A delicious and moist lemon cake with a gooey filled center – lemon pie filling. This recipe requires minimal ingredients, is quick to make, and sure to be a hit! The combination of a lemon bar, lemon cake, and a lemon pie all in one bar.
These bars are one of the simplest desserts ever. Like 5-ingredients easy! And yet, with the taste, people will think you slaved over these bars for hours.
They don’t even come close to tasting like they started with a lemon cake mix. And it’s impossible to tell you didn’t spend hours making a homemade gooey lemon filling, because well, it’s just plain perfect. LOVE when that happens!
If you choose to add the frosting, there are a few more ingredients, but again, that is super easy too. And totally optional. These bars tasted great with and without that frosting. Now that makes for some winning dessert bars!
So if you make this recipe, what will you be getting? Well for one, the praise and adoration of anyone that gets to consume said bars. But for two, you will get a burst of tangy-tart lemon flavor that has slightly been subdued by the moist cake layer. These bars are light, refreshing, and zesty.
The center part of these bars is a can of lemon pie filling. It is sugary, gooey, and practically oozes out of these bars. I know. Amazing.
The cream cheese frosting adds some heightened sweetness and makes the bars look even prettier. I whip up a very quick homemade cream cheese frosting, but the frosting from the tub would work great as well!
These bars start with a lemon cake mix that has eggs, butter, and vanilla mixed in. Half of the mix goes on the bottom of the pan and the lemon pie filling is spooned on top. The remaining cake mix gets spooned on in dollups over the pie filling and then baked.
I used a cookie scoop to scoop the batter over the filling evenly throughout the bars. Bake the bars, let em cool, and cut them into large squares.
Once the bars are completely cooled, the cream cheese frosting gets whipped up and then can be piped or spread on the lemon bars if desired.
And then perfect lemon goodness awaits!
- 1 box (16.5 ounces) lemon supreme cake mix
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 can (22 ounces) lemon pie filling 22
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (do not melt)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Stir together the lemon cake mix, eggs, butter, and vanilla extract until completely combined.
- Spread a little over half of the prepared mix on the bottom of the pan - the mix just has to cover the pan.
- Spoon the entire can of lemon pie filling evenly over the cake mix.
- Using a cookie scoop or spoon, dollup small amounts of the remaining batter evenly over top of the pie filling.
- Bake for 32-35 minutes or until golden brown on top or until a fork inserted into the top of the cake mix (not the center filling) comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely and then cut the bars into large squares.
- In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter (do not melt the butter or cream cheese, just soften to room temperature) until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and the vanilla. Beat until completely smooth. Slowly add in the heavy cream to thin to desired consistency. (This is optional, the frosting works without the heavy cream, but adds creaminess and thins the frosting.)
- Fill a frosting bag fitted with a #3 tip (or a plastic bag and cut off the tip) with frosting and pipe the frosting on to the bars. Alternatively you can spread the frosting on the bars with a knife.