Creamy lemon bars with graham cracker crust are my newest dessert obsession and they are so good! These delicious condensed milk lemon bars are made with a homemade graham cracker crust, they pack a lot of flavor and are the perfect dessert for any season or occasion.
Easy Creamy Lemon Bars With Condensed Milk
Who doesn't love a creamy lemon bars recipe that only requires a few ingredients and only mixing to put it all together? I always love easy desserts like that.
This creamy lemon bars recipe (lemon squares) is made with condensed milk, lemon, and egg yolks for the filling and that is it! If you have 30 minutes, you can make these. They will however need a few hours in the refrigerator to set up.
The waiting is the hard part but this makes it the perfect dessert for entertaining because it can be made ahead of time, even days before. That is why I love making these since it is a great make-ahead dessert.
If you have made key lime tart or pie before, this is what inspired this lemon bar recipe. It has the same simple ingredients but it's made with lemon instead of key limes and it is made into bars instead of a pie shape.
If you love condensed milk as much as I do, my bread pudding with condensed milk, vanilla bread pudding sauce, crustless mini pumpkin pie. and condensed milk French toast should definitely be on your must-try list.
Let me show you how easy these lemon bars are to make so you can see why they are a favorite in our house!
Ingredients you will need
- Lemons. You can use fresh lemons or bottled lemon juice.
- Eggs (only the yolks).
- Condensed Milk, Any brand of condensed milk will do, just make sure it is condensed milk and NOT evaporated milk.
- Graham Cracker Crust (graham crackers, sugar, butter). To make things easier, you can buy graham cracker crumbs in the store to save you the step of crushing your own.
That is it! Really simple. You may already have most of these items in your fridge and pantry already. There is also no sugar needed since the condensed milk is already sweetened.
In addition to these lemon squares being made with simple ingredients (3 ingredients if you don't include the graham cracker crust), the steps to making these creamy lemon bars are so easy. I promise you, anyone can make these.
How to make creamy lemon bars
Graham Cracker Crust
- Grind graham cracker crumbs in a food processor. The first step in making these creamy lemon squares is to make that delicious graham cracker crust. It is very easy.
- Add melted butter and sugar then mix until combined.
You will lightly pre-bake the crust after pressing it into your pan then it will be ready for that creamy lemon filling.
When I prepare the pan for these creamy lemon squares, I like to prepare it with parchment paper lining both sides of the pan which makes it easier to lift the lemon bars out after baking.
- Make the creamy lemon squares filling by mixing (whisking) all the ingredients together in a large bowl. This part is super simple it is just mixing the fresh lemon juice, egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl.
- Add the creamy lemon filling to the pan on top of the pre-baked graham cracker crust.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool then refrigerate for at least 3 hours to fully set up.
Honestly, the most difficult part about this lemon bar recipe is waiting.
Tips for making the best creamy lemon bars
- You could make these lemon squares into a pie and not bars just by using a pie plate or by using store-bought graham cracker crust shells.
- I suggest not skipping the parchment paper step because this allows you to lift the bars right out of the pan after they are done baking making life much easier.
- Use condensed coconut milk instead of regular condensed milk is you are trying to omit dairy.
Lemon bar topping ideas
For topping off these creamy lemon squares when serving, I like to use two things, powdered sugar, and fresh whipped cream (and maybe some lemon zest). You can also add a simple and delicious blackberry puree or homemade blueberry sauce to the top or on the side.
In the Fall when I make these easy lemon bars, I like to top them (and adorn the serving plate) with sugared cranberries.
I hope you give these easy creamy lemon bars a try. It is a great dessert for so many occasions and everyone always loves them.
If you do end up having leftover lemon squares, you can easily store them covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Because these lemon bars are made with condensed milk, they do need to be stored chilled.
These condensed milk lemon bars freeze really well. Just allow them to fully cool after baking then place in a freezer-proof container and place in the freezer.
They will last for up to 2 months frozen. To thaw just place in the refrigerator overnight to thaw gently.
Yes, you can! You can make this up to 2 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you are ready to eat it.
Here are some fun ways we use these creamy lemon bars when entertaining:
- For bite-sized desserts for a party: We love making our Cranberry Bars and Mixed Berry Crisp and Buttery Oatmeal Cookies and our Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies to go with them.
- Make a dessert table: How about baking up a pumpkin cake, Philadelphia Cheesecake, Berry Shortbread Tart, or an Easy Classic Carrot Cake to go with these lemon bars.
Easy Creamy Lemon Bars
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ⅓ cup graham crackers
- 5 tablespoon melted butter
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Creamy Lemon Filling
- 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lemons about 5-6 lemons
- Whipped cream for serving optional
- powdered sugar for serving optional
- Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare an 8x8 baking pan by cutting 2 pieces of parchment paper and overlapping them into a cross shape. Make sure the paper overlaps the sides of the pan a little bit. This will be your handles later when you lift the baked bars out of the pan.
- Place graham crackers into a food processor and blend until it is all crumbs. You will need about 2-3 of the small packages in the box to make 1 ⅓ cups of crumbs.1 ⅓ cup graham crackers
- In a large bowl, add your ground graham crackers, melted butter, salt and sugar and mix well5 tablespoon melted butter, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Press the crust into you prepared 8x8 baking pan well. It should look pressed and firm and the crust comes up of the sides just a little bit
- Bake your crust for 5 minutes and then remove from the oven to cool while you make your filling.
- In a large bowl, add your sweetened condensed milk (making sure to scrape it all out of the can), lemon juice and egg yolks and mix well until smooth1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, 3 egg yolks, ½ cup fresh squeezed lemons
- Now, pour your mixture into your prepared pie or tart crust
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely
- Once cooled, refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight
- Serve with whipped cream and/or powdered sugar (optional)Whipped cream for serving, powdered sugar for serving
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here
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