These classic Lemon Bars are simple, delicious, and sweet, with just the right amount of tart! Add a bit of powdered sugar, and these easy lemon bars are irresistible!
When it comes to desserts, I usually prefer chocolatey over fruity, with a few exceptions – these lemon bars being one of them. I feel the same way about our Strawberry Shortcake Bars and Lemon Lasagna. So fruity and so refreshing!
a childhood favorite
Did anyone else grow up eating lemon bars? I feel like it’s one of those desserts that grandmas are notorious for making. Or is it just me? Regardless, I know you’re going to love this recipe. It’s perfect for any occasion from potlucks to fancy dinner parties.
I’ll paint the picture for you: Moist, buttery shortbread crust with a sweet, yet perfectly tart lemon filling, topped with a generous amount of powdered sugar. Are you drooling yet?
There’s something about the lemony flavor that makes these bars easy to eat. They’re not overly sweet or rich – they’re kind of refreshing rather than heavy!
But don’t take my word for it. Whip up a batch of these easy Lemon Bars and see for yourself!
How to make Lemon Bars
This lemon bar recipe is SUPER easy to throw together!
CRUST. Mix butter, powdered sugar, flour, and salt together with a pastry cutter or spatula. Pat mixture into a greased 9×13 pan.
BAKE. Bake for 20 minutes at 375. Make sure to not let it get brown, keep it light!
LEMON LAYER. Meanwhile, blend eggs, lemon juice, sugar, and flour until frothy, about 30 seconds. Pour over crust once it comes out of the oven, and bake for another 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
TOP & SERVE. Remove from oven, top with powdered sugar, and ENJOY!
Tip: Use fresh lemon juice. A medium sized lemon with yield about 4 tablespoons of juice. For extra lemon flavor, include lemon zest.
- When the bars are finished cooking, the edges will begin to turn a golden brown and the middle will be set and won’t wobble.
- If you overcook your lemon bars they will curdle, look eggy and end up with more of a grainy texture. Make sure to take them out of the oven as soon as the middle is set.
Glass vs. Metal Pan: I suggest using a glass or ceramic dish for this dessert, but if you are using a metal pan line it with parchment paper as the acidity in the lemon can cause the dessert to take on a bit of a metallic taste. Also, note that the dessert may cook more quickly in a metal pan than a glass dish.
Do you see air bubbles? Don’t worry! Sometimes lemon bars have them and sometimes they don’t. They are created from the eggs rising to the surface. They don’t affect the taste at all. If you don’t like how it looks be sure to use a generous dusting of powdered sugar on top.
Making Clean Slices: Getting clean even slices can be pretty tricky. Here’s a tip that works every time! Line the pan with foil (sprayed with cooking oil) or parchment paper before adding the crust, then bake. Continue following the recipe as written.
Once completely cooked, cool for 15-20 minutes then chill in the fridge or freezer for another 20-40 minutes. Once chilled, use the foil/parchment paper to completely lift the entire lemon bar out of the baking pan in one large piece.
Using a sharp chef knife, dip it in hot water, wipe off water, then slice then lemon bars. Continue heating the knife back up before each slice.
Other Toppings: Instead of the powdered sugar topping, you can try using a lemon frosting or glaze. Or, you can add a garnish of a sliced lemon to each square, or another piece of fruit such as a raspberry, blueberry or slice of strawberry.
How to Store
How to store lemon bars: Once cut, store the lemon bars in an airtight container. Separate the layers with parchment paper to keep them from sticking to each other.
- Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Let them come to room temperature before serving.
Because we have been long-time fans of Lemon bars, we’ve tried so many versions in the past. This version is so simple and so delicious and was deemed the BEST lemon bars recipe by the entire family. I guess that means it’s a keeper!
There really is no reason not to whip up some of these old-fashioned Lemon Bars!
For more lemon desserts, check out:
- Lemon Lasagna
- Easy Lemon Cheesecake
- Lemon Cupcakes
- Lemon Sheet Cake
- Frosted Cake Mix Lemon Cookies
- Lemon Buttermilk Cake
Lemon Bar Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-x-13-inch glass baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix butter, flour, powdered sugar and salt with a pastry cutter or spatula. Pat mixture into the prepared dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Make sure to not let it brown.
- While crust is baking, blend eggs, lemon juice, granulated sugar and flour in a medium bowl with a hand mixer until frothy, about 30 seconds. Pour over warm crust.
- Bake for an additional 22–24 minutes. Bars are done when the edges begin to turn golden brown and the middle is set and does not wobble.
- Let cool completely in the pan. Sift powdered sugar over the top before cutting into squares.
Adapted from Among the Young.