Lemon Bars

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4.90 from 19 votes
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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 cake mix 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.

Four square lemon bars stacked on a white plate and topped with a small dollop of whipped cream

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!

Lemon bar topped with powdered sugar on a white plate with a silver fork and garnish of lemon peel.

Ingredients

To make this lemon bar recipe from scratch you will need…

Shortbread Crust Ingredients: sugar, butter, flour. Lemon Filling Ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and juice.
  • butter
  • flour
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • eggs
  • 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 .

unbaked crust in 9 x 13 pan; baked crust in 9 x 13 pan

Make the filling: Whisk the filling ingredients together and pour over the crust.

left: mixing bowl with yellow mixture and wire whisk; right: 9 x 13 glass baking dish with unbaked lemon bars

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.

Storage

Refrigerate lemon bars in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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.

Hand holding a fork talking a piece out of a Lemon Bar topped with powdered sugar, served on a white plate with a garnish of lemon peel.

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 2/3 cup.

More dessert bar recipes

If you enjoyed these classic lemon bars give these other dessert bars a try:

Recipe
four bright yellow lemon Bars stacked on top of one another on a white plate.
Recipe
4.90 from 19 votes

Lemon Bars

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
The best lemon bars recipe — a perfectly sweet and tart lemon filling on top of a rich and buttery shortbread crust.

Ingredients
 

For the Shortbread Crust:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Lemon Filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • confectioners sugar for dusting, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, letting it overhang the edges.
  • 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 for 16-20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
  • In a large bowl, whisk to combine the eggs, egg yolk, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pour over the crust and bake for 20 minutes or until the center is just set.
  • Remove the bars from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Then, refrigererate until chilled, about another 1-2 hours. Dust with confectioners sugar before slicing and serving, if desired.

Notes

Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Separate layers with parchment paper.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 277IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
four bright yellow lemon Bars stacked on top of one another on a white plate.

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The Best Lemon Bars; Easy Recipe!!!

4.90 from 19 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. Totally AWESOME! Very light, but packed with lemon flavor. Its in my FAV category!

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