These easy to make Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars are going to be your new favorite lemon dessert treat! They have a tart, yet sweet creamy lemon filling on top of an oatmeal cookie crust, and a streusel oatmeal topping. A delightful balance of sweet and tangy!
These lemon bars with oatmeal crust have an easy to mix up oatmeal cookie base that jump-starts the crust to a classic homemade lemon bar. That same oatmeal cookie mix is used to make the crumbly oatmeal cookie dough streusel topping.
Recipes like my Lime Meltaway Cookies and Lemon Fudge are great for when you want a citrusy lemon or lime treat with minimal effort. I love the cookies and candy, and this is one of my Dessert bites recipes you’ll want in your recipe box!
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Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe. I read all the comments myself and I try to help as soon as I can. I have readers from all levels of comfort and experience in the kitchen on my site, and I’ve tried to answer some of your questions already in the post. But if I’ve missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment and ask. The comments can be easily found using the orange circle on the lower left, then Join the discussion!
Tried and true recipe
I first made these back in 2012 for my mom for Mother’s Day brunch. They were such a hit that I posted the recipe back then, and have made it several times. I even made a summery strawberry filled version, Strawberry Crème Crumble Bars.
But, it’s time for an update to the pictures, recipe card, and info about the recipe. Please enjoy this, as I hope it’s a much better experience for you!
Can oatmeal lemon cream bars be made ahead?
Yes! They are perfect for making ahead! Which makes them perfect for Mother’s Day or any other holiday because they are all ready to serve right from the fridge.
They can be made and stored in a tightly covered container for a couple of days in the fridge.
Can I freeze these Lemon crème bars?
These are a wonderful treat to make ahead and freeze. Allow them to cool and refrigerate completely to set up. Cut into bars, and wrap individually either in plastic wrap or airtight containers. When you’re ready to enjoy them, pull them out of the freezer and defrost in the fridge overnight.
When I published this recipe back in 2012, I got a question from a reader who thought that because there was no egg in the filling, the filling would be runny.
That is not the case. There is no egg in the filling, or in the cookie mixture. And it doesn’t need any eggs.
Which makes this a great egg-free dessert recipe for those who may be allergic to eggs or maybe just don’t like eggs so there aren’t any in the house.
Can these be doubled?
These little treats go fast for large crowds, so you can easily double the recipe; Just use a 13×9-inch pan to bake them.
Variations on the recipe
I think they’d be really good with ½ cup of shredded coconut added to the oatmeal cookie crust and topping.
And, like I said, I played around with a strawberry crumble bar version, which is delicious!
Feel free to use your imagination, maybe add chocolate chips to the oatmeal cookie, or a peanut butter flavored version.
How to make these oatmeal lemon squares
These are really easy to make.
One thing I really like about these Lemon Oatmeal Bars is, you don’t have to pre-bake the bottom crust. Just mix, layer, and bake! That’s it!
Cream the butter and sugar together. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
Mix the dry ingredients into the butter & sugar. Press half of that mixture into the pan.
Make the lemon creme mixture and pour it over the crust.
Top with the remaining oat mixture. The crust is the same mixture as the streusel topping.
2 lemons should make the 2 teaspoons of lemon zest that you need for this recipe.
You’ll typically need 2 medium lemons to get ¼ cup fresh lemon juice as well. Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor in these bars. You can use regular grocery store lemons or Meyer lemons in this recipe, and no need to change the recipe if you use one or the other.
Zest the lemons first, then juice them.
I usually cut the baked lemon treats into 9 big impressive bars. Simply cut the pan into thirds in each direction to get 9 large bars.
Or, if you want to take these to a family gathering or potluck, and want smaller squares, cut each of the 9 bars into quarters, or four pieces. This will get you 36 smaller bite-sized pieces. Serve these smaller squares in mini paper cups for a cute presentation.
Try lining the pan with parchment paper for easy removal after baking and chilling.
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Oatmeal Lemon Crème Bars
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a square 8×8 baking pan. You can also line the pan with parchment paper if disired. Set the prepared pan aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar using a sturdy fork, a pastry blender, or a hand mixer.
- In a separate smaller mixing bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add oats to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix to combine.
- Press half or slightly more of the oat mixture into the prepared pan. In a small bowl mix together sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract. Spread evenly on top of the oat mixture in the pan. Top with the remaining oat mixture.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let cool and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.