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Lemon Goldies

If you’re a fan of the classic, chocolate-rich brownie but crave something with a bit more lemony zing, then these Lemon Goldies are for you. They’re kind of like a cross between a lemon bar and a brownie, and they’re positively bursting with lemon flavor. Easy to make with a no-fuss batter, this lemon dessert recipe is a must-try for any lemon fans!

Lemon Goldies on a black platter.

I have been making Lemon Goldies for decades and used to sell them to customers from my restaurant/deli. The texture is perfect – they’re dense and moist and perfectly lemony. They’re also easy to make and bake up quickly in a 9×13-inch baking pan. 

The secret to the lemon flavor is lemon oil in the batter and lemon juice in the glaze, plus some lemon zest. If you’re unfamiliar with lemon oil, scroll down a bit to see the difference between lemon extract and lemon oil. In a nutshell, the flavored oils hold their flavor much better.

Perfect on rainy days when you need a cheery treat, for Easter, or anytime you’re in the mood for a lemony dessert, these Lemon Goldies are a vintage recipe that’s as good today as it ever was!

Lemon Goldies on a white platter.

What You’ll Love About Lemon Goldies


  • They have a bright, lemony flavor that’s perfectly delicious.
  • With a brownie-like texture, they’re moist, dense, buttery, and utterly indulgent.
  • Lemon Goldies freeze like a dream, so you can bake them, freeze them, and enjoy them for weeks.

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar – Granulated white sugar.
  • Salt – I cook with kosher salt.
  • Butter – I cook with salted butter.
  • Eggs
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon extract – Or lemon oil.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Lemon juice

What’s the difference between lemon extract and lemon oil

Lemon extract is a more widely available option made from lemon peel oil, alcohol, and water. It provides a bright lemon flavor without the tartness. Lemon oil, on the other hand, is more concentrated, derived directly from the lemon peel, and offers a more intense and pure lemon essence. Either can be used in this recipe, but because oils don’t evaporate during cooking like an alcohol-based extract, the flavor will be much more pronounced. And you don’t need to use much!

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How to Make Lemon Goldies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish by lightly spraying with non-stick cooking spray. I also line it with parchment paper for easy removal. Set the pan aside.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl; set aside.
  3. Add the butter, eggs, lemon extract or oil, and zest to another bowl and use a stand or hand mixer to combine until well mixed.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture and mix well, scraping down the sides as needed.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown and set in the middle.
  6. Remove from the oven and, while still warm, pierce the top of the cake with a fork all over.
  7. Make the glaze by combining powdered sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl. Mix until blended and pour over the warm cake. Let cool.
  8. When cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

Chef Jenn’s Recipe Notes

  • Don’t overmix the batter. These goldies come together easily and don’t need a lot of mixing.
  • Zest your lemon before juicing it – it is easier to zest when it hasn’t already been juiced.
  • To get perfectly cut Lemon Goldies, partially freeze the goldies in the pan before cutting.
  • For a prettier presentation, cut the edges off before serving. Save the edges for someone special; they’re the best part!

Recommended

Serving Suggestions

Lemon Goldies are the perfect ending to any meal. Pair them with a cup of tea for an afternoon treat or alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a decadent dessert. For a refreshing summer dinner, serve these after a light, Mediterranean-inspired meal to keep the flavors bright and complementary. They are also a great pick for high tea!

High tea finger sandwiches.

Storage

To keep Lemon Goldies fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, refrigerate them for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.

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Lemon Goldies on a black platter.

Lemon Goldies

Chef Jenn
Infused with lemon and with a lemony glaze, Lemon Goldies are like a cross between brownies and lemon bars. They're moist, lemony, delicious, and easy to make!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 goldies
Calories 384 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted butter 2 sticks
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil or 2 teaspoons lemon extract

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish by lightly spraying with non-stick cooking spray. I also line it with parchment paper for easy removal. Set the pan aside.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl; set aside.
  • Add the butter, eggs, lemon oil or extract and zest to another bowl and use a stand or hand mixer to combine until well mixed.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture and mix well, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown and set in the middle.
  • Remove from the oven and, while still warm, pierce the top of the cake with a fork all over.
  • Make the glaze by combining powdered sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl. Mix until blended and pour over the warm cake. Let cool.
  • When cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Recipe Notes
  • Don’t overmix the batter. These goldies come together easily and don’t need a lot of mixing.
  • Zest your lemon before juicing it – it is easier to zest when it hasn’t already been juiced.
  • To get perfectly cut Lemon Goldies, partially freeze the goldies in the pan before cutting.
  • For a prettier presentation, cut the edges off before serving. Save the edges for someone special; they’re the best part!

Nutrition

Serving: 1squareCalories: 384kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 243mgPotassium: 49mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 563IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
Keyword lemon, lemon bars, lemon goldies
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