These Easy Lemon Squares are a citrusy twist on the classic recipe for gooey butter cake.
I have lots of really cool parts of my job, but some of the most fun things come from my partnership with the Alabama Farmers Federation. In addition to getting to come right into your living rooms every week by way of Simply Southern TV, I also get to write a monthly column for the Federation’s Neighbors magazine.
Each month I get to share some delicious recipes from Southern Bite and for the past two years, I’ve also been featuring recipes from some of the amazing Alabama farmers that help to clothe and feed us. Now, the Federation has given me permission to share those recipes with y’all!
This recipe for Easy Lemon Squares is one of those recipes and it comes to us from Denise Henry.
Denise and her late husband, Mike, raised five kids on their family cattle farm in south Montgomery County. While regionally famous for their beef dishes, this sweet treat hits the spot, too.
If you love the classic Gooey Butter Cake, you’re going to love the citrusy twist in these bars. The crust is made with a lemon cake mix and the gooey filling combines cream cheese, powdered sugar, and eggs.
This recipe is quick and easy to assemble and can easily be adapted using other flavors of cake mix. I’m thinking a chocolate version would be amazing!
A few tips for recipe success…
Start with room temperature ingredients. They will blend more easily and more thoroughly.
Beating the cream cheese first makes it smooth and will make adding the other ingredients much easier.
Use a light-colored aluminum baking pan for the best results. See the blog post above for more info.
If you find the crust difficult to get pressed into the pan, spritz a silicone spatula or your fingers with a little nonstick cooking to make the process easier.
Easy Lemon Squares
For the crust:
- 1 (15.25-ounce) box lemon cake mix
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg, room temperature
For the filling:
- 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
- 1 (1-pound) package powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
For the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13-inch light colored metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Use a mixer to combine the cake mix, softened butter, and egg together. Mix until just combined. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
For the filling:
- Reserve about 1/3 cup of the powdered sugar and set aside for the topping.
- Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and eggs and beat until combined. Pour the mixture over the crust.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the edges are just lightly brown, but the center is still jiggly. Cool completely then cut into squares and dust with reserved powdered sugar.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.