Lemon custard bars

Lemon custard bars

A cake-like base topped with a custard that partially sinks into the base while baking, described as moreish lemon bars by one of my friends… I served these bars at relaxed poker evening with friends topped with a lemon cream cheese frosting. Although perfectly delicious on their own, the lemon cream cheese frosting makes them extra special.

The bars will keep for about 3 days in the fridge but bring to room temperature before serving. Note that the recipe uses half a tin of condensed milk, the remaining condensed milk can be kept in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or frozen for about 3 months.

Makes 12 slices| Requires chilling time |Baking time 25 minutes at 180 C

Utensils required: Electric whisk|Measuring cups & spoons & scale|20 cm square tin


1 cup (150 grams) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarb
110 grams unsalted butter
1/3 cup (73 grams) castor sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 large egg

Custard topping

170 grams unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
160 mls (200 grams) condensed milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 large egg
1/4 cup (37 grams) plain flour

  1. Grease and line a 20 cm square tin
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 C
  3. Make the base:
    1. Sift flour and bicarb – set aside
    2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
    3. Add lemon juice and egg and beat until combined
    4. Fold in flour and spoon evenly over base of prepared tin, smooth out the surface (the batter will be very sticky to work with)
  4. Make the custard topping:
    1. Beat butter and lemon zest until fluffy
    2. Add condensed milk and lemon juice and beat on low speed for about 20 seconds
    3. Then add the egg and beat on medium speed until combined
    4. Add flour and beat on low speed for no more than 30 seconds (the mixture may curdle slightly but it will still bake well)
  5. Spoon topping evenly over the base and bake for 25 minutes until firm around the edges with a slight wobble in the centre
  6. Cool in the tin and then transfer to the fridge for at least 5 hours before slicing
  7. Prepare the cream cheese frosting while you wait for the bars to settle
  8. Cut into 12 long bars – I usually divide in half and then cut each half into 6 bars
  9. Pipe or spoon lemon cream cheese frosting over if desired and serve at room temperature

Lemon cream cheese frosting

60 grams full fat cream cheese
30 grams unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons icing sugar
60 mls double cream

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth
  2. Add lemon juice and sifted icing sugar and beat until smooth
  3. Place in the fridge and before serving whip cream and fold into cream cheese icing