Lemon Poppyseed Bars are Spring's version of a brownie. Light and chewy and bursting with lemon flavor, these bars are studded with poppy seeds and covered in a lemon glaze.
Update: This recipe was originally shared in March 2020. The recipe and photos have been updated and republished in March 2023.
Is it really even spring if you aren't making lemon flavored desserts? Personally, the answer is no. I make a ton of lemon flavored treats as soon as there's even a hint of warm weather to come.
What are Lemon Poppyseed Bars?
Lemon Poppyseed bars are dessert bars similar to a brownie or blondie. Even without any leavening agents these bars still bake up into a light and chewy texture and are topped with a powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze!
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- lemon zest
- lemon extract
- all purpose flour
- powdered sugar
- lemon juice
First, preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 and spray an 8x8 baking dish with baking spray and/or line it with parchment paper.
Then, combine butter and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
After that, add in the eggs and lemon. Add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the lemon zest and lemon extract.
Next, add in the dry ingredients. Slowly add in the salt, all purpose flour and poppyseeds until everything is fully combined into the batter.
Then, bake the lemon poppyseed bars. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the middle of the bars are set. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice into a thick glaze. Once the bars have cooled, pour the glaze on top of the bars and use a spatula to spread it over the entire dish.
Finally, cut into squares and serve. Cut 4 even sections lengthwise into the bars, rotate and make 4 more cuts, creating 16 evenly sized lemon poppyseed bars!
Make sure that your oven temperature is correct. The longer you bake the bars, the more cake-like texture they will have. When baked at 350 for 20 minutes, they'll be more chewy.
Yes, these bars are delicious the first day, but just as good the next day. Maybe even better because the glaze gets to soak in. Once cooled and glazed, store in an airtight container.
The easiest way to ensure your poppyseed bars come out perfectly is to line the pan with parchment paper before baking. Then you can just lift up the parchment paper and slice the bars evenly.
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Lemon Poppyseed Bars
For the Bars:
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- zest from ½ a lemon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
For the Glaze:
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
For the Bars:
- Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time until combined.1 stick unsalted butter, ¾ cup sugar, 2 large eggs
- Add in the lemon zest, lemon extract, and salt. Then add in the flour and poppy seeds and mix until just combined.1 teaspoon lemon extract, zest from ½ a lemon, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¾ cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- Pour into the prepared pan, spreading the batter to the edges.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is set the the edges are lightly golden brown. Let cool.
For the Glaze:
- In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until it becomes a thick glaze.1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 cup powdered sugar
- Pour over the cooled bars, spreading from edge to edge.
- Once the bars have cooled completely, cut into 1 inch squares.