Lemon Brownies

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Lemon Brownies are super fudgy, with a mouthwatering tang that pairs just perfectly with the sweet lemon icing. Mix up a few simple ingredients, pop them in the oven, and you’ll have a tray of decadent, lemon brownies with lemon glaze in less than an hour! 

titled: Lemon Brownies Recipe


When you’re craving really fudgy brownies without all the heaviness that comes with chocolate, it’s time to whip up lemon brownies with lemon glaze!!

ingredients to make lemon brownies

Lemon Brownies

Lemon desserts like this one are as refreshing as they come, satisfying all sweetness cravings without sitting like a rock in your stomach.

Chewy citrus squares topped with a sweet, homemade lemon glaze are the perfect spring or summer dessert.

Although, they go over just as well for Thanksgiving and Christmas!!

Without the chocolate, they might technically be considered lemon blondies, but calling them brownies really describes the fudgy texture best.

Make these easy cake mix brownies with a handful of simple ingredients and less than an hour of your time — no one will be able to tell that you used a boxed mix!

You can also try more of my lemon cake mix recipes like these iced cookies or a delicious poke cake dotted with fresh blueberries.

adding two eggs to cake mix and lemon juice

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Lemon Juice and Zest – Can’t have lemon brownies without lemons. Can you replace the lemons with limes or oranges? Absolutely! Any citrus, any time.
  • Lemon Pudding Mix and Yellow Cake Mix – Cake mix brownies are SO moist! Any brand will do — I like to use Betty Crocker cake mix.
  • Eggs – Preferably, your eggs should be room temperature, just like the rest of the ingredients. This makes it easier to incorporate everything together.
  • Powdered Sugar – You definitely need powdered (not granulated) sugar. This is to make the lemon glaze for your brownies!

    Trust me, you’ll have a hard time avoiding a grainy texture otherwise. 
measuring spoon with lemon zest over bowl of batter

Lemon Brownies Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Zest first!

Wash your fruit and remove the bright yellow rind with a microplane grater, stopping when you see the bitter white pith.

Be sure to reserve extra for garnish if desired.

  • Use room-temperature fruit.

Before you juice the lemons, bring them to room temperature or pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.

This way, they will release a lot more juice!

  • Make a larger batch.

You can easily double this lemon brownies recipe for larger gatherings or bake sales. Use a 9×13 pan and increase the baking time until they are fully set.

The squares will also come out a bit thicker this way.

Cake Mix Brownies FAQ

How do you know when brownies are done?

Insert a toothpick into the center of the pan. If it comes out clean, they’re done!

It’s okay if there are a few moist crumbs on the toothpick, but if there’s any wet batter, they need more time in the oven.

Do you need baking powder for brownies?

Nope! Not for this lemon brownies recipe, at least. We’re going for a fudgy (not cakey) texture, so we don’t want them to rise too much.

And that’s exactly what baking powder does!

Alternatively, if you like a cakier texture, feel free to add just a bit of baking powder.

What makes brownies soft?

Using fatty ingredients guarantees soft brownies! In many recipes, this means using milk rather than water, and/or oil instead of butter.

For this cake mix brownies recipe, the egg yolk is used as the fatty ingredient.

stirring yellow batter with spatula

Slicing Lemon Brownies with Lemon Glaze

If you struggle with cutting brownies and other bar desserts into clean slices, this will be helpful!

  1. Line your pan with parchment before spraying it with cooking spray. Leave some parchment paper overhanging the edges, so you will have something to hold on to later.
  2. Once baked, grab the parchment and lift the dessert straight up and out of the pan!
  3. Press down into the lemon brownies with a sharp, warm knife to create clean slices.

    I use a tall glass filled with warm water to dip the knife into between each slice I cut.
glaze for lemon brownies

Serving, Storing, and Freezing Instructions

You can serve lemon blondies warm or after chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours. They’re scrumptious either way!

Because the lemon glaze is made without dairy — just powdered sugar and lemon juice — it keeps well at room temperature.

Store the frosted lemon brownies in an airtight container and enjoy within 3 days. Or tightly wrap them and freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw on the counter before serving, or let them thaw in the fridge for a day or so in advance and serve them cold. 

lemon brownies stacked with parchment in between

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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close up: lemon cake mix brownies

Other Fantastic Lemon Desserts

stacked lemon brownies with lemon glaze

Lemon Brownies

Donna Elick
Lemon Brownies are soft and sweet, topped with a tangy citrus glaze. This lemon brownies recipe is easy to make from a lemon cake mix!
4.58 stars from 7 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 9



  • 15.25 ounces yellow cake mix, I used Betty Crocker
  • 3.4 ounces lemon instant pudding mix
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, more if needed for desired consistency
  • lemon zest, for garnish (optional)


For the Brownies

  • Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, and also use non-stick cooking spray so that the brownies lift out easily.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Using an electric hand mixer, combine the dry cake mix, dry pudding mix, lemon juice, eggs, and lemon zest together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and use a spatula to spread evenly.
  • Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only moist crumbs (no wet batter).
  • Remove lemon brownies from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Holding both sides of parchment paper, lift the brownies up out of the pan and allow them to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the glaze.

For the Glaze

  • Whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice together in a mixing bowl until smooth. If needed, thin the glaze by adding a few more drops of lemon juice to reach desired consistency.
  • Slice brownies into squares, then drizzle glaze over the top and sprinkle with lemon zest.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 286cal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 420mg | Sugar: 34g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): lemon brownies with lemon glaze closeup on plate

Originally published July 2022, updated and republished June 2023

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  1. It says in the “Recipe Tips & Tricks” that the recipe can be doubled & made in a 13×9″ pan. Does that mean you use 2 cake mixes? Since one cake mix can be baked in a 13×9″ pan, I wonder why it needs to be doubled at all. Has anyone tried this in a 13×9″ pan? Did you double every ingredient? I’m looking forward to trying this recipe, but want to get it right the first time.

    1. I baked these brownies just this morning. I followed the recipe & used an 8×8” pan & the brownies came out higher & fluffier than I’d expected. I think if I make then again, I might try a slightly larger pan.

  2. Why does the article suggest both lemon cake mix and yellow cake mix and the recipe itself calls for a yellow cake mix? Has anyone made it with both and which recipe came out better tasting?

  3. Hello. What cake mix do you use? And how long do you bake it for in a 9×13 pan? The same as the 8×8 or less? My husband loves lemon and I’d like to make this for him.

  4. I am going to make for a Girl’s party. We love lemon. I will add blueberries to it. Looks delious!

  5. I was SO looking forward to these and made a batch this afternoon following the directions to a “T”! Baked it in a 9×9 aluminum pan, lined the pan with parchment as directed and sprayed it with non stick spray. While they smell amazing, the center sunk and is almost as if it’s the pudding batter, never firmed up and is similar to uncooked batter. The edges puffed up nicely and appear to be a think cake consistency. It taste great (the outer edges) but the center is not edible. What did I do wrong? I really want to have a batch of these! All ingredients were at room temperature.

  6. Is the batter suppose to be dry? Are you suppose to make the cake mix as directed on the package? It doesn’t say to do that. Help please.

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