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Small Batch Lemon Bars Recipe with Graham Cracker Crust

Easy small batch lemon bars with graham cracker crust are topped with blackberry jam or fresh blackberries or raspberries.  Another one of those yummy easy desserts that go great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and baked lemon bars are equally as well with a chilled glass of Chardonnay. 

For other small-batch bars and cakes, you might enjoy a brownie recipe for one, an individual brownie cake, or a small-batch homemade apple cake.

Cut lemon bars on parchment paper with half lemon in foreground.

This small batch recipe for lemon bars is ready in under 30 minutes and light enough to serve after a meal or as a midday treat. The lemon bars are also great with fresh raspberries! The lemon and graham cracker combination is a classic flavor pairing.

Ingredients Notes

graham cracker sheets, lemon curd, butter, cinnamon and blackberry jamin clear bowls on marble surface.
  • Lemon curd – you can keep it extra simple and purchase an already-made lemon curd filling, I like the one from Bonne Maman, or make your own. My small batch lemon curd recipe is quick and easy and is a tart lemon filling.
  • Lemons: One large lemon will give you about 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice. You can also use lemon zest to increase the lemon flavor.
  • Blackberry jam – Again I’m partial to Bonne Maman jams, but use your own favorite. Also very yummy with raspberry jam.
  • Graham crackers – Use the plain graham crackers, I found the frosted crackers are too sweet for my taste. You can also make a buttery shortbread crust using this french shortbread cookie recipe.
  • Butter – Salted butter for the graham cracker crust
  • Cinnamon and Sugar are added to the crust for extra flavor.

Recipe Directions

Small white baking dish lined with parchment baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper so the long sides overhang just a bit so you can easily lift the lemon bars out of the baking pan.

Bowl of graham cracker crumbs.

Crush the graham cracker crust into fine crumbs. Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, and butter then mix until well moistened. Ann easy way to crush the graham crackers is to use the Ziploc bag and rolling pin method.

Small white baking dish with graham cracker crust.

Press the graham crackers into the prepared pan and reserve a small amount to sprinkle on top.

Small white baking dish filled with lemon curd and blackberry jam sprinkled with crumbled graham crackers.

Spoon the lemon curd on top of the graham cracker crust. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on top of the lemon layer. Sprinkle crushed graham cracker crumbs on top and bake for 16-18 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into small lemon bars.

Overhead view of blackberry lemon bars with crumbly graham cracker crust.

Use a 1/8 baking sheet pan or a small 5-inch baking dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my lemon bars not setting?

Usually, it’s because they need to cook longer. If the sides start to brown faster, then lightly cover them with aluminum foil to reduce the browning.

Can you freeze lemon bars?

Yes, but since these have a graham cracker crust, you need to be careful when wrapping and freezing them, so the crust doesn’t fall apart. A shortbread cookie crust works well for freezing. The bars can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Recipe Notes

No need to use a food processor to crush your graham crackers, I use my Mom’s technique.  Break up the graham crackers into a large Ziploc bag and zip it shut.  Use a rolling pin to roll over the bag and pulverize those graham crackers, turning the bag over a few times to get all the pieces crushed fine.  I have a mini food processor, but I like to go old school when I make graham cracker crust.

I  made a batch of lemon curd to make a  lemon meringue pie but changed my mind when I saw I had graham crackers in the pantry and an almost empty jar of blackberry jam, so I decided to incorporate that as well. Graham cracker crust is simple and ALWAYS comes out just right.    The outcome is a tasty creamy lemon bar with a graham cracker crust swirled with jam. 

More Small batch Desserts to Share, Maybe!

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Cut lemon bars on parchment paper with half lemon in foreground.

Lemon Bars with Graham Cracker Crust

An incredible easy lemon bar dessert to make on a whim. All you need are some graham crackers, lemon curd, jam, butter a little cinnamon and sugar.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 bars
Calories: 437kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 cup lemon curd
  • ¼ blackberry or raspberry jam

Crust

  • 9 sheets graham crackers crushed fine
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper so the long sides overhang just a bit.
  • Crush the graham cracker crust into fine crumbs. Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, and butter then mix until well moistened. An easy way to crush the graham crackers is to use the Ziploc bag and rolling pin method.
  • Press the graham crackers into the prepared pan and reserve a small amount to sprinkle on top.
  • Spoon the lemon curd on top of the graham cracker crust. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on top of the lemon layer.
  • Sprinkle crushed graham cracker crumbs on top and bake for 16-18 minutes.
  • Let cool for about 15 minutes then lift out of the pan and slice into small lemon squares and serve with a scoop of ice cream.

Notes

  • Substitute fresh berries for the jam.
  • Recipe can be doubled.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 332mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g
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