Lemony Lemon Brownie Bites

I know, I know, technically I could get in a lot of trouble (you know, from the food blogger police) calling these non-brownie treats brownies. But every once in a while I like to throw caution to the wind and let that be today.

These little lemony brownie bites are so utterly amazing, it won’t really matter what they are called once you fall in love. The texture is everything soft and cakey and chewy and a little dense. The real lemon flavor comes through in the tart and sweet glaze and compliments that subtle lemon brownie layer in very magical ways. It really is like a bite of sweet, fresh, lemony heaven.

Lemony Lemon Brownie Bites

Easy and quick to whip up, you can serve them at room temperature. But if you decide to chill them first, be prepared to hand them out to neighbors, friends and strangers immediately or else all self-control may be lost. They are so good chilled, I want to weep. Consider yourself warned.

I was a little caught off guard at how these lovely but simple lemon treats won me over but win me over they did. As in, after tasting 12, I hurriedly cut them into tiny squares, stuffed them in mini muffin tins and sent them straight in to Brian’s office. And then I missed their presence so deeply, I went and made another batch. They are impossible to resist.

Lemony Lemon Brownie Bites


Yield: Makes 25 small squares


The glaze recipe makes a very thin, light layer of sweet, lemony glaze on top of the soft, chewy lemony brownies. If you want more glaze, consider doubling the recipe (just make sure the glaze doesn't overpower!).

Altogether, you probably need 2-3 large lemons for the recipe to get the 4 tablespoons juice and 1 tablespoon (plus 1/2 teaspoon) zest.

These bars are delicious at room temperature but try them chilled and you may never go back.


    Lemon Batter:
  • 1 cup (5 ounces/142 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (5.5 ounces/155 grams) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Lemon Glaze:
  • 3/4 cup (2.75 ounces/75 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8X8-inch aluminum baking pan with parchment so that it hangs over two of the edges (to lift out the bars later - alternately, you can just grease the pan really well and slice them in the pan) and lightly coat the pan and parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl or in a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the butter, eggs and egg yolk, lemon juice and vanilla.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs (the top of the bars should spring back lightly when gently pressed). Don't over bake or they might be dry.
  7. For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth and combined.
  8. After the bars have cooled completely in the pan, drizzle the glaze over the top (since the glaze layer is thin, it helps to pour it all across the bars instead of in one puddle before spreading) and use an offset spatula or knife to spread evenly over the bars.
  9. Place the bars in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to let the glaze set before lifting them from the pan (using the parchment overhang) and cutting into small squares. These taste best chilled, in my opinion, but can be served at room temperature also.

Recipe Source: adapted from Bakerella (cut down the butter, added weight measurements, used an extra egg yolk for super moistness, cut the glaze in half, etc)

105 Responses to Little Lemonies {Yummy Lemon Brownies}

  1. Jessica Glover says:

    I am not sure how I missed these 2 years ago but I am so upset that I did! In the past 2 weeks I have made 4 batches and I think they may be my new 2nd favorite dessert ( #1 will forever and always be Chocolate Chess Pit). Thank you Mel!!!

  2. Dianne says:

    I dont know what went wrong but i made these but come out as cakey. I followed the instructions and i dont know why it is cakey. What will i do?

  3. […] lemon brownies. they have the texture of a fudgy brownie and the flavor of a lemon bar. sounds a little crazy […]

  4. Mary Jo Medema says:

    Just got done making the Lemonies with my husband, they are now in the oven. The batter is everywhere else too. He tried to take the beaters out of the mixer without unplugging it first. I did not get there in time and wound up lemony myself! He is now cleaning the kitchen. lol Fun times! The batter was delicious, I’m sure the Lemonies will be too.

  5. Jaclyn says:

    These are SO GREAT! And fast/easy — even better!
    I had to add some extra lemon juice to the glaze; initially it was just a pasty lump and had to be thinned out. Turned out beautifully though!
    It was also thrilling to have a recipe that uses a solo yolk — good way to use up yolks for other recipes that only use egg whites.

  6. Jodi says:

    I only have unsalted butter. Should I add salt to the dry ingredients? How much? Thanks for all of your recipes–you are my go-to website when looking for ideas of what to make!

  7. Leah says:

    Mel, these lemony treats are in a class of their own. They are soooo good! I’ve even doubled the recipe and baked in a 9×13 (increased bake time to 30 minutes). They are a winner every time. I appreciate you and all your recipes. I have made many things off your website but don’t respond or thank you nearly enough.

  8. Erin Taylor says:

    Have made these several times! My new favorite. They freeze great!!

  9. Cinda says:

    I volunteered to make three desserts for a missionary leadership conference. The first two choices were easy…Texas Sheet Cake and Carrot Cake. What to do for the third one? Go to Melskitchencafe, of course! Yours is the only recipe blog that I would go to to look for a recipe that I planned to use without having tried it once on just my family. These lemon brownies were a huge hit! You haven’t failed me yet! Thanks!

  10. Louise says:

    I finally got round to trying this recipe this afternoon – incredible! So tasty, and incredibly moreish. Thank you. 🙂

  11. Morgan says:

    If they’re not brown, then they can’t be brownies. These would be considered blondies. Sorry, i saw an opportunity and i took it.

  12. Jilee says:

    I’m also wondering if anyone has had luck freezing these for making them ahead of a party? I’ve made these twice now and my family of seven devours a double recipe. They are beyond amazing!

  13. jody says:

    Can these be frozen?
    or how long would they last on counter or in fridge? Needing to make a bunch for a party and would like to make ahead.

  14. jody says:

    Has anyone had success with 1) lemon juice 2) freezing them?


  15. Leslie says:

    Have you ever made these in your mini muffin pan. Like your coconut oil fudge brownie bites?

  16. Gynnie says:

    I love lemons and brownies so when I saw this recipe wow and knew I had to make it.

    So today I did, excited like crazy but then I was a little saddened as it didn’t turn out how I expected it. It came out more of a cake than a brownie, so I might have done something wrong. Can you please tell me why that is as I’ve just put in the next batch hoping it’ll turn out looking like yours.

  17. Anna says:

    Hi! I don’t have an 8 x 8 aluminum pan-just a glass one. What cooking temperature/time would you recommend?

  18. Anna says:

    Hi! I don’t have an 8 x 8 aluminum pan, just a glass one. What cooking temperature/time would you recommend?

  19. Chris says:

    These are some good oh my gosh. I juat made then and thought I would share some substitutions I made to make these healthier. I used 1/2 cup oat flour and half unbleached AP flour, used 1/2 cup raw demerara sugar and slightly less than 1/4 cup white sugar. And I still find it a bit too sweet especially with the icing! So you can reduce the sugar if you want to. I added coconut flakes in the batter as well as sprinkled them on top before baking. I only had half a lemon on hand btw, but still managed to squeeze out 3 tbsp lemon juice. I only managed to use aboutique 2 tsp Lemon zest before reserving it for the icing. For the icing I made a plain one, using milk since I had no more lemon juice left and stirred the remaining zest and some coconut flakes into it. After baking the top layer of coconut I sprinkled turned slightly toasted. As a final touch, I toasted more coconut flakes in the oven then sprinkled them over the glaze. It is DIVINE. A great recipe, thank you 🙂

    just ate two squares as I speak.

  20. magilla71 says:

    I don’t usually bake things that need to be refrigerated, but, these REALLY are better chilled. The one at room temp was kinda cakey (not in a good way) After chilling the texture was definitely more brownie-ish and it keeps the glaze crunchy. Love them 🙂

    • magilla71 says:

      I also used browned butter in mine (I’m on a kick). I think it gives lemon desserts a depth they are sometimes missing.

  21. Fire Fly says:

    Have you or anyone tried this with lime juice vs lemon? I have a half bottle of pure key lime juice in fridge from making pie last week! I am always looking for recipes that use the juice it seems! Thanks!

  22. Nigel says:

    Trying this for the first time I’m mixing the batter and it already smell gorgeous can’t wait to try them when they are cooked

  23. Tiffany says:

    I only have a dark metal pan. Should I decrease the baking temperature?

  24. Valerie says:

    I made these today for a big Fourth of July potluck and they were a huge hit! I’m passing the recipe out to a lot of people and definitely making these again. My husband and I like them even better than lemon bars. Thank you for another awesome recipe. With your recipes I’m never afraid to try new recipes on company. It’s great!

  25. Diane says:

    Made these last night! So yummy!

  26. Megan Parr says:

    These are the BOMB!! Made them tonight for Father’s Day and seriously I’m in LOVE! Thank you!

  27. Katie says:

    Just made these with my Hubby and they’re baking. They smell AMAZING!!!!

  28. Britni says:

    LOVED these! So moist and flavor-filled…perfect for a baby shower I just threw. Definitely will be a go-to for me!

  29. Grace says:

    I made these for my homeroom moms as a thank you for their help this year. These are honestly one of the best things I have ever baked, and I am an avid baker! You are the best, Mel.

  30. YUM! I made these for my graduation party and they are sooo good! Someone else said they taste like the crust part of a lemon bar, and that’s the perfect description. They have the perfect lemon flavor. I will definitely make these again!

  31. Rebecca says:

    This recipe is another winner! Thanks so much!

  32. Beth says:

    These are amazing! Soooooooo good!

  33. Sandra says:

    I’ve already made these twice! It’s such a nice surprise when my finished product looks exactly like the recipe photo!:) Cutting these into small squares is a necessary step…much too delicious to stop nibbling after one or two.

  34. Lafayette says:

    This tastes like a lemon bar without the layer of lemon goo. Which, the cake part is my favorite so thumbs up. I actually got enough juice with 1 large lemon for the brownie part. I had to use a tiny bit of lemon juice concentrate for the glaze, but it worked well. 🙂

  35. Kristin Castleton says:

    These are super delicious! My entire family loved them and will definitely make them again. Thanks!!

  36. Sarah says:

    I made these and they were very delicious – the texture was great and they were pretty lemony. I served them for a luncheon dessert straight from the fridge. To be honest, I was a little disappointed in the glaze — I only added 1/2 cup of icing sugar to the 1 tbsp. juice because it was fairly thick and spreadable but I didn’t think 3/4 cup would be spreadable; and I could taste more sugar than lemon. I actually went back and double-checked that it was only 1 tbsp. of lemon juice. Next time I would probably up the lemon, but clearly I’m the only person with this “problem” so maybe it was just me. Thank you for sharing! I like the raspberry idea.

    • Sarah says:

      So I froze the leftovers and when I ate one, they were super delicious. Thus my wonder about the glaze might have been because I just ate them too soon after baking.

    • Jennifer says:

      This is the issue I had. I added 3/4 cup powdered sugar for the glaze and couldn’t even stir it, it was so thick I added more juice until it seemed glazey, probably 1-2 more tbps.

  37. Louise E. says:

    I made these a few days ago and they turned out great. They were very delicous and quick to make too. I really liked the texture of the these squares. These are a nice alternative to chocolate brownies.

  38. Jamie says:

    I just knew I should have grabbed some lemons at the store!!! These look amazing!!! Can’t wait to try them. Yum!

  39. Susan from WA says:

    Two complaints, Mel: this recipe only makes an 8×8 pan, and there’s a .5% chance I’m ever going to make it to the ‘chill for 1-2 hours’ part. 😉 SO DELICIOUS!

  40. Linda Turco says:


    The lemon brownies were a hit at the Bridal Shower and they looked beautiful in the mini muffin wrappers with the raspberry on top 🙂 Loved them chilled too. So yummy!! Thanks again! I wanted to post a picture here but I couldn’t seem to get an option to paste. Is that correct that I can’t post a photo ? Thanks !

    • Mel says:

      So happy the lemon bites worked out, Linda. Thanks for reporting back! I don’t think you can paste a photo, darn it. It would have to be a link that directed us to view the photo somewhere else (like on Facebook or Flickr).

  41. caitlyn says:

    I just made these today and they were amazing! We tasted them slightly warm without the glaze and then also chilled with glaze. Both were amazing – I ate a quarter of the pan!!! I love the idea of putting them in mini muffin wrappers and will definitely do that when I bring these to a gathering. Thank you for this great recipe!

  42. Barb says:

    Hi, I assume the butter used is salted??

  43. Kurt says:

    Wow! These were great. Lemon is my favorite flavor and every year my wife makes me something ‘lemony’ for my birthday. Next year I’m lobbying for these again, along with your lemon-chicken-broccoli-penne skillet dish.

    Hope you are enjoying Boise. Great town. Great Farmer’s Market

  44. Mary says:

    I made these yesterday and they were delicious! I had to try them chilled and at room temp to taste the difference. 🙂 I like them both ways but room temp would be my preference – less dense. Thanks, Mel!

  45. Chelsey says:

    Can these be made in a glass pan? I don’t have an aluminum pan, but I need these!

  46. Kelsey says:

    Mel! I made the sweet potato taco foil packets for our dinner tonight as well as for two other families and topped it off with these lemon brownies! Delicious!! Thanks for two delicious recipes this week!!

  47. bri says:

    These look so good I’m dying to try! Maybe I will have to on Sunday.

  48. I made a lemon “brownie” from some recipe I found on line a couple of years ago. I thought it was a brilliant idea. Everyone loved it. I wanted to love it, but only just liked it. The texture and flavor weren’t what I thought they should be. When I saw this post and your pics..I couldn’t wait to check it out. Your recipe is completely different than the one I tried so I can’t wait to make these. They look perfect!

  49. Christina says:

    I made this last night and cut them into small triangles before drizzling with the lemon glaze. They were perfect and so yummy! I had the last one this morning with a cup of hot tea. It was like a delicious mini scone. Definitely will be making these again soon. Thanks for another great recipe.

  50. I love lemon things at this time of year! These look fantastic!

  51. Lucy says:

    Ooh, these look like delicious little slices of heaven! Love lemon desserts 🙂
    Life inside the Locket

  52. Cammee says:

    You know about me and chocolate, so it’s no surprise that Lemon Brownies are my favorite. I haven’t tried them chilled though and now I can’t get that out of my head!

  53. Jen T says:

    Made these last night. We had the sister missionaries for dinner. Everyone loved them! All gone. I need to make another batch! Thanks Mel!

  54. Echo says:

    I LOVE LEMON, but I LOVE LIME, also! Do you think Lime could be used as well?

  55. Linda Turco says:

    Sorry, On e more question. I’m having 30 guests at the Bridal Shower and would like to make these in a 9×13 size pan. Do you think it will work to x 1/2 the recipe or would I need to double it? I don’t want thin brownies .


  56. Rebecca says:

    holy moly!!!!!
    Made these last night and brought them to work this AM. EVERYONE is asking for the recipe!! SUPER delish!!! I cut them even a bit smaller into 36 squares. Such the perfect bite of sweet-tart. Thank you so much for posting!!!!!

  57. Rosemary says:

    Mel they look great my hubby loves lemon its lemon on everything, so I think sat will make them wonder if I can skip the icing, just sprinkle bit icing sugar yummy all I got to say.

  58. Tyler says:

    LEMON, LEMON, LEMON, LEMON!!! Must go to the supermarket and buy LEMONS!!! If I can’t get lemons (expensive in Japan), then maybe I’ll try yuzu….delicious either way. Thanks for another keeper. (Haven’t even made them yet….but pretty sure it goes in the keeper pile)

  59. Linda Turco says:

    P.S. I’m curious why you like these better chilled rather then room temperature ? Are they chewier? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      I love the idea of a fresh raspberry on top – so pretty! The chilling thing is just preference. They are certainly delicious at room temperature but I popped them in the fridge to let the glaze set a bit and couldn’t believe how tasty they were chilled. They are slightly more dense and delicious.

  60. Linda Turco says:

    You were absolutely inspired to post this today !! I am hosting a Bridal Shower brunch this Saturday, May 16, and I was thinking of making mini lemon curd tarts but I wasn’t “feeling it” since I’m making mini quiche and I thought I don’t want the same look even though one is savory and one is sweet, the crust is so similar. These lemon brownies were EXACTLY what I needed !!!!! I may top each square with a fresh raspberry ( that I was going to use on the tarts) but they look gorgeous just as they are!!!but I am so thankful for you and your blog!!! This post made my day !!!! You made my day Mel !!!!Thank you !!!!!❤️

  61. Kim says:

    I cannot wait to try these!! They’ll be a perfect sweet treat for our next pool party. Do you think they’d freeze well?

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm, good question. The “brownie” part would – I’m just not sure about the glaze but I definitely think it’s worth a try.

  62. Teresa R. says:

    I’m on vacation but the very day I get home will be the day I bake these! Lemon is my favorite flavor and I’ve made your no bake lemon cheesecake more times than I can count. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

  63. Janet says:

    This confused me as brownies are chocolate.
    But I do love lemon……think I”ll rename them
    when I put this in my recipes.

  64. Mel says:

    Yep, sorry about that – there is 3 tablespoons lemon juice in the batter. I just added it to the ingredients list (it was already in the directions). Three tablespoons juice and one tablespoon zest go in the batter, another one tablespoon juice and 1/2 teaspoon zest go into the glaze.

  65. Lisa says:

    Oh my goodness!! I went to a baby shower ten years ago and there were these sweet little orange tarts soooo similar to this. I have searched and searched for a recipe that could bring about anything like them and this is the closest ever! (I moved soon after the shower and didn’t keep in close contact with the few people I knew there!) If you were to make these with oranges instead, would you recommend any other changes?

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm, sounds yummy with oranges, Lisa! Not sure if you’d need to adapt anything else but it’s certainly worth a try to experiment.

  66. Jackie says:

    I needed 1 lemon the other day but since I was at Costco and didn’t want to stop at another store I bought a huge bag. While eating breakfast I was staring at the bag wondering what to do with all those lemons. Now I know! Thanks!

  67. Laurel says:

    You had me at lemon! I cannot resists lemon. Yum yum yum!

  68. Nicole Hunn says:

    Oooh, Mel, these look amazing. I think they’ll have to go right onto my “Must Make Gluten Free” Pinterest board and see what my readers think!

    • Mel says:

      I love that board! Especially seeing what your readers want gluten-free. Knowing you, you could whip out a gluten-free version of these babies in no time.

  69. Kim in MD says:

    I love anything lemon, and I think these lemon “brownies” look amazing! I can just imagine how refreshing a chilled bite would be on a warm summer day. I am SO making these!

  70. Sheila says:

    Oh, yea. Forgot — You rebel! The food blogger police are going to have a difficult day trying to control the traumatic effect on the food blogging world trying to contain the influence of these non-brownies.

  71. Sheila says:

    Your words, humor and pictures would convince me to absolutely love liver and brain. These look and sound delicious. Good thing you are running miles every week. To keep up with all of this yummy temptation, I think I might need to start a running routine, not for marathons, but so I can make and indulge in every one of Mels’ dessert recipes. 🙂

  72. You can call them whatever you want….I am going to call them delicious! Lemon is one of may favorites in any dessert!

  73. Oh my. I am a huge fan of lemon desserts, to I’m certain I would love these! I don’t care if you call them brownies. 🙂

  74. Michelle says:

    These look awesome!
    Is there suppose to be lemon juice in the batter? I am not seeing that on the list.
    Can’t wait to try them.

    • Rebecca says:

      looks like the zest from a whole lemon is in the batter? The oils from the zest should flavor the entire batter.

    • Rebecca says:

      forget my post. I just read the intro. There are 3 Tbs of juice missing from the recipe 😉 Sorry. .my bad -(

    • melanie says:

      Someone please confirm that 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon zest go into the cake and an additional 1 tablespoon juice and 1/2 teaspoon zest go into the glaze. Thanks

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