Mostly sweet but a little tart, these Lemon Brownies are bursting with real lemon flavor!
They’re certainly different from my traditional brownie recipe that you might be used to, but they’re every bit as chewy, rich, and moist as the classic chocolate version! I love topping mine off with a simple lemon glaze!
Confession: Summertime is my least favorite time of the year for baking. Like, by far. When it’s nearly 90 degrees outside and humidity is through the roof, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven.
Unless I’m making something refreshing and bright and maybe a little tart. Today’s lemon brownie recipe is exactly that, and maybe you’ve noticed there have been a few lemony recipes around here recently (like my lemonade and lemon curd), for exactly that reason. You can expect a few more coming down the pipe as well, stay tuned for my lemon cupcakes!
While these lemon brownies do require you to turn on the oven, other than that the process is very simple and very summertime friendly. No electric mixer required (we’re melting our butter so everything can be mixed up by hand), no waiting for dough to chill, no scooping, none of that. Just mix everything together, pour it into a pan, and done.
And, when you’re finished, your house is going to smell like fresh lemons 🍋💜
Ingredients for Lemon Brownies
We’re keeping things simple today with just a handful of pantry staples:
- Butter! You’ll need two sticks (or 1 cup, or 226 grams) of unsalted butter. You’ll want to melt this and let it cool a bit before mixing everything together.
- Sugar, just granulated (no brown sugar today) to let the lemon flavor fully shine through. I found that when I added brown sugar it really bullied the lemon flavor into submission.
- Eggs, one whole egg then one yolk only
- Lemon juice and lemon extract. More below on why I opted to use lemon extract instead of just natural lemon flavors.
- Vanilla extract, just a bit for depth of flavor.
- Cornstarch (to make these lemon brownies soft and chewy!)
- Baking soda
- As with my chocolate chip cookies, we’re making today’s recipe with melted butter. The good news: No electric mixer required. The not-so-good: you need a little patience, the butter will need to cool for 10-15 minutes before you add your sugar so the sugar doesn’t melt.
- Always zest your lemons before juicing them! Much easier this way rather than trying to zest the skin from a hollow rind (and you’re much less likely to grate your knuckles that way… ask me how I know…)
- This recipe uses fresh lemon zest and juice as well as lemon extract. I tried (multiple times) to make these lemon brownies without extract, but found the flavor just wasn’t as bold as I wanted it to be. You can leave the extract out, but the lemon taste of the “brownies” will be a bit more subtle (you will get a lot of tart lemon flavor from the glaze, though!).
All things considered, today’s recipe is actually a very simple one, but these tips should help you along the way!
More Recipes You Might Like:
- Lemon Cream Pie
- The Best Blondie Recipe
- Cosmic Brownies
- White Chocolate Brownies
- Key Lime Pie Cookies
- Check out more Bars & Brownie Recipes
Be sure to check out my Lemon Brownie video at the bottom of the recipe! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 150 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature (226g)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest avoid the pith
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (310g)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup powdered sugar (95g)
- 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and grease and flour a 9x9 baking pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Stir well.
- Add egg and egg yolk, lemon juice, lemon extract, and vanilla extract. Stir again until well-combined.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir dry ingredients into wet until completely combined. Pour into prepared 9x9 pan and transfer to 350F (175C) oven. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely before covering with glaze.
- Once lemon brownies have cooled, prepare glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and lemon zest until well-combined. If mixture is too stiff, add remaining lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached (when you lift a spoon or whisk out of the mixture, the glaze that drizzles off the spoon and falls back into the bowl should hold its ribbon shape for a few seconds before fading back into the rest of the glaze).
- Pour glaze over lemon brownies, use a spatula to smooth evenly over the surface.
- Allow glaze to harden (about 15-30 minutes) before slicing and serving lemon brownies.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
These are amazing and unique. The recipe is a definite keeper. I made some for the county fair. Can you suggest the best way to freeze them for 48 hours? Thanks!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Caroline! They should do fine to be wrapped well in plastic and foil before placing in an airtight container. So glad you like the recipe 😊
These look lovely! I am looking for something “lemon-y” to send to my Grandma (she is 92 and no longer bakes – but she taught me how to bake my first cookie when I was young). :0). Do you think these will ship well? I wonder if the glaze sets up firm enough or if it will liquify if I wrap them in plastic??… Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! I can’t wait to send my grandma some sweets. I have LOVED every recipe of yours I have tried.
Hi Jenn! You shouldn’t have any issues shipping these. They should hold up nicely. 🙂
Thank you so much!! I can’t wait to make them – I am sure Grandma will love them!!!
Best lemon brownies ever! Thank you for sharing this easy wonderful recipe!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so glad you like them, Lisa! Thanks for coming back to leave a review 🙂
Hi, Can I use lemon juice instead because I don’t have lemon extract??
Hi Brooke! You won’t get the same flavor from lemon juice as you would from lemon extract. 🙁
Delicious, super easy, and perfect texture! Next time I will serve warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Sounds divine, Erin! We’re so happy you enjoyed the brownies 😊
I just made these and can’t wait to try them! I’m nervous I messed up though.. should the batter be runny like regular brownies or thick like a cookie dough?! Mine is thick…
I actually have a picture of the batter and you can see it in the video as well. It’s a thicker batter but not too thick to spread. 🙂
Hi Sam They were wonderful.
My wife asked me to make your lemon crumb bars, lemon pound cake, and these lemon brownies for an upcoming meeting she is hosting for about 40-50 women. Tough crowd, but thanks to S.S R . I will remain a legend in this part of Texas.
That’s so great to hear! I’m so glad you enjoyed everything so much! 🙂
Fantastic! I replaced more zest for the lemon extract and it came out super lemony. So refreshing and elegant.
I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much, Madeline! 🙂