A lemon and oat pastry crust with a lemon butter filling and topped with toasted coconut. These Lemon Butter Bars are ooey gooey and jammed packed with lemon flavor!
I think most of you are probably familiar with gooey butter dessert bars. They’re quite popular on Pinterest, and I frequently see people take them to cookouts. The bars have a soft filling, often with cream cheese, and a pastry crust. No doubt, they are delicious.
As much as I love gooey butter dessert bars, there are things that I like more than cream cheese and pastry crust. So, I decided to make a similar bar with an oatmeal crust, a non-cream cheese lemon filling, and coconut. So basically, other than the fact both bar-style desserts contain a lot of butter, I guess they’re really not all that similar.
But obviously, butter makes almost everything better. The night I was making these bars, my husband walked into the kitchen while they were baking and said, “our kitchen smells like butter…”
He thought smelling like butter was an odd thing. But I knew it meant that my bars were just perfect.
Lemon Butter Bars
For the crust, I used oats, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and of course, BUTTER.
For the oats, I recommend you use a quick cooking variety as old fashioned oats typically turn out fairly chewy. But maybe you like chewy crusts, and if that’s the case – go for the old fashioned.
Use fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. Concentrated or store-bought lemon juice and dried, jarred zest have a bitter flavor that is not as light and summery as I like for this recipe. In a pinch, sure, it’ll be okay, but I highly recommend fresh lemon.
The filling should also be made with fresh lemon zest and juice. Again, it gives a superior taste.
Instead of sweetened condensed milk, I used evaporated milk for this recipe. That way I could better control the sweetness level. You can easily increase or decrease the sugar by 1-2 tablespoons to fit your preference.
Toasted coconut is one of my favorite treats. To accent these butter bars I placed coconut on top of the batter so that it would toast while the bars baked.
I also stirred some coconut together with fresh lemon zest as these are LEMON bars and I wanted them have a strong lemon punch. Mission accomplished.
These Lemon Butter Bars are chewy, soft and packed with lemon and butter flavor! An easy to make, tasty dessert!
Lemon Butter Bars
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats*
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter melted (not hot)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut divided
- zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter until well combined. Then, press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until crust is starting to bubble and brown.
- While crust is baking, make filling. In a large bowl, whisk together salt, flour, brown sugar, and sugar.
- In a small bowl, whisk eggs, then stir into flour/sugar mixture. Next stir in vanilla, evaporated milk, lemon juice, and 2 cups of a coconut. Stir until well combined.
- Pour over crust.
- In a small bowl, stir together remaining cup of coconut with lemon zest. Sprinkle over filling.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until coconut is golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.
Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided on this website is an estimate only and is not guaranteed.
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Links to items used to make this recipe: