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Lemon Curd Oat Bars

Lemon curd oat bars on a latter and 2 on a small plate served with the title.

Lemon Curd Oat Bars

Softer Alternative To Flapjacks

By Caro

These Lemon Curd Oat Bars are my softer alternative to flapjacks (oat squares).  Super easy to make, these squares/bars, can also be made using apricot jam or Gluten Free flour.  

*Original apricot recipe on old site September 2018.

Updated photos & lemon curd added 22/05/22

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6 Lemon curd oat squares on flower pattern plate on dinner table with Turkish tea .

Why Make This Recipe?

  • Super Easy & Quick Process
  • No experience Required
  • No Special Equipment Required
  • No Special Ingredients Required
  • Inexpensive To Make
  • Filling Can Be Changed
  • Can Also Be Made Gluten Free
  • Egg-free Recipe*
  • Great For Sharing
  • Can Be Made Ahead Of Time
  • Soft Texture & Easy To Eat

*Egg-free without Lemon Curd & using apricot jam

Close shot of lemon curd oat bars stacked with one bitten showing soft texture.

Softer Version Of Flapjacks

These Lemon Curd Oat Bars (or squares), I also describe as my softer version of flapjacks. Flapjacks being known as muesli bars in the states). I have never had much luck making flapjacks that weren’t too hard, that I was able to eat. So this softer version is not only perfect if you struggle making flapjacks too, but is also softer for the mouth, making it much easier to chew.

I have a jaw condition (TMJ), so softer foods are better for me, and when I am having a particularly painful period with a flare up, I can often get really fed up of only liquids. So I end up craving something homemade, but needs to be soft to eat, as well as soft on the mouth. This is also why you will find a lot of my recipes, like biscuits, cookies, breads & rolls, will have a soft texture.

Collage of adding lemon curd to the dough base layer or apricot jam, labelled.

Change Up The Filling

This recipe uses Lemon Curd as the filling layer, but you can also use Apricot jam/preserve, both of which work well. Jams that are not too sweet, work quite well in this oat bars.

You can make your own Lemon Curd or store bought. Try my recipe for Home Made Lemon Curd, or even blueberry orange curd, but make ahead of time, (at least the day before), and store in the fridge, just to make sure it has set and thickened enough – so you probably won’t need to thin it down for spreading. Alternatively, you could try my Plum Jam recipe, or use that recipe with another kind of fruit.

Don’t use the Lemon Curd & the recipe is egg-free.

Overhead shot of lemon curd oat squares on a white platter on a table with blue linen and 2 squares served.

A Note On The Ingredients

So we covered the filling of these Lemon Curd Oat Bars, but what other ingredients are used?

Unsalted Butter

This recipe uses unsalted butter, and unsalted should always be used in baking for a few reasons. The salt content in salted butter can vary from brand to brand, and using unsalted, you can control your own salt intake. Salted butter also has a higher water content than unsalted, so for some bakes, this can have an effect on the end bake.

Can I use Margarine Or Baking Spread?

I haven’t tested these lemon curd oat bars with margarine or baking spread, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Coconut oil however, might work.

Partial shot of the oat squares cut into 16 squares.

I use plain flour for these lemon bars, which is the equivalent to All Purpose flour. Gluten free flour also works. On the old site I had the recipe for the gluten free version, which was made with Plain/All Purpose Gluten Free Flour and 3/4tsp of Xanthan Gum.

Soft Dark Brown Sugar

Dark brown sugar is used, but you could use light brown sugar if needed, or even coconut sugar. If using cups for measurement, be sure to make sure you are measuring ‘packed’ cups.


These soft oat bars use oats and in particular porridge oats. The equivalent is Old Fashioned Oat or Oatmeal. No need for any fancy expensive oats.

Collage of prepared dough, lining the tin, applying lemon curd and then finalk dough layer.

Easy & Quick Process

Lemon curd oat bars are super simple to make. Simply beat the softened butter and sugar together, before adding in your flour and finally folding in the oats.

Half of the dough is then spread onto the bottom of a paper-lined square tin, before spreading on the lemon curd filling. The second half of the dough is then added on top of the lemon curd, before popping in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes.

Once baked and cooled, the lemon curd oat bars are simply cut into 16 pieces and served. No decorating required. Super simple!

Close shot of 2 oat squares on a blue plate showing soft chewy texture.

Tin Size To Use

I recommend using a square baking tin 20 or 22.5cm/ 8 or 9″ wide. Bigger tins would produce bars that are too shallow. You can increase the recipe if you want to use a bigger sized square tin. I can guide you through this process, in my Increasing A Recipe For A Bigger Sized Dish article.

Top Tips

Leave the baked bars overnight or for several hours, to let the bars settle more, making cutting nice neat squares, so much easier.

Alternatively, after 30 minutes cooling, pop in the fridge to speed up cooling & setting. This is a great tip for lots of bakes. Just don’t do straight out of the oven.

6 Lemon curd oat bars on pretty flower plate on dining table wth white flowers.

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Recipe Card

The recipe card below, can be shared, saved or printed. There’s also a cool option called ‘Cook Mode’. This is great for stopping the phone screen going blank, while making the recipe. Just toggle the Cook Mode to ‘on‘.

*Note original Apricot & Oat Squares recipe published on 29/08/2018

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy, beginner

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Lemon Oat Bars

Closer shot of lemon apricot oat bars stacked on platter 2.
These Lemon Curd Oat Bars are my softer alternative to flapjacks. Super easy to make, these squares/bars, can also be made using apricot jam or Gluten Free flour.
Caro @ Caroline’s Easy Baking Lessons
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling & Setting 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Serving Size 16 pieces


  • Square baking tin (20 or 22.5cm/ 8 or 9" width)
  • Baking/parchment paper
  • Lining Paste or Baking/Cooking Spray (Recommend Fry Light cooking/baking spray, or home made lining paste )
  • Mixing spoon
  • Hand or stand Mixer (optional if using melted butter)
  • Scales
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Spatula or knife
  • Timer or Phone Timer
  • OVEN: 170°c/150°c Fan Oven/325°f/Gas Mark 3


  • 187 grams Plain flour (6½ oz, 1 ½ cups Plain/All Purpose Flour)
  • 200 grams Dark Brown sugar (7 oz, 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 90 grams Porridge Oats (3 oz, 1 cup Rolled Oats/Oatmeal/Old Fashioned Oats)
  • 198 grams Butter, unsalted, soft & cubed (7 oz, ¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 8 tbsp Lemon Curd or Apricot jam/jelly (Or any flavour jam you like. Home Made Lemon Curd. Might need about 2 tbsp water to slacken enough for spreading)


  • Weigh out the butter while cubing & leave out to soften & come to room temperature. Small cubes (about 1cm, less than ½"), have a smaller surface area & soften faster. Watch this hack for Softening Butter In About 12 Minutes. See Photo 1 below.
    Collage of small butter pieces and darl brown sugar in a bowl & after creaming together - photo 1.
  • Set the scales to zero (TARE), with the mixing bowl on top, & weigh in the sugar. Then add the softened butter & beat with a mixer until soft & well incorporated. You will be able to easily spread the mixture, but it will not be completely smooth. See Photo 1 above.
    Collage of adding flour to the butter and sugar and then mixed in - photo 2.
  • Place the bowl back on the scales, set to zero & weigh in the flour, salt & baking powder. Mix until all is incorporated and no flour is visible. The mixture will appear dry, but if squashed together, it comes together. See Photo 2 above. Finally weigh in the oats & fold in until it is all incorporated. See Photo 3 below.
  • Turn the oven on to heat up to: 170°c/150°c Fan Oven/325°f/Gas Mark 3, while you prepare your baking tin.
    Collage of stages to cut parchment paper to fit a square tin perfectly - photo 4.
  • I grease the tin (with baking or cooking spray like Fry Light, or home made lining paste) and then cut out baking/parchment paper to fit the tin. Place enough of the baking paper under the baking tin that it will cover up the sides of the tin and then cut out the corners, (you can draw where to cut or do free-hand). Then simply press the paper into position in the tin, adding more grease if required. See Photo 4 above.
  • Split the mixture in half & drop small pieces into the bottom of the prepared tin. Then with slightly wet hands, spread the mixture down & out in order to completely cover the base of the tin. Then flatten slightly with the palms of your hands. See Photo 5 above.
    Collage of lemon cur din a bowl and then droping spoonfulls on top of the mixtur ein the tin - photo 6.
  • Mix the jam/jelly or curd, with a small amount of water in a small bowl until it is thinned slightly and easier to spread, if needed. Spoon the jam/jelly/curd over the mixture & spread right to each corner. Use a spatula or knife to spread it out equally. See Photo 6 above & 7 below.
  • Now take the remaining half of the mixture & place small pieces of it on top of the jam/jelly/curd layer until you have used it all up. See Photo 8 below. Then spread to cover the middle layers, as best as possible. Using wet hands press down gently and even it out. Don’t worry if there are any jam/jelly pieces visible – these will cook up lovely. See photo below.
    Collage of very small pieces of the mixture on top of the lemon curd and then sprea dout to cover - photo 8.
  • Place in the centre of the oven for 15 mins. After this time, turn the tin around and continue bake for another 15 mins. (See Photo 9 below). To check if it’s done, gently shake the tin & if the contents still wobble, it needs more time. If not ready, bake for a further 2 mins. Check again for wobble. If it still wobbles, turn the tin and bake another 2 mins.
    The baked oat squares in the tin, cooling ont he rakc - photo 9.
  • Once there’s no wobble, you will try the centre with a clean cocktail stick. You are not looking for a clean stick when pulling it out, but rather that you have made a reasonably sharp hole in the middle. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack (while still in the tin) and leave to cool completely. See Photo 9 above.
  • Once cooled enough, lift out from the tin using the paper and lay on a chopping board. Cut into 4 strips and then turn and do the same again to produce 16 squares. See Photo 10 above and Photo 11 below of the texture once set and cut.
    Close shot of hand help oat square showing texture - photo 11.
  • Store in an airtight container, preferably in a tin, with the paper still under it to help keep in the moisture.
    6 Lemon curd oat squares on flower pattern plate on dinner table with Turkish tea .


Lemon Curd Filling – use your own Home Made Lemon Curd or store bought.  Apricot jam also works well & even blueberry orange curd.  Alternatively, try my Plum Jam recipe, or use that recipe with another type of fruit.  For the home-made Lemon Curd, I suggest making the day before & chilling.  Note for home-made curd or jam/preserve, you might not need to thin for spreading.
Butter – use unsalted.  Coconut oil might also work.
Flour -I use plain flour/All Purpose flour. Gluten Free flour also works (Plain/All Purpose Gluten Free Flour) with 3/4tsp of Xanthan Gum.
Close shot of lemon curd oat bars stacked with one bitten showing soft texture.
Oats – porridge oats/Old Fashioned Oat/Oatmeal.
Cutting Tip – once out of the oven, cool on the rack for about 30 minutes, before placing in the fridge to speed up the cooling down.  This not only speeds up the time of cooling, but leaving a little longer, will also make cutting easier & produce 16 more clean cut squares. 
Close shot of 2 stacked served lemon curd oat squares.
Tin/Pan To Use – square baking tin 20 or 22.5cm/ 8 or 9″ wide.  You can increase the recipe if you want to use a bigger sized square tin. I can guide you through this process, in my Increasing A Recipe For A Bigger Sized Dish article.
More Beginner Bakes – check my baking lessons for beginners.  Important Theory lessons, as well as structured Sweet Lessons and Savoury Lessons.
Overhead shot of lemon curd oat squares on a white platter on a table with blue linen and 2 squares served.
Thanks for reading/trying my recipe.  Please leave a rating, thanks.

Close shot of 2 oat squares stacked and one biten showig soft texture.

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Lemon Curd Oat Bars

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  1. (5/5)

    4 stars
    My husband loves the apricot filled ones, but as I love lemon curd, going to try these next time.

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