Lemon Gooey Bars

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You’re not surprised I made another gooey bar, are you? No? Good. Because this lemon version is my favorite gooey bar EVER. Lemon Gooey Bars – this EASY cake mix recipe uses lemon cake mix to form the bar that’s filled with a gooey white chocolate filling! EVERYONE loves these!

Lemon gooey bar stack on parchment paper with title

Hi, my name is Dorothy and I have a gooey bar addiction.

I have about 3,453 versions on this site. Chocolate, Funfetti, Peanut Butter, Pumpkin, and the list goes on. Okay, so not quite 3,453…but if you could see inside my head, you’d know I wasn’t exaggerating…much. (Check out all my gooey bar recipes here!)

They are my favorite bar for so many reasons:

1. They’re so easy to make. Cake mix, butter, egg, and sweetened condensed milk. DONE.

2. They’re infallible. Pretty much you can’t mess these up, I promise.

3. They taste amazing. Like cake…but gooey and bar-like.

4. There are so many different flavor combos it’s mind boggling.

Maybe I should change my name to Crazy for Gooey Bars.

Right now? I’m crazy for lemon gooey bars.

Lemon gooey bar stack on parchment paper with title

I first made these last June for my sister-in-law’s birthday. She looooooves lemon. I always make her some sort of lemon dessert for holidays and celebrations.

I broke the food blogger cardinal rule last June when I made them: I didn’t photograph them. It was a last minute bake and there was no time to cut and take pictures.

(There is only one hard and fast rule about gooey bars: they need to chill and set before you cut them. I KNOW. It’s hard, but if you want pretty bars, you gotta do it. Or, just attack the warm pan with a fork. Whatevs.)

I finally re-made them at Christmas. I made a lot of things at Christmas and when asked what her favorite was, my SIL said “THOSE LEMON BARS!”

I figured it was time to share!

Okay, so let’s rundown the gooey bar in case you’ve never made them.

  • Cake mix + egg + butter forms a thick dough. Don’t use the box directions. Just use the cake mix powder and follow my directions.
  • Press about 2/3 of the batter into a pan. You don’t have to use foil, but I highly recommend it for this recipe. Sweetened condensed milk is sticky. Spray it well with cooking spray.
  • Add whatever mix-ins you like. White chocolate + lemon is amazing, but coconut would also be fab in these.
  • You break up the remaining chunks of dough and place it on top of the bars. I like to break off about 1/2-1 tablespoon size pieces and drop them over the top, then lightly press with my hands. Some of the SCM will show through.

Once they’re baked, cool and chill to set, then cut into bars. These freeze well, as long as they are in a single layer. They’ll stick to each other and whatever you put in between the layers.

But if you have any left to freeze I kind of don’t understand you. How is that even possible? Are you related to my husband?

Pic collage of Lemon gooey bar stack on parchment paper with title

These are my favorite gooey bars yet. Lemon goodness, people!

If you love gooey bars, be sure to check out all my favorites here, especially my funfetti gooey bars and chocolate chip cookie gooey bars. Or check out key lime gooey bars, Strawberry Gooey Butter Cake Bars, or Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Toffee Gooey Bars.

Lemon Gooey Bars

These Lemon Gooey Bars are SO EASY and so so good. Start with a cake mix and fill them with super lemony flavor. They're gooey and sweet and perfect lemon bars! Lemon Gooey Bars - this EASY cake mix recipe uses lemon cake mix to form the bar that's filled with a gooey white chocolate filling! EVERYONE loves these!
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 16
Serving Size

Ingredients

  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter 1 stick, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x9 baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Mix butter with a mixer (hand or stand) until smooth. Mix in cake mix and egg; beat until combined. Note: if you use a hand mixer it will take a long time to come together. Just keep on mixing until you get a thick cookie dough.
  • Press 2/3 of the cake mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle white chocolate chips over the top and drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the chocolate. Break up the remaining dough and crumble it over the top of the bars. Press lightly to seal.
  • Bake for 28-33 minutes, until slightly browned. Cool completely before cutting.
  • Note: you can do this in a 9x13 pan by using the whole can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk and 2 cups of white chocolate chips, but the bars will be thinner. Baking time will also need to be adjusted.

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Click here to see the complete list of Lemon Recipes!

White Chocolate Lemon Bars

White Chocolate Lemon Bars on glass cake pedestal with title

Brownie Mud Hen Bars

Brownie Mud Hen Bars on a white plate with title

Funfetti Gooey Bars

funfetti gooey bars stack on parchment paper with title

Sweets from friends:
Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars by Pillsbury
Peppermint Patty Gooey Cake Bars by Inside BruCrew Life
Better than Anything Caramel Stuffed Brownies by Something Swanky
Lemon White Chocolate Gooey Bars by Life, Love, and Sugar

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128 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. I think I’m going to add chopped candied lemon peel to these Lemon Gooey bars & & add creme de coconut to the sweetened condensed milk before drizzling it over the candied lemon peels… Lemon & Coconut YUM!

  2. Hi Dorothy,
    Have you done anything with a Spice Cake Mix? If so, could you elaborate? If not, any fabulous suggestions from that gooey brain of yours? LOL
    Thanks,
    Tammy

    1. I haven’t but that’s such a great idea, it’s going on my list. You can totally use spice mix…might be good with apples in the middle, or caramel bits or Rolos!

  3. I just finished cutting and storing this delicious lemon bar when a local native bird flew into my kitchen, landed on the foil and started eating the leftover crumbs!!  This recipe has now been fully endorsed by the local Australian wildlife. I even have a photo to prove it. 

  4. I had these open on a tab on my iPad all week last week so I wouldn’t forget that I wanted to try them. Finally yesterday (Saturday) afternoon I found the time. They did not disappoint!  For me lemon and gooey go hand in hand an wow these are amazing. I had to cut them into tiny squares to make sure my kids didn’t gobble them all in one sitting :). Thanks so much, next we are trying slow cooker brownie pudding. 

  5. Hi Dorothy, what would you add to “lemon up” a golden cake mix? Specific measurements would be so helpful!  Thanks! 

    1. It depends on the recipe you’re making. I’ve found that lemon juice alone doesn’t really add lemon flavor to baked goods. It’s great for adding to frosting in place of (or in addition to) milk, but in baked goods your best bet is using lemon zest. For a cake, you could also add lemon extract and/or instant lemon pudding mix. For a regular cake mix making a regular cake, I’d add the zest of at least 2 lemons, 1-2 tablespoons of juice (you could use 1/4 cup juice and reduce the water/milk by that much). Then I’d also add either 1/2-1 teaspoon of lemon extract or one box (3.4 oz size) of instant lemon pudding mix.

  6. I have been meaning to comment for weeks; I made these bars for an Easter brunch and I cannot tell you all the compliments they received!  You have some new fans!  Great recipe Dorothy!

  7. These sound delicious! I’m going to make them for a bake sale on Friday. Did you use salted or unsalted butter? Do you think it makes a difference? Thank you!

    1. For these, you can use either interchangeably. I think I used salted, but I’ve made other gooey bars since with unsalted and no added salt, so either one works!