Citrus Orange Lemon Bars are a sweet treat bursting with bright citrus flavor. We put just a little twist on classic lemon bars and brought some orange to the party. Because why not? The combination of the two citrus flavors is perfect. Fresh citrus juice and zest are the stars of this easy dessert recipe.
Sweet + Citrus Orange Lemon Bars
I am a huge fan of all lemon desserts. Lemon Icebox Pie, Lemon Cake, Lemon Cookies. Love them all.
But why have I never thought to use a little orange in some of my favorite lemon dessert recipes?
Using a combination of fresh orange zest and lemon zest in this recipe was perfect. You get that sweet and tangy smell of fresh citrus fruit.
Most lemon bar recipes only use zest in the filling. In our Citrus Orange Lemon Bars, we put a little in the homemade crust, too. The crust is so easy. All you do is mix flour and powdered sugar, and then you cut butter into it like you are making a pie crust.
Half way through cutting the butter in, add in the fresh orange and lemon zest. As you continue to work the butter into pea-sized pieces, the oils and flavor of the fruit will release.
For this “lemon bar” recipe, use the juice of the lemon AND the orange. Sweet and tangy.
I used the pulp, too. (Totally optional.)
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Once your eggs are light and frothy, beat in the rest of the ingredients. The recipe calls for 1 cup of white sugar, but feel free to cut it back a little. I have never tried this recipe using a sugar substitute. like Truvia, but if anyone tries it, let me know your results.
Us? We went full strength. These Citrus Orange Lemon Bars are an indulgent dessert so why not?
The hardest part about making these special orange lemon bars is waiting for them to cool.
(As you can see, I couldn’t wait.)
Cool completely, cut, and serve.
Citrus Orange Lemon Bars are best when sprinkled with just a little powdered sugar. Their sweet and slightly tart flavor is just what I was aiming for. So good!
Sweet + Citrus Orange Lemon Bars
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus++
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar plus additional for sprinkling
- 1 orange juice and zest
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup cold butter
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Crust
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x12 baking dish with foil (to make lifting out easy). Lightly spray the foil with non stick spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of the flour and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Add to the flour mixture and using a pastry cutter or the back of a fork, cut the butter until it is in pea-sized pieces. Half way through, add 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest and 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest.
- Press the crust mix into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- While the crust is baking, in the same bowl, whip eggs on high for about 3 minutes until light and frothy. Reduce speed to low, and beat in the sugar, remaining flour, baking powder, salt, 1/3 cup of the combined citrus juice, 1 tsp orange zest and 1/2 tsp of lemon zest.
- When combined, pour over the prepared crust. Return to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the filling is set.
- Remove from the oven and carefully lift the foil and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, cut and serve.