Lemonade squares are bursting with bright and refreshing lemon flavor. Easy-to-make dessert that’ll have them coming back for seconds!
I’m a big fan of anything lemon flavored, so when I saw these posted on Facebook by a friend, I knew I had to have them.
The original recipe comes from Great Grub, Delicious Treats and she said she came by the recipe from a co-worker. My hat’s off to both of these ladies because this is an awesome dessert!
One thing I changed was to add a teaspoon of grated lemon zest for a more intense flavor. When it comes to lemon, I like the flavor intense and very natural. Now it does contain instant lemon pudding–which can taste somewhat artificial, unlike it’s cook-before-eating cousin, but funny enough, it does not impart any artificial flavor in this. I think it’s in there more as a binding agent than anything else.
This dessert is surprisingly tart–and I like that. The flavor and tartness comes from the lemonade concentrate used in the filling. If you like a sweeter flavor, then add maybe 2 tablespoons of sugar to the mix. Since there’s no raw egg in this cheesecake-like filling, it’s fine to taste it once you’ve made it as per the recipe to see if the sweetness is right for you. If not, then beat in some sugar–but beat it well so it dissolves, otherwise the filling may be a bit grainy.
The filling has a dense and creamy texture, which is velvety and lovely. But I did read in the comments of the original post that one person folded in a cup or so of whipped topping to lighten the texture. That would work well and make it a bit sweeter to boot. I, however, love the texture of the original.
While this can be entirely no bake because graham cracker crumbs don’t really require any cooking, I highly recommend that you bake the crust for about 10-15 minutes. That makes it taste toasty and that flavor really complements the bright lemony flavor. You can make it as a pie, too, just like the original and can save some time by using a store-bought graham crust.
This recipe for me is a keeper!
- 2¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (see NOTES)
- ½ cup melted unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 bars (8 oz each) cream cheese at room temperature
- 5 oz evaporated milk
- 1 pkg (4 serving size) instant lemon pudding mix
- ¾ cup thawed and undiluted lemonade concentrate
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix all crust ingredients in a small bowl; press into a 9 x 9-inch pan.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust begins to brown.
- Remove from oven and cool completely.
- In a small bowl, whisk pudding mix and evaporated milk for 2 minutes; let stand 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in the lemonade concentrate; stir in the lemon zest.
- Gradually beat in the pudding mixture, beating well.
- Pour into pan with cooled crust.
- Cover and chill at least 4 hours--overnight is best.
- Makes 9 servings.