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These Lavender Lemon Bars are a sweet twist on traditional lemon bars! Homemade lavender sugar is used in the crust and filling to add a light lavender flavor. They’re tangy, sweet, and refreshing!
I’m a simple girl with simple needs. I like my slippers fuzzy, and my gossip magazines trashy. I like my water cold and my chocolate hot, unless we’re talking about showers and ice cream, in which case, you should reverse that. And often, I like my desserts with a whiff of the flower garden about them. That’s right, I’m here to shove floral flavors into your lemon bars, and I’m not sorry about it.
I know that not everyone will be automatically excited about adding lavender to such a classic, timeless recipe. Why mess with perfection? But if you’ll give me a moment to persuade you, I think I can convince you to give it a try.
How Do I Make Lavender Lemon Bars?
In this Lavender Lemon Bars recipe, lavender sugar is used in both the shortbread crust and the lemon filling, to give the tangy bars a very light floral flavor. “Lavender sugar” may sound fancy, but it’s literally something you whiz up in the food processor right before you make the lemon bars. It’s made with dried lavender and granulated sugar, for a total cost of 50 cents and a time commitment of 20 seconds (those are estimates but you get the idea.)
Lavender sugar is such a lovely ingredient. It’s very aromatic, with a woodsy, vanilla fragrance and a mildly herbal taste. I made some for Christmas gifts a few years ago, packaged in purple jars. (Pinterest wannabe, party of one.) It’s a great pantry item because it keeps for ages and is a wonderful addition to hot drinks, lemonade, or cookie recipes. So while this recipe calls for just the amount of lavender sugar you’ll need, you can always make more and keep it in your cupboard to add to coffee, cakes, or anything else that could use some flower flava!
Make sure that you’re using dried lavender intended for culinary use. It can often be found near the spices in the baking aisle of large supermarkets. I’ve had good luck finding cheap lavender at Cost Plus World Market, if you have one of those nearby. Or, of course, dried culinary lavender is also available online.
After you’ve made your lavender sugar, this recipe comes together like any other lemon bar. A simple shortbread crust, and an easy filling of eggs, lemon juice, sugar, and a bit of flour to hold everything together.
The cookies are noticeably different from your typical lemon bar, but I suspect most people probably wouldn’t be able to guess that lavender is the secret ingredient. If anything, I thought that they had a strong vanilla taste, even though there was just a bit of vanilla in the crust and none in the filling! The lavender gives them a light, fresh quality that perfectly matches the bright lemon flavor.
They’re a good way to say hello to spring, but since dried lavender is available all year long, don’t let that stop you from enjoying these any time!
🍋 More Lemon Desserts
- Lemon Meringue Teacup Cakes
- Raspberry Lemon Meringue Trifle
- Lemon Mousse Cakes
- Lemon Blackberry Trifle
- Lemon Tea Cake
- Lemon Madeleines
🌺More Lavender Desserts
- Lavender Latte
- Lavender Simple Syrup
- Earl Grey Lavender Cupcakes
- Lavender Hot Chocolate
- Lavender Rose Ice Cream
- Chocolate-Lavender Pie
Lavender Lemon Bars
For the Lavender Sugar:
- 22.75 oz granulated sugar, (3 1/4 cups)
- 2 TBSP culinary dried lavender
For the Crust:
- 8 oz unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 3.5 oz lavender sugar, (1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 9 oz all-purpose flour, (2 cups)
For the Filling:
- 8 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
- 19.25 oz lavender sugar, (2 3/4 cups)
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2.25 oz all-purpose flour, (1/2 cup)
- Powdered sugar, for serving
To Make the Lavender Sugar:
- Place the dried lavender in the bowl of a food processor and blend it for 10-15 seconds to chop it into small pieces. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar to the processor and blend well, for 15-20 seconds, until the lavender is finely ground and mixed into the sugar. Add the remaining sugar to the processor and pulse briefly until it’s well-mixed.
To Make the Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13 pan with foil so that it extends up the sides, and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a bowl, whisk together the melted butter, lavender sugar, vanilla, and salt. Once mixed, add the flour and stir with a spatula until it is combined and no streaks of flour remain. Scrape the dough into the pan and press it into an even layer. It might seem a little greasy—this is normal.
- Bake the crust for 25-30 minutes at 350 F, until it’s golden brown on top. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling so it’s ready to go as soon as the crust is done.
To Make the Filling:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon juice, lavender sugar, and lemon zest. Sift the flour on top of the egg mixture, and whisk it in as well.
- When the crust is done baking, slide the rack part-way out of the oven. Pour the filling over the hot crust and slide it back into the oven. Reduce the temperature to 325 F and bake for 25-30 minutes. It’s done when the center barely jiggles when you tap the pan.
- Once done, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool until it reaches room temperature. For the cleanest cuts, refrigerate the bars and cut them when completely cold. To cut, remove the bars from the pan using the foil as handles. Use a large sharp chef’s knife and wipe it off often between cuts.
- Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar before serving, and add a few lavender buds on top if desired. Store Lavender Lemon Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
Were you popping in to visit my brain this weekend? Because I definitely bought lavender and plan to do fun stuff. I mean, I love it, but really haven’t cooked with it much–I think it’s because I tried to grow it on my windowsill once and it just didn’t yield much. So. <–cool story about how I'm gonna be all up in lavender's face on the blog this summer!
Also, these are just downright lovely. Want!
Yep, just made a quick pit stop in your brain before making my weekly recipes–that’s how we brain twins operate, you know! Cannot WAIT to see what you come up with this summer! We are going to lavender all the things up!
Wow, those look great! I love flowery desserts too, I’ll have to try this variation sometime! 🙂
Thank you! I’m going to have to resist the urge to flower-ify all my desserts from now on! 🙂
Just lovely. I agree florals belong in desserts.
These are so pretty! I love the lavender!!
Thanks Chloe! I <3 lavender too.
Elizabeth! They look so sunny and cute!
Thanks Medeja! Happy summer to us all!
Love lemon bars and lavender. I would have never thought of putting them together but I can’t wait to try it!
Thanks Rebecca! I don’t think this is the last lavender + lemon combo that will end up on this blog!
lavender is such a lovely variation to lemon bars!
I can’t wait to try this! I too LOVE, baking with Lavender. I discovered this from Cooking Light. They have a great Biscotti recipe that uses lavender. “Biscotti with Lavender and Orange” I used the flower buds instead of the leaves the recipe calls for and I was so surprised at the delicate flavor. It’s amazing. And now I have a recipe that uses lavender in one of my most favorite bars ever!
That biscotti sounds amazing! Thanks for the recommendation. I think lavender + orange sounds delicious and I will definitely hunt down that recipe so I can give them a try. I’d love to hear what you think if you try the lemon bars–plus it will give you an excuse to make lavender sugar and I’m sure you’ll find a million uses for that!
What a luscious flavor combination! I need some lemon bars in my life ASAP 🙂
Thanks Liz! I support everyone having lemon bars in their lives ASAP. 🙂
I adore lemon bars, and the addition of lavender makes this version more delicate and quaint than ever! These would be so perfect for a bridal shower, don’t you think?
I totally agree, these would be awesome at a bridal shower! Thanks!
I love floral flavors in food (sweet and savory). Lavender with lemon is a delicious combination and these bars are beautiful! A little lavender goes a long way. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that when I first purchased culinary lavender online. Turns out I have enough for a small army. I need as many lavender recipes as I can find!
Haha, you’re so right! It’s a shame they sell it in half-pound bags when most recipes require a spoonful or two. You’re going to be enjoying lavender desserts for a long, long time! Fortunately that’s not a bad thing. 🙂
Gorgeous pictures! I love lavender but unfortunately never have good luck growing it. The combination of lemon and lavender is just perfect!
Thanks Ashley! I don’t have a green thumb so I have to content myself with buying it…at least that way I can enjoy it whenever!
This is so awesome that you incorporated lavender into these bars!! I want!!
Haha, thanks Ashley!
These just make me want to take a bite.. I swear if I could just grab one through the screen I´d be a very happy lady 🙂 🙂 They look so good!!
Thank you Johlene! I would be thrilled if that technology really existed. 🙂
If you love floral desserts so much, have you ever tried those violet candies they sell in drugstores? They smell amazing. I still haven’t tried incorporating lavender in a recipe but I love the scent so I’m sure I’d adore it…especially in lemon bars!!!
Hi Amy, are you talking about the hard candies? I’ve had those and I really like them! If you like the scent I’d bet you’d like the taste as well…definitely give it a try sometime!
Please tell me more about this candy…I’m not sure I know this one and it sounds great.
Do they sell it in bags or individually as bars etc?
Hi Suzanne! I was talking about Choward’s Violet candies, like these:
They’re sort of violet mints (but not minty flavored). Really subtle and good. It looks like Amazon only has them in bulk but I’ve seen them at retro/nostalgia candy stores sold individually. I also saw a few other violet candy options online (that I haven’t tried personally) that you might be interested in!
Hey girl, I always love stopping by here… your bright photos and header always puts me in a good mood! These lemon bars make me absolutely happy!
Aw, thanks Pamela! So glad that my happy place can be your happy place too!
Why does lavender flavored anything make me think of breezy white farmhouses, weeping willows, and retired nuns? All are peaceful – so maybe that’s why? If these things bring peace, I’m going to make them by the truck-load, because, after all, it IS summer break as of today, and we are off to a wham-bang start with the kids butting heads ALREADY. Do these invoke peace? DO THEY? If yes, I’m headed to the kitchen immediately, lavender in hand.
I know!! I always feel like I’m living in a beautiful beach catalog or something. 🙂 I don’t know if these invoke peace, but maybe you can lock the kitchen door while you’re making them, crank the music up, and pretend like you’re home alone! That’s the second-best thing, right?
Just wanted to let you know that I made these for a dinner party last night. Not only were they delicious, I had several people ask me for the recipe. These are GREAT! Definitely going to make them again. Thank you so much!
Hi Rachel, thanks so much for the comment! I’m glad to know that you and your guests enjoyed them!
The ultimate domestic project: Combining baking and gardening. 🙂 I am so excited to try these, or possibly make them for my dad since 1). They’re his favorite, and 2). I’m heading back home this weekend for a while. So thanks for the inspiration! These are so dang pretty, too.
Yes! When will I get my domestic merit badge and start a garden? I am the laziest when it comes to that. 🙂 Aw, I hope you’re able to make them for your dad, that would be so sweet! (groan-worthy pun intended.) I also think vanilla beans or a bit of rosemary would be awesome substitutes for the lavender. Thanks Meggan!
Just brought these to a food swap potluck and they were just lovely! I don’t usually love floral flavors but it was just the perfect amount of lavender to make them interesting- very summery and fun. I did try to pile them up on a cute platter and walk half a block which as they all began to ooze together and fall on my sidewalk and myself, I decided they are much too soft to stack! Luckily after a pile of wet wipes and a glass of wine, I recovered from this mistake. And there were still enough to share. Thanks for another delightful recipe Elizabeth!
So glad to hear you enjoyed them, Heather! I do think the final texture depends a lot on the bake time. It’s a tricky balance to get them firm enough to cut and serve at room temp, but not rubbery or hard…I’m glad they worked out, though! Thanks as always for your sweet comments. xoxo
These look divine! Will these work in an 8x8in pan if I reduce the ingredient measurements by half?
Hi Leigha, You can definitely cut it in half and use an 8×8 pan! The baking times for the crust and filling might need to be adjusted, so just keep an eye on it in the oven, but otherwise you should be good to go!
Do you think I could substitute oil in place of butter? Or, is the butter really necessary~~
I haven’t tried it with oil, so I can’t say for sure. My guess is that it would work okay. Coconut oil might be a nice substitute!
Thank-you!! Coconut oil was exactly what I was thinking….. these look fabulous. I am so happy to have stumbled upon your site!
Made these amazing bars, SPEECHLESS! Thank you, thank you, no need to store these babies. My family’s smiling faces devoured them all in less time than it took to make a single batch; their already requesting double batches in the future. Wow!
Dee, I’m so thrilled that you loved the bars! Thanks for letting me know, and please enjoy a double batch for me. 😉
Tried these – what a disaster — think there is an error in your receipt in respect of the filling – how do you bake the filling and pour the filling over the crust?? it just doesn’t make sense
Hi Daisy, There was a typo. The recipe should say, “When the *crust* is done baking, slide the rack part-way out of the oven. Pour the filling over the hot crust and slide it back into the oven…” I’m so sorry if that was confusing. I hope that the usage of “hot crust” in the next sentence made it a bit clearer, at least. I’ve edited it now.
If I make a full batch of dough but only use half in a smaller pan can I freeze the other half?
Totally! It freezes great!
You most certainly can!
Lavender is certainly complimentary with lemon as an ingredient, so I can see how it’s a great idea to put the lavender into lemon bars (which are already so delicious to begin with). Thanks very much for mentioning it. I will post this very interesting recipe tomorrow on my Reddit Web page tomorrow at:
Thanks Bernard, I appreciate it!
Hi Elizabeth! I plan to make these for a party this weekend – I LOVE lavender! Right now I only have about 1 T of lavender, hesitating to buy more because, as you know, they come in huge amounts. It’s taken me about 3 years to get down to what I have now! What do you think about adding a dot of lavender oil?
I have had a recipe of these for a couple years now and they are the best when made with coconut oil in the crust adds a delicious coconut flavor to the lemon bars. 🙂
Hey Sav, That sounds delicious! Thanks so much for your feedback!
Hi there, can these be frozen? I’d like to make several batches for a bridal shower. Thank you and blessings !
Hey Kelly, yes I do find that the tops can get sticky when defrosting after being frozen. It isn’t my preferred way but it works. I would suggest if you are going to freeze them to pat the tops down once they have fully defrosted. I would love to hear how it goes and see pictures! Thanks!
Delicious. Had to bake about 6 minutes longer than called for because the filling was loose but other than that it was easy. Love these. Thanks for the recipe.
Hey Kim, I am thrilled to hear it worked out for you! Thank you so much for your feedback, that is good to know. I love hearing when a recipe is enjoyed, thanks again!
Elizabeth!! I love your website and your recipes. Can you make something that is “fatty liver” friendly? It really sucks to have this terrible disease and I had to make major adjustments to avoid stage 4 liver cancer. I love my sweets and I do miss baking for myself and not for other people. Please do a huge favor and HELP. Thank you
Love the idea, lavender is amazing. I actually tried this recipe and the result was delicious! Why does it need that much sugar though?! I used quite a bit less and it still was way too sweet!
First time I made this recipe, and it was delicious ! Definitely will be making these again ! I love love love the lavender and how it’s not overpowering .
These were amazing! I went lavender picking out on our farm and came home with bunches and bunches of it! I went searching for a tasty lavender recipe and was so excited when i saw this. My old lady eyes deceived me and I accidentally forgot to blend the lavender sugar and added a bit to much butter but It ended up being delicious anyways. Just a little greasy but a little butter never hurt nobody. My daughters and their grand-babies gobbled up the whole pan in minutes, and I barely got a taste! They were gorgeous as well! The little lavenders were gorgeous. My only problem was the ratio of filling to crust was pretty uneven. Did I not make enough custard? Maybe I’m just getting old. 82 comes faster than you would think! Anyways dearie, these were wonderful and I will definitely make them again soon.
This looks so good! What a perfect combination of spring flavors?
Thanks for sharing! DO they freeze well?
Hi! I have some fresh edible lavender. Was hoping if that would work with this recipe? Thank you!
Yes, absolutely! If possible I would try to dry it a bit before using–sometimes with very fresh lavender, it doesn’t incorporate as well into the sugar unless it’s a little dry. You can either put it in the oven on the very lowest setting for 15-20 minutes, or just pluck it and let it sit out at room temperature for about a day. I’m sure you’ll have great results because the flavor from fresh lavender is wonderful! Please come back and let us know how it turns out for you.
Wow! I took them to work and everyone was raving about them.
Thanks, Tina! I’m so glad to hear they were a hit with everyone! 😀
These lemon bars are heaven! I took them to work and everyone wanted the recipe.
Thank you Tina, I’m happy to hear they were a hit!