Thursday, April 8, 2010

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares

After having the bulk of my kitchen equipment packed in boxes for the last several weeks, I have been itching to get back in the kitchen. I’ve been trying to focus on unpacking and organizing the new place rather than making unnecessary desserts, but today my love of baking and desire for a sweet treat won out. Never mind that my sister is arriving for a visit in a few hours and her room is not at all set up. That can be done later. First I must bake. I think I have a problem…

These creamy lemon crumb squares live up to their name perfectly. They are sweet, crumbly, tangy, and creamy – sort of like a traditional lemon bar but with a crumb topping. The squares can be made ahead of time and are easy to transport, so they’re an excellent option for spring picnics or barbecues. They also fit the bill for a quick and easy baking venture – perfect for days when you really should be doing something besides baking, you know, like unpacking.

** A quick apology for the dark/yellowish look of several of the pictures in this post.  I am still trying to get used to the lighting (or lack of) in my new kitchen.

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

** Note: This recipe calls for an 8x11-inch baking dish. I don’t have one so I substituted a 9x13-inch baking dish. It made my squares thinner, with less filling per square. I really liked the filling, so I think I would substitute a 9x9 pan in the future for nice, thick squares.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, slightly softened
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add butter and brown sugar. Mix thoroughly until well combined. (I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but you could do this with a wooden spoon.)

Add the oats to the butter and sugar mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift together over the oat mixture.

Mix everything together until the ingredients are well combined.

In another bowl, stir together the condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Press half of the crumbly ingredients into the bottom of an 8x11 baking dish.

Spread the lemon mixture over the bottom crust.

Sprinkle the remaining crumb topping over the lemon filling. Do not press the topping into the filling.

Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until the topping turns golden brown. Let the pan sit on the counter for 30 minutes to set.

Cut into squares and refrigerate until cool.

Serve cold.


  1. Dude. Katie. Those look amazing. Your blog paired with my lack of will power is going to make for one chubberiffic Monica.

  2. Monica - I feel your pain on the willpower. I could not stop eating these! The good news is that they're not the absolute most unhealthy dessert in the world. And they have lemon juice and oatmeal - fruit and whole grains! (Does that make them healthy even??)

  3. i was eating one on friday when i first looked at this was DELICIOUS!!! :P

  4. I must make these this week! Any idea how many lemons it takes to get 1/2 c of juice?

  5. Hillary - I'd guess 2 or 3 lemons, less if your lemons are super juicy!

  6. They're awesome! And 2 lemons to get 1/2 c. juice.

  7. Hillary - Glad you liked them!!



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