These lemon strawberry crumb bars are like strawberry lemonade in handheld form. Simply combine a buttery brown sugar crust, sweet strawberry filling, and crumbly topping. The crust and crumble topping are made from the same mixture, so there’s no need to dirty an additional bowl. Lemon glaze is the perfect finishing touch!
Here’s a sweet and juicy square to brighten up your day. These lemon strawberry crumb bars are like my raspberry streusel bars in that there’s a crust layer, fruit layer, topping, and glaze. They’re similar to my cranberry crumble pie bars and strawberry rhubarb crumb bars, too. Totally irresistible and seasonally fresh, the bars are relatively easy and pack big flavor.
What I love most in this recipe—and what you’ll find mega convenient—is that they feature a crust and crumb topping that are made from the same dough, just like lemon crumble bars.
These Lemon Strawberry Crumb Bars:
- Have a crumbly yet moist brown sugar crust
- Are filled with jammy strawberries
- Go from mixing bowl to oven fairly quickly
- Taste divine with or without lemon glaze
- Are very easy to slice, serve, eat, and freeze
Ingredients in Lemon Strawberry Crumb Bars:
We’re using a similar recipe to both my strawberry rhubarb crumb bars and cranberry bars. You don’t need a fully stocked pantry to make these. In fact, I guarantee you have most of the ingredients on hand!
- All-Purpose Flour: Flour is the base of this recipe.
- Brown Sugar & Granulated Sugar: Sugar sweetens the crust/crumble and the strawberry rhubarb filling. I use brown sugar in the crust/crumble and white granulated sugar in the filling. Feel free to swap these around using all brown sugar for both or all granulated sugar for both. I’ve tested it all and there’s no huge difference except that the crust/crumb topping is a little crumblier when using granulated sugar instead of brown.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder keeps the crust/crumble on the lighter side. Without it, the texture would be a little too hard and dense.
- Salt & Vanilla: Both add flavor.
- Cold Butter: Just like pie crust, biscuits, scones, and even cinnamon coffee cake, cold butter is necessary. We’re cutting the butter into the dry ingredients to create the buttery, flaky, and crumbly texture. The texture would completely change if we used softened or melted butter.
- Eggs: 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk bind the crust/crumble ingredients together. My cranberry crumble bars use 1 egg and some milk, but I find no big difference swapping in eggs. You can also use 2 full eggs if that’s more convenient. (I do this with my strawberry rhubarb bars.) This base recipe is pretty forgiving.
- Strawberries: You can use fresh or frozen strawberries.
- Cornstarch: We’re essentially making a jam as the filling, so cornstarch is necessary to keep the strawberries thick and combined.
- Lemon Zest: Strawberries are pretty soft, so I don’t add additional liquid (like orange or lemon juice) as I do with the cranberry version. However, flavor from a little lemon zest is definitely welcome!
Cold Cold Cold
Make sure the butter is extra cold. If you use warmer butter, the butter will melt before the bars hit the oven. You’ll have a pan of greasy strawberry blobs, not bars. After that, mix in the rest of the crust/crumble mixture. Honestly, the best tool for mixing these wet ingredients into the butter/flour crumbs is your HANDS! It takes me forever to mix with a spoon or spatula.
And here’s a tip: don’t overwork the mixture because your hands may heat up the dough. Remember, we want cold!
Then press about 2/3 of the mixture into a pan. The rest will be used for the crumb topping over the fresh strawberries.
The bars are on the thick side, so they take a good 45-50 minutes in the oven. Then, and here’s where your patience really has to kick in, wait until the bars completely cool before digging in. While SO GOOD when they’re warm, they completely fall apart. Definitely test your patience and wait for them to cool.
If you really want to kick things into high gear, add some lemon glaze. Made from lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar, this 2 ingredient icing couldn’t be easier. Whisk together, then drizzle over the cooled bars.
More Dessert Bar Recipes
I love serving brownies & bars because they’re handheld and easy to eat, plus they’re great for freezing and transporting too. I have plenty more flavors and variations:
- Apple Pie Bars (with Salted Caramel!)
- Raspberry Streusel Bars
- Pumpkin Bars
- Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars
- Lemon Bars
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
And don’t forget about these M&M Cookie Bars, too!Print
Lemon Strawberry Crumb Bars
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes (includes cooling)
- Yield: 18-24 bars
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Lemon strawberry crumb bars bring some blissful sunshine inside with a buttery crust and topping, fresh strawberries, and sweet lemon glaze.
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk*
- 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups (650g) chopped strawberries*
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
- Make the crumble mixture for the crust and topping: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and using a pastry cutter, two forks, or a food processor, cut in the butter until all the flour is coated and resembles pea-sized crumbles. (See photo above for a visual.) This takes at least 5 minutes of cutting in with a pastry cutter.
- Whisk the egg, egg yolk, brown sugar, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Pour over the flour/butter mixture and gently mix together until the mixture resembles moist crumbly sand. Use your hands if needed—the mixture comes together easier with your hands than with a spoon. See photo above for a visual.
- You will have about 6 cups of the crust/crumble mixture. Set 2 cups aside. Pour the remaining into the prepared pan and flatten down with your hands or a flat spatula to form an even crust. It will be a little crumbly– that’s ok. Set aside.
- For the filling: Mix the strawberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest together. Spoon evenly over crust. Crumble the remaining butter/flour mixture on top and gently press down so it’s snug on the strawberry layer.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the strawberry filling is bubbling on the sides. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely. I stick mine in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
- Whisk the glaze ingredients together and drizzle on top (or you can drizzle on individual squares). Lift the cooled bars out using the overhang on the sides. Cut into squares.
- Cover and store leftover strawberry bars (with or without icing) at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: Bars freeze well up to 3 months. Arrange in even layers in a large freezer container between sheets of parchment. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before serving.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 9×13-Inch Baking Pan| Pastry Cutter | Zester | Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk
- Eggs: You need 1 whole egg + 1 extra egg yolk. Honestly, using 2 full eggs works too—with no other changes to the recipe. (It’s what I do for my strawberry rhubarb bars.) Use 2 full eggs if desired.
- Strawberries: This is about 1 and 1/2 – 2 lbs whole strawberries. Use frozen (do not thaw) if needed.
- No Lemon? Feel free to skip the lemon zest in the bars and swap the lemon glaze for vanilla icing. (Or leave off the icing/glaze completely.)
- Smaller Batch: If a 9×13 pan is too much, you can easily halve the recipe in a 9-inch square pan. And, if you do that, just use 1 egg instead of 1 egg + egg yolk. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 35-37 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling on the sides.
Keywords: crumb bars, lemon strawberry
Reader Comments & Reviews
The taste is good but I halved the recipe and it was very wet. It was more cookie like than crumb. It’s upsetting cuz the ingredients it would take to keep adjusting the recipe to make it proper won’t be worth it :/
Hi Sally I loved this recipe! I made it once with strawberries but have fresh blackberries now. Would the recipe work the same with the substitution of blackberries?
I’m making these for the 4th of July this weekend. Is it possible to add blueberries in with the tops crumble layer? Will they bake okay being in the oven for that long?
Hi Savanah, you can certainly try that but I haven’t tested it. Or you can try using half blueberries and half strawberries in the filling.
Do you recommend regular raspberries or frozen raspberries for this recipe? I would like to use raspberries instead of strawberries.
Hi Sarah, either will work great! If using frozen raspberries, do not thaw before using.
Love these!! So yummy
I made half recipe and used about 4 tablespoons of milk instead of an egg after reading other comments regarding a wet crumble. My product came out looking just Sally’s. I didn’t feel that it was that flavorful. It wasn’t sweet, just blah. No outstanding strawberry flavor even though the raw fruit was very tasty. Oh well…
If I wanted to make these ahead and freeze, is it best to add the lemon glaze after thawing and bringing to room temp? Or should freeze with the glaze already on? Will making ahead and freezing, maybe 1 week ahead, make a huge difference as far as it tasting fresh?
Hi HerShe, I find that baked goods that are usually served with glaze/icing taste best with fresh glaze/icing. I recommend freezing the bars without it on top, then making it fresh to drizzle.
Thanks for this recipe! The flavor was great. The lemon glaze may actually be my fave. However, my bars did not rise at all. They are quite flat (less than 1” tall). The top crust did puff up a tiny bit. My baking powder is brand new. I triple-checked the ingredients. I also had this problem yesterday when I made your strawberry cake (cupcakes and a 9×9 – the cupcakes didn’t rise past the cup space and the cake remained quite flat). I used brand new cake flour for that recipe. Any idea what might be going on? I’m getting so frustrated!
Hi Jamie, I’m concerned some of your recent bakes, including these, aren’t rising. These don’t rise too much though– they’re more of a flatter bar with only 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 3 cups of flour. What brand of baking powder are you using? You can check to see if it’s still active. (Here’s my post on baking powder.) I know you said you just bought it, but perhaps it’s just an off container? I usually use Clabber Girl– it’s my favorite.
What we love about this recipe — easy to whip up – and love the option of making 1/2 batch. I will say that this is the first SBA recipe we have made that did not go as planned. There is NOTHING crumbly about it. The base/topping was very wet and sticky. First I thought it was because we used a food processor – so we tried a second time with just using hands to mix and it turned out exactly the same – wet and sticky. Now in saying that…the kids are diving into it now and they proclaim it is delicious — so our recommendation is to continue making it even if you dont have the crumb mixture — just may take extra time and finesse to spread the topping. This was also the first recipe we have made without looking at the comments. Sounds like the thing to do is remove the egg???
Glad these are still being gobbled up! Did you use the entire egg for the half batch you made? How did you divide it in half, just so I know how to best help. Feel free to leave out the egg entirely, but the dough will be difficult to combine together and form into a crust. Thank you so much for reporting back about them!
Oh yes they were a hit despite lack of crumbly topping! The instructions indicate to use one egg if 1/2 batch – which we did. So I assume we should use no egg next time? Kids say that it reminds them of Special K w/strawberry cereal that they use to eat as kids. Just want to perfect the recipe over here! Are there any other options to ensure crumb like topping?
Glad they were still a success! How about using 1-2 Tbsp of milk next time instead of the egg. This should work much better.
this is the third of your recipes I’ve made during the quarantine. It turned out perfectly! The whole family loved it just like the other two. Thank you!
These are delicious ! Made them yesterday :). Question- although the lemon taste is delicious, can I leave out the lemon zest next time ? Would love to have the strawberry taste without the overpowering of lemons! Thank you!
Hi Aya! Yes, you can omit the lemon zest next time. Glad you enjoyed them!
Can I make these without cornstarch?
I don’t recommend it. The filling won’t thicken properly.
Hey Sally, is it possible to use frozen strawberries? How would that work?
Hi Lina! Frozen strawberries–not thawed– would be just fine!
I made this tonight and it turned out great! I halved the recipe and used a little less than 1 egg based on other comments. I also added some slivered almond to the top crumbly part which was tasty! Thanks for the recipe!
These were delicious. I made the recipe as is and they came out perfect. I made them the night before a BBQ, put them in the fridge overnight and the next morning, they cut easily and held together well.
Great recipe! Doubled the ingredients for the strawberry filling, turned out great!
It’s so hard to find a good fresh strawberry bar recipe. This is phenomenal!
I loved these!
I’ve already made them twice, they seem to magically disappear. I haven’t made them with the lemon glaze, but they were delicious without.
I had to use at least 1/3-1/2 cup more flour on the crumb to prevent it from being sticky and clumping. In the future I might only use one egg? It seems that others were having issues with this as well. Despite, this recipe turned out fantastic! Love the generous quantity of strawberries. 🙂
these are such a lovely summery treat! The lemon icing really makes them super special! I’ve never made anything like them before, but they will be my new pot luck or bake sale go to item!
Mine came our wet and sticky as well. Perhaps the topping should omit egg and be a classic crumb topping- butter and flour.
I halved the recipe and used 1 egg and my dough came out wet and sticky instead of nice and crumbly as pictured.
Hi Sally, I was wondering if the crust/cookie part of this bar was supposed to be crunchy/crispy or more like a soft cookie? Mine was the latter.
I halved your recipe in a 8×8 pan. I found the crust dough to be quite wet. I even removed 1.5 Tbsp. of egg after beating it before adding it to the dry ingredients since you noted that 2 eggs was too much in the full recipe, but next time I think I’ll remove more.
I also thought the crust didn’t taste very sweet so next time I plan to add more brown sugar as well. Thanks for the recipe!
Soft cookie crust. That’s mostly due to all the moisture on top. I’m glad you gave it a whirl and know what to change next time you halve the recipe.
Can you use another berry such as blueberry?
We have a strawberry allergy in the family.
blueberries would be great!
I made these for a girls night I had recently. The strawberries at the grocery store were pretty pitiful so I tried it with raspberries instead and halved the recipe. They turned out amazing and everyone was raving about them! I ran out of time and didn’t get to make the glaze but I will for sure try it next time. My only wish is that I would have made a full batch!!
How do you think frozen raspberries would work in this recipe, also substituting fresh orange juice for the lemon juice?
OJ – absolutely. Frozen strawberries–not thawed– would be just fine!
I will be making theses very soon! I love your strawberry lemon poppy seed scones so I’m guessing these will be amazing too! Was just wondering if you tried frozen strawberries in this recipe?? Do you think they would work? Thank you again for the best recipes ever!
Hey Crystal! Frozen strawberries work, yes! Do not thaw.