Lemon Thyme Bars

Lemon Thyme Bars were requested by my daughter for her first care package and I was happy to oblige. It is also the start of settling all of us into the next chapter with her off to college. What an adjustment it has turned out to be. I knew it would be hard, we’re not heartless and we like having her around but we’re not helicopter parents either. Turns out, that doesn’t make any difference whatsoever!

Move in day was quite the event with the heat index at 107F/42C but I was impressed with how the college handled everything with volunteers and plenty of water stations. They even had in the schedule the time parents should say goodbye. During that time they did tell us tales of velcro parents not wanting to leave on the first day. Can you imagine? So of course we teased our daughter asking her to text every five minutes, text after she falls asleep, before she wakes, etc. She was ready for us to leave after that. LOL.

Thankfully, she has settled in and she is doing very well. That doesn’t mean she isn’t happy to receive care packages and home baked goods. When she requested these Lemon Thyme Bars I was surprised to realise I hadn’t made these before. Which is silly as they are very easy to make and a lovely treat.

Technique for Lemon Thyme Bars

Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.

Using your fingers or a pastry fork, blend the butter, flour, sugar and thyme to make a crumbly mix that will stick together when gently pressed.

Press into a baking pan 9″ x 13″. Make sure there aren’t any holes.

Bake 15-20 minutes until golden. It won’t be overly firm while really hot. I wanted the shortbread on the softer side so I only baked it for 15 minutes. The longer you bake at this stage the crispier it will be in the final result.

Whisk the lemon juice and eggs together. In another bowl, mix the sugar and flour together.

Pour the lemon egg mixture into the flour and sugar. Whisk well to remove any lumps. Pour over the shortbread. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. The lemon will set as it cools.

Dust with powdered/confectioner’s sugar to serve.

Of course, I had made these on a Thursday without thinking about the travel time for shipping as it was coming up on a holiday weekend. Turns out, our daughter is considered in the middle of nowhere according to the Post Office. Fortunately, they arrived several days later in good condition. I’ll have to do my baking at the beginning of the week from now on.

Lemon Thyme Bars

The flavours of summer in a delicous baked treat

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Lemon Thyme Bars
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Author Our Growing Paynes



  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2-4 tsp fresh, chopped thyme

Lemon Mixture

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour


  • powdered sugar to dust over bars


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C


  1. Using your fingers or a pastry fork, blend the shortbread ingredients together until it becomes crumbly but will stick together when gently pressed.

  2. Press into the baking pan (9" x 13") making sure there aren't any holes. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden. The less you bake, the softer the shortbread will be when the bars are cooled.

Lemon Mixture

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients. Pour the lemon mixture into the dry ingredients. Whisk until there are no more lumps.

  2. Pour the mixture over the shortbread and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from baking pan. Dust with the powdered sugar to serve.

8 thoughts on “Lemon Thyme Bars

  1. I have made these for decades but the thyme is a new touch I will try. I used to be better at getting a crispy lower crust but for some reason no long how long I bake it stays soft. I like the crunch below the yummy goo. Funnily enough my college roomate is the one I got the recipe from as an undergrad.

    • It’s definitely a popular baked good. I normally like just this side of crispy on shortbread but I like it softer with this recipe. Funny how texture works for people.

  2. These days, it’s just not the same as when I left for college. I made one collect call a week to my mother, and that was it. Which was plenty 😬 But when my first daughter went to college in 2002, she called me constantly, which was fun, but it was almost like she hadn’t left! And then, they come back. And make messes. And then you kinda can’t wait till they leave again….. anyway, great bars. Very special for her to ask for these.

    • So much has changed. I used to get letters and care packages but few phone calls. They were expensive! They would be welcome as long as they are in school or paying rent! No moochers. 🤣. I have a feeling though she has flown the coop.

  3. These look lovely Virginia. Your story reminds me of leaving my eldest to Paris for her Erasmus year. They say that the art of parenting (I hate that word) is holding on while letting go.

    • It a definite balance! Though I’d hate for it to be the opposite and having my daughter not being able to leave. Would mean we went wrong somewhere along the line. But you know how it is, if you have good kids, they are a joy to be around.

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