These lemon bars are one of my absolute favorite desserts. The three unique layers of this dessert creates a perfect balance of sweet and sour. Plus, the smell is enough to make everybody in the building come check out what you’re making.

Along with the tang provided by the lemon juice that provides a very strong base flavor when mixed with the brown sugar and coconut shavings, this recipe uses one of my all time favorite techniques: the use of lemon zest as decoration as well as in the glaze – the third and sweetest layer. This is truly a treat which has no equal.

It’s best made with fresh ingredients, but if fresh lemons are not available, store-bought lemon juice works just as well. I recommend serving them 30 minutes after cooling, while they are still gooey on the inside, but crunchy and crisp in your hand. If you’re feeling especially daring, try it with lemon sorbet and rosemary leaves sprinkled on top.

Lemon-Coconut Bar Cookies

  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:35 minutes
  • Total Time:45 minutes
  • Servings:9 servings
  • Medium


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Photo by Austin Fanburg
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Step 2

    Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, level with a knife. Combine flour and granulated sugar in a bowl, cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

    Photo by Katherine O'Malley
  • Step 3

    Press mixture into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.

    Photo by Austin Fanburg
  • Step 4

    Combine brown sugar, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in coconut, pour evenly into pan.

    #SpoonTip: Make sure that the mixture is evenly mixed when pouring, as the coconut tends to rise to the top.

    Photo by Austin Fanburg
  • Step 5

    Bake an additional 25 minutes or until set.

  • Step 6

    Combine powdered sugar, rind, and remaining lemon juice, stirring with a whisk.

    #SpoonTip: To get the perfect consistency you may need to add more lemon juice or powdered sugar.

    Photo by Austin Fanburg
  • Step 7

    Spread glaze evenly over cookies. Cool completely in pan and cut into squares.

    Photo by Austin Fanburg