Gooey Lemon Cake Bars

Turn your favorite Gooey Butter Cake into a Lemon dessert! Gooey Lemon Cake Bars will make you quite happy, and nobody has to know you started with a mix!

Gooey Lemon Cake Bars

Click HERE to save recipe to Pinterest!

Once upon a time there was a cute food blogger named Aimee.

She LOVED lemon desserts.

The end.

This post was previously published in May 2013. As I’m still a lover of all things lemon, I thought you’d all enjoy this updated version, complete with a food video too!

Slice of Gooey Lemon Cake Bars

Seriously, there is not much else to say about this recipe. I am in love with all things lemon! These lemon bars are made simple by using a cake mix (gasp!!!). I know, I don’t use a mix often, but back off. It’s summer.

Almost summer. Which means absolutely nothing except I wanted an excuse as to why I used a mix. Oh yeah, I used a mix on this because that’s what the recipe calls for!

I based these lemon bars off of this easy Gooey Butter Cake recipe. By just changing it slightly they become a whole new dessert. You can make these even prettier by adding some fresh raspberries or strawberries on top as a garnish.

But they don’t need any help in making them tastier. These cake bars are divine. Try them yourself.

How to make Gooey Lemon Cake Bars:

  • Start with your favorite cake mix! I use Duncan Hines Lemon Cake mix….but choose YOUR favorite.
  • Add softened butter and egg to cake mix, and press this into the bottom of your 13×9 baking dish. This will create the crust.
  • Beat your filling until light and fluffy and spread it over the top of the cake mix crust. BAKE for about 40-45 minutes. Do not overcook.
  • Once you’ve removed the Lemon Bars from the oven, cool on wire rack. When cool, place bars in refrigerator for at least 4 hours (this is a must!!). Top with powdered sugar and enjoy cold!

If you love these sweet Lemon Bars, then you may also enjoy:

  • One of my favorite recipes on the website is for these Lemon Cheesecake Bars. Cookie dough with cheesecake and lemon. What’s not to love??? Plus they freeze well too!
  • Lemon Berry Mini Bundt Cakes from Sweet C’s Designs are a fresh, light, and delicious breakfast bundt cake full of yogurt, raspberries, blueberries, and lemon flavor!
  • These Lemon Bar Cookie Cups from Barbara Bakes are easy to make, and easier to serve than lemon bars.  If you’re a lemon bar lover, you’ll love this cookie cup version.
  • Do you love poke cakes? One of our favorites is this super simple Lemon Poke Cake recipe! Let me know what you think 🙂
  • If you’re looking for the best Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust, this one is it. Easy cookie crust with a sweet and tangy lemon filling and lemon glaze, topped with powdered sugar!

Plate of gooey lemon cake bar

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MORE Lemon Desserts

Gooey Lemon Cake Bars recipe and video:


Yield: 16 servings

Gooey Lemon Bars

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes

Turn your favorite Gooey Butter Cake into a Lemon dessert! Lemon Cake Bars will make you quite happy, and nobody has to know you started with a mix!


For the crust:

  • 1 box (18.25oz) Lemon Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg

For the filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, butter and egg. Press into the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla eggs in a mixer. Beat until fluffy. Pour over crust. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 40-45 minutes (I underbake mine a little to get that definitive separation in layers). Remove from oven and cool completely.
  2. Refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight) for best flavor. ENJOY.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 64mg Sodium: 297mg Carbohydrates: 41g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 28g Protein: 3g
*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Gooey Lemon Cake Bar photo collage

Gooey Lemon Cake Bars: easy lemon bar recipe using a cake mix and a cheesecake topping. EASY too!

See the recipe Gooey Lemon Cake Bars on YouTube



About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on March 22, 2018

Comments & Reviews

  1. Aimee,
    I took your advice, used my yellow cake mix, added the zest of one lemon and switched the vanilla extract out with lemon extract to the filling-the flavor was spot on. I’m afraid if I had added lemon to the cake mix, it might have been too much. Thank you for your suggestions!

    1. Glad to hear it came out great!!! Thanks for circling back and letting me know (and the readers too)!! Have a great week.

  2. This sounds like a great recipe – I only have a single layer (8.5 oz) lemon cake mix – could I cut this recipe in half and bake in single 8″, 9″ square or round pan?

  3. THIS IS A CHEAT! BEWARE! and it’s the MFGR.’s fault. There are no 18.25 oz cake mixes available for sale today. I
    I keep a seal tight container of yellow or white boxed cake mix in my cupboard for this problem 2/3 cup of this will bring the 15.25 to 18.25. This can really help! I noticed this cause I found an old box in the back of my pantry, so I started checking.

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