Irvin Lin

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The combination of lemon and peanut butter isn’t necessarily the first thing people think of in terms of flavor combinations. Sure there’s the banana and peanut butter combo that Elvis made famous, chocolate and peanut butter combo that Reese’s made into a treat and the grape jelly and peanut butter combo that every school kid loves, but lemon and peanut butter isn’t an automatic combo. That’s sad, because the tart bright flavor of lemon really pops against the earthy salty sweet peanut butter.

In the end, I brought a batch of these bars to a party down in Los Angeles that I was helping to host, and my friend Sara had taken a bar while I was preoccupied with hosting duties. As I mixed and mingled amongst my friends, Sara cornered me and told me in no uncertain terms that “These. Bars. Are. The. Best. Thing. Ever.” And yes she said it with periods between each word.

The secret with the bar is the honey. The sticky floral sweetness is the link between the lemon and the peanut butter. The Bee’s Knees has the honey already mixed into it, so all you need to do is add a little extra honey to the lemon curd and you’ve got a lemon bar that has people using superlative words. They’re that good.

I like to serve the lemon bars from the refrigerator, cold and refreshing like a glass of lemonade on a hot day. That said, they’re equally fantastic at room temperature, a little more gooey, a little sweeter (the cold cuts the sweetness), and perfect with an evening cup of tea or coffee.

Prep time: 8 hours and 25 minutes (includes 8 hours chilling time, or overnight)
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 8 hours 25 minutes
Yield: 12 bars


Peanut Butter Crust
½ cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup The Bee’s Knees peanut butter

Honey Lemon Curd
¾ cup all purpose flour
1¾ cups white sugar
Zest from 2 medium lemons
½ cup wildflower honey (or whatever honey you prefer)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
¼ teaspoon salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9” x 13” rectangular baking pan with cooking spray and line it with a piece of parchment paper, with the paper sticking up by 2” on two sides (the cooking spray will help the parchment paper stick to the pan and let you pull the bars up from the pan without having to dig into the pan and scratching it).

2. Make the peanut butter crust by sifting the confectioners’ sugar and the flour together into the bowl of a standing mixer (you might be tempted to skip this step, but confectioners’ sugar has a tendency to clump together and the sifting breaks it up, making it way easier to incorporate). Add the butter and The Bee’s Knees peanut butter and beat until the dough is smooth and comes together.

3. Gather the dough together and press it into the bottom of the baking pan, smoothing it out evenly (I used my fingers and the bottom of a flat drinking glass to spread the dough out). Cover with a piece of parchment paper and fill with ceramic pie weights, dry beans or dry rice. Bake in the oven for about 23-27 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and dry, rotating the crust 180°F once to ensure even baking.

4. While the crust is baking, make the honey lemon curd by placing the flour, sugar and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. With a balloon whisk, vigorously stir the dry ingredients together until they are evenly distributed.

5. Combine the honey, lemon juice and vanilla in another medium bowl and stir until the honey is dissolved in the juice.

6. Beat the eggs, egg yolk and salt in a medium bowl until the liquid is uniformly yellow and you can’t see anymore of the white. Then pour it and the honey lemon juice liquid into the bowl with the flour and sugar. Whisk until well blended.

7. Once the crust is golden brown, remove the parchment paper with the weights on it, and pour the honey lemon curd onto the hot crust and put back in the oven. Reduce the heat of the oven to 300°F and bake for an additional 28-32 minutes or until the curd is set and it doesn’t jiggle in the middle anymore when the pan is shaken.

8. Let cool in the pan to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight to chill and let the curd set. Remove by pulling the parchment paper straight up from the pan and placing the bars on a cutting board to be divided. Generously dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Honey Lemon Bars with The Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter Crust, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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53 Responses to Honey Lemon Bars with The Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter Crust

  1. David says:

    Does the recipe require salted or unsalted butter? I only ask because the picture in the article has unsalted butter, but the recipe says salted.

  2. Malynda says:

    mmm. lemon bars are my husbands and my favorite treat!! These sound phenomenal. I cannot wait to get some bee’s knees and try this out!!! Nice job Irvin!

  3. Lilly says:

    The lemon and pb combo is so unique, I cannot wait to make them for my amazing mom. She doesn’t like chocolate, so this lemony but rich dessert sounds awesome. So excited to surprise her with this, thanks!

  4. Jenney says:

    Lemon bars are so delicious on these hot August days we’ve been having! Hoping to try this recipe soon!

  5. Diane N. says:

    This recipe looks MOST interesting! Love lemon bars and curious about the peanut butter ‘twist’!!!! Gotta try this one soon!

  6. Christin L. says:

    I would make these bars for sure! Sounds so refreshing and amazing!

  7. Sarah W says:

    This is the recipe that I would make for my special someone!!

  8. Neil says:

    I love lemon and peanut butter..great idea!

  9. Claude Bouchard says:

    I’d make this recipe…looks delicious.

  10. brandy says:

    These ones look yummy to me. Mixing the lemon and pb wouldn’t be something I thought of but yummy!

  11. Heather Green says:

    I love lemon bars and I love peanut butter. Would have never thought about combining the two. Will have to try these.

  12. Rachel says:

    i wanna make this mmmmmmmmm

  13. Kayli Carter says:

    These sound delicious! I think I will be making these this weekend :)

  14. Mary says:

    I want to make these. I have been looking for a good lemon bar recipe and these look delicious!

  15. Kylee says:

    I would love to make these, they look absolutely delicious!!

  16. Lorraine says:

    I would love to make these!

  17. Shelley McBride says:

    What a unique change from the traditional lemon bars we’re all used to. I love the idea of adding the honey along with the Bee’s Knee’s Honey Peanut Butter (which we use and love) and adding the extra “zing” of the Lemon Zest! This recipe and it’s pictures are making my mouth water, I want it so much! And it’s only 9:00 am, but I think I could still have a slice for breakfast and it be my little secret! Ummmmm…..I can’t wait to make this recipe. Keep them coming, your site is definitely one of a kind!

  18. Kim says:

    I tried these because standard lemon bars are a fave in our house. They are amazing. It’s kinda like when you add nutmeg to something and people ask “what is that flavor?” If you don’t read the recipe you taste them and go…ohhhh, what is that flavor?? YUM-O!

  19. Mary says:

    I would love to make this recipe! I would also love to win a jar of you PB!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    m13hatch at gmail dot com

  20. Rose says:

    I love lemon bars! And I’ll bet The Bee’s Knees peanut butter crust would go great with them. I would try this recipe if I had company coming over.

  21. Summer says:

    I’d definitely love to make these…hopefully with the jar of PB I win from the FB giveaway!

  22. Ali says:

    I would definitely make these for company! I love lemon and peanut butter. Delicious combo!

  23. Karen says:

    This is by far the recipe I would make! Hope to win the giveaway, I eat enough PB to fund a small food cart

  24. Sarah says:

    Two of our favorite desserts: lemon bars and peanut butter cake. I have never though of pb and lemon together but for a crust and with the honey to tie it all together I think this is a recipe that will be going into my recipe book. Thanks for sharing :) Now lets win some free PB!!!

  25. Lori H says:

    OMG, I would definitely make this recipe! It looks Ah-MAZING!! We love lemon bars and love peanut butter … so, what could be better!?! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  26. Debra Rusling says:

    Love lemon bars these look great !!!

  27. MARSHA MACKIE says:


  28. Heidi H says:

    I am newly obsessed with lemon bars and always looking for something fun to make for get-togethers. I would definitely make these!

  29. Tiffany S says:

    Never thought to put peanut butter in lemon bars, but they sound wonderful.

  30. Brett says:

    would make this for company coming over for sure!

  31. Julia says:

    I would definitely make these for company coming over! I love lemon bars and make them all the time. I’m a huge fan of bee’s knees peanut butter, so I can only imagine they’re even better!

  32. daria says:

    I made these today and they turned out fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks for the great recipe!

  33. Ingrid Mollenkopf says:

    Without a doubt these look delicious to make for myself. A cool (from refrigeration) but decedent treat for summer time love with a lemony twist!

  34. Jessyca says:

    Yum I wanna make these They sound so good! Thanks for the chance!

  35. Heather Nebel says:

    Yum! I think I’m going to have to try these!

  36. Missy says:

    I love the combo of honey, lemon and pb. I would love to make these!

  37. Brenda says:

    Going to try these later..

  38. wymberley says:

    The bees knees is one flavor I have not tried! I want to do this recipe! Yum!!

  39. holly says:

    I absolutely love lemon bars AND I love PB (of course)…I think I’ve just found the dish I’m bringing to my family reunion next month :)

  40. Heather Cirka says:

    I’d love to make these bars!!! I love lemon and your PB =) id love to win a jar to make this

  41. Jenny M says:

    These look amazing — definitely would make these. :)

  42. Carla De Leon says:

    I would make this for myself because I think they would go awesome with some good organic coffee right from the french press in the afternoon.

  43. Tracie L says:

    These look yummy! I look forward to trying this new combination!

  44. Kylee says:

    I would love to make these!

  45. Julie says:

    I would definitely like to make these if I was baking only for myself!

  46. Amanda says:

    This looks really good, Yummy!

  47. Kimberly Sanders says:

    I have a girlfriend that absolutely loves lemon bars and is hooked on the PB&Co peanut butters now that I have introduced them to her! This would be the PERFECT combination! A must try! :)

  48. DEBBIE S says:


  49. Denis Daly says:

    Lemon oil may be used in aromatherapy. Researchers at The Ohio State University found that lemon oil aroma does not influence the human immune system, but may enhance mood.

    • Katia says:

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  50. Betty Adams says:

    I have read and re-read this recipe and can’t figure out what happened to the top (chocolate) layer. It seems that there is the crust and the lemon curd and after refrigeration overnight, cut into bars and sprinkled with powdered sugar. What about the chocolate mixture>

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