Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Don’t let the unusual color of these bars put you off because when it comes to flavor they are the embodiment of summer – especially if your idea of refreshment on a hot summer day is a cold glass of lemonade. They are strawberry lemonade bars, a play on traditional lemon bars that takes advantage of in-season strawberries to make an outrageously good variation of a bake-sale favorite.

The bars are really simple to make and that gorgeous watermelon pink color of the custard/curd topping is entirely natural. There is no Jello, no food coloring and no other odd ingredient added to create the pink hue. It is the result of adding freshly pureed strawberries to a sweet-tangy lemon curd mixture and nothing more. These bars have a fairly substantial layer of strawberry lemonade on top of the crust and not only is the flavor great – tangy and bright from the lemon with a warm sweetness from the berries and sugar – but the texture is, as well. The custard is soft and slices best after it has cooled completely, although it does cool down enough to slice cleanly without oozing. It melts in your mouth and really does taste like strawberry lemonade!

For the crust, I used my favorite shortbread base, one that I’ve used with cheesecake bars and other lemon bars. I like it because it is substantial and will support a thick custard filling without getting soggy, but is also tender and buttery. Plus, it’s easy to make and the filling can be poured in while the crust is hot, so there is no need to wait around for cooling during the cooking process. I used my Baker’s Edge pan, but a 9×13-inch baking pan will work just as well for this recipe.

The bars are excellent when chilled and should be stored in the refrigerator on a hot day, but I like them best when only slightly cool or at room temperature. Try to have extra ingredients laying around when you make these because you definitely will end up with requests for additional batches.

Strawberry Lemonade Bars, closeup

Strawberry Lemonade Bars
Crust
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

 

Filling
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 3/4 cup berries)
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (or use the Baker’s Edge pan, if you have one).
Begin by making the crust.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 17 minutes, until set at the edges.
While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar and eggs and process until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder and salt, then pulse until smooth.
Gently pour the filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking. Return pan to oven and bake for 23-26 minutes, until the filling is set (There will be a light colored “crust” on top from the sugar in the custard – nothing to worry about).
Cool completely before slicing and use a damp knife to ensure clean slices.
Store bars in the refrigerator, especially on a hot day.
Makes 24 bars.

64 comments

  1. These look so good! I just made creamy lemon bars, now I need to try these!

    How many eggs does it call for?

  2. Whoops! It calls for 4 large eggs. Thanks for catching that typo, Sally.

  3. These look SO good and perfect for summer! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  4. I will be trying this, this week. except i am going to try blueberries but I would love to know how many eggs to use.

    thanks!

  5. Brilliant! It’s the perfect take on lemon bars for summer. I love it! Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. These sound fabulous! Yum

  7. Those are awesome and what a bright, fun colour. I love these!

  8. Those are too awesome! What a great idea and I will definitely give those a try soon. My raspberries will be coming on next month and I bet this would be just as delicious with raspberry puree.

  9. What a wonderful color! These bars look summery and refreshing. I am always looking for ways to use up strawberries before they’re no longer good.

  10. Wow, wow, wow! Absolutely beautiful…I have, have to make these!

  11. These sound like a great treat for the workplace. I’m a bit curious about the amount of sugar, though. Do you think it could be reduced at all for a less sugary treat?

  12. ohh i love lemon squares and these would probably be a hit in my house since we’ve been going through pints of strawberries every week!!

  13. These look incredibly pretty! What a fun, summery treat.

  14. What a great idea! These sound delicious and perfect for summer.

  15. Oh my goodness – one look and I knew I’d be making these soon. How pretty.

  16. I’ve never seen a bar like this! What a great idea!

  17. I made these about a month ago and it was absolutely like having summer in my mouth. :)

  18. Rachel – The sugar really helps the topping to thicken and the bars are quite zesty. I wouldn’t worry about them tasting too sweet at all.

  19. These are very clever and so eye appealing – it would be fun to watch people try to figure out what the taste is going to be.

  20. I’m anxiously awaiting our Oregon strawberries (delayed due to a cool wet spring) and this recipe just “socked” me when I saw it. I’m hoping the strawberries will be here soon. I’ve already printed the recipe in anticipation! Thanks for all the awesome recipes I’ve been discovering on your site. I love it!!

  21. These sound good and what an amazing colour!

  22. I read this recipe this morning and new right away I had to try them! Lemon bars are my most favorite treat. This baked up beautifully and looked so cute all pink studded with the strawberry seeds! Thanks so much. I will be feeding these to my family tonight for dessert.

  23. Wow these look fantastic. I might have to make a batch for work sometime soon-our first strawberries arrived at the farmers market this past weekend, but I used them in strawberry rhubarb pie and strawberry vanilla frozen yogurt (and ate the rest raw…)

  24. those look incredible! im definitely trying them

  25. Ooo these are different! And look delicious. Can’t wait to try them.

  26. I just made these- so lemony and pink! Perfect summer treat. Thank you!

  27. I just made this over the weekend. I used a pre-made graham cracker crust out of laziness — but it was still delicious!! Thanks!

  28. I stole this recipe and made it with raspberries instead, and it turned out beautiful. Thanks for the recipe :D!

  29. Wow, these are so great. I have a lime bar recipe on my site. Maybe I’ll add raspberry puree sometime. Thank you for the beautiful pictures!

  30. I love love love these bars! So yummy and fantastic! I made them for my daughter’s birthday party and they were a hit! I wrote about them on my blog, and linked to you. Hope this is ok!

  31. Hi! I’ve just made these bars, they are extraordinary! next time I’ll double the quantities! :D With your permission, I would like to post them on my blog, and put a link to you! I hope this is ok with you! thanks a lot! :D

  32. Nicole, I’ve had these on my to-do list forever and finally made them today! They came out beautifully, especially now at the peak of strawberry season. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  33. I just tried these and they are OUTSTANDING!

  34. Oh my! These are so good! I think I’m going to serve these at my picnic birthday party.

    Thanks for all of the delicious recipes!
    Lizzy
    http://www.lizzygoesdutch.blogspot.com

  35. Made these for a gathering tonight…so yummy! I didn’t have enough lemons so I added some lemon juice and lime juice to make 1 cup. They were great!

  36. The colour and texture looks amazing, I am going to try making these this week. Ill let you know how it goes.

  37. Just made these tonight, and they are fantastic! Was super easy and quick to whip up, and everyone – even someone who doesn’t like lemonade – loved them!

  38. I just made these for co-workers last week. I’m a little prejudiced but I think Oregon strawberries are the best so I wait until they are ready and then it’s time for strawberry lemonade bars. Everyone loves them and they say they are perfect for the season–not to mention beautiful. I have yet to see the crust on the top like you have. Mine always stay soft but firm when cut.

  39. I MUST HAVE THESE! Bookmarked for future use!

  40. I made these today and they are wonderful! Like Linda, mine do not have a crust, yet stay soft but firm when cut. If you have not made them yet, please do!! So good!!

  41. I found this recipe on another website and wanted to come say how much we love these bars! We already love lemon bars but these are so different and awesome! :). Great job!

  42. absolutely delicious.

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