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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  • Katdaddy

    Hi, I made this with the 1 step box of angel food cake, and 2 jars (10.5 oz) Lemon Curd, and 1/4 cup of water.

    Used a whisk, and popped it in for 20 minutes on 350. Checked it a few times. Nice and browned, gonna cut into it soon.

    Please remember that even though it’s out of a box, angel food cake still collapses really fast when disturbed or checked over and over again, however I think I prefer this recipe this way after tinkering with it.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Nice tips, thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Ha Ha I just did the same thing. My oven may run a little hotter since they cooked a little faster. Waiting for them to cool…..

    • Anonymous

      Ha Ha I just did the same thing. I think 20 minutes is good. With 30 mine are a little dark. Waiting for hem to cool…..

    • Linda

      So it has risen over the pan… will I end up with a flop? I used a 1 step cake mix. ????

      • Anonymous

        Mine is over the pan too.

  • Lu

    I just pulled this out of the oven and even my “lemon-bar loving” husband (who was NOT excited about me messing with his lemon bars) was amazed…he couldn’t get over how delicious they looked and he’s standing over the pan just waiting to be able to cut into them.

    • Rachel Schultz

      That’s great!

  • Cynthia

    Looks very good, and sounds easy to make. So do you grease the pan or not? The recipe states you do, but reading the comments, some have said don’t grease the pan.

    • Rachel Schultz

      I did and it worked for me!

      • Cynthia

        Thanks for responding. In the oven now, didn’t grease the pan so I hope it works out.

  • Rhonda

    Can you use Jello lemon pudding/pie filling mix. I could not find canned lemon pie filling. I am going to make the pudding as directed and then mix it with the cake mix and back as you directed. I hope it turns out.

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Sher

    I used 1-step angel food cake mix and the 15.75 ounce can of lemon pie filling – i added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to make up for not having a 22 ounce can of pie filling. Turned out perfectly! Great recipe, thanks!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great! You’re welcome.

  • Brandi

    How long do they last? And how should I store them?

  • Alyssa

    Do these need to be refrigerated?

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Nancy

    Made these. They are the easiest to make and awesomely good!

  • Loree

    definitely make these in a jelly roll size pan, otherwise it will rise to the top of 9×13 and looks like cake, rather than bars..

  • mommaw

    The cake mix is it the one that says just add wster but actually you don’t right

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Yvonne

    going in the oven now. I too only found the 15.75 oz can of pie filling, so I hope this works. Will let you know.

  • Veronica

    My coworker brought these in today for a pot luck. They are so good. Addicting really. I can’t wait to make them at home for my family.

  • Barbara Fessler

    Like Pat mine flopped but if I would have read a bit further I would have gotten one step cake mix. I didn’t realize there was such a thing. Either way they are very good.

  • Leslie

    I made these tonight – I was making two batches, so my list included having to get 4 cans of lemon pie filling because the cans were each 15.75 ounces. Then I bought two boxes of Angel Food Cake. Just so I am clear on this… the angel food mix goes in the bowl and then 22 ounces of pie filling right? I didn’t need to add the water that was called for on the back of the angel food mix box? lol Cause I didn’t, so not sure if mine are what they are supposed to be. I am not normally a baker so when I am reading in the comments about getting the 1 step and 2 step boxes – well you lost me. :)

    Some other recipes I have found only call for a can/15 ounces of lemon pie filling. But you reference 22 ounces with 1 can. Did I follow yours correctly, or did I put too much in when I followed the 22 ounces?

    I am sure I am over thinking this – but after seeing different recipes, people commenting on their failing and not seeing where they might have gone wrong – I am just worried for my office potluck tomorrow. LOL, might have to run to the store to find some vanilla or lemon frosting to top these off with.

    Mine are very dense and sponge like.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Hope it turned out well! Yes, You do not need to add the water the box mix calls for.

  • Beth

    Made these last night. SUCCESS! They were perfection!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great! Thanks Beth.

  • Pat

    I just made these according to the directions and they “flopped”…literally flopped! They came out of the oven puffed up and the more minutes that went by, they whole thing just sunk “flat as a pancake”! I am so disappointed! I checked the dates on the box and can and they are all current? I don’t know what the heck happened? They are sorta edible, but I wouldn’t serve them to anyone.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Sorry to hear that. Did you use 1-step cake mix?

  • OMG! These bars are so good and sooo easy to make! My husbands new favorite :) Want to try with another filling too.

  • Anonymous

    Could you use other flavor pie fillings?

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Sandy

    I have made this with cherry pie filling and also another time with crushed pineapple (don’t drain!). I often put the batter into a cupcake tin with paper liners. Makes great individual servings.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great ideas, thank you!

  • JAS

    I just made these. I dont think they turned out like yours. They are good, but SWEET!! I think I may have over beat the mix. They are too fluffy!! But they are good!

  • Lindsey

    Just made these! So good!!!!

  • Sara

    My family has made these for years – but we spread the batter in a jelly roll pan (thinner bars) and frost with cream cheese frosting. Delicious!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great ideas! Thanks.

  • sarah

    Just curious how you came up with the calories for each bar? I want to make sure mine are the same. I only found one can of lemon pie filling and it has a lot of calories!… and the angel food cake has about 140 per serving by itself….

    • Rachel Schultz

      I just went by the caloric content of the cake mix and the pie filling. There is probably some variance among brands.

  • Nurseamberk

    These are amazIng!!! Just pulled them out of the oven!

    • Rachel Schultz

      That’s great to hear! Thank you.

  • Gina

    They taste yummy…just make sure you make in a deep enough pan. Mine rose over the side and spilled over on to the cookie sheet I had under the pan.

  • kate

    No eggs or anything?

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Follow the instructions !!! just two ingredients !! no water, no pam, no anything else. i have tried variations
    and the best way IS the easiest way = just a box of one step angel food, and one can of lemon pie filling.
    that is how they come out the best, and absolutely no skills necesarry = :)
    ps… just sprinkle powerded sugar on them when done, so people will think you did some work making them !

    • Rachel Schultz

      Good tips, Wendy. Thanks.

  • stacy

    Sounded yummy and simple but mine flopped big time. I am however going to try again. I did oil my pan (wont do that again). I used the two step box of angel food cake (I will try the one step). I double checked the expiration date on the cake and pie filling and they were good. They tasted ok but smelled horrible we couldn’t get over the smell so threw them all away!!! I WILL TRY AGAIN!!

    • Rachel Schultz

      I think the one step mix is the secret!

      • stacy

        Made this again and it was much better. Its a simple easy two ingredient recipe. Not gourmet but a good lemon dessert.

  • Gayle

    How do you pull the reciepe for the lemon Bars up into one sheet instead of the pictures?
    I just wanted to print only the recipe.

    • Rachel Schultz

      There’s a green and gray button at the bottom of the post.

  • Jamie

    Turned out yummy! Did you refrigerate your when it was done? Thanks!

    • Rachel Schultz

      You don’t have to refrigerate these. Thanks!

  • Tami

    Can you sub lemon curd?

    • Rachel Schultz

      I’ve never tried that. I’m not sure.

  • Jamie

    Ooops.. did I buy the wrong ingredient after all? I was standing in the baking aisle kind of puzzled. I didn’t find lemon pie filling – you would think it would be easy to find.. is that JELLO? I bought Pillsbury lemon frosting. Can I use lemon frosting instead of pie filling? baaah

    • Jamie

      Never mind! I found it! It was on the other side of the aisle! :) hehe :~) can’t wait to try it

    • Rachel Schultz

      I’ve only used pie filling before.

  • Renee

    Whatever you do, don’t put this in a bunt pan ! I royally messed it up!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Uh oh! Good to know.

  • Stephanie

    I’m headed to the store now to buy the cake mix and lemon filling……can’t wait to try these!!! Thanks!

    • Rachel Schultz

      You’re welcome! Hope they’re great :)

  • outstanding

  • What size pan did you use ???

    • Anonymous

      it says 9×13

  • not a baker.. but I am hoping not even I can mess these up! looks easy and tasty.. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lar

    cool stuff

  • Peggy

    Do you have a friendly printable version to your recipes?

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yes, click the green and gray printerfriendly icon at the bottom of each post.

  • love love the lemon bars

  • OMG!! So good and easy! Thanks so much!

    • Rachel Schultz

      You’re welcome!

  • Lacy

    Just pulled these out of the oven. They look and smell amazing! Hubby gets home from work in about half an hour. Hope we both like them!! :D

  • Betty Lamoreau

    It is amazing what you can do with an angel food mix! Other delicious 2-ingredient “recipes” pair the mix with a regular size can of crushed pineapple or a can of cherry or apple pie filling. No water, just the two ingredients! I don’t grease the pan, because the angel food needs to climb the walls of the pan to rise properly. When the cake is completely cool, cut into serving sized pieces and run a knife around the edges of the pan. Then remove the pieces with a pancake turner.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great tips. Thanks.


  • CJ

    I am assuming these lemon bars were made with the 1 step angel food? No additional water to the cake mix? Just dry cake mix and lemon pudding? Can they be made with 2 step angel food mix?

    • Lynnette

      I’m not sure either.

    • Rachel Schultz

      That’s correct. I use the 1 step version. The 2 step kind turn out, but not as well.


  • Eileen Reid

    Added these to my XMass open house sweets tray for 2012!

    • Rachel Schultz

      yay! thanks ellen.


  • Anonymous

    I used lemon curd with a little water, maybe 1/4 cup, and we’ll see how they turned out. But since the spatula was OMG yummy, I can’t imagine how they’d flop!

    • Rachel Schultz

      excellent! hoping for the best.


  • <3 lemon <3

  • Dori

    Hi Rachel, I love, love, love anything lemon and this sure fits the bill for something quick and easy when I’m working a lot. Thanks for all your great recipes!

  • Those look really tasty. Must try them. Thanks for sharing!

  • Blimey! So simple. I’m very impressed and not too bad for you!

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