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Basil makes classic lemon bars taste even better

Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...

You'll never make lemon bars without basil again after one bite of this herb-infused dessert

One of the best ways to use lemons is by making lemon bars. They are so delightful — exciting your taste buds with the tangy sweetness that only freshly squeezed lemons and sugar can provide.

This summer we have an abundance of beautiful basil plants, and I had to grab some fresh leaves and include them in this season's lemon bar recipe. You don't want the flavor of the basil to overpower the lemon but just the presence of the basil gives them a delicious herbal hint. You'll love this new addition to classic lemon bars.

You'll never make lemon bars without basil again after one bite of this herb-infused dessert

Lemon basil bars recipe

Enjoy these classic tangy and sweet lemon bars with a delicious hint of basil.

Yields 1 (9 x 9-inch) pan

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 50 minutes | Total time: 1 hour


  • 1-1/2 cups flour, divided
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons basil, finely chopped (plus more whole leaves for garnishing)
  • 4 eggs
  • Confectioners' sugar (for dusting on top)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line the baking pan with parchment paper that hangs over the sides.
  3. To make the crust, in a food processor or blender, mix together 1-1/4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Then, add the butter and lemon zest. Pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the baking pan and press it down with your hands. Bake for about 20 minutes in the middle rack until the crust becomes golden and firm.
  5. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Add the eggs, lemon juice and finely chopped basil then whisk until smooth.
  6. Pour the mixture on the cooked crust and bake again for another 25-30 minutes or until it sets. As it cools down, it will set more. Let it cool to room temperature.
  7. Dust with the confectioners' sugar and then slice into squares. Place a basil leaf on each square, if using.

More lemon desserts

Lemon meringue pie ice cream that's so easy you don't even need a machine
No-bake Meyer lemon tarts are a vegan's dream dessert
No-bake lemon-blueberry cheesecakes are perfectly portioned treats

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