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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.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
chill time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8 bars
Calories Per Serving: 166 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Browned Butter Raspberries

Instructions

  • 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. 
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Comments

  1. I would never have thought to toss the raspberries in browned butter – I have only ever used it in savory dishes. A whole new path to think down… Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    These are amazing! Have to admit that I’ve never done the browned butter raspberry part (am sure is delicious). I cater luncheons on our family flower farm and this has been my go to dessert. They are so lemony! I serve with mint sprig and whatever fruit is on our bushes (fresh blueberries right now). Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. That is so amazing! I am so glad everyone has been enjoying these and they are perfect for your luncheons! Thank you Camille! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    I made these specially for my father-in-law’s birthday because he likes lemon; it is almost impossible to find a dessert he likes and he ate THREE of these! My mother-in-law said that was the most dessert she has ever seen him eat. We had some bars leftover so served them at a get-together the next day and they were a huge hit again! They were really easy and the lemon flavor was insane! Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    So I made this this weekend and the flavor was delicious however my crust came out really soggy? Any ideas on why? I baked it as directed.

    1. Hi India! I am not sure why your crust was soggy, but in general the crust should not be crispy. How soggy was it? Can you give me some info on how you baked these? Was there any changes? Even slight changes? Really hope I can help!

  5. Hi!
    Tieghan, this recipe is amazing!! I’m a celiac and had to swap out the crust for a gluten free graham cracker crust. I haven’t had a lemon bars in years and decided to try it out! Best decision ever!! The lemon, raspberries, and brown butter are the most delicious combination. Thank you for all your delicious recipes and hard work!!

    1. That is so amazing! I am so glad you got to enjoy lemon bars again!! Thank you for trying this, Lexi! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    I made these for my partner’s mom for mother’s day and they were a big hit. Because I had to transport them I wanted to find a way to incorporate the raspberries into the lemon bar without having to make brown butter in their kitchen so I put them into the bar like you did in the blueberry cheesecake bars and it turned out lovely. I was skeptical about the salted butter and the ritz crackers but it balanced out the whole thing nicely! I’m going to try the s’mores bar next

    1. HI! I use an 8×8 inch square baking pan. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    These were AMAZING! I chilled them overnight and had to stop myself from eating the whole pan for breakfast. I did 1.5x the crust because I used a bigger pan and substituted whiskey for vanilla extract after realizing I was out of vanilla (thanks, Google!). They turned out fabulously.

  8. Do you butter or grease your baking pan, or do you recommend lining with parchment to get the bars out without breaking after baking? Thanks!

    1. HI! I just line my pan with parchment paper. No need to also butter it. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Of course! I would use fresh blueberries. The syrup may affect the way the bars bake. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  9. These were divine! I didn’t have quite enough lemon juice but it didn’t matter! We don’t have sleeves of ritz crackers but I did about 35 for those asking!

  10. 5 stars
    Made these tonight and they are DELISH! I was sooo sceptical about the ritz crackers, but tried them anyways as HBH has yet to steer me wrong and alas, it was fantastic! For those of you with the ‘how many ritz crackers’ conundrum, I used about 32 crackers and it worked great. Thanks for another winning recipe!

  11. Tieghan, I live in the Netherlands and we don’t have Ritz crackers, although we have something similar called TUC. The problem is, the measurement of one sleeve of Ritz, won’t apply. Can you tell me approximately the cup measurement of the crushed crackers? Thanks!

    1. Hi Pamela! you need about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of crushed Ritz crackers. I really hope this helps you! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  12. Hey Tieghan

    In Canada our Ritz comes in one sealed bag within the box not sleeves. Any idea how many crackers is in a sleeve? I can try just a quarter of the box.

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Kat! you need about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of crushed Ritz crackers. I really hope this helps you! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan