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 desserts in less than an hour!
Lemon desserts like this one are as refreshing as they come, satisfying all sweetness cravings without sitting like a rock in your stomach.
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!!
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!!
Make this easy dessert recipe 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!
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 – Lemon brownies from cake mix 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 them easier to incorporate with the other ingredients..
- 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.
Lemon Brownies FAQ
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.
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.
Using fatty ingredients guarantees soft brownies! In many recipes, this means using milk rather than water, and/or oil instead of butter.
For this lemon brownies recipe, the egg yolk is used as the fatty ingredient.
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 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.
Slicing Lemon Brownies with Lemon Glaze
If you struggle trying to cut brownies and other bar desserts into clean slices, this will be helpful!
- 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.
- Once baked, grab the parchment and lift the dessert straight up and out of the pan!
- Press down into the dessert 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.
Serving, Storing, and Freezing Instructions
You can serve the lemon brownies warm,, or after chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours. They’re scrumptious either way!
Because lemon glaze for brownies is made without dairy (just powdered sugar and lemon juice), it keeps well at room temperature.
Store the iced brownies in an airtight container and enjoy within 3 days.
Or tightly wrap them, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the lemon brownies out on the counter before serving.
Alternatively, let them thaw in the fridge a day or so in advance, then serve them cold.
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Other Fantastic Lemon Desserts
- 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.
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.
Originally published July 2022
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