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

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

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 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

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.

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4.64 from 11 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.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 226 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • cups (350 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • cups (285 g) 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Glaze

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

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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. I haven’t. But if you do the brownies will be thinner and the cooking time will be less.

  1. Just wanted to know if you can freeze the lemon brownies with a good result?

    Since there is only 2 of us we like to freeze deserts for a later date, I don’t like baking something and then throwing most of it away

  2. So delicious!!! They came out perfect!!!. For more of a lemony flavor I did use lemon juice in the glaze. Will definitely be making again.

  3. Thieve turned out horrible. Despite following the recipe exactly, it had a dense, playdoh like consistency and the taste wasn’t any better.

    1. Hi Kristin- So sorry you experienced that. Sounds like they were underbaked. Every oven is different and unfortunately, I can’t account for hot spots or different temps. However, the taste is something I can guarantee, as it was approved by over a dozen diverse taste testers. Maybe there was an ingredient off?

  4. In your directions for Lemon brownies you say to add the eggs and the egg yolk, but you don’t have an egg yolk in the ingredients. Is there actually an extra egg yolk?

    Enjoy your recipes so much.

  5. These were delightful, but we’re a bit cake-ier than I was expecting. Not sure if that means I overmixed?

  6. I made two batches today, each in a 9×9 nonstick pan lined with parchment using a flour and butter nonstick spray.
    I followed the recipe exactly. I whisked the wet ingredients together and made sure to lightly spoon my flour into the measuring cups. I then whisked all the dry ingredients together to ensure they were well distributed before adding them to my wet ingredients and I used a light hand when combining both so I wouldn’t overmix.
    I tasted them when they cooled and immediately after spreading them with the glaze (which I made with lemon juice). Honestly I wasn’t sure about them. I’d never made a lemon brownie before and wasn’t sure what to expect, but I have always trusted Amanda! So I stuck them in the fridge and a few hours tasted them again. This is when the magic happens people! The lemon zest needs time to deepen – the citrus oils need to penetrate the brownie and the juice needs to stiffen the glaze. The brownie needs time to develop the consistency that’s somewhere between a fudge and a cake.
    Suddenly they were remarkably lemony with a perfect crumb. The glaze had a nice crunch in its top crust but yet had a soft icing beneath.
    I gifted a good friend with the second batch and she loved them too! So do make these but hold off judgment for a few hours!! You’ll be addicted!

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