Photo of Lighter Lemon Bars by WW

Lighter Lemon Bars

Total Time
1 hr 22 min
20 min
32 min
These well-loved bars get a makeover in this lightened version that’s still packed with 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 the oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. To make the crust, in a large mixing bowl stir together 3/4 c flour, 3 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp lemon zest. Drizzle with the butter and water; press the dough with a fork until small clumps form and the mixture is moist. Press crust into the bottom of the prepared pan; bake until the crust begins to brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven; let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  3. While the crust bakes, prepare the topping. In a large mixing bowl, mix the egg yolks, 3/4 c sugar, 1 Tbsp lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 Tbsp flour, baking powder, and 1/8 tsp salt.
  4. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture until combined; pour over the crust and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely before slicing into 12 pieces. Serve garnished with powdered sugar and raspberries.
  6. Serving size: 1 bar