Extra springy, extra creamy lemon bars with browned butter raspberries. Hands down one of my favorite sweet bars for spring. These bars are buttery, silky smooth, hinted with vanilla, perfectly lemony, and just sweet enough. This combination makes for a truly simple but delicious creamy, sweet, and tangy filling. Made with a buttery Ritz cracker crust, each bar is then finished off with fresh raspberries tossed in browned butter. A truly decadent spring (or summer) dessert!

overhead photo of Creamy Lemon Bars with Browned Butter Raspberries | halfbakedharvest.com #lemon #brownbutter #spring #summer #easter #mothersday #brunch #dessert

Well would you look at that? I finally made a lemon bar.

I’m not sure if this is expected of me or not, but when I decided to make these, I was shocked that I was actually going to do it. For the longest time I just never understood why someone would want to eat a dessert like a lemon bar or a key lime pie. I mean, where is the chocolate? Or at least the sweet fruit filling?

I used to only believe in chocolate desserts. No vanilla, no fruit, just chocolate. To this day, chocolate is still very high on my list, it probably always will be. But as I’ve learned to experiment with new flavors, I’ve really grown to love fruit based sweets. And now tangy citrus sweets too!

This is something I never thought would happen, but here we are! So, today I have some of the best lemon bars to share with you all, and I am so excited.

These bars really are something special, and very different…at least for me.

squeezed lemons Creamy Lemon Bars before cutting

To be upfront, my original intent was to make a key lime pie. My (soon to be) sister-in-law has been telling me that key lime pie is her favorite dessert. What a coincidence, it’s my brother Brendan’s favorite too. These two must really be meant for each other (it’s my grandpa’s favorite too!). Lyn’s has said that the fact that I do not have a key lime pie recipe here on HBH is truly upsetting.

Clearly I need to make this key lime pie happen, and I was finally going to do it too. But then…I did what I always do, I over-think, and in the end these lemon bars excited me more.

Sorry, I love lemon in my fruity desserts, so the sound of a lemon bar just sounded too good.

The sound of key lime pie? Well, let’s just say it still needs to grow on me. But mark my words, I will get to making a key lime pie. Someday.

side angled photo of Creamy Lemon Bars stacked on top of each other close up overhead photo of Creamy Lemon Bars with Browned Butter Raspberries

Anyway, instead I made these creamy lemon bars. And I topped them with browned butter raspberries. Every bite you’ll take is SO GOOD.

Filled with toasted, buttery Ritz crackers, creamy, sweet lemon, and juicy, buttery raspberries. Mouth watering.

side angle photo of Creamy Lemon Bars with Browned Butter Raspberries

Shockingly, these bars are super simple and very easy. I always thought something like a “fancy” lemon bar would be more involved, but in reality it’s the complete opposite.

To start, make the crust. Traditionally a shortbread or saltine cracker crust is used for a lemon bar/tart, but I love using buttery, salty Ritz crackers. They take things to a better level, and while they’re not fancy, they are so very good. Better than shortbread. Better than saltiness.

close up photo of Creamy Lemon Bars with Browned Butter Raspberries

While the crust bakes, make the filling. Eggs, sweetened condensed milk, lots of lemon, and a splash of vanilla…seriously so simple.

Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 15 minutes. Yes, just 15 minutes. Again, easy and simple. When the bars come out of the oven you’ll have a lemon bar that’s bright yellow and so pretty.

The trickiest step comes next…chill time. These bars need at least an hour or two in the fridge before they’re ready to be cut. Honestly, the waiting time is hard, but so worth it. Once the bars are cut, you’ll expose the silky, smooth, and very creamy, delicious lemon filling.

side angle photo of Creamy Lemon Bars with Browned Butter Raspberries

Now, the raspberries. You might not think the raspberries are not needed, but please do trust me when I say this, your lemon bars need these browned butter raspberries. It’s the layer of flavor that puts these bars over the top and makes them truly burst with flavor, both light and indulgent.

And let’s be real, browned butter is always the right move. Always.

So with that, I think our week could really use a bright lemon bar, don’t you? If not this week, then at least for your Easter celebrations. Fingers crossed you will all love these just as much as I do!

side angled photo of broken in half Creamy Lemon Bars with Browned Butter Raspberries

If you make these creamy lemon bars, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Creamy Lemon Bars with Browned Butter Raspberries | halfbakedharvest.com #lemon #brownbutter #spring #summer #easter #mothersday #brunch #dessert
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4.64 from 49 votes
The Recipe

Creamy Lemon Bars with Browned Butter Raspberries.

These bars are buttery, silky smooth, hinted with vanilla, perfectly lemony, and just sweet enough. Made with a buttery Ritz cracker crust, each bar is then finished off with fresh raspberries tossed in browned butter. A truly decadent spring (or summer) dessert!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
chill time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Calories 166 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, finely crushed into crumbs (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups crushed crackers)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 large egg + 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeeze lemon juice, preferably from Meyer lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Browned Butter Raspberries

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

    2. In a small bowl, mix together the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Transfer to the oven and bake 15 minutes, until light golden on top. 

    3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolks. Add the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt until combined. Pour the mix over the cracker crust. Return to the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes, until just set. Allow the bars to cool in the pan, then place in the fridge to cool completely, at least 2 hours or overnight. 

    4. Cut into bars. Just before serving, spoon over the browned butter raspberries. The bars can be kept chilled in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

    5. To make the raspberries, add the butter to a skillet set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir often. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest. Gently toss the berries with the butter and spoon overtop the bars. 

horizontal photo of Creamy Lemon Bars with Browned Butter Raspberries