There are few things in this world that Zach does not like, but there is one thing that he absolutely can not stand and that is lemon. Unfortunately for me, I love lemon. Let’s just say we don’t have many “lemony” dishes in this household. I’ve been craving lemon lately though, so I decided to just go with it. Instead of creating something savory, I decided to go with a dessert; mostly because it will last a couple of days and I can savor. =) I went with a lemon bar, but made it fantastic and added just “a little” bit of butter. This recipe for Lemon Butter Bars was one of the best I’ve ever had, and I’m so happy to share it with you.
Now, I should start by telling you that this recipe is an adaptation from many, many other recipes for Lemon Butter Cake. Most recipes call for a spring form pan (most commonly used for cheesecakes). Unfortunately, we do not own one. Not because we don’t want to make cheesecake because we do! We just haven’t dived into that culinary journey yet =). Soon though, soon. In the end, I would suggest just sucking it up and buying one. They’re like $15 at Target. I used a 9x11in glass dish. This ended up working just fine, but it doesn’t look as pretty as if it were baked in a spring form pan. It ended up becoming a bar recipe instead of a cake recipe. Oh well, the results were just the same and it was fabulous.
Cream Cheese Cake Filling
Lemon Butter Bars!
- 12 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1 cup of flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup of butter (2 sticks), melted
- 3 eggs
- juice from two lemons
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract, split in two
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, split in two
- zest of two lemons, split in two
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the cream cheese at medium speed until it’s nice and creamy.
- Lower the speed, and add the confectioners sugar in 1/4 cup increments and mix together until soft and creamy.
- Increase the speed again to medium, and add 1 egg, 1/4 cup of melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and the zest and juice from one lemon. Mix until combined and then for 2-3 minutes after that, making sure the mixture is free of any lumps. Set aside, this will be added to the cake later.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Be sure the mixture is void of any lumps.
- Whisk in the 2 final eggs, the rest of the butter, vanilla extract, lemon extract, zest, and juice. Whisk until combined and rid of any lumps! We hate those lumps! Well sometimes we do, just not for most cake recipes =).
- In a very well oiled baking dish, lined with parchment paper if you’re feeling unlucky about any stickage, pour the cake batter. Spread around with spatula so the entire thing is covered. On top of the cake batter, pour the cream cheese mixture. Spread this around also, but do so very carefully, leaving a little bit of space at all edges.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool for about a half hour or so, then stick in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours. Top with confectioners sugar and serve!