It's not the same old berry sheet cake, but it's just as delicious. We promise.
You've had that same Fourth of July berry flag cake so many times! And of course everyone loves it. (Who doesn't like cake?) But it would be nice to have a few other options on the dessert table—especially if you've been making (or eating!) the same thing for years and years.
These lemon bars combine the best of both worlds. They're more indulgent than a fruit salad, but not quite as decadent as cake. Whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, and stevia lighten up the traditional lemon bar recipe, and only half a stick of butter is required. They're flavored with real lemon zest and lemon juice, and topped with a fun flag design made entirely of fruit, so you can feel good about giving these to your kids, too. And there's just something so summery and tropical about all that yellow—it's like a little bar of sunshine.
If you want to make these even lighter, you can always ditch the 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs and add a full cup of whole-wheat flour (rather than 3/4 cup) to make up for it. But there's something to be said for that extra crunch.
For the crust
- 3 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt (unflavored)
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 stick butter, softened
- 1/3 cup stevia
- 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Generous pinch of salt
For the filling
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup stevia
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the topping
- 6 oz fresh raspberries
- 6 oz fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, combine all of the crust ingredients and whisk together until the mixture is drier than cookie dough and very crumbly, but still wet enough to combine with itself when you push it together using your hands.
- Using your hands, press the crust into your prepared baking dish, making sure to press into the corners. Try to keep the crust a consistent thickness so that it bakes evenly. Bake for 20 minutes.
- With about 5 minutes remaining on the crust's baking time, make the filling. Whisk all ingredients vigorously until combined.
- Remove the crust from the oven and pour the filling into the pan, on top of the crust. (It should look pretty watery, but don't worry!) Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, checking frequently to make sure it doesn't brown. Once the filling has hardened up nicely, you can remove it from the oven.
- Wait for the bars to completely cool before cutting them into rectangles or squares. (The cooling process is important!) While they're cooling, make the raspberry topping by mashing the fresh raspberries in a bowl using a fork, then straining through a fine-mesh sieve to get rid of as much juice as possible. Save or discard the juice.
- Once the bars are cool and have been cut into individual "flags," place the raspberry mixture into a sandwich bag or piping bag and snip off a very tiny, barely-there corner of the bag using a pair of scissors. Pipe the raspberry mixture onto the bars in a stripe pattern as pictured. Then add blueberry "stars." Be sure to refrigerate all leftovers.