Lemon Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling


2 dozen

Updated: Nov. 19, 2023
I won a baking contest at Purdue University with this recipe for lemon bars with cream cheese frosting. I think you’ll love the dreamy topping. —Michael Hunter, Fort Wayne, Indiana


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in eggs and extract. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in lemon zest.
  2. Spread into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until center is set and edges are golden brown. Cool completely.
  3. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and zest. Frost top and cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Test Kitchen tips
  • These rich bars are moist, almost like cake, with a pleasant lemon flavor.
  • When the edges are lightly browned and pull away from the sides of the pan, it's ready to come out of the oven. The center will look set.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 bar: 243 calories, 11g fat (7g saturated fat), 59mg cholesterol, 145mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.