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Lemon Bars

lemon bars on a parchment paper lined cutting board

Sweet-tart lemon curd filling sits atop buttery shortbread and is all topped off with a dusting of powdered sugar, these are Lemon Bars!

lemon bars stacked on top of one another

Main Ingredients for Lemon Bars

This lemon bar recipe used everyday ingredients to create extraordinary results. Here’s what you need:

  • Salted Butter – I like using salted butter because the salt helps to balance out all the sweetness, but feel free to use unsalted instead.
  • Powdered Sugar – this sweetens the shortbread crust as well as making it super tender. Powdered sugar also dusts the tops of these lemon bars.
  • All-Purpose Flour – this stabilizes the lemon curd and fills out the crust.
  • Vanilla – a subtle flavoring ingredient for the crust.
  • Granulated Sugar – to sweeten the filling.
  • Eggs – this thickens the filling and helps it set while baking.
  • Lemon Juice – this flavors the lemon filling, use the fresh stuff!
top down view of ingredients

How to Make Lemon Bars

For full details on how to make lemon bars, including increments, see the recipe card down below!

  1. Preheat oven. Prepare a square glass baking dish with parchment paper and nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine butter, flour, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until a dough forms. Press dough into the bottom of the pan, evenly. Bake until the edges are just barely golden.
  3. While the shortbread bakes, make the lemon custard by whisking sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and flour together.
  4. As soon as the crust is done baking, cover with lemon filling and return to the oven until set. Cool lemon bars completely.
  5. Cut into 16 squares and then dust with powdered sugar.

FAQ’s

Can I double this lemon bar recipe?

You absolutely can double this recipe! The original is meant for a square baking dish so if you are doubling it, use a 9×13 pan.

Do I have to use a glass pan?

You don’t necessarily need to use a glass pan but I will say this, mental pans tend to give off a metallic taste to these bars, and because of that I’d highly recommend using glass pans.

Why do I have a thin, white layer on top of my lemon bars after baking?

These are air bubbles trapped in the lemon curd! Don’t worry about them too much, they are perfectly normal and can be covered with powdered sugar.

Do I have to use fresh lemon juice?

Please use fresh lemon juice (not the bottled stuff)! Using fresh juice ensures that you get the perfect blend of sweet and tart.

How many lemons will I need?

Lemons vary in size and so I would say grab 3 large lemons from your local grocery store. It’s better to have more than not enough!

top view of sliced lemon bars on a cutting board

Storing

Lemon bars can stay good for up to a week, stored in an airtight container, in the fridge. However, you may need to dust them again with powdered sugar, so be mindful of that.

Freezing Instructions

Luckily for you, lemon bars can also be made ahead of time and then frozen to stay good for up to 4 months!

  • To Freeze: Cut cooled bars into squares and place onto a baking sheet, without topping with powdered sugar. Freeze for about an hour or until bars are completely frozen. Then wrap each bar in plastic wrap and place into a freezer-safe bag. Freeze!
  • To Serve: Unwrap frozen bars and place onto a baking sheet, thaw in the fridge overnight. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
lemon bars stacked on top of one another

More Lemon Recipes You Will Love!

Be sure to leave a comment and review if you tried this lemon bar recipe 🙂

The printable recipe card is below, enjoy!

lemon bars on a parchment paper lined cutting board

Lemon Bars

Sweet-tart lemon curd filling sits atop buttery shortbread and is all topped off with a dusting of powdered sugar, these are Lemon Bars!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 bars
Calories 156 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Shortbread Crust:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Lemon Filling:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice fresh
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • powdered sugar for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a square (8×8 or 9×9) glass baking dish with parchment paper and nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine butter, flour, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until a dough forms. Press dough into the bottom of the pan, evenly. Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges are just barely golden.
  • While the shortbread bakes, make the lemon custard by whisking sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and flour together.
  • As soon as the crust is done baking, cover with lemon filling and return to the oven for 20 minutes or until set. Cool lemon bars completely.
  • Cut into 16 squares and then dust with powdered sugar.

Notes

If the dough isn’t sticking together your butter is probably too cold. To fix this, mix with clean hands to warm the dough up.

Nutrition

Calories: 156kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 63mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 222IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg
Keyword lemon bars
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2 Comments

  • Amber
    June 28, 2021 at 2:50 am

    5 stars
    Delicious! I’ll definitely make them again!

    Reply
  • Hannah Joy
    July 18, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    5 stars
    So simple and crazy good. I couldn’t believe how easy they were! I’ve done the same recipe adding grapefruit juice and it’s so fun. Love this!

    Reply

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