These are some of the best pink lemon bars ever! They are regular easy lemon bars taken up a notch. Their pink color comes from the pink pitaya (dragon fruit) powder. This dessert is the perfect combination of tangy and sweet, try this easy recipe out for yourself and you will see!
Spring is literally upon us! Where has the time gone… seriously, I feel like the older I get the faster the time flies by and it is kinda scary if you asked me.
The coronavirus is also upon us. As things have started to pick up here in the US people are taking it a little more seriously. I wish this was taken seriously before it got this bad but hey it’s too late now.
Just make sure to maintain proper hygiene, wash your hands anytime you can, avoid being in places that are packed with people, eat healthy, and take care of yourself.
With that said, these pink lemon bars are the best thing to keep you feeling good. They might not be the healthiest for you but they sure to make your heart smile.
They have the perfect level of tangy and sweet, plus they are pink… and if you know me you know I can never say no to anything pink!
Tools needed to make the easiest lemon bars ever!
To make these pink lemon bars you will need the items below!
I liked some of the products I used for you as well!
Ingredients for the lemon bar recipe
To make these delicious pink lemon bars you will need:
- Butter – Can’t make the perfect shortbread crust with no butter, so use good quality butter!
- Granulated sugar – This recipe uses both granulated sugar for the crust as well as the filling. The perfect ratio of sugar to tang!
- Flour – You will need all purpose flour to make the shortbread as well as to thicken the lemon filling.
- Vanilla extract– You can never go wrong with a little vanilla! This is used to flavor the shortbread crust.
- Salt– I always love using salt in my sweets because it helps offsets all the sweetness of many desserts.
- Eggs and an egg yolk – The eggs are used to thicken and help the lemon filling set.
- Lemon juice– This is what it’s all about! Can’t have lemon bars without that tangy goodness.
- Lemon zest– As if the lemon juice wasn’t enough, we want MORE!
- Pitaya powder– The pitaya powder has been used to give these lemon bars their pink hue. No chemical colors here.
- Powdered sugar- powdered sugar or snow white non melting topping sugar are the perfect topping for any lemon bars. It makes these treats look incredible elegant and appetizing! If you are curious about the snow white sugar, well it’s a powdered sugar that holds a lot better than regular confectioners sugar. Many professional bakeries use that so that it lasts longer.
How to make lemon bars?
- First, you need to spray your 9×9 baking sheet with non stick spray and line it with parchment paper. This will ensure that nothings sticks. Then preheat the oven to 350F.
- In your food processor add the flour, salt, sugar, butter and vanilla and pulsate until the mixture resembles sand. with some slightly larger bits in there.
- Pour the mixture in the prepared baking pan and press using a cup or rubber spatula. You want the mixture to be as flat and even as possible.
- Now bake the crust for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 325F.
- While the crust is baking, start making the pink lemon filling. Combine the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar. Whisk until everything is is well incorporated then add in the flour, lemon juice, lemon zest and the pitaya powder. Whisk again until thoroughly combined.
- Let the filling sit for 15-20 minutes so that the bubbles disappear. When the crust is done baking, pull it out of the oven and pour the pink lemon filling in right away. Place the pan back in the oven for another 25-30 minutes until the top part sets completely.
- Remove the pink lemon bars from the oven and let them cool completely before slicing. Dust with some confectioner’s sugar and enjoy!
What is pitaya powder?
First off, what is pitaya for those of us that don’t know. Pitaya is more known as dragon fruit. It is a tropical fruit that can either be white or pink inside with lots of black seeds, similar to those found in kiwi.
Pitaya powder on the other hand is freeze dried dragon fruit. It can be a little expensive since the pitaya fruit is full of water so to get a little bit of powder you need quite a lot of fruit.
It is a superfood that’s packed with anti oxidants, fiber, vitamin C and B. So adding it to smoothies, yogurts… is a great way to up the nutritional value of your food. I purchased the Suncore Foods pitaya powder, it is gorgoues and delicious!
For this recipe I Wanted to do something fun and use it to make these delicious lemon bars pink!
Tips to make the best lemon bars ever!
- Use fresh juice- Store bought juice might seem like the easy way out but freshly squeezed juice is always better. Citrus juicers are usually not that expensive and can last a very long time so get yourself one of those and some lemons and lets get squeezing.
- Don’t want air bubbles? If you don’t want that white layer on top of your pink lemon bars, make sure to let the lemon filling rest for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Use a torch– If you really have stubborn bubbles that just don’t wanna go away you can use a blow torch. Once you pour the filling on top of the crust, move the blow torch over the top of the liquid filling and watch the bubbles disappear. I learned this in my bakery internship!
How many lemons do I need to lemon bars?
This is a very tricky question given that lemon don’t all come in the same size. There are small lemons and there are larger ones that will each yield different amount of lemon juice. For this recipe I would recommend getting between 4-6 lemons depending on how large they are. I always like to go with the higher number just to make sure that I have enough.
How to store lemon bars
The proper way to store lemon bars will ensure that these beauties taste as good as when you first made them for a little longer! many people asked me ” are lemon bars supposed to be refrigirated or store at room temeprature”
And the answer is fridge! Always… Since lemon bars are made with eggs which basically makes them custard bars, they need to be refrigerated if you want to store them for a longer period of time.
Of course you can leave them out for a number of hours, lets say if you are serving them that day and they are out for everyone to enjoy. But if you just need to store them somewhere the fridge is your best bet
How to store lemon bars in the fridge?
To store lemon bars in the fridge, bake them and wait for them to cool completely. You can now, either store the whole thing as is by wrapping the baking pan with plastic wrap or slice the lemon bars into smaller squares and placing them in an airtight container and then back in the fridge.
When it’s time for you to serve them, you can pull them out of the fridge and blot the top with a paper towel to remove any condensation that developed in the fridge before dusting them with powdered sugar again.
If you don’t get rid of the condensation before powdering them with confectioners’ sugar, it will disappear as soon as it hits the bars and you will end up with a sticky mess.
Can lemon bars be made ahead of time?
Absolutely yes. You can make lemon bars up to one day in advance, any earlier than that and they might not taste as amazing as they did when you first made them!
You will need to use the same technique I discussed in the “how to store lemon bars in the fridge” section to store them and them to dust them with powdered sugar.
Can lemon bars be frozen?
To freeze your lemon bars, you will follow the same instructions as if you were were to store them in the fridge. Bake, cool, slice, freeze individually, store in an airtight container in the freezer.
Bake the lemon bars and let them cool completely, them slice them. After that you can place the lemon bars on a cooling wrack or a rimmed baking sheet, making sure to leave some room between each one of them so they don’t stick and pop them in the freezer. It will take about 2 hours or so for the bars to be completely frozen, after that you can wrap each bar with plastic wrap individually and then place it in a plastic resealable bag and back in the freezer.
The lemon bars can last up to 2 months in the freezer!
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Pink lemon bars recipe
Pink lemon bars recipe
For the cookie crust
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the lemon layer
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup flour
- ⅔ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon pitaya powder
- First, start by preheating the oven to 350F. Then line a 9×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. This will keep the bars from sticking.
Making the crust
- Add the butter, sugar, four, vanilla extract and salt to a food processor and pulse for 20-30 seconds or until the butter is completely incorporated. It will look like fine sand with some slightly larger bits in there.
- Pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and press it to the bottom of the pan so every corner is covered. You could covered the mixture with parchment paper and press using a cup to get an even layer of crust all around.
- Bake the crust for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 325F.
Making the lemon layer
- While the crust is baking, make the lemon layer: Combine the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until completely smooth. Add in the flour, lemon juice, lemon zest and the pitaya powder and whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Let the filling sit for 15-20 minutes so that most of the bubbles disappear.
- When the baked crust comes out of oven, immediately pour the lemon filling on top and return the bars to the oven. Bake the pink lemon bars for 25-30 minutes or until they look completely set.
- Remove the bars form the oven and let them cool completely before removing them form the baking pan and slicing.
- Before serving, dust the lemon bars with confectioners' sugar and enjoy!
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