Lemon Brownies

filed under: Bars · Brownies · Dessert · Food + Drink on April 29, 2021

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

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.

Lemon Brownies from Overhead with Vanilla Glaze

Lemon Brownies Ingredients

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 and egg yolk that they are at room temperature. Add the eggs and yolk 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.

Spreading Lemon Brownie Batter Into Pan

How to Make Lemon Brownies

This recipe was adapted from my Blondies recipe, and with a few additions and omissions, I ended up with these delicious lemon brownies. I used a 9×9-inch baking dish because I like a thick, dense crumb to my brownies. However, you could use a 9×13-inch baking dish, but the brownies will be thinner and baking time will be less.

To get started, combine the melted butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Next, add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Then, add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Set this aside for a moment as you mix the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the egg mixture until completely combined. Spread the batter into a parchment paper-lined baking dish and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Allow the brownies to cool completely before adding the glaze.

Stack of Lemon Brownies on Plate

How to Make the Glaze

The glaze for these lemon brownies is optional, but there are a couple of different flavor options. The glaze I made was made with confectioners’ sugar and water. It was the perfect complement to the lemon flavor of the brownies. However, if you love lemon and want an even stronger lemon flavor, it’s easy to make the glaze with lemon juice instead of water! This will turn these lemon brownies into a lemon sweet-tart, one that will make your lips pucker!

PRO TIP: Make sure the brownies have cooled before adding the glaze. If you don’t care about how the brownies look, you can add the glaze warm, it will just soak in more.

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.

Lemon Brownies vs. Lemon Bars

There is a difference between these lemon brownies and lemon bars. Lemon brownies have no 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

Looking for More Lemony Desserts?

Lemon Loaf

Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Easy Lemon Mousse

Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

4.67 from 6 votes
Lemon Brownies
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

Lemon Brownies are dessert bars that are dense and moist with a lemony flavor and topped with a sweet glaze.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Brownies
Servings: 12
Calories: 391 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke--iambaker.net
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, melted
  • cups (350g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • cups (285g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Glaze (Optional)
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water, or lemon juice (if want more lemon flavor)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a 9x9-inch pan by lining it with parchment paper (or lightly grease and flour). (You could use a 9x13-inch pan for more servings, but the bars will be thinner.)

  2. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar. Stir well.

  3. Add the eggs and the egg yolk, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
  5. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter and egg mixture until completely combined.
  7. 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 9x13-inch pan, bake for 25-30 minutes.)

  8. Allow brownies to cool before glazing.

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and water and whisk until smooth.

  2. Pour the glaze over the cooled brownies and serve.

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  • Patricia Johnson says:

    I don’t understand how the “vanilla glaze” is vanilla when it’s not anywhere in the recipe.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Patricia! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We ended up using a simple glaze; I have updated the recipe. Thanks, and have a great day!

  • Niranjan says:

    Seems interesting. Please update me with more recipes on mail.
    I am a self taught amateur Baker. Do it as my stress buster.
    Thank you

  • Margaret Genders says:

    It’s in the oven now!! Can’t wait to see how it turns out. All I had was an 8″x 8″ tin so I used that and adjusted the cooking time. Will check it at 30 mins!

  • Terry says:

    Delicious, thank you.

  • Terry says:

    Delicious, I used imperial margarine and it turned out buttery and lemony.

  • Margaret Krings says:

    Thankyou for this Delicious Recipe
    Love from Germany
    PS Delicious with fresh Raspberrie and fresh cream for a vrry special Sunday tea

  • Sangeeta Anand Dabir says:

    Pls give me eggless options and receipys l

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Sangeeta! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Here are some egg substitutes you could try in recipes. Have a wonderful day!

  • Leslie says:

    Love this recipe, it was simple, easy and the perfect amount of lemon flavor. I am gluten-free so instead of regular I used gluten-free 1 to 1 flour. They came out delicious! Brought them in to work, they couldn’t tell the difference and they devoured them 🙂 Definitely a keeper. Thanks

  • KW says:

    Sad to say that I followed this recipe exactly and baked them the minimum recommended time of 35 minutes, and they turned out hard and cakey almost like that of a thick shortbread with a hard crust on top. They taste good, just nothing close to a fudgy brownie texture. I might try again without the baking powder and a little bit less flour.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, KW! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions and comments. I would definitely check your oven temperature; that could have caused the brownies to be overbaked. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Alli says:

    Wish these were more lemony. Barely got lemon flavor out of the actual brownie and I added 3Tb instead of just the two. I did use lemon juice in the glaze which helped a lot. If you are looking for more than a hint of lemon flavor, then I highly recommend the lemon in the glaze. I topped the glaze with additional zest as well. Also, mine were more cake-like than fudgey brownie (Followed directions, minus the extra TBS lemon juice, baked for 35 min in a 9×9)

  • Martha Winders says:

    I made these for a friend. Of course I had to sample one before giving them away since it was my first time making them. I was not please with the outcome after completely following the recipe as written except adding extra lemon juice for a lemony taste. They taste too floury and dry. They were not moist at all. Next time I will most definitely try using a mixer to mix all the ingredients instead of just stirring the batter by hand to see if that helps and maybe use less flour. But as of my first try I would not recommend this recipe.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Martha! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with comments. I am sorry to hear the brownies did not turn out. We have made quite a few batches of these and they are dense and moist (and delicious) every time. Be sure to check your oven temperature as the brownies sound overbaked. Or, you may have overpacked the flour when measuring. I hope this helps, and have a wonderful day!

  • Andy Gamisou says:

    So what’s the “brown” part of this “brownie”?
    It’s a vanilla (didn’t see that in the recipe either) glazed lemon cake bar.

    Change the name, and don’t name things when you’re drunk! 🙂

  • Melissa Renner says:

    I’ve made these twice in quick succession because they are so good! I measured the sugar and flour by weight and wonder if that would help some other people who didn’t care for the results. I love lemon desserts and it was hard for me to resist eating the whole pan at once. The texture and moistness of brownies with the flavor of lemon = perfection!

  • Paula says:

    These lemon brownies are dang awesome! I made them once, everyone tried them…well, I have made them many times since and they get asked for and talked about all the time!! I add extra zest, but I do anyway with anything lemon that I make, and I added a 1/4 tsp of lemon extract. Thank you Amanda!

  • Gwenda McKnight says:

    Would love ur blondie recipe.
    Is it the same as this one without the lemon?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, it is the same base recipe! 🙂

  • Judy Marcero says:

    I made these today and it was compliments all around. Will definitely be making again!

  • Gloria says:

    The vanilla-flavored glaze she mentions she used above in her blog part sounds good. If we DO want the vanilla-flavored glaze, do you recommend 1 tbs vanilla extract or a different amount?