The best lemon bars recipe — a perfectly sweet and tart lemon filling on top of a rich and buttery shortbread crust.
Lemon bars, also known as lemon squares, are a classic dessert bar with a bright lemon filling.
Like lemon cookies, lemon cupcakes, lemon layer cake, and lemon lush, these tangy lemon bars are a popular choice for holidays, brunches, bridal showers, baby showers, and bakes sales.
I especially love serving chilled lemon bars right from the fridge during the Spring and Summer months. They are light, fresh, and just the perfect dessert for warm days.
As you will see, these homemade lemon bars are not only the perfect combination of tart and sweet, but they are also super smooth and creamy thanks to the extra egg yolks in the recipe. So yummy!
To make this lemon bar recipe from scratch you will need…
- granulated sugar
- lemon juice
- lemon zest
- powdered sugar
How to Make Lemon Bars
Make the crust: Mix the crust ingredients together, press into a parchment-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brow .
Make the filling: Whisk the filling ingredients together and pour over the crust.
Bake: Bake for 20 minutes or until the center is set.
Cool & serve: Allow bars to cool at room temperature before dusting with powdered sugar, slicing, and serving.
Refrigerate lemon bars in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Lemon bars can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Place fully cooled bars on a baking sheet and freeze for about 2 hours. Then remove from freezer, wrap bars individually in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer baggie.
For best results, freeze bars without the dusting of powdered sugar. Thaw the bars overnight and add dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
Tips for the best lemon bars
- Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor–not the stuff that comes in a bottle
- Zest your lemons before juicing them, making sure to get only the yellow rind and not the white pith.
- For extra lemon flavor up the lemon juice in the filling to the juice of 3 lemons.
More dessert bar recipes
If you enjoyed these classic lemon bars give these other dessert bars a try:
- Funfetti Cookie Bars
- Homemade Twix Bars
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Harvest Spice Bars
- Unicorn Cheesecake Bars
- Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
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For the Crust:
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
For the Lemon Filling:
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 lemons, juiced (about ½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- powdered sugar for dusting, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the shortbread crust ingredients and mix until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press firmly into the bottom of the baking dish in an even layer and bake until the edges are lightly browned–about 20 minutes.
- Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Pour over the crust and bake just until the center is set– about another 20 minutes.
- Remove the bars from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar (optional), slice, and serve.
The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by a third party and intended to serve as an estimate only. The accuracy of nutritional information is not guaranteed.
Corrina Lusignan says
Totally AWESOME! Very light, but packed with lemon flavor. Its in my FAV category!
Jaclyn Shimmel says
Yay! So glad that you enjoyed them as much as we do!