No Bake Lemon Bars are the best way to enjoy your lemon bars in summer! A shortbread crust with a lemon pudding filling is a burst of no bake flavor.
Why turn on your oven when you can make lemon bars NO BAKE? Genius!
Easy lemon bars are something that everyone needs to know how to make. Lemon bars are a quintessential dessert and one that is super easy to make.
Traditional lemon bars have a baked shortbread crust and a lemon curd-like filling that bakes and sets in the oven. They're delicious, especially with a thick and tart lemon layer paired with a sweet shortbread crust, but you have to bake them.
When it's 100°F outside and you don't want to bake but are craving a lemon bar, what should you do? Make NO BAKE LEMON BARS of course!
These no-bake lemon bars are very easy to make with minimal ingredients. They have the perfect tang of lemon flavor paired with that sweet shortbread crust you expect, but you can make these without heating up your oven!
Also: they're in the fridge chilling in under 20 minutes. Easy!
If you search for lemon bars you'll find that all the popular chefs have a perfect lemon bar recipe: Ina Garten, The Pioneer Woman, Martha Stewart. But very few of them have a traditional lemon bar recipe that's also no-bake!
Most no-bake lemon bar recipes are either (1) healthy or (2) have cream cheese or sweetened condensed milk. This recipe is none of those!
I really don't understand how someone makes a delicious lemon bar into paleo, vegan, and gluten free. Obviously there is no butter or shortbread in that recipe!
How do you make a no-bake shortbread crust?
It's simple: with shortbread cookies.
The baked shortbread crusts are made with butter and flour and baked to form the crust. These no-bake bars start with a shortbread cookie that's crumbled and mixed with butter, like a graham cracker crust.
In fact, you can make these no bake lemon bars with a graham cracker crust, if you prefer. Just substitute graham crackers for the shortbread!
Once the cookies are crumbled and mixed with butter, you press them into a pan for a nice thick and delicious crust. Use your favorite shortbread cookies (i.e. Walkers) to make the crust.
No-Bake Lemon Filling is easy to make!
Especially when it only has three ingredients:
- Lemon pudding
- Cool Whip
Really, that's it! Whisk the three together and spread it over the crust. Once it chills for an hour or two it's easy to slice and serve these.
Want to punch up the lemon flavor? Swirl lemon curd on top and/or zest a lemon into the filling. The lemon flavor is bursting in these no bake bars.
Don't heat up your kitchen and satisfy your lemon bar craving with these easy No Bake Lemon Bars!
No Bake Lemon Bars
- 10 ounces shortbread cookies (like Walkers)
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 box 3.4 ounces instant lemon pudding mix
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk
- 8 ounces Cool Whip
- Zest of one lemon (optional)
- 1/2 cup lemon curd (optional)
- Place shortbread cookies in a gallon size bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the cookies.
- Stir cookies with melted butter. Press crust into the bottom of an 8x8-inch pan. Chill while you prepare filling.
- Whisk pudding mix with milk then fold in Cool Whip. Optional: zest one lemon into the mixture. Spread on top of prepared crust.
- Optional: heat lemon curd in microwave just until spreadable (if needed; some lemon curds are stiff especially if they've been refrigerated). Drop spoonfuls on top of bars and swirl into the top.
If you love lemon, try my Boozy Frozen Lemonade!
Another great summer treat: Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes.
**Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!**
Dorothy is a blogger over at CrazyforCrust.com, where she's been sharing recipes with a slice of life for almost 10 years. She's married to Mel, the other half of Easy Good Ideas, and together they are raising a teenager and dog in Northern California.