strawberry lemonade bars

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I’m always trying to find desserts that Dave will eat because they’re so good he can’t resist, and not just to be polite. It isn’t that those desserts don’t exist – crème brulee, eclairs, and tapioca pudding come to mind – it’s just that the desserts he loves don’t require me to use the mixer, and where’s the fun in that? So the real challenge is finding a dessert that Dave loves to eat as much as I love to bake it.

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Strawberry lemonade bars weren’t a sure thing, but it was a good bet, I thought. He does like lemon bars – not as much as, say, snickerdoodles, but more than brownies at least. And his favorite ice cream flavor is strawberry, so strawberry lemonade bars seemed like they’d have potential.

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The browned flaky crust, taken from my lemon bar comparison last year, didn’t hurt, and neither did the creamy filling. The filling was not just a lemon bar filling with some strawberry juice added; it incorporated a generous portion of flour, necessary to hold all the extra liquid together. The result was a bar that was soft and gooey (maybe I should have cooked it longer) and tasted perfectly of lemons and strawberries. I loved the bars, and as for Dave – he liked them enough to eat a couple to be polite.

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One year ago: Caesar Salad
Two years ago: Whole Wheat Brioche
Three years ago: Blueberry Crumb Cake
Four years ago: Spinach Feta Pine Nut Tart

Printer Friendly Recipe
Strawberry Lemonade Bars (adapted from Annie’s Eats via Sophistimom)

For the crust:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
⅓ cup (1.33 ounces) powdered sugar
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt

For the filling:
1½ cups (10.5 ounces) sugar
⅔ cup (3.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons lemon zest (from 3 lemons)
⅛ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (8 ounces) frozen strawberries, thawed
3 large egg whites
1 large egg
⅔ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-by-8 inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour and salt, mixing just until incorporated.

3. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan, pressing into an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for about 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven, maintaining the temperature.

4. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Combine the sugar, flour, lemon zest and salt in a blender. Add the strawberries; blend until smooth. Add the egg whites and eggs; blend until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, processing just until evenly mixed.

5. Pour the filling over the crust and bake until the center is just set and no longer jiggles when gently shaken, about 30-40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before cutting and serving.

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  1. Love the addition of strawberry!

  2. I love these – they are such a pretty color and they sound really good. Strawberry and lemon is a great flavor combination!

  3. These are the perfect summer dessert…and they look addicting to me! 🙂

  4. These are mouth watering and so pretty!

  5. Jennifer says:

    These look amazing. On a side note, I saw on Martha Bakes that if you run a kitchen torch over the top of your lemon bar custard before you put it in the oven, it pops all the little bubbles and gives you a smooth surface. I haven’t tried it yet, but if you make a lot of lemon bars, you might want to give it a shot. Also, it’s an excuse to break out the kitchen torch!

  6. jason says:

    Now this is something i want to make!

  7. So glad you enjoyed these! And that Dave liked them at least enough to be polite 🙂

  8. What’s not to love! These sound awesome and I love the color.

  9. Mmm, strawberry lemonade in a bar form? Genius! I also wanted to let you know that I awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award here:

  10. This is such a pretty colour. Bookmarked and pinned so that there’s no way I forget these.

  11. Shoshana says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. Do they freeze well?

  12. bridget says:

    Shoshana – I don’t know. They might, but if you have something important riding on it, I would test it out beforehand! Please let us know what happens if you do.

  13. Shoot – I need to get these in before strawberry season is over for good and pumpkin based goods take over for a while… They’ve been on my list since the day they were posted… where did the summer go??