September 23, 2012

This will probably come as a huge shock to exactly no one, but I love cooking. I was almost disappointed by how easy this recipe was. There is barely any cooking to be done. In fact, if you want to send a less-than-recipe-savvy man into the kitchen, he will probably be able to whip these up pretty handily on his own.

Oh, and in case you needed just ONE more reason to make these already fabulous treats, each lemon bar is only 168 calories.

Makes about 15 bars

1 box angel food cake mix (must be the one step, just-add-water kind)
22 ounces lemon pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix and pie filling together in a large mixing bowl. Pour batter into greased 9×13 baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Expect for these to be more of a cakey texture than other lemon bars. Top with powdered sugar, (but only if you do not have huge qualms with this recipe becoming a three ingredient endeavor.)

4.9 from 14 reviews
  • 1 box angel food cake mix (must be the one step, just-add-water kind)
  • 22 ounces lemon pie filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine cake mix and pie filling together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Pour batter into greased 9x13 baking dish.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Expect for these to be more of a cake-y texture than other lemon bars.
  5. Optional: top with powdered sugar.

Adapted from Practically Living.

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  • Barbi Hudy

    Love these, made them today! Took five minutes to mix and 30 to bake — love the lemony taste! Kroger (here in Texas) has a lemon pie filling that is perfect for this mix. Thank you for the recipe! I am wondering, have you freezed it at all? I am thinking of cutting it into squares and freezing some of it but not sure how it will freeze up, although I think it will be fine :)

    Thanks again!

  • Robin Abbott

    I did this today and used keylime filling instead of Lemon. It was awesome.

  • Karen

    Has anyone tried this with a regular white cake mix? I can’t seem to find angel food mix in my grocery store.

  • Mary

    I’m new at this so … Can one use the boxed lemon “Jell-o” instant pudding mix? If so, how many boxes, the 1 oz box makes 4- 1/2 cup settings. I was thinking two maybe?

    I love these recipes, can’t wait to begin!!!!

  • Teri

    I just made these and wasn’t expecting them to rise to the top of the pan. Thought it would be more like lemon bars. Have yet to taste it, but I’m sure a lemon angel food cake would still be good. The recipe is somewhat misleading if you are expecting lemon bars.

  • Angie

    Delicious! I had the cake mix but not the pie filling, so used some orange curd from my fridge. Wonderful tasting like that, so naturally I had to get another cake mix and make a second batch with homemade lemon pie filling. Now I want more cake mixes so I can try all the recipes I can find.

  • PJ

    Just made these as directed in recipe. They are nice and lemony. They do puff up in bowl so blended quickly and into pan. Turned out great. Shared with my neighbor . Going to try with key lime, apple and peach pie fillings. May try with crushed pineapple, my precious stepmother made the best pineapple bundt cake. Good memories. She was a scratch cook. I use to be!!! Thanks foe your recipes.

  • Giulietta

    I didn’t have lemon pie filling but I did have some lemons so I made a pie filling and combined it with a box of angel food cake. It is sooo light and delicious – it’s hard to stop eating it! Next time I will add less sugar to the pie filling when I make it so it will have more tang. Also, try adding zested lemon rind to the mix for a brighter flavor.

  • mary

    ccan you use regular cake mix?

    • Rachel Schultz

      I have not tried this. I am not sure if it would come out the same.

  • Ok, making them now, but made a little oops!! The can of lemon was only 15 oz and not 22! I hope it still comes out, but for next time can you all tell me where you’re getting the 22oz? I had to get the 15oz at Target because I couldn’t find it or any lemon pie filling anywhere else. Thanks

    • Wendy

      The $99 Cent Store (So. Cali) has 22oz lemon pie filling for .99

  • Nancy

    I made these with raspberry pie filling for a big party 83 people, everyone loved them. My cousin said she makes them with pineapple and they are delicious also

  • Lynne

    I made these today according to Rachel’s very simple directions except that I used 22 oz of Key Lime pie filling instead of lemon. The bars were terrific. They were not cakey as some of have said. They didn’t rise over the edges of the pan and cut perfectly while still somewhat warm. I can’t say how they keep since they were eaten pretty quickly.
    This was a winner for me. Thanks!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Lynne!

    • Anonymous

      What’s the nutritional value of these bars?

  • Kristie R

    I tried this tonight for the first time ever and it is delightful! Just follow the directions. 1 box of angel food cake mix (the kind that calls for water) and 1 22oz can of lemon pie filling. Mix and bake. It really is THAT SIMPLE.

    What I got was a Lemon Sponge that is light, fluffy and delicious! A berry compote would have been delightful on top but the powdered sugar works nicely too.

    I used Vegetable shortening to prepare my 9×13 cake pan and it gave the edges a bit of crunch which was also wonderful!

    Thank you so much for teaching me this new yummy dessert trick!

  • CYNM

    Whatever you do, do not try these at high altitude. (8,500ft.) Yummy batter but explosive in oven. What a mess………..

  • Judy Gambrel

    I saw key lime pie filling today. I wonder if that would work as well as the lemon? If so, that sounds like a refreshing and light treat for summer!

  • Pam

    It was nice out of the oven but does NOY keep well. It turns gelatinous.

  • How could these be that great? I am a baker at heart….two ingredients? Well it drew me in and I made these and I was delighted! Don’t try to add this or that just make it according to directions… whole family said these are to die for! When in doubt what else to add (like water). go back and read original recipe. Thank you for posting this recipe that I will make over and over!

  • Anonymous

    It just turns out like lemon cake. Not gooey like lemon bars at all.

  • Nancy

    I want to know if these 2 ingredients lemon anglefood bars can be made a few days in advance or will they become soggy? Can they be frozen and thawed to keep them from becomong soggy or will that only make things worse.Worest case is I have to bake them the night before. Will they be OK to use for a noon reception the following day?I would like to make them for this Sunday 5-15-16.Thanks

  • Sonja

    Followed recipe exactly. PERFECT

  • Dijjett

    I made this I really enjoyed it!!!!!!! HOWEVER I would change it to
    Three ING and add cool whip(fat free or sugar free)Save out two tlb of the lemon when its all done cool layer with the cool whip and add little dabs of the lemon filling on top Just cause it would be another desert from the base one Thanks for the recipe we had fun with this one.

  • Janet

    Just made these. How easy is that?
    I know everyone kept saying cake-like, but I was still(?) expecting some sort of a gelatin-like base. Wrong. They come out as Lemon Angel Food cake bars. They are REALLY good!! I also have learned the hard way- cut them into bars with a plastic knife; it slides right through making a clean cut. Thanks for this recipe- it is a keeper!

  • Anonymous

    Definitely Lemon Angelfood…but nothing wrong with that!

  • Sherry

    Easy! Mix a box of angel food cake mix (the “just add water” variety) and a 22 ounce can of lemon pie filling. As I started mixing the 2 together, it began rising in the bowl. I used a 9×13″ glass cake pan, sprayed with cooking spray with flour. The batter rose above the pan like a souffle’, but did not run over. It is cooling now, and shrinking down. I am hoping that it will be somewhat chewy and less cake-like, otherwise, I would prefer a more traditional lemon bar recipe. Taking this to my neighbor’s Easter brunch tomorrow. Wonderful, easy to use site from my iPad! Thank you!

  • Lizzy

    Found this recipe last night and I have cooked it tonight and the resulting cakey-bars are now cooling.

    I have one question: Do you cool this in the pan or turn it out and cool it on a rack?

  • Kim

    Easy, yummy recipe! For those who need a little more direction: 2. Open box of cake mix. Pour cake mix (powder)into a bowl. Open can of pie filling, pour on top of powdered cake mix. Stir only these 2 ingredients together and pour into your baking dish. Do not add water. Only the powdered cake mix and the lemon pie filling. Nothing else. (there is an easy pumpkin cookie recipe that takes only a dry spice cake mix blended with a can of pumpkin pie filling-also no eggs or water required)

    • patricia stahnecker

      Thank you so much for telling me that you do not add water to the cake mix. that was so helpful.

  • Martha

    The lemon pudding comes in a can like other fruit pie fillings. I think people are getting it confused and are trying to use powered lemon jello.

  • Linda

    My mother gave me this recipe back in the 70s and loved it then and love it now. We always got good compliments when we served it at the many parties we had. The thing I cant seem to understand is how you can mess up a recipe that says two ingredient. There wasn’t anything other than the cake mix and canned pie filling to put together. Maybe it is because I have been cooking for 50″ years and understand how recipes read and go together. Thanks for the recipe again because I had forgotten how long to bake.

  • Desiree

    I made this today and I believe most of the people who made this dessert used the 440z of the pie filling that is why they had a problem. just used one 22 oz can of pie filling and you w,ill have a wonderful dessert, thank you for shearing your recipe.

  • Mary

    What an unfortunate event when a dessert I make makes soooo much that I have to split the recipe between two pans. this should prevent any overrun into your oven and maybe you could share #2 pan with your neighbor or co-workers! I think you are adorable! thank you for sharing

  • Laura Pittington

    What about if you made it in the jelly roll pan, baked at 350F, cooled it and spread it with lemon curd, rolled it up and cut into pinwheels!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Fun idea!

  • Jen

    Please accept my sincere apology for the snarky comment. Your recipes truly look great.

  • Linda

    Your ‘PRINT’ button for just the recipe does not work :(

  • Joyce Shelton

    Betty Crocker Angel Food cake mix used to say 1 step on the front of the box. The new packaging now says just add water for the instructions to make the cake as shown on the box. This bar recipe only uses the cake mix and lemon pie filling. My family has made these for years and our original recipe called to bake it in a jelly roll pan (11×16 inch)and it takes a bit less time but bake them until lightly golden brown. We always sprinkled powdered sugar on the top. Yum.

    • lea

      Are these lemon bars more like a bar than a cake if you bake them in the 11×16 sheet instead of the 9×13 cake pan? Thanks!

    • Leslie

      Woops, I added water. It never said not to. Guess ilk be serving lemon pudding tonight.

  • Susan

    I made this today and it did not run over, it was easy to follow the directions and my mom and I bothe enjoyed the taste. I’m not sure why everyone thought it was so difficult but I appreciate your recipes. I do agree it tastes more like cake than bars but it’s still yummy. Thanks!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Susan!

  • Susan

    Made these today. Taking into consideration what several posts said about it running over, I placed the pan on a large cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. I was happy to say it did not overflow and turned out quite nice. They smell delicious and can’t wait for them to be cool enough to eat.

  • Joan

    I made these yesterday. They are yummy. However, the mix rose far above the dish, ran all over my oven,and burned on all over the oven floor. What a mess. Spent hours cleaning up. Very good bars, but, so not worth the mess.

  • Amy

    Why is it so hard to understand/follow directions?? The recipe says MIX 1 22 JAR LEMON PIE FILLING AND ONE ANGEL FOOD CAKE MIX. THE END.

    • Amber

      Great recipe. Didn’t expect to read the first comment and feel such hate from a post. Amy, maybe keep it nice to those who questions seem irritating

  • Lyssa

    I currently have these in the oven but they have risen way higher than the pan so I’m a little worried about how they will set once they are out of the oven and cool down.
    FOR ANYONE WHO IS CONFUSED, YOU DO NOT ADD ANY WATER. just a pie filling angel food cake mix:)

  • Can you tell me what do you mean the 1 step kind. Do I follow the box recipe?
    Thank you.

    • Sherry

      Buy the “just add water” type of cake mix, but don’t follow the box recipe. Dump the dry mix into the bowl and add the can of lemon pie filling.

  • Janet

    I make a similar cake using an angel food cake mix (white) and a can of crushed pineapple (juice and all). Bake as shown on the box. This makes a super moist and delicious cake! Going to try it with Cherry pie filling instead of the lemon and see how that turns out. Stay tuned!

    • Debi

      I love pineapple. Do you bake it at the same temperature and same amount of time?

    • linda O

      what size can of pineapple?

  • can i use an angel food tube cake pan instead of the layer cake pan. I’m worried about it overflowing in the oven.

  • Cathy

    Have you tried this with any other canned pie filling?

    • Rachel Schultz

      I have not.

    • Jennifer

      I have used several other flavors of pie fillings. Blueberry is my fave. But I only use 1 can, it tastes much better with only 1 can and is more cake like.

  • Debbie

    I was really excited to try this, as I love lemon anything. Disappointed at the results. the cake had risen way above the edge of dish. when cooled the cake fell. What had risen above the dish was baked on the dish. However, the flavor was yummy! Consistency was more like a lemon pie in a cake dish, with out the crust. May have to try some different versions because I like this idea.

    • wendy

      Maybe you could try less filling. It would likely make the mix more cake like.

  • Suzan

    do I follow the recipe on the angel food cake and pie filling…your instructions are not that clear.

    • Heather

      The recipe says to mix the cake mix with the pie filling. It’s seems too simple, I know =)…but I’ve made a version where you mix the angel food cake mix with a can of peaches or pineapple & bake it. That was really yummy! I haven’t made this version but I’m thinking I may try it tonight! I have a can of key lime pie filling & I’m thinking it would be tasty…good luck!

      • Heather

        Sorry that was a lot of “I’m thinkings” lol!

  • Amy

    I take it you follow the recipe on the cake box, or otherwise you wouldn’t have any liquid to mix ? or on the pudding box?

    • wendy

      DON”T follow the recipe on the box. The only liquid you will need is what is in the filling. NOT pudding, but filling.

  • kathy smith

    i have them in oven now i used 42oz hope they turn out will let ya know

  • Sarah

    The pin that led me to you had conflicting amounts of lemon filling – one part said 42 ounces, and another said 22, and then your blog says 22. They are in the oven now; I used 22 ounces and I have no idea what kind of angel food cake mix constitutes 1-step, but I wanted to verify the details, just in case this doesn’t go well! :) thanks!

    • Heather

      I believe I’ve seen an angel food cake mix that uses just water. It must be one of those…

  • Anonymous

    Although the recipe is indeed easy, they taste like lemon angel food cake and nothing like the traditional lemon bars. I would not this recipe again.

    • Lois

      I have to agree. I used a Duncan Hines angel food cake mix. Put in bowl DRY and added the lemon pie filling. Mixed and baked. Tasted more like lemon angel food cake than lemon bars. And not even that lemony! Next time will go long mix and baking. :(

  • Kelli

    Made these just as the recipe said to, but added 1/2 juiced lemon, 1 cup shredded coconut and 1 cup white chocolate chips. YUM!

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