As summer is slowly coming to a close I knew I needed to make my favorite lemon bars. This recipe has been a favorite of mine for years. Originally from a Cooking Light magazine from around 1999, I love to make these during the hot days of summer for their cool citrus flavor. And being a Cooking Light recipe I never feel guilty enjoying a couple pieces.
A shortbread crust with a smooth citrusy filling topped with a dusting of powdered sugar makes a great summer dessert.
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare the crust, beat 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the butter at medium speed of a mixer until creamy. Lightly spoon 1 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Gradually add 1 cup flour to sugar mixture, beating at low speed until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gently press mixture into bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes; cool on a wire rack.
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola, or coconut oil)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
For the lemon glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
reheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. Whisk into the flour mixture. Set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Pound on the counter so the loaf cake is evenly set in the pan.
Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Place the loaf on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the loaf cake with a knife. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.
While the loaf cake is cooling, make the lemon glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle the glaze of the cooled loaf cake. Cut into slices and serve.