Photo of Lighter lemon bars by WW

Lighter lemon bars

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
2 hr 20 min
1 hr 18 min
32 min
These well-loved bars get a makeover in this lightened version that’s still packed with the quintessential lemon flavor. You’ll need four lemons to yield enough zest and juice, which is used in both the crust and the filling. One of the ways we lightened this recipe was incorporating beaten egg whites into the filling, which lightens the texture. The whites are beaten to soft peas, which means when you turn the whisk upside down, the peaks are just starting to hold their shape. They’re soft and the peaks fall rather quickly. We’ve paired these with fresh raspberries, but fresh blueberries or blackberries would also be delicious.


Cooking spray

4 spray(s)

All-purpose flour

14 Tbsp, divided


15 Tbsp, divided

Table salt

tsp, divided

Lemon zest

4 tsp, divided

Unsalted butter

2 Tbsp, melted and cooled to room temperature


2 tsp, cold


3 large egg(s), separated

Fresh lemon juice

½ cup(s)

Baking powder

½ tsp

Powdered sugar (confectioner's)

2 tsp

Fresh raspberries

2 cup(s), (1 pint)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. To make crust, stir together 3/4 c flour, 3 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with butter and water; press dough with a fork until small clumps form and mixture is moist. Press into bottom of prepared pan; bake until crust begins to brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  3. Meanwhile, while crust bakes, prepare topping. Stir together egg yolks, 3/4 c sugar, 1 Tbsp lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 Tbsp flour, baking powder and 1/8 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. In another large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  5. Gently fold egg whites into yolk mixture until combined; pour over crust and bake 20 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into 12 pieces. Serve garnished with powdered sugar and raspberries.
  6. Serving size: 1 bar