Triple Citrus Bars by Real Food Girl Unmodified- Not your normal boring lemon bars!

Nothing brightens your house like the smell of citrus and I’d had lemon bars on my mind for a few days and felt it was time to break out Old Blue and make something citrus-y.  It had been a while since I’d made any type of dessert since the kitchen in the house we’re renting- A) depresses me, and, B) it has virtually no counter or storage space which makes the normally joyful, fun, therapeutic and exciting task of cooking, baking and recipe creating about as fun as having one of the Dementors from Harry Potter suck out your soul.  I think I’m going to call my kitchen the Horcrux,   as that pretty much sums up how The Stud Muffin and I feel about this kitchen.

Triple Citrus Bars by Real Food Girl Unmodified- Not your normal boring lemon bars!

Even though it’s not spring or summer I still like to enjoy Real Food baked goods and savory dishes with citrus as a main component.  I’m all for seasonal cooking, but sometimes a girl just wants sunshine in a desert bar. Pretty much everyone and their Aunt Ruth has a lemon bar recipe, so there really isn’t much out there in the way of lemon bar variety.  It’s a shortbread-like crust with a lemony-custard/curd-like type filling on top. Pretty standard.  But what if I added some lime?  Oh, better yet, what if I added lemon zest, lime zest, and some orange?!  Whoa! And maybe I could push the envelope a little further and sprinkle in some orange zest, too. 

I realize all that citrus might scare a less experience chef, but not me.  Nope. I’m a push the envelope, live on the edge, microplane-citrus-zesting fool.  And I’d do it again because these bars were MAGIC!  (Every-little-thing-she-does-is-magic) ♫ ♪ ♬ ♪

Triple Citrus Bars by Real Food Girl Unmodified- Not your normal boring lemon bars!

One bite and you’re in Tonguetopia my Food Hippies.  That’s right eyes rolling back in your head, goosebumps on the back of your neck, drool inducing, knee-weakening, make you shudder utopia in your mouth.  Take that boring lemon bars!  Triple citrus bars are going to be your new favorite dessert.  Start getting yourself invited to pot lucks and baby showers my friends because these will make you mighty popular and everyone will want the recipe.  Which will make me popular, which is a good thing, right?

So- let’s make some triple citrus bars, mmmkay?  Oh, one final note- We prefer to eat these cold out of the fridge.  The chill chest helps to make the lemon filling set and I like how it turns the crust into a buttery cookie with some bite to it.  But you can eat them room temperature if you’d like.

 Real Food Girl: Unmodified Triple Citrus Bars

The photo above is of the docked crust, prior to being pre baked.  Dock it well folks!


Triple Citrus Dessert Bars
Serves 8
Pumped up lemon bars with added lime and orange juices make these the best lemon bars you'll ever pucker your lips over!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
For the crust
  1. 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted organic butter, melted
  2. 1 cup organic unbleached AP flour
  3. 1/4 cup organic powdered sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. 1 tsp. each of lemon, lime and orange zest. 3 tsp. in total, *DIVIDED
For the filling
  1. 2 pastured whole eggs, beaten
  2. 1 cup organic cane sugar
  3. 2 TB flour
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  5. 2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
  6. 2 TB freshly squeezed lime juice
  7. 2 TB freshly squeezed orange juice
  8. (*you'll use half the zest in the filling, 1/2 tsp. of the zest from each fruit)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the crust
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined, dump into your glass baking dish, and press evenly using the bottom of a glass, or your knuckles.
  2. Using the tines of a fork, dock the crust (poke holes in it to keep the crust from bubbling while pre baking).
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until just starts to brown.
For the filling
  1. Meanwhile, during the last 5 minutes while the crust is pre-baking,combine the eggs, sugar, baking powder, flour and the remaining 1/2 tsp. of each zest in the bowl of your mixer. Mix on medium speed until well combined. The sugar may not fully dissolve, which is okay, but ensure it is mixed well with other ingredients.
  2. Stop mixer, scrape down sides, and return mixer to medium-low speed. Slowly add the juices of the lemon, lime and orange. Mix until combined.
  3. When crust is finished pre-baking, give the filling a quick stir to ensure all the zest hasn't sunk to the bottom of the mixing bowl, and pour filling over the hot crust.
  4. Immediately return to the oven. Set timer for 20 minutes. Rotate pan carefully halfway through baking. Check at 15 minutes. Bake until the filling just starts to get some color.
  5. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack. Cool for 10 minutes and dust lightly with powdered sugar if desired.
  1. You will use 1/2 tsp. of zest from each fruit in the crust, and an additional 1/2 tsp. of zest from each fruit in the filling.
  2. I line my glass baking dish with parchment because it makes it easier to cut them after they've been refrigerated. You do not have to grease your pan- there is enough butter in the crust to ensure minimal 'stickage'.
  3. Use a glass baking dish, either 8x8", 9x9" or 9.5"x7" works for this recipe.
Real Food Girl
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21 thoughts on “Real Food Triple Citrus Bars

  1. I’d like to make these for someone who can’t eat butter. Have you ever tried them with coconut oil? Do you think they’d be “buttery” enough?

    1. Suzanne at Strands of My Life made these GF and had some issues just doing a swap for swap of ingredients. She used coconut flour in the crust and it needed more butter. It still didn’t turn out like a short bread, but she said it did hold together. 🙂 Just thought I’d point that out so you don’t waste perfectly good butter!!

    1. Ha! 😉 So now you understand my pain. Glad you clarified because I was wondering how your crust turned out without any flour and how that filling worked for you with an entire cup of flour in it. 😀

      1. Great! Thanks for the recipe clarifications. The tad of flour in the filling will be perfect for gelling it a bit more I bet! Trying again this week for bookclub. 🙂

  2. I made these yesterday as a surprise Valentine’s treat and they turned out fabulous. However, the directions posted for the recipe have many mistakes!
    1. There is no time posted for pre-baking the crust (I assumed 25 minutes because total time posted for the recipe was 45 min. and the filling bakes for 20 min.)
    2. In direction #1 for the filling, you say to add the flour and the zest. However, the zest and flour are both in the crust section of the ingredients. I did the zest in both the filling and the crust and the flour in just the filling.
    3. Directions say to use “baking SODA” but the recipe ingredient list calls for baking POWDER (I used the powder).

    Mine turned out great, after I thought about what would make sense in the recipe and let it sit for a while and refrigerate.

    1. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I originally tried a new recipe card plugin for this recipe and have had to redo it about 6 times after realizing the new plugin was inadvertently not showing all the steps or ingredients at any given time. The corrections I kept making wouldn’t save, so I went back to my old recipe card plugin and would you believe, proof read this version twice and didn’t notice the mistakes. Yikes! Tired eyes? Must have been!!

      Okay, there should have been a measurement for 2TB of flour in the filling. I have gone in (again) and corrected that. The zest was supposed to be divided between the filling and the crust and I have NO idea where that step went. It was in all of the original 6 revisions I made- Oye!

      Thanks for pointing out the Baking Soda, Baking Powder error, I’ve updated that. It should have been BP.

      I’m glad these still turned out, and thanks for alerting me to the errors so that I could update them. I appreciate it.

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