Last week I shared turtle brownies that I made in honor of my mom.  My inspiration for the treats I chose to donate to her hospice was to make things that were hybrids of her favorite desserts and my own tastes.  I knew one pan of brownies wasn’t going to be enough for all of the hospice workers, and I wanted to provide an alternative in the event that someone might not like chocolate (!)  Aside from turtle sundaes, etc. one of Mom’s other favorite desserts was lemon bars.  I have never liked lemon bars since they usually involve lemon curd, but when I saw this recipe I thought they might be the exception to change my mind.

So I made them.  And let me just say right up front, I was extremely skeptical.  The raspberry-lemon layer before baking is very liquidy – verging on juice.  I honestly did not expect these to turn out at all, and while they were baking, I was making plans to cut the brownies into small pieces so that there would be enough to go around.  But then magically, these worked.  I chilled them, sliced them, and finally I tasted one.  The best way I can think of to express my feelings about these bars is this: I liked them more than the brownies.  If you put both of them in front of me, this is the one I would choose.  The topping is sweet, tart, smooth and almost juicy all at the same time.  I loved the one I did get to sample and I already can’t wait to make them again.  If you are a fan of raspberries, lemons, or both, make these and prepare to fall in love.


For the crust:
2¼ sticks (18 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt

For the raspberry lemon layer:
3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. lemon zest
¼ tsp. salt
3 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
6 large egg whites
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour and salt just until incorporated.  Add the dough to the prepared baking pan.  Press into an even layer over the bottom of the pan.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove from the oven, maintaining the temperature.

  • 02

    While the crust is baking, make the top layer.  Combine the sugar, flour, lemon zest and salt in a large bowl and whisk to blend.  Add the raspberries to a fine mesh sieve and press through, mashing with a spatula, to extract as much juice and pulp as possible, straining out the seeds.  Add the egg whites and eggs to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk well to blend.  Whisk in the raspberry puree and lemon juice until smooth.

  • 03

    Pour the mixture over the crust and bake until the center is just set and not longer jiggles when gently shaken, about 35-40 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.  Cover and chill well in the refrigerator, at least 2 hours.  When ready to serve, use the parchment paper to lift the bars from the pan.  Place on a cutting board and slice into bars.  Dust the tops with confectioners’ sugar if desired.

  • 04

    *This recipe can be halved and baked in an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with a slightly reduced baking time. 


  • It looks so fresh and refreshing! Yum :)

  • These look so yummy! I love the bright pink colour they have. They are so inviting!

  • The second I saw this in my Google Reader I knew I had to comment. These look INCREDIBLE. I live in Israel and we don’t often get raspberries in our grocery store, not even the frozen version. I’m planning on trying these with thawed frozen strawberries and adapting the crust to be gluten-free and dairy free (I have a great easy shortbread that I think would work perfectly here). I’m sure they will be completely different, but I cannot wait to try it! Thanks for the delicious inspiration, as always :)

  • Erin

    I found the perfect recipe for my Labor Day BBQ. Thanks, Annie!

  • What a perfect dessert to have in the last few weeks of summer!

  • Emma

    In some ways, it’s really unfortunate that I always read this blog in the morning. Because now I know that I’m going to be thinking about these raspberry lemonade bars I was already planning to make your blueberry scones this weekend, but I think I’m going to have to add these to the weekend menu, as well!

  • So it’s not a taste thing with lemon curd…cuz you cook plenty with lemon, Is it texture? I’m surprised….all curds or just lemon are on your – “not my favorite” list?

  • Wow, these sound AMAZING!!! I can’t wait to try them…

  • The story you shared about your mom was inspirational and beautiful. Very moving. And these look delicious! I think I need to hurry up and make them, before the summer ends!

  • I love nothing more than a lemon bar, so I think I’d love these! Perfect for Labor Day barbecues!

  • I’ve never seen anything like this before! What a genius idea…I love anything with raspberries in it!

  • Gorgeous! I love the raspberry-lemon combo and these bars look amazing!

  • I’m a fan of lemon bars and raspberries, so these bars will certainly make it to my list of things to make!

  • I can’t get enough fruity lemonades this summer, and this is a great compliment!

  • Mmmmmmm I really really want to make these this weekend. I think my other baking plans just go pushed aside…

  • You’ve sold me on these. If you like them better than brownies, they must be something. :)

  • Shawndra

    That picture is amazing! I love your blog, thank you for the recipe, I can’t wait to try it =)

  • Shelby

    that looks absolutely delectable!

  • Looks so summery and light! I do love anything with lemon, so I’m sure these are delicious.

  • These look lovely – a light alternative to all of the hamburgers/chips and dip/chocolatey treats that everyone will be cooking for Labor Day!

  • These look amazing! Michael’s favorite is lemon bars, but I know he’d love these as well. I can’t wait to give them a try :-)

  • Louann Zundel

    These look amazing! Can’t wait to make them for a party on Sunday.
    Do you think that using fresh berries, instead of frozen, would yield too little juice?

  • These look amazing! I’ve made Strawberry Lemonade bars before, but this recipe looks even better. Beautiful photos too!

  • ooh those look yummy! i love the idea of a twist on a classic dessert, so inventive! Can’t wait to try these beauties!

  • Kate

    how thoughtful for you to make something for the folks that don’t like chocolate. my husband is one of those, and few people rarely think to make something that he can enjoy.

  • Lynn

    Yum! I have a ton of blackberries in the back 40 this year. Do you think blackberries would work in place of the rasberries?

  • Cindy Davis

    Raspberry/Lemon wins over chocolate in my book every time – these look amazing! Can’t wait to make them!! Thanks :)

  • Annie

    I honestly can’t say, the only way to know is to try it and see :)

  • My, those are beautiful. I will have to put them on my list to try. I love lemon bars. And what a beautiful way to honor someone.

  • Oh, these look so refreshing and the color is absolutely fantastic!

  • These look Amazing! I love raspberry lemonade.

  • They’re so pretty and summery! Yum.

  • These look fantastic!! We are having company in the next few weeks, and this needs to be made!!

  • Kelly

    Great recipe!!! Did you squeeze lemons for the lemon juice or use store bought juice? If you used fresh lemons, how many, and what do you do with the skins?

  • carrie

    Oh good heavens! These look so good and cheerful too. This looks like it’s worth taking the time for. :) thanks annie! I’m making your bacon scones for guests this weekend!

  • Can’t wait to try this recipe! Love the flavor combination.

  • These are truly gorgeous Annie!

  • Malia

    These look AWESOME! My mouth is watering looking at the picture! I LOVE raspberry lemonade!

  • Annie

    I always used freshly squeezed lemons. I don’t remember exactly how many it took for this recipe. Depending on the size of lemon, you usually get 2 tbsp. to 1/4 cup of juice from each one. Enjoy!

  • Kay

    I subbed in the juice of a lime as I can’t resist the combination of lime and raspberries. They’re in the oven now just waiting for that delicious juice to solidify!

  • Susan in England

    I’ve just picked 3kg of fresh raspberries and am off to make these right now- they look amazing! Thanks so much for posting :)

  • I just came across your blog from a photo on Pinterest. Love your blog and can’t wait to try some of your recipes :)

  • oh goodness, i love the raspberry/lemon combo. these sound so fabulous!

  • Annie! These look and sound amazing!! I think I might add these to my labor day menu.

  • Ooooooo! Girlfriend.
    These look so good, and sound even better!!! Thanks so much for this.

  • Yummmmm! These look incredible!

  • Susan in England

    I can confirm that this works well with fresh raspberries!

  • Annie

    Great, thank you for sharing Susan!

  • I can’t wait to try this recipe — I love lemon bars and love raspberry lemonade!

  • Laura

    Just tried these – the flavor is mind-blowingly amazing. I had trouble getting them to set up … did I not chill them long enough? I was a bit impatient and ended up eating some out of a bowl.

    I also had trouble with the juice seeping through the corners of the parchment and sticking. Annie, did you diagonally slice the corners of the paper so that it would fit correctly, or did you just pour it in?

    Regardless, the ‘curd’ was delicious. This is a recipe I’m willing to try again (and again) until I perfect it!

  • Annie

    I’m not sure but my guess would be that they either needed to bake longer or you didn’t chill them long enough. I didn’t cut the paper any special way, I just lined the bottom and long sides of the pan with one full sheet of paper and then cut strips to cover the other edges. It worked fine. Some juice does seep out but I guess I don’t think it’s that big of a problem. Glad they tasted good!

  • These were SO good!!! I made them yesterday and they turned out great, but not as red as yours. Also, do you know if there is a way to make them a little less rich? Can you add water to the raspberry/lemon juice mixture?

  • Patricia Welch

    I’ve been anxious to bake these bars. The prep time is longer than most desserts, BUT, OMG the juice tasted awesome. I can’t imagine how good this will be after it’s done baking & cooling. Thank You so much Annie. I love Your site. People really love my Baking, since I’ve discovered Your Recipes. You’re the Best!

  • Can’t wait to make these. Refreshing and different!

  • Thanks for this post! I saw this and bookmarked it on sophistimom a while back, but I totally forgot until I saw your post on Friday. Since then, I’ve made the bars twice! :)

  • Alison

    I made this last night for a BBQ this afternoon. They took quite a while to cook (probably about 55 minutes) but they set up beautifully. The flavor was awesome. Next time, I think I’ll make the lemon/raspberry layer a little thinner. It was delicious but there was just a bit too much of it. Great recipe though!

  • You’re absolutely killing me with these. These are far too close to my addiction food (Euro Pane lemon bars, and strawberry lemonade bars). I saw this in my inbox on vacation this weekend and was so bummed I couldn’t make them right then and there. This will be made very, very soon!

  • Yum, these sound so good! I love lemon bars so I will have to try this recipe!

  • Eleanor

    This was awesome although I did not realize just how many lemons it took to make 1 1/3 cups lemon juice.

  • These look so delicious, it’s always mystery to me how lemon bars turn out because of the liquid is so runny so they have that in common too. Can’t wait to try these out :)

  • Sharlene

    I tried it with fresh raspberries last night and it fielded way too much juice. I bought 3 small packs of raspberries and the juice yielded 1 1/2 cups and that was WAY too much! The post said that when you gently shake them they shouldn’t jiggle so I baked them for longer with no luck of them ever setting! The top had way too much juice. I would use at most 3/4 cup of raspberry juice I was so bummed that these were not a success. So much for raspberries being on sale!

  • Annie

    Other readers have made them with fresh raspberries and said that they worked fine. I think your problem is actually that you used three containers of raspberries, which at 6 oz. dry weight per package is more than the 3 cups called for the in recipe.

  • Turn_n_burn913

    Turned out great! I will certainly make this recipe again.

  • Morpheus811

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this recipe!!! This is the first thing I’ve ever made from your site and I gotta say that I’ve probably burnt half of the things I’ve ever made but these turned out great!

  • Jonna Carlile

    made these tonight for a function and they were a hit! you’re right – you need all the lemon zest and all the lemon juice. and it’s just the right tart/sweet mix. will definitely be making these again!

  • Shannon

    I absolutely love lemon bars, so I was eager to make these. I accidentally got a few raspberry seed in the mixture, but it did not make a difference. These turned out well. We could definitely taste the raspberry. Next time I make them, I will reduce the sugar by 1/2 cup as they were a little too sweet for my taste and not quite tart enough.

  • Annabelle

    If you keep them refrigerated, how long do you think they’ll last?

  • Anonymous

    Please see the FAQ page regarding food storage.

  • Jojo

    Do these need to stay refrigerated, or could they sit out for 2 hours?

  • Anonymous

    I think they would be fine.

  • Suzanne Emmert

    Delicious! I used about 3/4 cup of raspberry juice, extracted from frozen raspberries. I also reduced the sugar a bit because I like lemon bars to be very tart. Other than that, I followed the recipe and directions precisely and was very, VERY pleased with the result!

  • Ckilgore3256

    I made these and they were fantastic!! The only problem I had was I had to leave them in the oven for an hour and 15mins. The center was still not done, but the sides were starting to brown. We have an oven thermometer so the temp was fine. Any suggestions?

  • annieseats

    That’s a pretty drastic difference. I have no idea why that would have happened if your oven temp is correct.

  • Sarah Owens

    We made these tonight for a family celebration and they were beautiful as well as delicious! They were so pink – I was really surprised at the amazing color. I used frozen raspberries, but I just crushed them up in the bag and mixed them in with the seeds and all. They turned out perfectly. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe!

  • jami anderton

    I made these last night as a trial run for a baby shower and they are amazing!!! I’m wondering if your recipe would be enough to fill a sheetcake size pan…to make them go a little further? What do you think?

  • annieseats

    I think you would have to multiply the recipe to fit the pan. Glad you enjoyed them!

  • Attalie Johnson

    My daughter and I were looking for our weekly dessert project when I came across these and immediately got excited. We just finished making them for the family, and not only are they beautiful, but the aroma of raspberries and fresh lemon had everyone in the house migrating to the kitchen…these are a smash hit. I can’t wait to make them guest! Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe!!! :)

  • Smdonald09

    Just made these and I think I could have made two pans with the amount of crust and filling this recipe made! Still yummy, just a lot!

  • gi gi

    Made these in August for my daughter’s baby shower. It’s hard to think of things that taste really good & don’t weigh you down in this Tx. heat. These bars were tasty & there were only a few left after the party. (I cut them into 1 1/2″ X 1 1/2″ bite sized pieces & put them onto pretty, lacy looking cupcake papers.) Along with the chicken salad sandwiches we served, these were a BIG hit! We offered several desserts & these were the most popular, and that’s saying something as the other desserts were good too! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Humeyra

    Shouldn’t the raspberries be heated up?? It’s frozen

  • annieseats

    No, just make as directed in the instructions. Enjoy!