Chess bars in every flavor you can imagine have been rotating through Southern kitchens for years, my kitchen included. These light custard filled Lemon Chiffon Chess Bars are a recent addition. Also known as gooey butter cakes, chess bars begin with a cake mix that’s mixed with egg and butter and pressed into a rectangular pan. Topped with a lush lemon laced filling, they’re baked until golden and very slightly set. After cooling a simple dusting of powdered sugar on top and they’re ready to serve.
Homemade lemon bars are so delicious but can get weepy if not eaten rather quickly. These easy chess bars maintain their texture beautifully and the filing doesn’t separate. The cake mix crust mixes up in minutes and it’s then pressed onto the bottom of a prepared pan. The beauty of this recipe is, you can whip-up the filling in the very same bowl cutting down on clean-up, too. You can get fancy with these lemon chess bars and serve them with a dollop of whipped cream if you like but, most often a dusting of powdered sugar will do.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Lemon Chiffon Chess Bars
- 1 [16.25] oz box white or yellow cake mix
- 1 cup butter melted and divided
- 4 large eggs divided
- 1  oz cream cheese softened
- 1 [3.4] oz box instant lemon pudding mix
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 medium lemon juice and zest
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the cake mix, 1/2 melted butter and 1 large egg. Beat until fully moistened. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
- In the same bowl, whip together the cream cheese, remaining butter. lemon pudding mix, heavy cream, lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Beat until creamy and no lumps remain.
- Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
- Lower the speed of the mixer and add the powdered sugar gradually. Whip until smooth and fluffy.
- Spread evenly over the crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes. The center should still move when gently shaken.
- Cool completely then cut into bars. Dust with powdered sugar.