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Lemon Crumb Bars Recipe

Lemon Crumb Bars Recipe

“I'm always looking for a great new cookie or bar to try, but I often return to this tried-and-true recipe,” says Anna Miller of Quaker City, Ohio. “My husband loves the combination of sweet and salty!”
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling YIELD:24 servings


  • 1 package lemon cake mix (regular size)
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups crushed saltines (about 60 crackers)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice


  • 1. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, butter and egg until crumbly. Stir in cracker crumbs; set aside 2 cups for topping.
  • 2. Press remaining mixture into a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  • 3. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks, milk and lemon juice. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.

Reviews for Lemon Crumb Bars

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REHT User ID: 6539116 107054
Reviewed Aug. 24, 2014

"I was intrigued by this lemon bar recipe as I thought the sweet salty combo would be tasty. As per the other reviews, the lemon flavor is limited in the filling and truly comes from the lemon cake crust. I didn't think that the saltine crackers added any thing to the crust. I doubled the filling (per other reviews), which was the right amount needed for a 13x9 pan. The lemon taste is there right after baking, but fades if you have left overs the next day. These were not that big of a hit compared to other desserts offered on the table. We ended up throwing away 1/2 of the pan. I will keep searching for a 5 star lemon cookie/cake bar recipe."

suesannawenick User ID: 7800251 70897
Reviewed May. 19, 2014


rmajor User ID: 1339370 166695
Reviewed Sep. 7, 2013

"I doubled the filling and only used one sleeve of crackers which did equal two cups of crushed crackers. I was sorely disappointed in the overall flavor of this recipe. It was ok. But I want great! Very mild lemon flavor and even with doubling the filling, it was still lean on the filling! So I won't be making this again."

lynffin User ID: 7151381 167292
Reviewed Feb. 25, 2013

"i'm re-posting here, after reading other posts below.i made these bars, so maybe i can help clear up any recipe direction confusion.

basically, you mix the dry ingredients with the butter to make crumbly mixture. set aside 2 cups for the topping. the remainder gets pressed into the bottom of the greased 13*9 pan for the crust, or the bottom of the bar. bake it. meantime, mix your wet ingredients. pour wet ingredient mixture over crust.(this will be the middle of your bar). Sprinkle the 2 cups of dry crumbly mix you reserved earlier over the wet layer and bake it again.
if you didn't taste enough lemon, try the suggestion i saw below about waiting till the next day.
it's not just crackers on the top. it's a crumbly version of the crust.
they should taste sweet and salty.
hope this helps someone.

lynffin User ID: 7151381 97449
Reviewed Feb. 25, 2013

"i freaking love these bars! the combination of salty and sweet is so good! i made them a couple of weeks ago and my mouth wants more! (my@$$? not so much!haha)"

mystic2102 User ID: 6897689 155736
Reviewed Oct. 3, 2012

"Made this on request.. The person I made them for thought they were good but I would not make them again. Too much crumb/crust and not enough filling at all, and I even used less crackers then called for."

BabsR User ID: 6633365 209130
Reviewed Apr. 7, 2012

"This Bar is all crumb and very little lemon. I''m very disappointed. The picture must have used double the filling."

jensweetser User ID: 4168486 168029
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2011

"I followed this recipe exactly and found it to be a bit dry. I think if I did make it again, I would scale back on the crackers and/or double the filling."

hairweare2 User ID: 5786996 99131
Reviewed Apr. 10, 2011

"I enjoyed this recipe. I changed it alittle using vanilla wafers and doing a lemon cheesecake center."

rumbamel User ID: 1888295 153922
Reviewed Mar. 28, 2011

"Oh and I also only used 50 crackers instead of 60. I guess it depends on how much you crush them down."

rumbamel User ID: 1888295 169323
Reviewed Mar. 28, 2011

"This was very tasty, but I don't know how she got her nutrition that was listed in the magazine. I used Smart Balance which is 1/2 the calories and 1/2 the fat. My sweetened condensed milk is lower in calories and fat free, yet my calculations yielded for 24 servings 178.4 cal and 3.6 fat??? Still very good. I used Better Crocker Lemon cake mix, Shop n Save's wheat saltine's and large eggs. HMMMM.

Thanks for the recipe."

dcroz21 User ID: 4542319 153921
Reviewed Feb. 1, 2011

"Has a great flavor and you would never know it is low-fat. A good recipe to share with others."

CarolFloyd User ID: 2598846 99113
Reviewed Oct. 20, 2010

"A friend helped my daughter paint several rooms and requested these as payment. I sent some to work and she loved them!!"

kitkat1201 User ID: 3729889 79785
Reviewed Apr. 27, 2010

"OMG - I used the Nilla Wafers version and between work and home I have had to make this twice in the past 2 weeks to keep up with the demand. These are great - and they keep well in the fridge also. Double Yum."

rosannetut User ID: 1208109 168028
Reviewed Apr. 27, 2010

"these came out very dry..i did use vanilla wafers...definately lessen the baking time...would not make again."

kerred84 User ID: 4366449 153919
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2010

"I'm sorry. I was very disappointed. There is more saltine taste than lemon. Even my husband said they were just "ok""

Dutaxa User ID: 2356601 169321
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2010

"quick and easy and everyone loved it! I also lined the pan with foil to make it easier to cut. Will try with the wafers next time-but I'm scared that might be too sweet."

jessicadidion User ID: 5048007 99111
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2010

"AWESOME! A great alternative to heavier chocolate desserts. Nilla wafers were a GREAT substitution."

JBETCH User ID: 4712100 171783
Reviewed Apr. 17, 2010

"Very easy and quick to make. Delicious!"

mwms User ID: 4395222 97448
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2010

"These were much better the second day that the first. When I first cut them, I thought the flavor seemed more like lemon extract than lemon juice but the next morning they tasted like fresh lemon. The directions were confusing. First, one sleeve of Saltine Crackers (about 30) crushed makes almost exactly 2 cups of crumbs, you do not need 60 crackers. I did as one other reviewer did and used a pastry blender to cut the butter into the cake mix and then added the crackers and the egg. I believe you could achieve the same results by using vegetable oil and stirring it into the cake mix and then adding the crackers and the eggs. This would simply the procedure. After this part is mixed, put 2 cups into a measuring cup to sprinkle on the top. Also line your pan with foil and spray lightly with non stick spray. Then you can just lift the cookies out to cut them. Next time, I think I would try a white or yellow cake mix and also add a little more lemon juice to the filling. They would be good with key lime or some other juice in the filling too.

The only other change I made was to add ½ tsp salt to the filling."

MaryThompson User ID: 831135 166694
Reviewed Apr. 14, 2010

"I've had this recipe for a while. Every time I make them & share them at a potluck or gathering, people ask for the recipe. Fun & different to make and ssssooooooo delicious!"

tkarinas User ID: 4389335 171782
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2010

"Lemon crumb bars are simple to make, you just have to follow the directions. My family loves this recipe and we make it regularly, as it's so simple and tastes so good."

zucchinilady User ID: 3149814 96720
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2010

"I have a lemon tree in my yard and always looking for new recipes - this sounds so good, guess I will have to really pay attention as to the mixing part! Can't wait to try this!!"

Joene User ID: 2820661 166692
Reviewed Mar. 30, 2010

"This recipe turns out GREAT. Just read the recipe slowly. It truly does make sense.we like it made with regular crackers and also NILLA Wafers."

TamsC User ID: 1051334 99109
Reviewed Aug. 29, 2009 Edited Aug. 30, 2009

"I used crushed vanilla wafers instead of the saltines. The bars turned out wonderful! Took them to a gathering and left with an empty pan. This is a very simple and easy recipe."

wiscook User ID: 1143528 99106
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2009 Edited Oct. 25, 2016

"they are wonderful, maybe you had to many crackers,"

maria71267 User ID: 1622326 107049
Reviewed Jun. 28, 2008 Edited Oct. 25, 2016



anemoneme User ID: 2892054 209129
Reviewed Jun. 22, 2008

"Made these yesterday. I was hoping they would be as good as they looked because they looked picture perfect. The saltine flavor was strongest. I could not get past that to taste any lemon flavor really. To us it was just salty and the sweet taste was over powered by the crackers. Sorry."

colleen10 User ID: 1128 166690
Reviewed Jun. 20, 2008

"Thanks to everyone for clearing that up.  I sure was confused but I think I understand it now."

love2cook User ID: 16093 70254
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2008

"I asked one of our Home Economists, and here's what she said:

The reader misread the directions. Directions read to:  combine cake mix, butter and egg + cracker crumbs. Set aside 2 cups (of cake mix mixture, which will include the crumbs).

Robync12861 User ID: 2170771 131663
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2008

"You are both wrong about how to make these lemon bars.  The recipe is pretty self-explanatory.  Read it again....  You blend the cake mix, cold butter and 2 cups of crushed saltines together - - yes, blend, using a pastry blender so that you incorporate the cold butter and get coarse crumbs.  You save 2 cups of this for the topping pressing the remainder mixture on the bottom of the 9x13 baking dish.  You then mix the lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice for the filling.  Pour this over the crust.  Top with reserved topping and bake.


mrylgrbr User ID: 2816545 96718
Reviewed Jun. 18, 2008

"After you mix the cracker crumbs with the cake mix, you should have more than two cups of seems to me that it is the combined mixture that you save two cups of.......I would put the cake mix, egg yolks and cold butter in a food processor for mixing......the two cups of cake and cracker crumbs are for the topping...........sounds pretty simple, I am going to try it."

redridinghoo User ID: 1995917 209128
Reviewed Jun. 18, 2008

"Good evening,

Do you have to use saltine crackers won't it taste really

colleen10 User ID: 1128 169320
Reviewed Jun. 18, 2008

"The recipe calls for 2 cups or cracker crumbs. Then it says to stir the crumbs into the cake and then goes on to say to to save 2 cups for the topping and put the remaining crumbs in the bottom of the 13x9 pan. How can you save 2 cups for the topping when there are only 2 cups to begin with? How many cups of cracker crumbs so you really need? 2 cups for the cake, 2 cups for the pan and 2 cups for the topping?

Also how can you BEAT cold butter into the cake mix? It seems to me that if it is cold it would have to be cut in as in pastry. A lot of questions but I'm confused."

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