These Lemon Gooey Bars get a triple dose of lemon, from lemon cake, lemon zest, and lemon curd. Moist, chewy, and amazing!
More lemon bar recipes we love include our traditional lemon bars with a shortbread crust and lemon blondies with a lemon glaze.
Ooey Gooey Bars with Lemon
Have you ever had a gooey bar? A gooey bar is basically like a sweet, chocolatey cookie bar, but it’s gooey in the center. When they bake, the outside of the bars get golden and a little crisp and the center stays super gooey. Gooey bars can be homemade from scratch, or they can be semi-homemade with a box mix.
This lemon gooey bar recipe starts with a cake mix and has just a few other ingredients added, including lemon zest and lemon curd, so they’re extra lemon-y and awesome!
These easy dessert bars come together with just 7 ingredients.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Unsalted butter – Softened to room temperature so it blends easily with the other ingredients.
- Boxed lemon cake mix – Purchase whatever brand you prefer.
- Egg – Helps give the lemon bars structure.
- Lemon zest – Gives the bars a bright fresh, lemon flavor.
- Lemon curd – Make our easy homemade lemon curd or most stores seem to carry it now near the jams and nut butters.
- White chocolate chips – White chocolate and lemons love one another!
- Sweetened condensed milk – This is what puts the “gooey” in a gooey bars.
Variation: Lime Gooey Bars
How to Make Lemon Gooey Bars
These lemon bars are so easy to make in just a few simple steps.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Cake mix + egg + butter forms a thick dough. You’ll need just the cake mix powder. Don’t use the directions on the box, follow my directions instead.
- Press some of the batter into the pan. Line a baking dish with parchment paper, then lightly spray with nonstick spray. Press about 2/3 of the batter into the pan, then spread the lemon curd on top.
- Add white chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle white chocolate chips over the dough, then drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the chocolate, leaving a border bare.
- Break up the remaining chunks of dough and place it on top of the bars. Break off a 1/2 to 1 tablespoon size pieces and drop them over the top, then lightly press with your hands. Some of the sweetened condensed milk will show through giving the bars a fun cobbled look.
- Bake, cool, and chill. They need to chill before cutting into bars and then enjoy!
Tips for Success
Here are a few helpful tips to make sure your gooey bars are perfect!
- Use parchment paper. I highly recommend lining your baking dish with parchment paper because the sweetened condensed milk is sticky. It makes removal so much easier.
- Leave a border of the bars without sweetened condensed milk. Be sure to leave a border around the edge of the uncut bars in the pan without and sweetened condensed milk so that it doesn’t bubble up and burn during baking.
- They need to chill. Baked gooey bars need to cool and then chill before you cut them. If you don’t allow them to get cold and set, the gooey part will ooze out and you’ll have a big mess and not pretty bars.
Video: Lemon Gooey Bars
- Storing Leftovers. You can keep these bars at room temperature or refrigerate them. They will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge for 5 days.
- Can Gooey Bars be frozen? Yes. Let cool completely. Then transfer bars to a gallon size resealable bag in a single layer. Place a paper towel on top (inside the bag.) Seal and freeze. They will maintain best quality for up to a month. To defrost, let them sit on the counter to reach room temperature (don’t remove the paper towel, which absorbs the moisture as they thaw.)
More Easy Dessert Bars
- Millionaire Bars
- Praline Crunch Bars
- Gooey Butter Cake
- 7 Layer Bars
- Apple Pie Bars
- Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars
I hope you love this delicious and easy recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube!
Lemon Gooey Bars
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 15 ounce box lemon cake mix (just the cake mix)
- 1 large egg
- zest from one lemon
- 1/3 cup lemon curd
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper that has a slight overhang on 2 sides, then lightly spray with nonstick spray.
- With an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the cake mix, egg, and lemon zest until combined and a thick dough forms.
- Press 2/3 of the cake mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the lemon curd evenly on top of the dough, but not completely to the edges.
- Sprinkle the white chocolate chips over the lemon curd, then drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the chocolate (leave a little border bare, without sweetened condensed milk.)
- Break up the remaining dough into 1/2 to 1 inches pieces and sprinkle it over the top of the bars (leave some of the sweetened condensed milk exposed so you have a cobbled look once baked.) Press down on the dough pieces lightly to seal.
- Bake for about 29 to 32 minutes, until slightly browned. Cool completely, then make sure to chill for a few hours before cutting into bars.
Reader Questions and Reviews
A new household favourite!! Thanks for sharing!
Made 2x this week !! LOVE LOVE “LOVE” this !! I refrigerate overnight and easier to cut ( you may have mentioned this ?) thx you !
I made these for a dessert fundraiser and the person who bought them said she couldn’t keep other family members out of them. They are awesome.
Perfect lemony dessert. I made with gluten free yellow cake mix and added extra lemon to it.
Can you make these in an 8*8 in pan I really want to try but don’t have 9*9
Hi Merry – 8×8 is fine, but since there won’t be as much surface area, it might need to cook a bit longer. Enjoy!
Husband wanted something lemony and this delivered!
Soooo Absolutely delicious! Do you usually use all of the lemon curd in this recipe? It is yummy on its own but I think I will enjoy it with a crepe or two? Thanks for a lovely cake!
So delicious! How long will the lemon curd last in the fridge or can you freeze it??
Perfect just as written. Moist, gooey and delicious. Next time I’ll swirl in some raspberry preserves. Could be made with almond paste or cheesecake filling, Nutella, really anything. It’s an awesome recipe. Thank you so much for posting
Fantastic recipe! Absolutely delicious and easy to make. I think Bellyfull is one of the best recipe/cooking blogs around — all your recipes are great! Thanks.
Aaaah, thank you so much!
Ohhhh YUM, this recipe is da bomb! The FAM loved them. Thank you!
I loved this recipe .
Made this for company tonight. Easy to make, and tasted great. Will definitely make aga.
Easy and very good!
This calls for a 9×9 pan. My cake mix says a 9×13, a bunt pan or 2 9 inch round cake pans. 16 oz size. Is this too big . Can I double the other ingredients and put it in the larger pan or does it really fit the way it’s decided into the small pan,
Hi there JoAnn – You bake this recipe in a 9×9 pan. Don’t follow the directions on your package of cake mix. You’re just using the mix to combine with the other ingredients listed in the gooey bar recipe. And that batter ends up being the base. If you watch the video above the printable recipe card, it might help!
Thanks, I am going to try this baby then.
Oops… my apologies. I see your info about freezing them in the notes. Thank you.
I would also like to know if you can freeze these.
Hi Cindy – Yes! I included that information in the notes of the recipe card. Thanks!
What is lemon curd and where can i buy it?
Hi Jane – I make my own. The lemon curd in the list of ingredients is a link to the recipe. Or you can find it where the jams and jellies are, depending on the grocery store.
how do you make lemon curd
Can you freeze these?
Hi Angie – Yes! I included that information in the notes of the recipe card. Thanks!
Anyone here in England know what Lemon Cake Mix is please
Its a cake mix that you buy in the supermarket, that you make at home. You can get different flavoured ones.. chocolate, vanilla, lemon, etc…
Darn, I tend to fly by any recipe that requires purchasing a boxed cake mix. Any suggestions to make the base from scratch?
There’s no reason to substitute. It creates a bottom crust, its not cakey so you won’t get the rubbery cake consistency you would with an actual cake. Use the box.
The best recipes start with a mix … i was the same way, i snubbed recipes requiring boxes. But i was wrong. Theyre usually great
I also avoid box cake mixes. I tried it with 8oz each of flour and sugar and 3tsp baking powder. The dough looked a little softer than the video but the end result was tasty and cookie-like.
Yes. Click the link and it will take you to the recipe :)
First of all, I am crazy JEALOUS of your lemon bush. Just think of all the lemon curd you could make. Swoon.
Also, these have lemon curd so they must be ridiculously awesome as a general rule.
I am so jealous of your lemons!!!!! NOT FAIR. ;) Love these bars, obvi.
These sound awesome and I am LOVING the color of them!!
Thanks, Sues! No filter, either!
Those sound great! Love the bright lemon flavor :)
Thanks, June! Lemon anything, for me!
I just made your lemon curd, so it’s a perfect time to try these. What’s one more calorie-laden dessert over these holidays!
Exactly! Starting a diet before the new year is just setting yourself up for failure.