A hint of lavender makes a surprise visit into these classic old fashioned lemon bars. Lemon and lavender have a great friendship when it comes to many baked goods, cocktails and even some savory dishes. A little bit of sweet, a little bit of tart and a subtle taste of this floral herb creates a delightful summertime dessert recipe. This layer of citrusy yumminess rests upon a buttery shortbread crust that you’re gonna love. I guarantee it!
Why I love These Lavender Infused Lemon Bars
This recipe takes an old classic and adds an artful floral flavor to the bars. Lavender has a unique and distinctive taste that pairs well with lemon.
The filling is permeated with both a tartness and sweetness that will make you not only pucker but smile. Neither of these “tastes” dominates the other. It is a perfect blending of the two.
The Lavender Lemon filling embraces a buttery shortbread-like crust that holds all of this lusciousness together. The crust, in my opinion, either makes or breaks the bars. This crust is soft and tender yet durable and sturdy so it does not fall apart in your hands.
I’ve been waiting for several years to have an outside area where I could once again plant an herb garden. We previously lived in a place which had very little sun throughout the day. This left me spending ridiculous amounts of money every month on little packages of fresh herbs at the grocery store. The house we’ve recently purchased has a spacious deck on the back which provides me ample room and lots of sunshine for growing a bed of culinary greenery.
A few interesting facts about lavender:
- In cooking with lavender, a little goes a long way. It’s like rosemary, if you use too much of it, it will overpower the dish and make it taste like perfume.
- Use 1/3 the quantity of dried culinary lavender to the fresh flowers.
- When choosing lavender for cooking, make sure it’s a culinary varietal.
- Lavender is thought to be insect repellent. Plant it with other herbs in your garden and it could help keep away those pesky bugs. When made into a sachel for linens, it can detract the moths.
- Lavender is a perennial plant and is actually a member of the mint family. The plant does better with a lot of sunshine and prefers well-drained soil.
The Crust is the Bedrock to these Lavender Infused Lemon Bars
I can’t emphasize enough how easy this crust is yet it’s probably the most important part of the recipe. It truly is the foundation that holds everything else in place. Three simple ingredients. That’s it. Flour, powdered sugar, and chilled butter. Now, the “chilled” butter is necessary as it’s what creates a soft and tender crust.
Using a Food Processor to cut the butter into the flour/powdered sugar
The food processor works great for cutting the butter into the flour and powdered sugar. You can also use a pastry blender to get the same results. Pulsate about 8-10 times until the mixture becomes like coarse meal and you’ll notice buttery flakes running through it.
Using Parchment Paper creates a sling to remove the Baked Bars
Use parchment paper to line the 9×13 inch cake pan. Cut a large piece of the paper that extends about three inches on each side of the pan. With the paper sitting on the pan, I cut into each corner of the paper, up to where the pan starts. Watch this youtube video and I promise it will make more sense. The parchment paper becomes a sling to easily pull out the lemon bars after they’re baked.
Chilling and Baking the Crust
Press the crust mixture into the parchment lined pan and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. While the crust is chilling preheat the oven to 350°F. Once it is chilled, bake the crust for about 20 minutes or until it is lightly golden and soft to the touch. This is considered parbaking and will ensure that you do not end up with a soggy crust.
Infusing Lavender into Sugar
There are a variety of ideas that can be made from lavender infused sugar. It makes for great hostess gifts, it can be added to many baked good recipes or desserts and is perfect for cocktails and/or summertime drinks.
Start with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in your food processor and add 6 tablespoons fresh culinary grade lavender. Pulse until the lavender is finely chopped then add 5 1/2 cups to the food processor and only pulsate it until you see the lavender dispersed throughout the sugar. You don’t want powdered sugar at this point.
Pour the sugar and lavender into a large glass jar and seal. Let this sit for at least two days for the lavender flavor to permeate the sugar. Lavender sugar can last up to 6 months. For this recipe, I used 2 2/3 cups.
Preparing the Lemon Filling
It’s important to get the lemon filling ready while the crust is parbaking in the oven. Don’t wait until the last minute, because the crust needs to still be warm when you top it with the filling.
Beat the eggs and whisk them together with the sugar, lemon zest, and juice. If you want the real deal, don’t go grabbing the bottle of lemon juice off of the grocery shelf. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the only way to go. There is a night and day difference when using the fresh against the bottled.
Mix the above ingredients only until combined. You don’t want to add too much air to the filling. To finish it off, stir together the flour and baking powder and add it to the egg/sugar mixture using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. Pour the filling over the warm crust.
Baking the Lemon Bars
I’ve always made my lemon bars thicker than the regular recipes and these lavender infused bars are no different. I want a mouthful of lemony delight when I sink my teeth into them. And because of that, I needed to bake them longer than a regular lemon bar. I started out timing it around 40 minutes but ended up baking it between 50-60 minutes. I also turned down the oven temperature at this point to 325°F so they didn’t bake too quickly.
This batch came out of the oven with a beautiful golden hue which is exactly what I was looking for. Also, you can see, the lovely flecks of lavender scattered throughout. The edges of the lemon bars produce a caramelization that becomes nicely brown. And just like brownies, the outside edges are the best part of the whole “bar” experience.
Sprinkling with Powdered Sugar
Showering these bars with sweet powdered sugar is the crowning accomplishment of this recipe. It’s the perfect companion to equalize the tart citrusy taste of the filling. And as a bonus, when you bite into these lemony enchantments, there’s a puff of white powder that ends up all over your face. It’s magical at the point.
Cutting the Bars
Cutting lemon bars can be a delicate matter. The best way that I’ve found to not get so many ragged edges is #1 – use a sharp knife. #2 Run hot water over the knife and wipe it clean after each cut. The heat from the hot water and cleaning off the knife helps the filling not stick. I cut 24 – 2-inch (or so) squares from this 9×13 inch pan. And one square is so rich and decadent that it is more than enough for one serving.
Storing and Freezing
You can store these bars in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. But you can freeze them for up to one month. Which BTW, they freeze beautifully. Here’s how. Cut them into individual bars but don’t sprinkle with powdered sugar. Place them on a large cookie sheet with about 1-2 inches between each square. Place them in the freezer until frozen. Transfer the bars to freezer ziplock bags. When you’re ready to eat them, remove bars from the freezer and let them thaw. They will probably have some moisture on the top which can be gently dabbed with a paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.
Rich, thick, creamy, sweet, tart – all wrapped up in one bar! That’s what I call a heavenly summertime pastry that you are gonna definitely want to try. And if you love these Lavender Infused Lemon Bars, you will love my Strawberry Lemon Bars.
Lavender Infused Lemon Bars
A hint of lavender makes a surprise visit into these classic old fashioned lemon bars. A little bit of sweet, a little bit of tart and a subtle taste of this floral herb creates a delightful summertime dessert recipe. This layer of citrusy yumminess rests upon a buttery shortbread crust that you’re gonna love.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 65 minutes
- Yield: 24 Bars 1x
- Category: Baked Goods
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
The Lavender Infused Sugar
- 6 cups Granulated Sugar
- 6 tablespoons Fresh Lavender, culinary grade
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1 cup chilled butter
The Lavender Infused Lemon Filling
- 8 eggs
- 2 2/3 cups lavender infused sugar (from above)
- 2 teaspoon zested lemon peel
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- powdered sugar for dusting
The Lavender Infused Sugar
- Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 6 tablespoons lavender into a food processor.
- Pulsate until the lavender is finely chopped.
- Add the remaining 5 1/2 cups of sugar and pulsate only until all the lavender is distributed throughout the sugar.
- Store in a large glass jar up to six months.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a 9×13 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Cut a large piece of parchment paper that extends about three inches on each side of the cake pan. With the paper sitting on the pan, cut into each corner of the paper, up to where the pan starts. Press the paper into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Watch this youtube video.
- Add 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 sticks of chilled butter to the food processor and pulse 8-10 times until it becomes like coarse meal with buttery specks running through.
- Pat the mixture into the parchment paper lined pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Parbake the crust for 20 minutes until golden brown and soft to the touch.
The Lavender Infused Lemon Filling
- Turn the oven down to 325°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the 8 eggs, 2 2/3 cups lavender infused sugar (above), 2 teaspoons lemon peel, and 3/4 cup lemon juice. Stir together the 8 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt and add to the egg mixture. Blend just until all is moistened. Pour over warm crust.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the lemon filling is set, lightly golden with very little jiggle to it.
- Let the bars cool for 30 minutes in the pan. Using the parchment paper that is hanging over the sides, gently loosen the bars and pull them out of the pan. Set them on a metal baking rack to finish cooling. Let the bars cool completely before cutting.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar generously over the bars. Store the lavender infused lemon bars in the refrigerator up to 4 days or in the freezer (without powdered sugar) up to 1 month.
- Using parchment paper to line your cake pan then becomes a sling to easily remove the baked lemon bars.
- Parbaking the crust will ensure that you do not end up with a soggy crust.
- It’s important to get the lemon filling ready while the crust is parbaking in the oven. Don’t wait until the last minute, because the crust needs to still be warm when you top it with the filling.
- Make sure and used freshly squeezed lemon juice. There is a night and day difference when using the fresh against the bottled.
- When mixing the eggs, lemon juice, sugar and lemon zest, mix only until combined. You don’t want to add too much air to the filling.
- The best way to cut the lemon bars to not get so many ragged edges is #1 – use a sharp knife. #2 Run hot water over the knife and wipe it clean after each cut. The heat from the hot water and cleaning off the knife helps the filling not stick.
- You can store these bars in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. But you can freeze them for up to one month.
- To freeze: cut them into individual bars but don’t sprinkle with powdered sugar. Place them on a large cookie sheet with about 1-2 inches between each square. Place them in the freezer until frozen. Transfer the bars to freezer ziplock bags.
- When you’re ready to eat them, remove bars from the freezer and let them thaw. They will probably have some moisture on the top which can be gently dabbed with a paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 237
- Sugar: 26 g
- Sodium: 54 mg
- Fat: 10 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 35 mg
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 82 mg
Keywords: lavender lemon bars, lemon bar recipes, lemon bars with lavender sugar