Lemon Crunch Bars are a no-bake dessert that harkens back to simpler days, and less complicated food — you probably already have everything on hand to make these tangy treats.

Lemon Crunch Bars are an old fashioned no-bake dessert

These bars have an easy going, vintage vibe, and they can be prepped for the fridge in the time it takes to melt a little butter and whip up the cream.  The ‘crunch’ comes from the crushed gingersnaps that make up the crust.  The combination of the cool fluffy topping and the ‘snappy’ crust is wonderful.

Easy no-bake Lemon Crunch Bars

Ginger and lemon is a striking flavor combination that you see more often in savory dishes than you do in desserts.  Neither ingredient plays second fiddle here, the peppery gingersnaps hold their own with the lemon, and the two are quite a zesty pair.  The topping has a full 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice in it, so it’s no slouch in the citrus department.  As for the gingersnaps, use any you like — I discovered Tates and fell in love, but they ‘disappeared’ before I could use them in this recipe.  Plain old gingersnaps work fine, too ;)

Quick and easy no-bake Lemon Crunch Bars

This is a great choice for entertaining because you can make them ahead of time, and they’re light and refreshing even after a big meal.  Nobody will push these away, for sure.

Light as air Lemon Crunch Bars are no-bake!

These Lemon Crunch Bars have been adapted from The Guardian.

Lemon Crunch Bars

Lemon Crunch Bars


  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs (this is about 8 ounces of cookies)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream (you can also use 'whipping cream')
  • slightly more than 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small drop yellow food coloring, optional
  • gingersnap crumbs


  1. Spray an 9x9 square baking dish. I like to line mine with parchment paper with long ends hanging off so I can lift it out after chilling for neater cutting, but that's optional.
  2. Toss the melted butter with the gingersnap crumbs until the crumbs are completely saturated. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan. Press firmly, but no need to steam roller them ;) Set the pan in the fridge while you make the filling.
  3. Whip the cream until you get firm peaks. don't whip it too long or it will get grainy and eventually turn to butter. Fold in the condensed milk, lemon juice, and drop of food coloring.
  4. Spread the filling into the pan and spread out evenly.
  5. Set the pan in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  6. Garnish with a few gingersnap crumbs.


  • The combo of ginger and lemon is what makes these simple Lemon Crunch Bars so special, so I don’t recommend substituting graham cracker crumbs in the crust.
  • These have a soft creamy consistency.  Keep them refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Ever wonder about the difference between ‘heavy’ and ‘whipping’ cream?  Heavy cream is just slightly higher in fat, but both can be whipped.
  • This would make a nice pie, as well.  I would use a 7 or 8 inch pie plate, increase the butter to 1 stick, and the crumbs to 2 cups.

Tangy and creamy no-bake Lemon Crunch Bars


Don’t forget to pin it!

No-bake Lemon Crunch Bars combine lemon and ginger for a simple, zingy dessert

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40 Responses to Lemon Crunch Bars

  1. Vanessa says:

    Just a question regarding the quantity of Butter as making this in Portugal and can pick the lemons straight off the tree :) but the butter sold here in 250 gram packs and not sure how much is needed for recipe.

  2. Amanda says:

    Today is my third time making them! They are Divine!! And everyone loves them! There was a special request for me to make these for Thanksgiving! Simple and delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  3. Jill says:

    Just made these theyre heaven

  4. Priya says:

    I love lemon in recipes because it gives unique freshness to the dish… Ahhhhh feeling crazy

  5. Linda L. says:

    These are insanely delicious!! They were the perfect thing for dessert after a heavier meal.

  6. Susan says:

    I have a couple of boxes of Windmill cookies left from Christmas that need to be used. This sounds like the perfect way to use them, Sue! We have lots of lemon lovers in our family and can’t wait to try making these!

  7. I think I just found the perfect
    Dessert for my dinner party! Love lemon and ginger snaps so I know this is a winner …Beautiful photos Sue!

  8. That creamy lemon layer looks simply divine!

  9. That thick cream topping looks really intriguing!

  10. Sue, I definitely won’t forget to Pin this one! Looks lovely, and I can just taste it now. We’re real lemon fans, so this is going on the menu very soon.

  11. cheri says:

    Making this for the upcoming week-end, always looking for great lemon recipes Sue, once again you did it.

  12. I bet the flavors of the lemon and gingerbread taste out of this world. I love lemon! What a great dessert.

  13. Dan R says:

    I could see making an alternate version of this with keylime juice….but this one sounds great, too!

  14. Wendy says:

    I’ve never tried lemon and ginger…but I want to!! These easy bars sound lovely. Crunchy and creamy at the same time! On my “make soon” list and pinned!

  15. These look so delicious! Perfect for Spring!

  16. These could get me in trouble. Looks so delicious.

  17. I’m a lemon freak — just love the stuff. Love it more than chocolate, actually (yes, I’m weird). So I know you’ve made this just for me. Thank you! :-)

    • Sue says:

      I’m totally with you on that, well, I love chocolate too, but we’re talking about lemon now…and these are super lemony!

  18. Lemon treats are my absolute favorite. I’m swooning over these crunch bars!!

  19. Mary Younkin says:

    These bars look incredible, Sue! As much as I adore lemon desserts, and pretty much ginger anything, these are calling to me this morning.

    • Sue says:

      Do you ever buy those lemon filled ginger cookies from England? I can can’t remember the name…they’re epic :)

  20. Adina says:

    This looks so amazing and yet so simple! And I love the addition of condensed milk!!! This is on the Top 10 To Do List!

    • Sue says:

      I wondered about the condensed milk, I don’t use it often, and I think it is used more in older recipes, but it gives the whipped cream more structure —

  21. I love these kind of desserts, Sue. My grandmother used to make these and we’d all fight over them when she wasn’t looking! Lemon is the best and combined with ginger, it’s unbeatable. Beautiful!

  22. I love these kind of desserts! Especially liking the gingersnap crust :)

  23. Lemon desserts always go over well with my husband’s family. I’m pinning this one for later!

  24. Peter says:

    No bake, light, fluffy, delicious. Love the look of these bars.

  25. Monique says:

    I can just tell this is wonderful!

  26. Tricia says:

    Fluffy lemon desserts are the best and this one is a keeper with the gingersnap crust! Great combination of flavors and textures – they look light as a cloud. And very pretty too!

  27. Meeta says:

    I adore ginger and lemon together. These really look light and refreshing and perfect with a cup of coffee! Lovely Sue!

  28. Barbara says:

    Gingersnaps? Love them as a base…so much more oomph than graham crackers. Simple recipe, easy to make and I do love lemon anything. Mouth watering photos, Sue!

    • Sue says:

      I wondered about the name, and it’s true, there is still crunch in those gingersnaps even after they’ve been crushed and mixed with melted butter.

  29. I know what I’m making in the near future! This looks fabulous Sue. I love the lightness and I agree, no one would refuse this!

  30. I usually always go for chocolate desserts, but I do love lemon desserts like this – they are so fresh.

  31. I am a big fan of lemon desserts! So refreshing!

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