Cardamom Meyer Lemon Bars With Lavender Sugar

These lemon bars utilize a special citrus fruit while its in season during the spring and summer months- the Meyer lemon, a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. Atop a vanilla cardamom shortbread crust, and sprinkled with lavender sugar, this dessert is forwardly citrusy, a little floral, and so very delicious.


Yield: 20 large servings or 40 small servings


For the lavender sugar

  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp of dried culinary lavender

For the shortbread crust

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp of Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs of ground cardamom

For the lemon filling

  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 3 tbs of Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of cardamom
  • 1 cup of flour


    For the lavender sugar

    Add sugar, cornstarch, and lavender to a food processor, blender, or coffee/spice grinder. Process until finely blended and fluffy. Store in an airtight jar. I like to make this a day or two in advance to allow the lavender more time to permeate the mixture.

    For the shortbread crust

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

    Combine 2 tsp of Meyer lemon zest to the sugar and massage until combined.

    Cream the butter and lemon sugar for 2-3 mins with hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment.

    In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and ground cardamom.

    Add the vanilla extract to the butter mixture and mix until combined. The, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 separate parts, mixing after each addition until the ingredients are incorporated.

    Transfer the dough to the parchement-lined baking sheet and, using floured hands, press down until the bottom of the pan is completely covered with dough.

    Bake for 15-20 mins until lightly golden. Let cool and leave the oven on.

    For the lemon filling

    Whisk the eggs in a bowl until beaten. Add sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and whisk until incorporated.

    Sift ground cardamom and flour into the bowl and gently mix until combined.

    Pour the filling into the crust while the crust is still warm and return the pan to the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the filling is set.

    Final assembly

    Cool to room temperature and sprinkle with the lavender powdered sugar. Or chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before sprinkling with the sugar, which I'd recommend doing right before serving! Cut into 20 squares or 40 smaller triangles. Serve, and freeze leftovers for later!

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