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Tangy Lemon Brownies are the perfect easy treat to make when you have a few extra orbs of sunshine on hand!
Lemon Brownies (also known as Lemon Blondies) taste like a cross between a moist lemon cake and a sweet, tart and tangy lemon bar. They’re chewy but tender with a texture similar to chocolate fudgy brownies.
Our Lemon Brownie recipe is topped off with an easy, zippy lemon glaze that takes the lemon flavor to a whole other level.
Easy Homemade Lemon Brownies (no cake mix!)
This dessert takes minutes to put together with common pantry ingredients. And, these little lemony squares will completely satisfy your lemon craving without breaking the bank. Double the recipe and bake in a 13×9-inch pan and you’ll have enough to share at your next pot luck!
For the brownies:
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- fresh lemon zest
- fresh lemon juice
- granulated sugar
- unsalted butter at room temperature
- large eggs plus one egg yolk
- vanilla extract
For the lemon glaze:
- powdered sugar
- lemon juice and lemon zest
How to make homemade Lemon Brownies
- First, preheat the oven and lightly spray an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
- In a small food processor (affiliate link) combine the lemon zest and a few tablespoons of the sugar. Process until only small flecks of lemon zest remain. (Don’t skip this step!) If you don’t have a small food processor we included instructions to do this by hand.
- Combine the butter, lemon sugar and all remaining granulated sugar. Using an electric mixer beat until light and fluffy.
- Next, add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time until blended. Pour in the vanilla and lemon juice. Blend on low just until incorporated.
- Fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula.
- Finally, spread the batter in the prepared baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no wet batter, about 30 minutes.
To make the lemon glaze:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Drizzle the glaze over the lemon brownies and spread to cover. Slice and serve!
Lemon Brownies are super easy to make and eat!
Handheld desserts are always a favorite at gatherings. After just a few bites the goodie disappears and your hand is free to grab another. At least that’s the way my mind works 😜
Blondies and brownies are a personal favorite sweet treat. Small and compact and loaded with flavor, they’re just the right size when you crave a little something delicious.
During strawberry season try these Strawberry White Chocolate Blondies too.
How to store Lemon Brownies
Store completely cooled Lemon Brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. For longer storage you can keep the brownies in the fridge then set out at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
Freezing Lemon Brownies
For best results we recommend that you freeze the brownies before drizzling with the lemon glaze. However, if you only have a few leftover already glazed, no worries. They freeze beautifully!
Options and Variations
These bright Lemon Brownies are perfect for dessert or with afternoon tea, any time of the year. During the summer months try adding a few fresh blueberries or chopped frozen raspberries to the batter before baking. We love the bright pop of color and flavor fresh berries bring to these squares.
Finally, try substituting lemon with fresh squeezed orange juice and orange zest for a fantastic sun kissed summer treat.
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For the brownies:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (156g)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- zest of 2 lemons (no white pith)
- 1 cup granulated sugar divided (222g)
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature (127g or 4½ oz)
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (2oz)
For the lemon glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar (120g)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice plus more as needed for desired consistency
- finely grated zest of ½ lemon
To make the brownies:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Light coat a 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Cut a length of parchment paper to fit the pan allowing the extra to come up to the top on opposite sides. Trim the excess above the edge of the pan. Repeat by fitting another sheet in the opposite direction. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a small food processor combine the lemon zest with 3 or 4 tablespoons of the granulated sugar. Process until the sugar is bright yellow and the zest is in small flecks. If you don’t have a food processor combine the sugar and zest in a bowl and work the two together with your fingers until the zest is broken down and the sugar is bright yellow. You can also muddle the mixture using a mortar and pestle.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the butter, lemon sugar and all remaining granulated sugar. Using an electric mixer beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time mixing well after each addition. Pour in the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Blend on low just until incorporated. (The batter may look broken, this is normal.) Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Mix on low just until blended. Using a rubber spatula gently fold in the dry ingredients just until no steaks of flour remain. Don’t over-mix.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 28 to 33 minutes. The edges will just start to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out with no wet batter. Moist crumbs are okay. Cool the brownies in the pan set over a wire rack. The brownies can be slightly warm when iced but are best sliced when cool.
To make the lemon glaze:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add more lemon juice or sugar until you reach the desired consistency. Pour the glaze over the brownies. Spread with a spatula or spoon to cover. Allow the brownies to rest for a few minutes then cut and serve.
Bright and Sunny Lemon Brownies
These Lemon Blondies are light, bright, fresh and oozing with a citrusy lemon bite. They would be a delicious addition to your buffet table during spring and summer holidays, BBQ’s, pool parties, baby and wedding showers or an after school snack.
Don’t forget to share with your favorite neighbor and brighten their day! ☀️
Originally published March 2013, updated April 2023