Lemon Lavender Bars

I love the smell and taste of lavender. It’s not for everyone, but just the merest whiff of this pretty purple flower and I can feel my shoulders release a bit. This recipe is perfect for afternoon high tea, or simply with a coffee in the morning to enjoy just a moment of calm in an otherwise busy day.

Lemon Lavender Bars

My mum’s a lavender lady – she even used to make lavender oil for aromatherapy burners from her land at Doctors Point in Otago. Its sweet floral scent matches perfectly with the crisp shortbread base and tart tang of the lemon in this little slice.

Serve larger squares of this with some vanilla ice cream and berries as a simple dessert that will impress at a party.

Prep time: 10 mins. Cook time: 40 mins. Makes 20 bars


For the base:

  • 250g flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 200g butter

 For the topping:

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 300ml lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 fresh lavender buds, finely chopped
  • Icing sugar to sprinkle


Preheat oven to 165°C. Lightly grease and line a 38 × 25cm highsided baking tray with baking paper.

To make the base, sift flour, salt and icing sugar into the bowl of a kitchen mixer.

Put butter into a small saucepan over medium heat and heat until melted and a light brown colour. Let cool slightly before pouring into flour mixture and combining.

Press mixture into prepared baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden. Remove and decrease oven temperature to 140°C.

To make the topping, put flour into a bowl.

Put eggs and sugar in a separate bowl and whisk. Whisk in lemon juice and zest. Pour into flour a little at a time, while stirring to combine. Pour onto the warm base.

Bake for 25 minutes, until set in the middle. Slice when cool and sprinkle with chopped lavender and icing sugar.


Reproduced from The Tart Tin by Matt Cross, published by Potton & Burton, available nationwide