Not Chocolate Cake Lemon Bars

When I was newly married and discovered my MIL loved pies/cakes/cookies almost as much as I did, I baked for her every chance I got.  For years, she ooohed and awwwwed over the different chocolate cakes I made her for her birthday, until one day, maybe 20 years in, she revealed, ‘I don’t like chocolate cake.”


I asked her why she hadn’t told me earlier, like 19 years earlier.  She didn’t want to hurt my feelings.  It’s still a running joke when her birthday rolls around.  “I’ll bring the cake.  Chocolate, right?”

Since that revelation, I have made all kinds of things for her instead of chocolate cake.

For Mother’s Day, I made Paula Deen’s Lemon Bars (no, I’m not trying to kill her with butter):

Not Chocolate Cake Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
Pinch salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature.


4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan.Make the crust by combining the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. You may need to dip your fingers into a little flour or confectioners’ sugar to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.
Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Pour this over the baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, when the bars are done.

Serves: 16 bars

The only modification I made to the recipe was using the butter before it reached room temperature, while it was still cool, yet not cold.  I couldn’t imagine making a crumbly mixture with room-temp butter.  The crust turned out just fine.

My MIL loved these bars.  I know because I asked her, as she was licking her fingers and wiping powdered sugar off her shirt.  She gave me an OMGOODNESS eye-roll with a YES! smile.  Ahhh, that’s what I was looking for!



Please Share on Your Favorite Social Media! ~ OMT thanks you! ~


  1. Yum! I love anything that involve lemons. Its the tartiness and the lemon fragrance that I love. This recipe looks scrumptious! I must try it. Thank you for sharing. 😀

  2. What a sweet mother-in-law. It’s terrible that mils get such a bad name. I think there are just as many sweet stories like this as there are bad ones. And what a sweet dil you were to try so hard to please your mil. I love the story as much as the recipe, which also looks great. Thanks.

  3. Yum! While I love all things chocolate those do look delicious!

  4. Wasn’t quite sure that I would like this when I first read “Not Chocolate” LOL But lemon is my second favorite and these look delicious! I too have a GREAT relationship with my mil! Part of who I am today is because of her. Thanks so much for a great post! Deb –

  5. Love, love, love lemon bars. Of course, I love all things chocolate too and what a nice relationship you must have with your MIL. 🙂 Stopping by from Say it Saturday.

  6. You had me at lemons, these looks so refreshing and tasty. I’d love it if you would share this at my Saturday Spotlight link party.

    Hope to see you there!

    Angels Homestead

  7. This story cracked me up. Makes me think of the time my Grandmother-in-law forgot the sugar in the pumpkin pie and I didn’t mention it. Her other grandkids did and she said, ‘you ate it?” (I didn’t but she thought I did).
    Lemons Bars is something I’ve been wanting to try. Pinned to try soon.

  8. Danielle says:

    Hey! these look super good! 🙂 Followed you over from a link party tonight! I see you often here & there and love your blog, by the way! Have a great week!

  9. I would always choose the lemon over chocolate.

  10. These look delicious. Your MOI sounds very sweet, you’re lucky, mine would have never been that thoughtful. She must really care about you. I’m happy these aren’t in front of me, I would have to break my diet.

  11. These look so good!! I love lemon anything. Can’t wait to try them.

  12. Mouth watering! Thanks for the great recipe! stopping by from Adorned from aboves blog hop.

  13. ingrid@nowathomemom says:

    looks delicious! so good for this summer, thank you for sharing the recipe with us! beautiful picture too! 🙂 Ingrid

  14. What a funny story about the chocolate cake. 20 years is a long time to fake liking it! I’m glad MIL likes the lemon bars. Personally, I love chocolate cake. And, I love lemon bars. 😉
    Kim @ Curtain Queen

  15. Marcia @Gathering at the Table says:

    Of course I went for the lemon first. 🙂 My favorite.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Stopping by via Linda’s.

  16. LOL! I am glad you both joke about it now. I do remember how good lemon bars taste and these look so good! Thanks for linking up with us SIS’ers 🙂

  17. These look delicious! I’m featuring them on Terrific Tuesdays.

  18. You made me so hungry… I featured you on The mommy Club Link Up tonight! CONGRATS!

  19. Lisa@ Cooking with Curls says:

    lol…that is too funny! I love both, it just depends on my mood. 🙂 These lemon bars look absolutely delicious!!

  20. These lemon bars look terrific! No wonder your MIL loved them. Pinned!


  1. Sharing with Domestic Superhero Link Party #13 says:

    […] Lemon Bars from Oh Mrs. Tucker look like a delicious treat! Perfect citrus taste for […]

  2. […] cheesecake, cookies, pies, bars…you name it, I bake it!  So much […]

  3. […] making special meals, or getting tasked with bringing a side dish to a gathering instead of a fabulous dessert, it’s nice to have a few worthy choices that you can feel confident about […]

  4. […] This is my favorite dessert to make with my harvest: Not Chocolate Cake Lemon Bars […]

  5. […] Lemon Bars from Oh Mrs. Tucker look like a delicious treat! Perfect citrus taste for […]

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.