Enlightenment of Bees Buttermilk Lemon Bars

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

For the filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

“Here, I brought you some treats.” I offer her a small white Butter Emporium bag, and she peeks inside.

“Ooh, those buttermilk lemon bars are my favorite.”

Mia West to her Nana

The Enlightment of Bees by Rachel Linden

Preheat oven to 350F.

Make the crust:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest.
  • Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture.
  • Blend in with an electric mixer at low speed until mixture forms coarse, sandy crumbs.
  • Pour into  9 x 9 pan and press mixture down with you fingers or the back of a spoon,  into an even layer.
  • Bake for 16-19 minutes, until just lightly browned around the edges.
  • While crust is baking, make filling.

Make the Filling:

  • Whisk together all filling ingredients in a large bowl.
  • When the crust comes out of the oven and is still hot, pour in filling mixture.
  • Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until filling is set and does not jiggle when the pan is gently shaken.


Cool completely before slicing. Top slices with confectioners’ sugar to serve.

the Book Inspiration

Sometimes a shattered dream leads to an amazing journey. 


At twenty-six, apprentice baker Mia West has her entire life planned out: a Craftsman cottage in Seattle, a job baking at The Butter Emporium, and her first love—her boyfriend, Ethan—by her side. But when Ethan declares he “needs some space,” Mia’s carefully planned future crumbles. 


Feeling adrift, Mia joins her vivacious housemate Rosie on a humanitarian trip around the world funded by a reclusive billionaire. Along with a famous grunge rock star, a Rwandan immigrant, and an unsettlingly attractive Hawaiian urban farmer named Kai, Mia and Rosie embark on the adventure of a lifetime.


From the slums of Mumbai to a Hungarian border camp during the refugee crisis, Mia’s heart is challenged and changed in astonishing ways—ways she never could have imagined. As she grapples with how to make a difference in a complicated world, Mia realizes she must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the life unfolding before her.