Lemon Strawberry Bars — Imagine crossing lemon bars with a strawberry pie. These easy bars taste like strawberry lemonade! Sooo good!
Strawberry Crumble Bars
Strawberry lemonade is such a quintessential summer drink. Bars that taste like strawberry lemonade are even better than drinking it.
These strawberry bars are what you’d get if you crossed a crumble-topped strawberry pie with a lemon bar. They’re sweet from the strawberries with some tart lemon flavor that peeks through. They’re soft, juicy, satisfying, and I love crumble-topped anything.
The bars are adapted from Blueberry Pie Bars, which was an instant reader favorite. There’s a soft yet crisp, buttery, shortbread-style crust. The crust mixture does double duty as the crumble topping. I love it when that happens so there’s one less step and one less bowl to wash.
There’s a creamy, sweet, lemony filling that tops the crust, which gives the bars a soft but dense texture. I used Sunkist lemons and they add so much wonderful complementary flavor to sweets.
Strawberries and lemon zest top the filling layer. The berries soften and release their juices while baking and the juicy berries help the bars stay very moist. I used a combination of fresh and frozen strawberries.
Between the firm crust, soft filling, juicy strawberries, fragrant lemon zest, and sandy crumbles, there are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every thick bite.
They taste fancy enough to serve at a special event, luncheon, or brunch, yet are homey and comforting. A perfect summertime treat.
What’s in These Strawberry Bars?
To make these strawberry crumble bars, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Greek yogurt
- Lemon juice and zest
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Strawberry Bars
You’ll first need to mix together the crust mixture, which also doubles as the crumble topping. Set aside 3/4 cup of the mixture, then press the rest into the bottom of an 8-inch square pan.
Next, whisk together the lemon filling. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Lastly, mix together the strawberry layer and spread evenly over the lemon filling.
Sprinkle the reserved crumble topping over the strawberry layer, then bake the strawberry lemon bars for about an hour. Once baked, these strawberry bars need to cool for at least 2 hours before cutting into them.
Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Strawberries?
You can use either in these strawberry lemon bars! I generally bake with frozen fruit because it’s cheaper and available year-round, but it tends to be juicier. Therefore, I needed to add flour to firm up the strawberry layer. You may not if you’re baking exclusively with fresh berries. Baking time will vary based on if your berries are fresh, frozen, and how juicy they are.
How to Store Strawberry Bars
These strawberry lemon bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 10 days (they’re good slightly chilled if you like chilled pie and I store them in the fridge), or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Tips for Making Strawberry Bars
I used a mixture of fresh and frozen berries, and you’re welcome to do the same.
If using fresh berries, you may not need to add any flour to the strawberry layer. If using frozen berries, you likely will need 2 tablespoons. Just use your best judgement and add some flour if the mixture looks at all watery.
You can cut into these strawberry bars after they’ve rested for 2 hours, but they’re best when they’ve been left overnight.
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Crust and Crumble Topping
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt; or sour cream (lite is okay)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 heaping cups diced strawberries (fresh or frozen; I used a combo)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (or 1/2 cup if berries are sour)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- up to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (if using fresh berries, you may not need any flour, and if using frozen berries you likely will need 2 tablespoons)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside. Lining the pan will really help with cleanup and is recommended.
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
- Add the sugars and whisk to combine.
- And the flour, optional salt, and stir to combine. Mixture will be very dry and sandy with some larger, well-formed crumble pieces.
- Set a heaping 3/4 cup crumble mixture aside.
- Transfer remaining mixture to prepared pan, and using a spatula or your fingers, hard-pack the mixture to create an even, smooth, flat crust; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the egg, Greek yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and whisk to combine or beat with a handheld electric mixer until smooth.
- Add the flour and whisk to combine or beat with a handheld electric mixer until smooth.
- Evenly pour filling over the crust and jiggle pan to help distribute it or smooth it with a spatula; set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, add all filling ingredients except flour and toss to combine.
- Evaluate mixture and if it’s very thin, runny, soupy, or liquidy, add up to 2 tablespoons flour to help thicken it. If using fresh berries, you may not need any flour. Because I used half fresh and half frozen berries, I needed 2 tablespoons flour because my mixture was thin and soupy.
- Evenly distribute strawberry mixture over the filling, smoothing it lightly with a spatula.
- Evenly sprinkle with the reserved heaping 3/4 cup crust mixture. Before sprinkling, I squeeze the mixture in my palm to encourage bigger crumble pieces to form.
- Bake for about 60 to 75 minutes (place pan on a cookie sheet for insurance against overflow if your pan is quite full), or until edges are bubbling quite vigorously and there’s some bubbling in the center. Crumble topping should appear set and very pale golden.*
- Place pan on a wire rack and allow bars to cool for at least 2 hours (overnight is even better) before slicing and serving. After cooling overnight, I placed pan in the fridge 2 hours before slicing to ensure clean, neat cuts. If you try to slice bars before they’ve cooled completely, they’ll be extremely messy and could fall apart.
Crust and Crumble Topping
- *Note: I used some frozen berries and the pan was very cold going into the oven and the strawberry layer was quite runny; I baked for 72 minutes. If using fresh berries, baking time will be reduced, likely right at the 60 minute mark, but start checking at 50 minutes. Watch your bars, not the clock, when evaluating doneness.
- Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 10 days (they’re good slightly chilled if you like chilled pie and I store them in the fridge), or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Adapted from Blueberry Pie Bars.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 343Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 33mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 2gSugar: 34gProtein: 5g
More Strawberry Dessert Recipes:
Strawberry White Chocolate Gooey Bars — The strawberry base is soft and chewy, there are white chocolate chips for extra texture, and sweetened condensed milk peeks through the top.
Strawberries and Cream Poke Cake — This Strawberry Poke Cake uses just four ingredients and is a hit at parties and potlucks! It’s a moist, refreshing dessert you’ll definitely want seconds of!
Crustless Fresh Strawberry Pie — FAST, super EASY, no-mixer dessert that’s perfect for summer entertaining, picnics, or potlucks!! Somewhere in between pie, cake, and blondies is what you get with this FABULOUS recipe!
The Best Strawberry Banana Bread — This strawberry bread is packed with fresh, juicy strawberries in every bite! This is an easy, no-mixer quick bread recipe you’re going to love!
Strawberry Layer Cake with Strawberry Frosting — Soft, tender cake loaded with FRESH strawberries and a sweet strawberry frosting!! An EASY strawberry layer cake that’s perfect for parties! Strawberry fans will LOVE IT!!
Strawberry Custard Bars — These easy, one bowl, no mixer custard bars are perfect for your fresh strawberries. There’s a shortbread crust, topped with diced strawberries, before a custard filling is poured over the the top.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Shortbread Bars — The easy bars consist of a buttery shortbread crust that’s topped with a cream cheese and an almond extract flavored filling before frosting the bars and topping with strawberries.
This post is brought to you by Sunkist. Recipe, photography, and opinions expressed are my own.
Originally published July 15, 2014 and republished May 29, 2020 with updated text.