Lemon Bars Recipe

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 stack of three lemon bars on a white plate.

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!

A pastry cutter in a mixing bowl with the dough for lemon bar crust.

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.

Baking Tips

  • 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. 

Serving TIPS

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!

Easy lemon bars stacked on a white plate.

For more lemon desserts, check out:

Lemon Bar Recipe

4.98 from 48 votes
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!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 303 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

Crust

Lemon Layer

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Make Ahead: These bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Lemon Juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. A medium-sized lemon will yield about 4 tablespoons of juice.

Adapted from Among the Young.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    Lemon happens to be my all time favorite flavor for desserts! These bars are so good and not too tangy!

  2. 5 stars
    Lemon is good…but i wanted to switch it up and used fresh lime juice….it was really good! (sorry for the caps…default setting I guess)

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Tastes so good my whole family enjoys this one. The only thing to add is im in high elevation so baking at 350 for 20 minutes did not work for me i had to Bake for an additional 10 min. Could you comment on how the texture should be in case i am over baking?

  4. 5 stars
    I absolutely loved this recipe. I made lemon bars not too long ago and they were good, but these were GREAT. I added a dash of vanilla extract to my shortbread and a little bit of lemon zest to my lemon filling. I think it made it perfect

  5. 5 stars
    I made these lemon bars for Mother’s Day gifts. It was my first attempt at baking them. Recipe was very easy to follow and were a big hit. Once my hubby tasted one, the lemon bars nearly didn’t make it into the gift boxes.

  6. They looked lovely and I was keen to make them but there was no ingredients measurements….how many eggs?…..how much flour? Etc

    1. The recipe with the ingredient amounts is found at the bottom of the post. All of the instructions should be there as well. Hope this helps!

  7. 5 stars
    Hi,
    Lovely recipe, can’t wait to try it. ☺️

    Question – squeezed the lemons I have on hand and only came up with 3T of juice. I have limes – may I make up the 2-3T with lime instead?

    Thank you!

    1. You could use limes but it will change the flavor of the bars slightly. I have never tried them with lime juice, so I’m not sure how it would turn out. You’ll have to let us know!

  8. 5 stars
    These were amazing! I tried to make lemon bars before but they didn’t seem to come out right. Then I found your recipe and they came out perfect!! My brother in law even said they were the best lemon bars he’s ever tasted!

    1. Oh that makes me so happy to hear! I’m so glad you all (including your brother in law) enjoyed the lemon bars!

  9. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this super easy to make lemon bars! It turned our really great and fam really loves it! Will make it again for sure.

  10. 5 stars
    Lemon Bars are a favorite of mine! These are so simple to make too! Perfect for summer or really all year long!

  11. 5 stars
    Turns out perfect every time
    I do make these is a sheet pan so almost double recipe I do like alot of crust but amazing bars

  12. 5 stars
    These lemon bars are so easy to make and they taste so good!!! I get so many compliments when I make them and the fact that my mom (best cook I know) says I make lemon bars better than her…. Makes this a winning recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    I’m gonna tell ya’ll right now. These are absolutely obscene. For real. Heaven in a bar is more like it. The Buttery richness. The powdered sugar in the crust makes them taste divine. Please, if your looking for the best tasting lemon bars. The search ends here. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipe with the rest of us.

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