Luscious Lemon Bars

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Tested & Perfected Recipes
Lemon Bars

A buttery shortbread crust, luscious lemon filling, and dusting of powdered sugar make these lemon bars as pretty as they are delicious!

Lemon Bars

One day, my dear friend Melissa and I got on the subject of lemon bars. Neither of us had a go-to recipe, so we decided to hit the kitchen and create one of our own. Well, we must have made at least 200 lemon bars. I don’t think our poor husbands, ever the willing taste testers, would care if they never ate lemon bars again!

But finally, perfection: a crisp and buttery shortbread crust topped with a luscious lemon filling. Generously dusted with powdered sugar, they’re as pretty as they are delicious.

What You’ll Need To Make Lemon Bars

ingredients for lemon bars

How To Make Lemon Bars

Step 1: Make The Crust

Place the flour, corn starch, salt and Confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.

dry ingredients for crust in food processor

Mix for 15 seconds to blend, then toss in the cold butter.

adding pieces of butter to food processor Mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 15 seconds.

crust blended to coarse meal in food processor

Sprinkle the mixture into a foil-lined, greased 9×13-in pan.

crust mixture in prepared pan

Press firmly with your fingers into an even layer, building up a thin 3/4-inch edge around the sides (this keeps the filling from spilling beneath the crust). Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.

pressing mixture into pan to make crust
Bake the crust until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

baked crust

Step 2: Make The Filling

Start by whisking the eggs in a large bowl.

whisked eggs in bowl for lemon filling

Add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and flour.

adding sugar, lemon, and flour to eggs for fillingWhisk well, making sure no lumps of flour remain.

whisked lemon filling in bowl

Pour the filling into the baked crust.

filling poured into baked crustStep 3: Bake & Cool

Return the pan to the oven and bake another 30 to 35 minutes, or until the topping is set and firm. Let the bars cool on a rack to room temperature; it will take several hours.

baked lemon bars

How To Cut Lemon Bars

Use the foil overhang to lift the baked square out of pan and onto a cutting board. Carefully loosen the foil from the edges of the crust.

lemon bars transferred to cutting board

Using a sharp knife, cut into squares or triangles.

sliced lemon barsUse a fine sieve to dust the squares with Confectioners’ sugar. Store the bars in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Serve chilled or room temperature.

How To Freeze Lemon Bars

Lemon bars freeze beautifully — they are even good frozen. To freeze the bars, let them cool completely and freeze the batch whole, covered tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, for up to three months. (The cut bars can also be frozen in a single layer.) Before serving, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Cut the bars and then sprinkle with Confectioners’ sugar before serving.

(Note: this recipe was originally published in 2010 but updated in 2019 with new photos and instructions. The new recipe makes double the amount and the bars are easier to handle. You can find the original recipe here.) 
Lemon Bars

More Recipes For Lemon Lovers

Luscious Lemon Bars

A buttery shortbread crust, luscious lemon filling, and dusting of powdered sugar make these lemon bars as pretty as they are delicious!

Servings: 20 squares or 40 triangles
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes, plus several hours to cool

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Confectioners' sugar, plus more to decorate finished bars
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For the Lemon Topping

  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (be sure to zest the lemons before juicing)
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 5 to 6 lemons
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

Make the Crust

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cover a 9x13-in metal baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil (see note below). Push the foil neatly into the corners and up the sides of the pan, using two pieces if necessary to ensure that the foil overlaps all edges (the overhang will help removal from the pan). Spray the foiled pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place the flour, corn starch, salt and Confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and mix for a few seconds. Add the butter and mix to blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 15 seconds. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even layer, building up a thin 3/4-inch edge around the sides (this keeps the filling from spilling beneath the crust). Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. Bake the crust until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Make the Filling

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and flour. Be sure no lumps of flour remain.
  2. When the crust is ready, give lemon mixture a quick final stir and then pour over top. Immediately return the pan to the oven and bake another 30 to 35 minutes, or until the topping is set and firm. Let the bars cool on a rack to room temperature; it will take several hours.
  3. To cut, use the foil overhang to lift the baked square out of pan and onto a cutting board. Carefully loosen the foil from the edges of the crust, using a knife if necessary. Using a sharp knife, cut into squares or triangles. Use a fine sieve to dust the squares with Confectioners' sugar. Store the bars in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Serve chilled or room temperature.
  4. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. After they are completely cooled, freeze the batch whole, covered tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap. Before serving, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Cut the bars and then sprinkle with Confectioners’ sugar before serving.
  5. Note: Be sure to use heavy-duty aluminum foil; regular aluminum foil may stick. Parchment paper can also be used to line the pan.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (20 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 large square
  • Calories: 306
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50 g
  • Sugar: 36 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 140 mg
  • Cholesterol: 80 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • These lemon bars are amazing. I’ve made them for Easter for a few years now and they are a new tradition for us!

    • — Stephanie H on April 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • Would it be possible to substitute lime juice for the lemon juice?
    Thx. so much.
    Love your recipes!

    • — Kathy Santore on April 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, I haven’t tried it, but I think lime should work here. You may also want to consider my Key Lime Pie recipe. Hope you enjoy whatever you make!

      • — Jenn on April 8, 2021
      • Reply

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