Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Strawberry lemonade is such a quintessential summer drink.

Bars that taste like strawberry lemonade are even better than drinking it.

Strawberry Lemonade Bars - Imagine crossing lemon bars with a strawberry pie. These easy bars taste like strawberry lemonade! Sooo good!

The 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 crumbletopped anything.

The bars are adapted from my recent 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.

Strawberry Lemonade Bars - Imagine crossing lemon bars with a strawberry pie. These easy bars taste like strawberry lemonade! Sooo good!

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 flavor to sweets, In savory dishes, using lemons is a great way to reduce the need for salt. Check out the Sunkist S’alterntive for recipe ideas using lemons instead of salt.

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.

Strawberry Lemonade Bars - Imagine crossing lemon bars with a strawberry pie. These easy bars taste like strawberry lemonade! Sooo good!

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.

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.

Strawberry Lemonade Bars - Imagine crossing lemon bars with a strawberry pie. These easy bars taste like strawberry lemonade! Sooo good!

They taste fancy enough to serve at a special event, luncheon, or brunch, yet are homey and comforting.

A perfect summertime treat.

Strawberry Lemonade Bars - Imagine crossing lemon bars with a strawberry pie. These easy bars taste like strawberry lemonade! Sooo good!

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Bars that taste like strawberry lemonade are even better than drinking it. The 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 the crust mixture does double duty as the crumble topping. There’s a creamy, sweet, lemony filling that tops the crust, which gives the bars a soft but dense texture. The strawberries soften and release their juices while baking and help the bars stay moist. I used a combination of fresh and frozen strawberries and added flour to 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. Between the firm crust, soft filling, juicy strawberries, fragrant lemon zest, and sandy crumbles, there are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite.

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Ingredients:

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

Filling
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

Strawberry Layer
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)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Crust and Crumble Topping – In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Add the sugars and whisk to combine.
  4. And the flour, optional salt, and stir to combine. Mixture will be very dry and sandy with some larger, well-formed crumble pieces.
  5. Set a heaping 3/4 cup crumble mixture aside.
  6. 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.
  7. Filling – 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.
  8. Add the flour and whisk to combine or beat with a handheld electric mixer until smooth.
  9. Evenly pour filling over the crust and jiggle pan to help distribute it or smooth it with a spatula; set aside.
  10. Strawberry Layer – In a separate medium bowl, add all filling ingredients except flour and toss to combine.
  11. 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.
  12. Evenly distribute strawberry mixture over the filling, smoothing it lightly with a spatula.
  13. 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.
  14. 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. 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. 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. 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

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 This post is brought to you by Sunkist. Recipe, photography, and opinions expressed are my own.

121 comments on “Strawberry Lemonade Bars”

  1. These look phenomenal! Love the crumb topping.

  2. WOW this looks delish! I will have to make these ASAP!

  3. These look perfect!!! Not too gooey for travel!! Thank you!

  4. I love the multiple flavors in this–and I just bought a 6 lb bag of frozen strawberries from Costco. Not sure if I should be embarrassed to admit that or not as Jon isn’t a big berry fan so I’ll be eating nearly all of them myself in some form! A crumble top and lemon zest is the perfect finish for these.

  5. MMM nothing says summer like these strawberry lemonade bars! I am gonna make these for my parents this weekend!

  6. I love strawberry lemonade but never make it since all the recipes I can find make a pitcher.

    This looks like the perfect way to get my “fix”!

    • And you don’t even have to make any lemonade for these. Some strawberry-lemonade recipes start out with powdered juice mix which is fine, but not what I was going for here :)

  7. Oh my gosh, Averie these look so delicious! That crumb topping and that strawberry lemonade layer…they look wonderful :)

  8. Loving these! What a tutti fruity treat!

  9. I’m pretty mush a water girl, as I don’t like to drink my calories {unless it’s wine} but I do make an exception for strawberry lemonade, and these bars look insanely good

  10. These look so chunky and fresh! Can I call them healthy blondies?

  11. Strawberry lemonade is one of my favorite summer drinks. But I always say I’d rather eat than drink my calories, and this is the perfect way to do that! Pinned :)

  12. I have to say, this is the first Strawberry Lemonade baked good that I have ever been intrigued by! I love that there is whole fruit in a buttery, lemony bar, yum!

  13. I’ve never had strawberry lemonade other than the drink, but I have thought every time, someone needs to make a dessert of this.
    This. I can’t even.
    Awesome recipe Averie!

  14. Fruit-filled, buttery crumb bars are my weakness. I’m going to be dreaming about these for days!! :D

    • Fruit-filled, buttery crumb bars = that’s you! Only thing more fitting would be like a pie because you have a knack for making them turn out beautifully whereas I go with bars :)

  15. Averie the flavors here are incredible. You have such a talent for making people eat with their eyes. I don’t even need to say it because so many people have…lol! I made lemon bars the other day and while I was eating it I had some strawberries on the table in front of me. I sliced them and put it on top. Strawberry and lemons go perfectly together! Thanks for a great recipe. I have the day off tomorrow and the chance of me making these is extremely high! :)

  16. These bars are so pretty! I love strawberry and lemon together. And who can turn down a crumbly topping! I can’t get enough of these flavors during the summer. That’s a neat tip about adding some lemon instead of using salt. Hadn’t heard that one before!

  17. This is just summer in a bar! Strawberry lemonade is obviously better than plain lemonade, so I’m sure adding strawberry to these bars is better than a plain lemon bar! So creative :)

  18. these look so yummy!

  19. Ok, I made your Lemonies a couple of weeks ago for a yellow dessert table and they were amazing! There was such a great response to them. I will be trying any bar you post, seriously, I die. What? Pink lemonade freezer bars?!!

    • Thanks for trying the Lemonies and glad they were a big hit! Those pink lemonade freezer bars are easy and so good! Either those or these, can’t go wrong if you like a lemony bar!

  20. another awesome recipe averie! definitely craving one of these bars now. thanks for sharing!

  21. I made these this morning and just cut into them out of the fridge. They are AMAZING! Thank you so much for the fun creative spin on lemon bars. I made them for my boyfriend since I am going out of town again this weekend and I’m pretty sure he is happier to have these than have me stay home with him. :)

  22. Such a creative recipe! Your pictures look awesome!

  23. These sound so good! I am so into the strawberry and lemon combo!

  24. These are the bomb dot com, girly girl! :) THEE perfect summer dessert! Pinned and definitely going to make!

  25. Just made these and they are absolutely divine! I forgot to add the cornstarch into the strawberry mixture (whoops), so I ended up mixing the strawberry layer, lemon layer, and cornstarch together. Not the prettiest but that was totally my fault and they still taste amazing!

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