Bar Cookies Desserts

Sunburst Lemon Bars

March 7, 2012

You may have noticed from my posts lately that I’m working on shedding a few pounds. It’s that time of year when the fear of being in a bathing suit in a few months gets real. We’ve had a few days here and there of awesome weather in Nashville, so shorts, tank tops and the like are right around the corner. However, even though I’m counting calories, I still manage to work in a splurge. That’s where Sunburst Lemon Bars come in. My Spring fever is topping the charts right now, so I couldn’t resist making a sweet, lemon dessert. These bars aren’t very big, so it was no problem for me to work in one (or two) in my calorie allowance for the day. And hey, it’s good motivation to get on the treadmill when doing so let’s you eat something like this!

Sunburst Lemon Bars by So How's It Taste

So, how’s it taste?

Awesome! My craving for a Spring-like dessert was definitely satisfied. I’d never had a lemon bar with a glaze on the top, but it works. The crust is really simple and almost like a sugar cookie. I added lemon peel to pump up the flavor and it created a lovely, subtle lemon-scented crust. The filling is really light. It’s not as thick as other lemon bars. It was super lemony when I first tasted it, but as the bars got older, the lemon slowly faded and the bars became sweeter. They were still really good, but I like my lemon desserts tart! The glaze on top is a very thin layer, but combined with the soft filling and lemony crust, it was heaven. I enjoyed every sweet moment of eating them. The recipe makes 36 bars, but that was hella tiny for me and the math was easier to cut them into 32. It bumped up my calorie count, but you’d be amazed how much more I’m willing to work out knowing it lets me eat another lemon bar!

These bars are stored in the refrigerator, which makes the crust super hard. You’ll be tempted to eat one straight from the fridge because let’s face it, a super cold lemon bar is right up there with a super cold Coke from a glass bottle. But they taste much better when the crust gets close to room temperature. Also, the bars are quite crumbly, so don’t be bothered cutting them with perfect precision. This is what I like to call a rustic look!

Please note: While I had great success and really enjoyed these lemon bars, a few folks have written they made these, but they didn’t turn out quite right. It’s difficult for me to assist you with “what went wrong” since I’m not in the kitchen with you. Do your best to follow the recipe and learn from your efforts in the kitchen. Comments that are unnecessarily rude are not accepted and for that reason commenting has been disabled for this post. If you wish to comment on the recipe for these lemon bars, do so on the Pillsbury web site where the recipe originated. Thank you.

Sunburst Lemon Bars

barely adapted from Pillsbury, Easy Meals, Picnics & Potlucks, August 2005
makes 36 bars
per bar: 150 calories, 6g fat, 22g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g protein


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Note: You'll need about two lemons for the juice/peel in this recipe. If you don't have enough lemon juice left for the glaze, add water until you get the right consistency.


1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl with electric mixer, beat flour, sugar, butter, and peel on low speed until crumbly. Press mixture evenly in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, in large bowl with wire whisk, lightly beat eggs. Beat in remaining filling ingredients except lemon juice and lemon peel until well blended. Beat in 1/4 cup lemon juice and peel.

3. Remove partially baked base from oven. Pour filling evenly over warm base.

4. Return to oven; bake 25 to 30 minutes longer or until top is light golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

5. In small bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar and enough lemon juice for desired spreading consistency until smooth. Spread glaze over cooled bars. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator, but allow bars to come to almost room temperature before serving.

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  • Shannon March 7, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I’ve been citrus-obsessed too! I really liked these lemon bars. I thought the glaze was a nice touch.

    • Leah March 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

      I want to make something with lemon curd. I’m lemon-crazy right now!

  • Traciwilbur March 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I’ve been bookmarking citrus recipe for the past few weeks, spring fever is here! Love the glaze on top, I will definitely be making these.

    • Leah March 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

      I cannot wait for the weather to permanently change to Spring. All I can think about is lemon desserts!

  • Cassie March 7, 2012 at 9:26 am

    These look so great – especially for a healthier version! I love lemon desserts!

    • Leah March 7, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Thanks! Although these aren’t healthy. The bars are such a small size, so I could fit them into my calorie-counting, but they are full of butter and sugar goodness!

  • Julie @ Table for Two March 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    ugh, don’t even get me started on shedding pounds. i have a lot of that to do in the coming months and for the next year and a half i must maintain a good weight so i can fit into a wedding dress! guh…but how can i resist these lemon bars?! i LOVE lemon in desserts. you suck! haha jk 😉

    • Leah March 8, 2012 at 9:20 am

      I hear ya! My friend is getting married in August and she’s been dieting hardcore. I’m just trying to lose what I gained from the holidays. So far I’m 6 pounds down…and that includes eating a few of these lemon bars!

  • Lesley March 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I LOVE lemon bars of all kinds. I love the glaze on this one. I’m getting a sugar buzz just looking at the photo!

    • Leah March 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Me too! Anything lemon, really.

  • Sarah March 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Mine are now in the oven and I can’t wait. Since I saw that posted I have wanted a tart lemon bar in my mouth. First time making lemon bars too.

    • Leah March 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Ooo, I’m so jealous! I’d never had them with a glaze on top, but they are awesome. I hope you like them!

  • Diana May 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Hello I am from Germany, the first time I tried the recipe. hope it will be good. Greetings from Germany

  • Krystal May 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I just made these and the filling puffed up in my oven and went over the sides of my pan! I am not sure why-maybe the eggs? Maybe I beat it too much… They sure don’t look like yours-I am hoping they are still good.

  • Kitchenboy in Taiwan June 8, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Oh my goodness! This looks so delicious – a MUST try for me!