{springtime lemon bars}

Despite the too-low-for-my-liking temps in Milwaukee the past couple of weeks, there are still signs of spring.

Aren’t those yellow tulips lovely? (one of my favorites) 

I’m a sucker for anything yellow — it’s been my favorite color for as long as I can remember. Have you seen the Pinterest board from our wedding? It’s everywhere these days, yellow is back.

Hello, yellow. 

Maybe that’s why I gravitate towards anything made with lemon. Cakes or cookies, grilled asparagus or beverages. Love me some lemon.

This was my first attempt at lemon bars.


I had never made them, even before going gluten-free. Which seems so silly considering how much I like them — Molly’s Gluten-Free Bakery makes some killer lemon squares (they made them for our wedding) that you should get your hands on if at all possible.

But I may have given them a run for their money with these.


Gluten-Free Lemon Bars 

                                                                       Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

For the crust

  • 1 ¾ cups gluten-free flour mix – I used C4C, but you can use any pre-made mix, or play around with flours and starches, a little of several different kinds works best
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar, plus a little extra to shake on top
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter(1 ½ sticks), cool room temperature, cut into pieces, plus a bit extra to grease the pan

For the filling…

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ⅓ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  •  ⅔ cup lemon juice, strained (I used 2-3 larger lemons)
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon table salt

For the crust… Pre-heat oven to 350. (make sure you adjust the rack to the middle) Lightly butter a 9 x 13 pan. Then lay two pieces of parchment paper in the pan — crossed over one another — lay one down lengthwise, then the other widthwise on top. (is that a word?)

In your food processor, pulse the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add in your butter and blend for a few seconds, then continue to pulse it until mixture is light yellow and looks kind of like corn meal. Sprinkle the meal mixture into the parchment lined pan. Then, using your fingers, press the “dough” out into the pan in a ¼ inch layer, but push it up to about ½ inch on the sides — this is making a nice little crust, and you’ll want the sides a little higher up so when you pour the filling in, it stays put. Put it in the fridge for about a half hour, then bake until golden brown, 20 minutes-ish.

For the filling… While you’re waiting, whisk eggs, sugar, and flour in a bowl, and then stir in your lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and salt.

And then… Reduce heat in the oven to 325 degrees. Give your filling another stir to combine it all again, and pour it right onto the warm crust. (this is key, you want to pour it on there shortly after taking it out of the oven). Bake it until the filling feels pretty firm when touched, you don’t want it still liquid-like, about 20 minutes or so. When you take it out of the oven, put the pan on a wire rack and cool it down for at least a half hour.When it has cooled, you can pull it out of the pan by grasping the pieces of parchment paper to lift it right out and unto a cutting board where you can cut it into pieces and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Any other lemon bar first timers out there? Or have you been making something like this for years?