tender, moist lemon cake bars were a happy accident in my kitchen.
Originally I set out to make lemon COOKIE bars with a sweet lemon buttercream frosting. But, during the process, a few changes were made and the end result was too fantastic to fix!
What I love about these Lemon Cake Bars is they arent overly sweet. You know, that cloyingly sweetness that you cant manage to finish one bar.
- Makes a 13×9- easy!
- Perfect for sharing
- Freezer friendly
Unlike these Gooey Lemon Cake Bars that start with a cake mix, todays recipe is from scratch, but so easy!
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What You Need For Lemon Cake Bars
As I mentioned, only two ingredients are needed for these lemon cake bars. YES! Only two! Yes it works!
lemon pie filling you can make your own if you want, but we just use a canned lemon pie filling.
angel food cake mix yes this is a cake mix recipe, but it works and its incredible!
They come out pretty much like Lemon Angel Food Cake . haha But you could do so much with them.
Can You Freeze Lemon Bars
Yes, you absolutely can freeze these delicious 3 ingredient lemon bars. Wrap individual bars in waxed paper and put them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
They should be good for at least a couple of months. When you want to eat one, take it out of the freezer and set it on the counter for about half an hour to thaw.
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How To Make Lemon Cake Bars
STEP 1. Cake Bars.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper or spray with non-stick baking spray .
In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter with sugar until creamy. Add in eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and lemon juice, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Using a wooden spoon , add in flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
Spread batter in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes, remove and cool on wire rack.
STEP 2. Lemon Frosting.
For the frosting, beat softened butter with powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and heavy cream. Beat until light and fluffy, for about 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.
Spread frosting over cooled cake bars. Slice and enjoy.
When You Are Too Lazy To Make Cookies
Make bars! Dont get me wrong! Desperation cookies are fantastic. Ive made dozens and dozens to share at our grandkids ball games, potlucks, and family meals.
But then one night, I was bone tired and totally done dealing. Even idiot cookies were too much for me to face.
I couldnt muster the gumption to shape the dough into 36 balls. So, I just patted the dough into a bar pan. Guess what? It worked great!
Ever since then, these simple lemon bars made from a cake mix have shot to the top of the chart as a favorite!
Does anyone remember Toll House Bars? Of course, you do because theyre amazing! At some point, a smart cookie came up with the idea of spreading cookie dough in a bar pan. Voila! A classic was born!
The first time I tried making Desperation Cookies into bars, I used a yellow cake mix with toffee chips and they turned out great! After that, I was off and running!
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Lemon Bars Made With Cake Mix
I love anything lemon. I love anything easy.
And this recipe combines both of the above so I hope you love them as much as I do.
I am sharing with you one of our family favorite desserts and snacks.
Lemon Bars made with Cake Mix.
Here is the recipe.
- 1 box of lemon cake
- ¼ cup of soft butter
- 1 Package – 8oz cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons of grated lemon peel
How To Get That Gooey Filling
The cake batter is topped with a cream cheese custard filling. As it bakes, the custard sinks into the middle of the cake, creating a gooey filling.
The lemon butter cake filling uses egg yolks to help thicken, which also helps make the middle a lemon yellow colour without using yellow food colouring. It makes it extra rich.
Just a few simple ingredients create a gooey filling that tastes like a cross between lemon bars and cheesecake.
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How To Tell When Lemon Bars Are Done
Lemon bars are so simple to make, but how do you know when theyre done? One thing you should watch out for with lemon bars is making sure that they dont over bake and become dry or crumbly.
Use the toothpick method to see when your lemon bar will be done in the oven. When the designated bake time is over, puncture the middle with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the dessert is done. If not, put them back in to bake a bit longer, checking the progress frequently.
Can I Add To These Lemon Cake Bars
- Add lemon zest to the batter and/or on top at the end.
- Sprinkle Powdered Sugar on top.
- Use an extra can of lemon pie filling in the mix to make them more like traditional lemon bars
- Before baking, layer fresh lemon slices on top
What would you do to change these lemon cake bars up? Are you going to enjoy them as written or will you add your own spin?
Tell me about it in the comments below.
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More Cake Mix Lemon Bar Options
If you like a creamier texture, add some cream cheese to the lemon pie filling. I would start out with about 4 ounces and go from there.
Just remember that if you add more ingredients, they wont still be 3 ingredient lemon bars. But thats okay. If you and your family like them, thats what really matters.
You can also use a variety of other cake mixes. I like to experiment in the kitchen, so I would try angel food cake mix, lemon cake mix, or a white cake mix.
Best Lemon Bars With Cake Mix And Pie Filling
You can make some of the best desserts with cake mix and pie filling. Just be prepared for people to ask for your recipe. Its up to you whether you want to divulge your secret.
Also be prepared for someone to tell you that youre cheating. When this happens to me, I smile, shrug, and say, Maybe so, but it works. Theyre still homemade lemon bars in my book.
These cake mix lemon bars are so delicious that you might not want to make them any more difficult than they have to be. And why should you? The end results are what count, right?
Lemon is one of my favorite flavors, so I have to be careful after I make them. If I dont watch out, Ill eat them until theyre gone in one sitting.
These are also called cake mix lemon bars. Theyre delicious no matter what you call them.
Notes About Lemon Gooey Butter Cake:
- This recipe calls for a lemon cake mix from the box. Add it dry to the recipe.
- Soften the butter in this lemon butter cake recipe.
- Be sure the cream cheese is at room temperature to prevent a lumpy filling.
- Lemon extract is optional in the filling. It will give a double whammy of lemon flavor, but the filling is perfect without the extract too.
- If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
Lemon Glazed Lemon Bars From A Cake Mix
Lemon Glazed Lemon Bars from a cake mix are an easy dessert that will have your taste buds singing! These soft, tangy lemon bars are drenched in a 2 ingredient lemon glaze and sprinkled with fresh lemon zest for a big pop of citrus flavor!
I am back again with another cake mix dessert and I am not mad about it! I love to keep a few cake mixes in my pantry for all sorts of easy dessert recipes:
- Poke Cakes – lemon, lime, raspberry, chocolate …
- Cookie Bars – don’t miss the frosting hack!
- Cookies – chocolate, pumpkin and triple strawberry!
- Cookie Cups – red velvet, pink lemonade and key lime
- Dessert Dips – Carrot Cake, Birthday Cake & German Chocolate to name a few
- Dump Cakes – apple, lemon lime, classic cherry & pineapple and more!
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Dont Stop With Lemon Bars
Try these variations too!
*Yellow cake mix + toffee bits! They are the favorite of our grandsons buddy Brandt! We call them Brandt bars!
*Yellow cake mix + cinnamon chips and cinnamon sugar on top! Busy day Snickerdoodle Bars!
*Spice cake mix + butterscotch or caramel chips! A perfect bar for fall!
*Chocolate cake mix + peppermint bits or peanut butter chips! So yummy!
*Lemon cake mix + cherry chips! The cutest polka-dots!
*Strawberry cake mix + white chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips!
Lemon Bars With Shortbread Crust
Lemon bars are a sweet and tangy dessert thats made by making a buttery shortbread crust and pouring a lemon filling on top of the crust. It is then baked and cut into squares.
8 -inch square baking pan
Ingredients in this Thumbprint Cookies Recipe:
Butter: This recipe calls for unsalted butter. I like using unsalted butter because Im never quite sure how much salt is inside a stick of salted butter.
Sugar: Granulated sugar is what I use for this lemon bar recipe.
Vanilla extract: You dont have to use vanilla extract in this recipe, but if you do, I recommend using the pure vanilla kind instead of imitation vanilla.
Salt: Kosher salt is what I always use when baking this recipe.
All-purpose flour: Some people sieve the flour. I choose to live dangerously, so I dont.
Lemon juice: Nothing beats using fresh lemons when making this recipe. My favorite lemons are Meyer lemons. I like them because they can be found in almost every grocery store. I always pick medium lemons whenever I want to make lemon bars.
Lemon zest: The best way to zest a lemon is by using a microplane or a grater. Before juicing them, I usually first roll them on a cutting board, slice them in half and squeeze out the juice.
Eggs: Use large room-temperature eggs for this recipe.
Powdered Sugar: This is also known as confectioners sugar and its optional.
Why are my lemon bars not setting?
Why are my lemon bars rubbery?
Why did the top of my lemon bars crack?
You certainly can!
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Easy Lemon Bars With Cake Mix Recipe
Summer celebrations aren’t complete without these easy Duncan Hines lemon bars! Lemon cake mix, lemon zest, and coconut make this the best lemon bars with cake mix recipe!
While I much prefer something like this easy chocolate chip brownie cheesecake to lemon bars , I’m not going to turn down a yummy lemon bars with cake mix recipe.
We usually make this delish lemon bar recipe. And no lie, they are to die for!
But they’re also a bit of work, and sometimes you don’t want to work that hard for a dessert.
That’s where these easy Duncan Hines lemon bars with cake mix come in. And like a lot of the other cake mix recipes on my site, doctored cake mixes can be unbelievably good.
Did I mention they’re also unbelievable easy??
These easy lemon bars using cake mix require only five ingredients, but I added some lemon zest and coconut for kicks and giggles.
And those additions totally paid off!
Well, for me anywayOlivia doesn’t like coconut and that meant I could eat her share.
I served these cake mix lemon bars for Father’s Day because Nathan loves citrus-flavored desserts. My easy key lime pie is a total favorite!
He and everyone else at the gathering raved about these Duncan Hines lemon bars. And then my neighbor raved after we dropped off a plate to her home later that day.
Tips From The Betty Crocker Kitchens
- tip 1 How many lemons do you need for this recipe? One will be fine–it will yield 1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons grated peel and 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice.
- tip 2 Bake bars in the exact pan size called for in a recipe to ensure moist bars.
- tip 3 Garnish each bar with a curl of lemon peel for an extra-special touch.
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How To Make The Gooey Filling
Step 1 – Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Mix with a spatula to break up any lumps.
Step 2 – Add salt, egg yolks, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk until smooth and creamy. You can use an electric mixer but you dont need to.
Step 3 – Pour the filling onto the batter. Place the baking pan onto a larger baking sheet . Place into the middle of the oven.
Step 4 – Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the middle is puffed. If you see it browning too quickly, tent the top with a piece of aluminum foil.
Step 5 – Let cool for 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the pan or lifting out the cake. Slide it onto a serving plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve.