I’ve been developing a recipe for lemon bars that are a little different than most. I love lemon – and I love lemon bars, but there’s always a little something missing from the ones I’ve eaten…a crunch! I’ve always wanted a lemon bar with crunch – and this is it! Yes, it uses a cake mix (not a fan of cake mix? skip this recipe), but it’s really the only combination I could find that works with the flavor and consistency I was looking for.
Trust me – these are so delicious, served right from the refrigerator and nobody will ever know that these actually started with a cake mix…
Lemon Crunch Bars
1 box lemon cake mix
1 stick of salted butter (4 oz.), melted and cooled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups crushed saltine crackers (about 1 ½ sleeves)
3 large egg yokes
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
Zest and juice from 4 lemons
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F, and lightly greasing a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine lemon cake mix, melted and cooled butter and the large egg. Combine and stir until everything is combined – this will be thick. Add in the crushed saltine crackers and be sure to work them in evenly. This will give you a crumb mixture.
In a separate bowl, take 2 cups of this crumb mixture, and set aside for later.
Take the remainder of the crumb mixture, and lightly pat it into the prepared baking pan. Place in preheated oven for 14 minutes, exactly.
While the crust is baking, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the large egg yokes, sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest and lemon juice to make the filling.
Once the crust is baked, remove from oven and pour on the filling. Be sure to spread the filling evenly over the crust. Before placing back in the oven, evenly sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top.
Place in preheated oven for 23 minutes, exactly.
Once baked, immediately transfer to refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.