Thursday, July 9, 2015

Easy No Bake Lemon Bars / Slices

Have you been looking for the easiest lemon bars or slices recipe?

I was and I can't even find one that I really like!!!

Are lemon bars and lemon slices the same?

Errrr... I think so. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I see that the Americans tend to name these lemony square tea time treats as lemon bars while the British and Aussies tend to refer them as lemon slices.

When Joyce from Kitchen Flavours suggested lemon bars as the theme to bake along with Lena from Frozen wings and me, I was Googling for two kinds of lemon bars recipes.

One is the easiest.

Two is the best.

From both of my "easy lemon slices" and "best lemon slices" Google searches, I keep seeing these easy lemon coconut slices recipes from and all recipe made with condensed milk and desiccated coconut. Lemon slices with coconut... Eeew!!! Why eeew??? It is true that these recipes are easy but the lemon slices are fully packed of sweet ingredients and there is not much lemon in them.

From my "lemon bars" Google searches, I'm seeing better recipes at here, here, here, here, here, here, here and more... but all of them require baking which means that none of the recipes is actually easy like the non bake ones. As there is so many recipes to choose, I seriously don't know which is the best.

I gave up my Google searches and like to focus in creating the easiest kind of lemon bar or slice instead of baking the best
And these are what I have made... these no-bake lemon bars or slices are made with a simple biscuit base topped with a layer of lemon curd jelly.

easiest no-bake lemon bars slices
The easiest no-bake lemon bars / slices

Are these easy lemon bars or slices the best? I wouldn't vouch that they are the best but I can promise you that they are really good!!! So good that I reckon that they are more than just good. To me, they are amazingly good!!!

Everyone especially my son who had tried these bars said that they love it !!! A few friends and their kids actually came to me specially and thanked me for making these bars for them. Geez! I love this feeling... I felt like I had accomplished a great mission and had made everyone happy :)

I love to share my happiness of making these bars and this is how I made them...

You can use any sweet biscuit to make the base and I have used this biscuit to make mine.
You can use either a processor or this fuss free method to make the base.
Use a spoon to press the biscuit mixture over the base of the prepared pan.
Place it in a fridge to chill.
While chilling the base, I cooked the lemon curd topping.
Important: Do not over-cook this mixture as over cooking can scramble the eggs.
This will help the topping to set like a smooth jelly.
Pour the slightly cooled topping onto the chilled base.
Place this in the fridge to chill overnight. 
Use a plastic knife to dislodge the sides from the pan and lift it out of the pan.
Slice and serve!
This is so dead easy!

This is the recipe that I have largely modified from a lemon tart recipe at Epicurious.

Make one 20 cm square that can cut into 16 square bars or slices

For the base:
250g plain sweet biscuits (and I used the Arnott's Nice biscuits)
150g butter, melted

For the topping:
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
1 tsp gelatin or 2 gelatin sheets (if you are using the titanium kind, 1 sheet is enough)
1 cup (200g) caster sugar - please do not reduce this amount as this sweetness is just right.
1/2 cup (125ml) fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter
2 large eggs

For the base:
Line the base of a 20 cm square pan with 1 piece of baking paper with its length extending about 5 cm above the edges of the pan.

Using either a food processor or a zip lock bag with a rolling pin, crush the biscuits until fine crumbs. Add butter. Process or mix until combined. Press biscuit mixture evenly over base of prepared pan. Refrigerate the base while cooking the lemon curd in the next step.

For the topping:
Place gelatin and milk in a bowl and allow the mixture to stand until the gelatin soften, about 15 mins.

Add sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a medium saucepan and use a hand whisk to combine the mixture. Add eggs and butter into the lemon mixture and cook the mixture over medium-low heat with constant whisking until mixture just thickens, about 5 mins. Important: 1) Do not cook the mixture with high heat and do not boil mixture! 2) Do not over cook the mixture for too long as over-cooking will scramble the eggs.

Turn off the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture. Make sure that the gelatin is well dissolved. Allow mixture to cool slightly for about 15 mins but not too long. Pour topping into the chilled base and refrigerate the assembled bar until the topping is firm, at least 3 hrs and preferably overnight.

Slice and serve! Easy peasy!

Enjoy the treats.
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Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.


  1. Hi Zoe,
    These lovely no-bake lemon bars of yours are so yummy!

  2. When I see "no bake" word, I faster scroll your post.. Wah, drooling already.. Look at the lemon curd/custard.. I can just lick everything now you know.. They look so so good.. I think I can try this one day, looks simple, no need baking.. Yummzzz..

  3. Love this no bake version lemon bars! I have gotta make another batch of my homemade lemon curd when I return home for this recipe! I am sure a gingersnap crust will be a good alternative too!

  4. Looks super tempting and easy to it

  5. Oh wow, I'm drooling now! I can almost taste the creamy lemon coated bars in my mouth. Love it, Zoe! Come join my giveaway to Win 2 Hrs Home Cleaning Service With Helpling In 5 Cities Worldwide! I'm sure you'll need some help in your kitchen! Hahaha!

  6. Zoe, I love the look of your lemon bars and I am sure I will love the taste too! The lemony layer is thick and glossy. No wonder it was so popular!

  7. Hi Zoe, I love lemon bar and this recipe looks so easy to follow. Will definitely try this recipe for sure.

  8. Oh wow! What an awesome no bake recipe!! My current favorite and actually ONLY no bake recipe I've tried is classic tiramisu but I totally love lemon curds and anything lemon! I totally will at least make the curd to put on top of something! I've been craving a lemon butter cake actually but we have a big bunch of bananas almost ready for harvest so I'll be making banana products first before I get myself a bunch of lemons! :p

  9. I feel like lemon bars are everywhere this summer!

  10. Yummy n perfectly made lemon bars..... :)

  11. I want these! Lemon layer is fantastic!

  12. Wow, Zoe your lemon slices look so good, so smooth!

  13. wow, look at that smooth glossy topping, certainly looks very attractive. I think i will love this non baked version of lemon bars too!

  14. hi Zoe, your lemon topping looks so smooth... love it! Indeed it was an easy recipe. Definitely a great help when we wanted a slice of lemon bars wihout getting into too much baking. :)
    Hv a great saturday!

  15. These do sound like one of the easiest lemon bars plus they look really good. Love the bright yellow topping :)

  16. Hi Zoe,
    Nice lemon bars with the biscuit base! I love lemon bars, pretty addictive once you start eating them. The one I made was pretty easy too, no need to cook the lemon curd. Wonderful to know that your son and friends have enjoyed your lemon bars. It look divine!

  17. As usual, another winner from your side! Looks too delicious...

  18. It won't set :( I used agar agar powder because there is no gelatin sheet in store here. While one packet of agar agar powder is meant for 1litre of water, it just won't set! I wasn't going to throw it away because it tastes awesome so it went to the freezer. Still yum.

    1. Hi,

      Sorry to know that your lemon bars couldn't set. I'm guessing that the agar agar powder is reacting with the acidic lemon juice and that's why it didn't set.


  19. Doesn't set for me too even though I have used gelatin. Could it be too much lemon juice? I have used 2 lemons but did not measure out 125ml. End up I added flour and bake it.

    1. Hi,

      Sorry to hear that the bars didn't set for you too. I'm guessing a few reasons that your lemon layer is not set : 1) the ratio of liquid : egg used is too high 2) the strength of gelatin used might be too weak 3) the lemon and egg mixture has been not cooked enough 4) the bars are not chilled long enough to set.

      Hope that these pointers help.


    2. Thanks! Will take note and try again!