I’m calling these Vanilla Bean Lemon Bars, but they aren’t the kind of lemon bars you might typically think of with a shortbread crust, lemon custard filling, and a powdered sugar top. They are more like a snack cake, and they are very easy to make! I LOVE the combination of the tart lemon and vanilla bean paste. They are moist and sweet with a thin layer of glaze over the top. Just delicious really!
I made these a few times this past week, adapting it from an old almond bar recipe my mom makes, and so we’ve been sharing them here and there so we don’t eat them all ourselves! They are a refreshing little snack, and I love that they come together so quickly with one bowl and a mixer. Be careful not to over mix. This keeps the crumb nice and tender.
See those happy little vanilla bean flecks? Whenever I’m trying to be really fancy, I use this vanilla bean paste, but if you want to use vanilla extract that is fine too.
Here’s a little kitchen tip: For easy, nonstick cutting, use a plastic knife!
Hope you enjoy these sweet little Vanilla Bean Lemon Bars!
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract is fine too)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2–3 lemons)
- zest of one lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Vanilla Bean Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- zest of one lemon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon water (as needed to thin)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time, and mix until incorporated.
- Add vanilla bean paste, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix.
- Add salt and flour and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Pour the batter evenly into the pan, and bake for 28-30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes, and then pour glaze over the top and spread it evenly to the edges. Cool completely and then cut into bars. A plastic knife works very well! Store in an airtight container.
For the Glaze
- Add powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla bean paste, and heavy cream into a bowl and whisk together with a fork. Add water as needed to thin the glaze. It should be pourable. Pour and spread the glaze over the slightly cooled bars.