Lemon Streusel Bars

Sweet & tart. Tart & sweet. There’s nothing like it at all. I wonder at the contradiction because it’s strange that in food, sometimes things that clash can really work! Sweet and salty, bitter and savoury… It is an interesting mix when it comes to food. I mean, contradictions do not particularly work in life but I find that when it comes to flavours, sometimes the unexpected works. As they say “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

But then, this recipe today is not exactly something new. If you do a Google search, you’d get over 600,000 search results. One gripe of mine though is that most of those recipes require sweetened condensed milk as the basis for the lemon filling. I like condensed milk. But I somehow find the milkiness a little overpowering and the sweetness a tad too intensed for a dessert like this. The streusel is already sweet so I don’t want the filling to be so creamy and toothachingly sweet.

So I researched for a simple lemon bar recipe that used ingredients that seem more like lemon curd for the filling, and then adapted it. I have to say, I’m very very happy with the results. Thanks to the Queen of Butter, Paula Deen & Diana Rattay of About.com.

For the cookie base, I used:

A WHOLE BLOCK OF BUTTER and flour. (sorry, I didn’t mean to yell. I just got a bit excited.)

Buttery Transformation

Cutting cubed butter into flour takes quite a bit of elbow grease but is somehow therapeutic

Half of that cookie mixture is pressed into a lined pan. What happens to the other half, you ask. I’ll tell you!
Lemon Streusel Bars 5

The other half is mixed with someStreusel

With the streusel done and set aside, we move onto the lemon filling. All this needs is lemon juice, eggs, sugar & flour.Lemon Streusel Bars 9

The eggs are beaten until light and frothy. Sugar goes in and gets beaten silly as well. Finally flour and lots of lemon juice for thickening and zing!
Lemon Curd

When every last golden liquidy goodness has been poured over the biscuit crust, crumble bits of streusel and plop them over the lemon mixture.

Like so!Lemon Streusel Bars 15

These gets baked for a while. Yes yes… mine were a little burnt on top.

Lemon Streusel Bars 18

A little charred streusel never hurt anybody…

Regardless, these were so incredible good. I was nibbling on them even before bringing it to a gathering I made these for. Look at the oozey gooey lemon filling. My idea of a sweet-and-sour dessert.Lemon Streusel Bars 17

They were better cold from the fridge.Lemon Streusel Bars 16

I still sigh with contentment looking at these. So tart, so good.

What are your favourite lemon dessert/dishes?





“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Galatians 1:3-5)

Line divider

Lemon Streusel Bars
adapted from Paula Deen & Diana Rattay
(makes 18 large bars or 36 small squares)


2 cup all-purpose Flour
1 cup Confectioners’ Sugar (Icing/Powdered Sugar)
2 sticks (225gms) Butter, cold & cubed
1 tsp Mixed Spice
3 tbsp Instant Oats
3 tbsp Sugar
4 Eggs
1 cups granulated Sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose Flour
1/2 cup fresh Lemon Juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (170C). Lightly grease a 8×8 inch pan & line with baking/greaseproof paper.
  2. To make crust, cut the butter into the flour & confectioners’ sugar mixture.
  3. Press 1/2 of the crust mixture into the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  4. To the other half, add oats, sugar & mixed spice and mix evenly to create the streusel. Set aside.
  5. For the filling, beat the eggs until frothy. Add sugar and beat well. Finally sprinkle in flour and lemon juice and beat until well mixed. Pour over crust.
  6. Crumble streusel topping over the filling, getting it as even as possible but don’t sweat it.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes longer until streusel is golden (and not burnt like mine!)
  8. Leave to cool completely before slicing and enjoy.


  1. I love streusel on top of these bars. I’m always a big fan of citrus and sweet combo. This sounds delicious!

  2. I love the combination of sweet and tart too! Your streusel bars look amazing. 🙂 Love your step by step photos. Making it so easy to follow.

    • Thanks Amy. They are probably be number 1 favourite flavour combination. Your blog is beautiful! Can’t believer I’ve never seen it before. You’ve got yourself a new subscriber 🙂

  3. Oh, yum. I’m a big fan of the sweet and tart combination, so you’d better believe I will be making these in my kitchen sometime in the near future. To me, you can’t go wrong with any kind of streusel bar…

  4. This is the first time I have made the Lemon Bar recipe. I have tried the box mix, but I did not care for those. So, I decided to try your recipe, When I saw the picture of
    your ‘burned’ ones, and you said they were still good, then I decided that there was no way I could mess up. This recipe was so easy to make with your ‘step by step’,
    picture instructions ! In some ways, these lemon/custard bars reminds me of the ‘old
    fashion lemon custard’ pie, which my Mother use to make, & I have been trying to
    duplicate the lemon ‘custard /tart’ taste My husband and I think your recipe is GREAT !!!
    Lee Byrd,
    Angel Fire, NM

    • Hi Lee! So happy the lemon bars worked for you! We really enjoyed it too. It’s always great when something you make remind you of childhood. 🙂 Happy baking!


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