If you’ve been looking for a perfect Lemon Squares or Lemon Bars recipe, look no further! I’ve found these Orange Lemon Squares to be the perfect balance of tangy, citrusy, creamy and sweet. Every bite is pure lush! I’ve spiked them with some cranberries for a more festive look, but you can totally skip or swap that for another type of berry. This is a really easy one, just mix and bake 🙂
Happy Christmas Eve!! I can’t stop thinking of food, family and fun! But to be honest, probably what I should be thinking about right now is finishing my packing before I leave to Florida for the Holidays! I’ve been in and out of the flu for the last couple of weeks, which doesn’t help. The laundry piled up, kids got sick from me, work has been a
mess, and I’m barely catching up. On the bright side, I miss Miami so much!! I can not wait to be there! I miss my happy sunny days, especially on a cold grey snowy day- like today! Even more, I miss being on vacation with my family.
In the middle of all that, I found myself making some orange lemon squares. Like what?. That was my husband’s reaction too lol. I think I needed a refreshing treat. Something that’s zesty and feels like Miami already 🙂 I’ll also admit that I had some cranberries in the fridge which needed to be used before my trip. Last week I made a huge batch of sugar frosted cranberries (I also spike those with some orange—recipe on this post: Frosted Cranberries with Boursin Cheese Crostini).
If you’ve made a few lemon bars or lemon squares before, I want to tell you that likewise, I’ve made so many of them!! They were all awesome. What’s not to love about a soft lemony creamy layer over crispy buttery crust? To me, I sometimes felt the lemon was too lemony. And to fix that, I would end up with lemon squares that are perfectly lemony, but too sugary for my taste. I think it’s that balance that I never found. Finally, I added some orange to the lemon. It was MAGIC!
But wait before you run away, these don’t taste entirely like orange! They have an orange taste and yet they still taste very much like lemon squares. The trick is adding only lemon zest (plenty of it) while splitting the juice between orange and lemon juices. No matter how many lemon squares you’ve made, please pretty please try this one too 🙂 Now the cranberries. I almost wasn’t going to add them in because I was afraid they taste would be off.
It wasn’t! They’re perfectly tangy too and go well with the lemon squares. In fact, I feel I love the extra bite/texture the cranberries added to the velvety smooth lemon squares. So I won’t be skipping them next time, even if it’s not cranberry season, and even if I didn’t have extra in my fridge to use before traveling lol. You can totally go with any other berries, however I should mention that if you’re looking for a berry and citrus bar, these Berry Citrus Poppy Seed Bars are such a HIT!
They’re not a version of these lemon squares, they’e something on their own. They’re more creamy , they don’t have a lemon curd like filling, and they’re loaded with a good amount of berries! They’re more of a berry bar with a citrus note 🙂
Ok I just looked at my laundry and I seriously need to run! Recipe below—Make these festive, fresh, perfect balanced sweet and tangy lemon squares and ENJOY!!!
Happy Holidays!! Wishing you all Love, Health and Endless Blessings 🙂
Orange Lemon Squares with Cranberries
- 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 stick of room temperature butter unsalted
- 3 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 eggs
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup of orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter room temperature cut up in slices
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup of fresh cranberries
Optional: Confectioner’s sugar for dusting.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.
- Make the crust by mixing all ingredients except the butter in a large bowl. Add the butter and use a fork to whisk it in the flour mixture. It will clump and be a mess, but just keep mixing it until the butter has blended in and the mixture looks like crumbs.
- Pour the crust crumbs to the bottom of the lined pan and press it down using your hands evenly to form a crust.
- Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes until it hardens slightly.
- In the meantime, in the same large bowl, whisk the filling ingredients. Start whisking the flour, sugar and eggs. Then add in the remaining ingredients while whisking them well. Pour the filling mixture over the baked crust and return the pan t the oven.
- bake the squares for 25 minutes until it sets and puff slightly. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes.
- Cut the squares into about 2 inch size, dust with confectioner’s sugar ad serve! Or chill the lemon squares for up to 5 days int he fridge. Enjoy 🙂