Lemon Brownies are dessert bars that are dense and moist with a lemony flavor and topped with a simple glaze. If you love lemon desserts, be sure to try my Strawberry Lemon Blondies and Lemon Bars.

Lemon Brownies from Overhead with Vanilla Glaze
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Lemon Brownies

Brownies don’t always have to be chocolate. These lemon brownies have the consistency and texture of a fudgy brownie but made with lemon juice and lemon zest! Plus, they are topped with a sweet glaze that pairs perfectly with the lemon flavor.

Spreading Lemon Brownie Batter Into Pan

Ingredients & Substitutions

It’s all about the lemon flavor in these brownies. And, I will let you know how you can add even more lemon flavor to the glaze!

Lemons: I used both lemon juice and the zest of a lemon in the brownies. Make sure you wash the lemon before zesting it. For the lemon juice, you can use fresh lemon juice or storebought juice. You could even add lemon baking chips to the batter if your store carries them.

Eggs: Make sure when adding the eggs make sure that they are at room temperature. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition so it emulsifies with the butter.

Glaze: For the glaze, I went with a vanilla-flavored glaze, mixing confectioners’ sugar with water. However, if you crave more lemon flavor in the dessert, use lemon juice in place of water for the glaze. You can also enjoy the brownies with no glaze at all if you prefer.

Stack of Lemon Brownies on Plate

Lemon Brownies vs. Lemon Bars

There is a difference between these lemon brownies and lemon bars. Lemon brownies have no base crust and the texture is dense and fudgy (like a traditional chocolate brownie). Plus, there is the optional glaze added on top of the brownies. Lemon bars, on the other hand, have a buttery crust with a lemon filling. Be sure to make both recipes if you are a fan of lemon desserts!

Close up of Lemon Brownies

How to Store Lemon Brownies

Store the brownies in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to five days. You could also freeze the brownies for up to three months. When ready to enjoy them, let the bars thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

More Delicious Bars

4.66 from 23 votes

Lemon Brownies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Lemon Brownies are dessert bars that are dense and moist with a lemony flavor and topped with a sweet glaze.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ¾ cups (350 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (61 g) lemon juice*
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 ½ cups (285 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Glaze (Optional)

  • 1 cup (125 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or water for less lemon flavor


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×9-inch pan by lining it with parchment paper (or lightly grease and flour). (You could use a 9×13-inch pan for more servings, but the bars will be thinner.)
  • In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar. Stir well.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
  • Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter and egg mixture until completely combined.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until the edges are turning golden brown. (If you are using a 9×13-inch pan, bake for 25-30 minutes.)
  • Allow brownies to cool before glazing.


  • In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the glaze over the cooled brownies and serve.



*After reader feedback, we did increase the amount of lemon juice in the bars to 1/4 cup. 

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

    1. There are 3 forms of measurement in the recipe card. Stick, cup, and grams.
      “1 cup (2 sticks / 226 g) unsalted butter, melted”

      1. It was more cakey than I like. It seemed like an awful lot of flour. I folded in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. I also scaled the ingredients in grams and It was more like 2 cups vs 2 1/2 cups of flour. I would maybe use 1 1/2 cups next time…

    2. Amanda, you are amazing. You even think to add the specific directions if you use a larger pan with these brownies. All your recipes are great, you’re gracious and respectful ad I love that I found your page. Everything I’ve tried has turned out and turned out well, not justmy opinion, because I share food with a few households. Thank you.

  1. I made these exactly as instructed, with the exception of adding a very small splash of lemon extract. Baked them in a 9×13 dish for 30 minutes, and after they cooled I added the glaze of confectioners sugar and lemon juice. They were perfect — dense and just fudgy enough…as all brownies should be. They were sufficiently lemony too. One note: I weigh most of my ingredients on a kitchen scale rather than measure them in a cup — this is especially a good idea when measuring out flour, which requires precision, and could well be the difference between brownies that are dense and fudgy vs. dry and cakey as some commenters complained of.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Gen! I just made these for the first time and though they were delicious, they were a bit cakier and more dense than I thought they would be. I was wondering if I maybe added too much cornstarch, but I will weigh my ingredients next time instead of measuring by cups only and see if that makes a difference!

  2. Good recipe but if you want the lemon taste add way more lemon juice. I squeezed a whole large lemon and all its zest and I should have added more. I also only added 1 3/4 cups flour as the dough was already getting thick. I threw in cranberries as well, but just because I had them.

  3. It was a good brownie. The only thing I would comment is that I would have preferred more of a lemon taste.

    1. If it possible you had mild lemons? With 1/4 cup lemon juice in the brownies and 2 tablespoons in the glaze, these brownies have been described as SUPER lemony. Did you use the water glaze?

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