A decadent and citrusy Raspberry Lemon Bars Recipe that will brighten your mood and make you pucker with delight. Raspberry and Lemon never tasted so good together. If you love lemon raspberry desserts you’re going to want to try these Raspberry Lemon Poke Cupcakes, Raspberry Lemon Poke Cake, and this Rainbow Sherbet Punch.
Aww Raspberry Lemon Bars, just the name alone lifts my spirits. I have a thang for lemon. From lemon pound cake to lemon meringue pie, I had my fill of it growing up thanks to my Big Mama and mommy who made some delicious renditions of them I must say.
These lemon raspberry bars are filled with everything that makes me smile: a delicious bottom crust, a raspberry jam layer and delicious whole raspberries and lemon cream cheese. They are similar to lemon cheesecake but so much better!
Why You Will Love This Lemon Raspberry Bars Recipe
- A tasty treat year round! So refreshing in the spring and summer and a great way to kiss those winter blues away when it’s cold!
- Lemon + Raspberry! Need I say more. It’s like these flavors are made for each other.
- Perfect for all types of occasions. From potlucks, backyard bbqs, cookouts, and parties, to an everyday sweet treat.
A handful of easy to find ingredients are all it takes to make these bright, refreshing lemon bars with raspberry jam. Check the recipe card for the full list and quantities. Here’s an overview of what you need:
- Butter: Unsalted butter is important and gives you more control over the saltiness of the crust.
- All-purpose flour: Mostly used to make the crust but a bit is added to the filling as a thickener.
- Sugar: Brown sugar sweetens the crust with its rich molasses flavors while granulated sugar sweetens the filling.
- Raspberry jam: Seedless raspberry jam is the best option! You can also use raspberry preserves just make sure their seedless too!
- Fresh raspberries: Make sure to use fresh, ripe raspberries for the best results.
- Cream cheese: Adds a tangy, creamy flavor to the lemon bar filling.
- Egg: The egg and an extra egg yolk create the the rich, custard like structure of the filling.
- Lemon peel and lemon juice: Definitely use fresh lemons! Chop or grate the lemon peel super fine and avoid using too much white pith which is bitter. This combination gives the bars a more intense lemon flavor.
- Vanilla: Adds natural sweetness that nicely balances out the tartness of the lemon in the filling.
How to Make Lemon Raspberry Bars
Before you get started cooking there are a couple things to do. Gather all your ingredients together and preheat the oven.
- Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil making sure you extend the foil over the edges of the pan. I promise you don’t want to skip this step! It makes cleanup a breeze.
- Make the crust. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the flour, brown sugar, and salt and mix until combined.
- Press mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until set and light brown. Let it cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
TOP TIP: Lightly brush exposed foil on the sides of the pan with additional softened butter to keep the filling from sticking.
- Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the crust.
- Add the fresh raspberries to the top.
- Make the filling. Beat the cream cheese on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and one tablespoon of flour and mix until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, lemon peel, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Pour the filling over the top of the raspberries.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover and chill for 2 hours, the top may crack slightly but it’s ok.
- Using the edges of the foil, lift the entire dessert out of the pan and place it on a large cutting board. Cut the dessert into bars.
- Plan ahead when making lemon raspberry bars. This isn’t a bake and eat right away dessert. The bars need time to cool and set up before you can cut and serve them.
- Make sure the butter and cream cheese are softened. This way you avoid any clumps and it’s so much easier to beat.
- Leftover lemon bars with raspberry jam must be stored in the refrigerator. Keep them in a single layer in an airtight container. They will last 2-3 days.
- Use fresh raspberries. Frozen raspberries have tons of water and will not cook up the same.
Yes, you can! I recommend storing them in a single layer or with a piece of parchment in between multiple layers to keep them from sticking. They will keep for up to one month when stored properly.
The easiest way to tell they are done is to gently shake the pan. The filling shouldn’t jiggle and will feel slightly firm to the touch.
More Dessert Bar Recipes
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Raspberry Lemon Bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Unsalted butter softened, for pan
- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam or preserves
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons finely shredded lemon peel
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over edges of pan. Set pan aside.
- For crust, in a medium mixing bowl beat 1 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in 2 cups flour, brown sugar, and salt until combined. Press mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until set and light brown. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Lightly brush exposed foil on sides of pan with additional softened butter to keep filling from sticking. Carefully spread jam evenly over crust. Sprinkle with raspberries.
- For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon flour until combined. Beat in egg, egg yolk, lemon peel, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Pour filling over raspberries.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and chill for 2 hours (top may crack slightly). Using the edges of the foil, lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.
This recipe was originally published February, 2015. It has been updated with new content and images.