Easy 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. These easy lemon bars are hands down the easiest dessert you can make.
Creamy lemon bars with sweetened condensed milk
Who doesn't love a creamy lemon bar recipe that only requires a few ingredients and only mixing to put it all together. I always love easy desserts like that.
In addition to that, the idea for these easy lemon bars made with sweetened condensed milk came from my love of bite sized desserts. I find that sometimes you just need a little nibble of something sweet and these creamy lemon bars are just that.
Sometimes I don't want to go through the whole formal process of using a plate and fork.
I also really needed another bite sized dessert idea since I was always making my mini cheesecake bites recipe. I love these so much but I also don't want to get tired of them by always making them.
Another great thing about these easy lemon squares is if someone wants more than one, they can just grab some more. It really is the best lemon bar recipe!
It is a very informal no plate required kind of dessert but fancy enough for entertaining. It is great for all the varying types of dessert eaters out there.
Making these creamy lemon squares
The ingredients and steps to make these easy lemon bars are like the name, very simple. The creamy lemon squares are made with condensed milk and lemon 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.
Ingredients you will need
- Eggs (only the yolks)
- Condensed Milk
- Graham Cracker Crust (graham crackers, sugar, butter)
That is it! Really simple. You may already have most of these items in your fridge and pantry already.
Why make lemon bars with condensed milk
If you have made key lime tart or pie before, this is what inspired this recipe. It is 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.
I know many lemon desserts have you make a lemon curd but why go through all of that hassle when you can make these 🙂 Sweetened condensed milk already has sugar in it so when you bake with it, you can omit one extra step and all the hassle of making traditional lemon bars.
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 these easy lemon bars
Honestly, the most difficult part is waiting. I do 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.
Tips to making the best creamy lemon bars:
Now, you could make this into a pie and not bars just by using a pie plate. That is totally up to you. Not everyone wants bars or maybe you wanted to make key lime pie but you only had lemons.
Nothing changes for the recipe if you decide to do that.
You could also save your self the step of making the graham cracker crust and buy store bought if that is easier for you. I prefer homemade crust to the store bought so I don't mind spending a few extra minutes doing this.
Making these lemon bars vegan:
Since these creamy lemon bars are made with sweetened condensed milk, you can easily make this recipe vegan by using condensed coconut milk in place of the regular condensed milk. Lemon bars made with condensed coconut milk would be really really delicious.
I have added substitutions for making this recipe vegan below in the recipe section.
Lemon bars toppings ideas
For topping off these creamy lemon squares when serving, I like to use two things, powdered sugar and fresh whipped cream (store bought works too). If I am having guests, I will add a little lemon zest as well just for a nicer presentation.
If it is just me who is eating this I skip that step 🙂
You can use all these toppings or just one or none. The condensed milk lemon bars are amazing all on their own. Trust me!
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 condesnsed 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 in the fridge until you are ready to eat it.
For More Easy Dessert Recipes:
- Cranberry Citrus Shortbread Crumble Bars
- Easy Mini Cheesecake Bites
- Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Tart
- Triple Berry Shortbread Tart
- Easy Italian Plum Tart
- Easy Classic Carrot Cake
- Basil Olive Oil Cake
- Mixed Berry Crisp
- Italian Plum Tart
- Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- Buttery Oatmeal Cookies
- Simple Vanilla Sauce for Bread Pudding
Easy Creamy Lemon Bars
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
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.
- In a large bowl, add your ground graham crackers, melted butter, salt and sugar and mix well
- 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 smooth
- 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)
- Substitute condensed coconut milk for the regular condensed milk.
- Substitute egg alternative for the eggs and use a dairy free butter for the graham cracker crust.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here