National Lemon Bar Day takes place annually on October 15. The holiday was created in 2019 by Michael McCarthy after he organized a bake sale and discovered that many people had never had a lemon bar before. Also called a lemon square, a lemon bar is a dessert bar consisting of a thin, shortbread crust and a lemon curd filling. Though they had long since featured in community cookbooks and local newspapers, the first widely publicized lemon bar recipe was printed in the “Chicago Daily Tribune” on August 27, 1962.
History of National Lemon Bar Day
National Lemon Bar Day was founded in 2019 by Michael McCarthy. He made lemon bars for a fundraiser bake sale and was surprised to discover that many people had never had a lemon bar before. Also called a lemon square, a lemon bar is a dessert bar consisting of a thin, shortbread crust and a lemon curd filling. Though they had long since featured in community cookbooks and local newspapers, the first widely publicized lemon bar recipe was printed in the “Chicago Daily Tribune” on August 27, 1962. Submitted by Eleanore Mickelson, the recipe included in ‘Today’s $5 Favorite Recipe’ column read, “Serve these cookies with fresh fruit for dessert or with glasses of cold milk or lemonade for snacks.”
After including a list of ingredients, the column provided detailed instructions continued: “Cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Add one cup of flour and mix well. Spread in an ungreased pan, nine by nine by two inches. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Beat sugar into eggs gradually: Add salt and lemon juice. Add sifted baking powder and two tablespoons flour; mix thoroughly. Spread over the crust and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes longer. Cool, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and cut into squares.”
Another recipe that caught the attention of America was published in Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book in 1963. Its ingredients were nearly identical to that of Mickelson, except that it omitted flour for the curd. Today, lemon bars are a popular treat in America.
National Lemon Bar Day timeline
Shortbread originates in Scotland.
Christopher Columbus brings lemon seeds from Europe to the New World.
Lemon curd originates in England.
The first widely publicized lemon bar recipe is published in the "Chicago Daily Tribune."
National Lemon Bar Day FAQs
How much vitamin C does one lemon contain?
One lemon contains about 31 mg of vitamin C, which is 51% of the recommended daily dose.
Is it safe to use lemon in skincare?
Lemons lessen dark spots and pimple marks, and it is safe to apply lemons to the skin in only small amounts, as large amounts can lead to irritation, dryness, and sunburn.
What are the health benefits of lemon?
Lemons may help with weight loss, reduce heart and kidney disease risks and assist with digestive issues. But don’t drink too much because it can cause tooth decay or abdominal cramps.
National Lemon Bar Day Activities
Bake a lemon bar
If you can pull it off, celebrate by making a lemon bar yourself. Try your hand at a popular recipe and enjoy it with a cool glass of milk or lemonade.
Share a recipe
There are tons of easy and delicious recipes available on the internet or in cookbooks. Share a recipe you like with your family members and friends so you can all celebrate together!
Host a fundraiser
Do you have a charity close to your heart? Organize a bake sale as a way to fundraise for the charity and give the proceeds to a good cause.
5 Juicy Facts About Lemons
Lemon trees produce many lemons
A lemon tree can produce up to 600 pounds of lemons in a year!
Lemons have few seeds
An average lemon has about eight to 10 seeds inside.
Lemons act as preservatives
If you sprinkle lemon juice on apples and avocados, it might keep them from turning brown.
Lemons don’t have much juice
An average lemon contains about three tablespoons of juice.
Lemons were once used on lips
Women used lemon juice to redden their lips during the Renaissance period.
Why We Love National Lemon Bar Day
Lemons have nutritional value
As most people know, lemons contain high levels of vitamin C. However, these sour fruits also contain fiber and plant compounds that could lower some risk factors for heart disease.
Baking is encouraged
This holiday is another opportunity to go back to the good old days of homemade desserts and food. In our days of fast food, the art of baking is becoming a lost art. Today, we get to play around with cool recipes and have fun in the kitchen.
Sales are boosted
On National Lemon Bar Day, bakeries might notice a jump in their sales. And more business is always a good thing!
National Lemon Bar Day dates