Bars & Brownies Currently Craving Seasonal

Lemon Brownies

January 31, 2024

Our Meyer lemon tree is working overtime this season and nothing makes me happier. I’ve been enjoying all of my […]

lemon brownie squares topped with fresh lemon slices

Our Meyer lemon tree is working overtime this season and nothing makes me happier. I’ve been enjoying all of my favorite lemon desserts like these Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies and my go-to Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins. I was about to whip up a batch of lemon bars when I got the idea to create a lemon brownie. Not to be confused with a lemon bar. Or a lemon “blondie”. These are brownies through and through. Pucker up lemon lovers….these lemon brownies are so good you may never have a lemon bar again!

close up of lemon brownie with bite taken out of it

What makes these lemon brownies so good?

These lemon brownies are my new favorite dessert. One bite and you’ll see why. They’re chewy and fudgy and filled with lots of bright, luscious lemon flavor. They’re sweet, but not too sweet. Tangy but not too tart. In a word, they’re PERFECT! Here’s why I love these lemon brownies (also called lemonies):

A delicious mash up of fudgy brownies and classic lemon bars. Get the best of both worlds with these irresistible lemon brownies. The lemon flavor is impossible to resist and I love that they’re so much easier (and faster!) to make than traditional lemon bars.

Easy to make. These citrus packed brownies are a cinch to make with just 7 simple ingredients and a bowl and a whisk. No mixer required!

They stay fresh for days! The flavor and texture of these brownies just gets better and better as the days go by. This is the perfect make-ahead dessert!

cross section of fudgy brownies made with lemons and white chocolate

Ingredients

Make these luscious lemon brownies in minutes with just 7 simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Lemon zest
  • White chocolate
  • Vanilla

How to make lemon brownies

These brownies come together as easy as 1-2-3! Follow this simple step-by-step guide and check out the recipe card below for ingredients and detailed instructions.

Step 1: Melt the butter and white chocolate together in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Stir often to make sure the white chocolate does not seize as it melts. Once melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 2: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the sides of the parchment to hang extend over the edges by about one inch for easy removal of the brownies once baked.

Step 3: Add the granulated sugar and freshly grated lemon zest to a medium bowl. Use your hands to massage the zest into the sugar for about 20 seconds. This helps to release the oils from the zest into the sugar which elevates the lemon flavor of the brownies once baked.

Step 4: Add the 3 eggs, plus one egg yolk to the bowl. Whisk together to combine well.

how to make lemon brownies with a bowl and a whisk

Step 5: Add the melted white chocolate and butter mixture to the egg and sugar mixture. Add the vanilla. Whisk until well combined.

Step 6: Add the flour and salt to the bowl. Use a large spatula or wooden spoon to fold the flour into the wet ingredients. Do not over mix.

Step 7: Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula.

Step 8: Bake in the center rack of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is just barely set. The edges of the brownies will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Step 9: Remove the brownies from the oven and cool completely (at least 2 hours) on a wire rack before adding the lemon glaze. Slice and serve once the glaze has set.

making lemon brownie batter

Tips for the best lemon brownies

Use high quality ingredients. For the best texture and flavor, be sure to use a high quality white chocolate bar (I like Lindt and Ghirardelli), fresh lemon zest (Meyer lemons are the best!) and the best vanilla extract you can get your hands on. With so few ingredients in these lemon brownies, using the good stuff makes all the difference!

Don’t skip the lemon sugar. It really elevates the lemon flavor in the brownies so don’t skip this step. Massaging the zest into the sugar just takes one extra minute and it’s so worth it!

Do not over mix. Once you’ve added the flour and salt to the batter, keep the mixing to a minimum. For extra chewy, perfectly fudgy brownies, stop mixing when a few streaks of flour remain.

Do not over bake. Do not over bake the brownies or they’ll turn out cake-like and dry rather than moist and fudgy. I tested these brownies several times and each time they were perfectly baked at 25 to 28 minutes.

sliced lemon brownies on parchment paper

How to store

Take my word for it….these brownies taste even better on the second day. If they last that long! To store the brownies, keep them tightly covered at room temperature for up to 6 days. To freeze the brownies, cool completely before wrapping in two layers of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze flat for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature before adding the glaze on top.

stack of lemon brownies

These are 100% one of the best lemon desserts you will ever make! I can’t wait to hear what you think so be sure to leave a comment below.

Happy baking!

Love brownies? Try these easy and delicious recipes:

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Lemon Brownies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 12 reviews
  • Author: Heather Mubarak
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 squares 1x
  • Category: Bars & Brownies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A tart and tangy twist on your favorite fudge brownie, these rich and chewy lemon brownies will have you hooked from the very first bite!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (110 g) high quality white chocolate, chopped (not white chocolate chips)
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest (from about 3 large lemons)
  • 3 large eggs, plus one egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or whole milk

 


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Allow the paper to hang over the sides of the pan for easy removal of the brownies once baked. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and chopped white chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat. To create a double boiler, fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches of water. Place a heat-safe bowl over the top of the pan and add the butter and chocolate. Heat over medium-low heat, bringing the water to a simmer. Stir often to prevent the white chocolate from seizing while melting. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, add the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Use your hands to massage the zest into the sugar. This helps to release the oils from the lemon zest into the sugar, amping up the lemon flavor once the brownies are baked.
  4. Add the eggs and egg yolk. Use a whisk to combine well.
  5. Add the cooled butter and chocolate mixture and the vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
  6. Add the flour and salt. Use a large spatula or wooden spoon to fold the wet and dry ingredients together. Stop when a few streaks of flour remain. Do not over mix.
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and use a spatula to gently smooth the top.
  8. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the top is just barely set in the center. Do not over bake or the brownies will be dry.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire rack. Cool the brownies completely before adding the lemon glaze.

For Glaze

  1. To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice (or milk) in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth but pourable. If the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If too thick, add more liquid.
  2. Pour over the top of the cooled brownies and use an offset spatula to spread evenly.
  3. Top with additional lemon zest, if desired.

Notes

Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to 5 days.

May be frozen. Cool the brownies completely and freeze before adding the glaze. Wrap in two layers of plastic wrap and one layer of aluminum foil. Freeze flat for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature before serving.

  • Reply
    Kris
    April 7, 2024 at 3:16 pm

    Not a big lemon dessert fan, but oh boy, these are delicious ! Making them again right away ! Thankful here






  • Reply
    Melissa
    March 31, 2024 at 12:23 am

    So Tasty! Super lemon-y but in a good way! Very refreshing and sweet!






  • Reply
    Anonymous
    March 24, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    My butter and chocolate separated is that normal? I stirred the whole time.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      March 25, 2024 at 12:47 am

      Yes, this is normal. Just give it another quick stir before you add it to the batter. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Nancy
    March 8, 2024 at 11:57 pm

    The flavor of these are hands down a 10+. Loved the idea of lemon brownies. I have a lot of baking experience so not a newbie in this realm. As many have already mentioned, I too have had disappointing results with the center being gooey and not edible. I used a scale and my chocolate/butter mixture was definitely cooled. I served the outer pieces and put the middle back in the over for an additional bake. They tasted great but did not look good. Hope to try to figure it out. Did you regular bake or convection bake?






    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      March 10, 2024 at 7:43 pm

      Hi Nancy, the oven should be on regular bake – not convection. I have tested the recipe 6 times now and each time they bake perfectly at 25-27 minutes. Just making sure you are using a metal pan and not glass? Did you weigh the flour? For the best texture, be sure to cool the brownies completely (3+ hours) before slicing.

  • Reply
    molly o. taylor
    March 2, 2024 at 7:39 pm

    I made the lemon brownes for christmas they were wonderful, thank you very much.






  • Reply
    Mary
    February 19, 2024 at 5:44 pm

    Knew I had to make these when I saw the recipe. So glad I did! However, the 25 min bake time was not nearly long enough. I added 15 minutes (in 5 minute intervals). Still the center was a bit runny and gooy. I cut out and served the more baked outer brownies to friends. They were a HUGE hit! Kept the runnier, gooier pieces for home. Also a HUGE hit. I am making again for another group of friends. I will keep plying with baking time to try to get the whole pan less runny. This recipe is so worth the effort! Thanks for sharing the recipe.






    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      February 29, 2024 at 10:42 pm

      Hi Mary!
      Glad the brownies were a hit!! I just retested the recipe again today and can confirm that mine were perfectly baked at 26 minutes. The center was not jiggly when I removed the brownies from the oven. I would check that you are cooling the chocolate and butter mixture for the full 20 minutes to be sure it’s not too hot when you mix it into the batter. Let me know if I can help you troubleshoot further.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    February 19, 2024 at 5:22 pm

    Saw this recipe and knew I had to try it. So very happy I did. However, the 25 min was not nearly enough time for them to bake completely. I added almost 15 min (in 5 min increments). While the edge pieces were baked, the center was still too gooy. Took the outer baked pieces to serve at a party. They were a HUGE hit! Kept the runney, gooy parts for home. Also totally yummy. Am making again for another group. Will increase time, might lower temp near end. Will also cover loosely with parchment paper near end to prevent too much browning.
    Will keep pkaying with time to perfect because these lemon brownies are totally worth it! Thank you for sharing this recipe.






  • Reply
    Anonymous
    February 15, 2024 at 4:07 am

    I, like many others, also struggled with the bake time. I even used an oven thermometer to try to prevent it. I ended up baking them an extra 15 minutes, the middle still sank and the top got crispy. Not sure what happened. I’ll have to try these again with some adjustments and see if that helps.






    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      February 29, 2024 at 10:44 pm

      Hi! Thanks so much for trying my recipe. I have made these brownies 4 times now and each time they are perfectly baked at 25/26 minutes. I would make sure you are cooling the chocolate and butter mixture for a full 20 minutes and perhaps give it a few extra minutes next time before adding to the batter. The center of the brownies should not be jiggly when you shake the pan and the top will be golden brown. Be careful not to over bake though – if it begins to crack on top, you’ve baked them for too long.

  • Reply
    Joelle
    February 12, 2024 at 1:12 am

    Anybody get the correct cooking time mine were horrible

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      February 12, 2024 at 8:23 pm

      I would be sure to check that your oven is running at the correct temperature. You can check with a simple oven thermometer. The bake time in my oven each time is 25 to 30 minutes. Let me know if I can help troubleshoot further.

    • Reply
      Heather A
      February 17, 2024 at 7:22 pm

      My husband and I have yet to make them again, but I just stumbled on another recipe. It’s done in a 9×9″ pan for 32-36 minutes. Something else that might help… We did ours in a glass pan which tends to bake things a bit more moist. Going to try a metal pan instead, less butter, because these looked greasy, and more flour. We have a brand new oven that cooks everything else as expected. Maybe the author of these lives at a different elevation. We’re on the east coast a mile from the ocean, 83 ft above sea level.

  • Reply
    Heather A
    February 11, 2024 at 12:44 am

    The taste is amazing! But underdone at 25 minutes at 350. Baked an additional 15 minutes at 320. Crispy top but center is still visibly runny after added time. Going to try again, 8 TBS of butter and non leveled flour. Haven’t tried the glaze yet because the crispy top these have is quite delicious on its own!






  • Reply
    Varnamala
    February 5, 2024 at 9:03 pm

    Delicious and just what I wanted from a brownie!






    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      February 29, 2024 at 10:45 pm

      I’m so glad to hear you love these brownies! We can’t stop making them!!

  • Reply
    Heather
    February 4, 2024 at 11:58 pm

    Immediately had to try this unique recipe. My first attempt was underdone at 26 minutes (weighed all ingredients, used a metal pan and an oven thermometer). The texture around the edges is perfectly fudgy, but the middle is pretty gooey. When I took them out, they weren’t quite as brown on top as in the photo, so next time I would use that as a test. My glaze was a little thin with 4 Tbsp of lemon juice—should’ve started with 3.






  • Reply
    Anonymous
    February 4, 2024 at 8:14 pm

    Loved these! Would give them 10 stars if I could.






    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      February 29, 2024 at 10:46 pm

      Love to hear it!!!

  • Reply
    Suzie Nava
    February 3, 2024 at 1:04 pm

    I’ve never seen anyhting like these! I can’t wait to give these a bake– they look mouth watering!!






  • Reply
    Wren
    February 2, 2024 at 2:26 am

    Anything I can use instead of white chocolate? I love the idea of these brownies but I am not a fan of white chocolate.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      February 2, 2024 at 4:20 am

      You won’t taste it one bit – it’s all about the lemon flavor!

  • Reply
    Jill
    February 1, 2024 at 2:10 pm

    Just double checking, no leavener? Looks yummy!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      February 1, 2024 at 3:38 pm

      Correct, no leavener in this recipe. We’re going for a fudgy brownie, not a cakey one. Enjoy!

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