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Lemon Bars

close up side shot of lemon bars stacked on top of each other
This old fashioned lemon bar recipe is a classic family favorite. The buttery crust is covered with a creamy lemon filling that is both sweet and tangy. Dusted with powdered sugar before being served, this homemade dessert is the best!
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Table of Contents
  1. LEMON BARS INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS LEMON BARS RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. FAQ
  6. MORE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

This lemon bar recipe is a simple, old fashioned dessert! Our made-from-scratch buttery shortbread crust is made with simple ingredients and baked to a golden brown. A sweet and tangy lemon filling tops the delicious crust and finished with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

You’ll want to try our easy blueberry dump cake and our lemon poke cake as well for more quick and simple desserts.

close up side shot of lemon cheesecake bars stacked on top of each other

MORE LEMON RECIPES:
Lemon Lush | Lemon Cheesecake | Lemon Blueberry Bread


LEMON BARS INGREDIENTS

A close up of food on a table, with Lemon and Laser

You will need:

FOR THE CRUST

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour

FOR THE FILLING

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • confectioners’ sugar for dusting

PRO TIP: Use fresh lemon juice to really enhance the flavor of this recipe, bottled lemon juice will not have the same flavor or texture.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

MEYER LEMONS: Meyer lemons have a slightly sweeter taste than regular lemons but can easily be used as a substitute in the lemon filling for this recipe.

CITRUS: You could change up the flavor of these yummy bars with a different citrus flavor. Try grapefruit, blood orange, lime or regular orange.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS LEMON BARS RECIPE

STEP ONE: For the shortbread base, mix the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir to combine.

STEP TWO: Press the crust mixture firmly into a 9×13 glass casserole dish lined with parchment paper. Then, bake crust at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Set warm crust aside.

PRO TIP: This is one recipe that I really recommend using a glass baking dish for. I just use a standard 9×13 glass casserole dish that you can pick up just about anywhere.

A glass of orange juice, with Lemon and Crust

STEP THREE: To make the lemon layer, add the sugar and flour into a large bowl and use a whisk to get out any lumps. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest and whisk until combined. Pour the filling over the top of the crust. The lemon mixture will be a little runny.

A bowl of food on a plate, with Lemon and Crust

STEP FOUR: Bake for 30 minutes until the center is set and doesn’t jiggle. It’s totally normal to see air bubbles on the top of your lemon bars after baking. You can’t even tell they’re there once you dust with powdered sugar.

A piece of cake sitting on top of a table

STEP FIVE: Remove from oven and cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate. These actually taste amazing after chilling for several hours or overnight. Dust cooled bars with powdered sugar before serving.

PRO TIP: Once your lemon bars are well chilled, take an oiled and very sharp knife and cut. I recommend wiping it off in between cuts just to get those beautiful, clean lines.

HOW TO SERVE

Serve these perfect lemon bars with a refreshing cold drink such as our raspberry iced tea or homemade raspberry lemonade which would blend beautifully with the flavor of the lemon. Everyone who loves the tangy taste of lemon would agree that these bars would be ideal for sharing. Wrap up a batch and deliver to a friend as a treat.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Any leftovers of these sweet treats should be stored in an airtight container. They’ll stay fresh for up to four days in the fridge.

IN THE FREEZER: These classic lemon bars will keep for up to four months when properly stored. After cooling, I recommend wrapping each square in wax paper, then plastic wrap before placing it inside a freezer bag or airtight container.

close up side shot of lemon cheesecake bars stacked on top of each other

Sweet, tart and delicious, this classic lemon bar recipe is the perfect easy dessert. You’ll love the simple baked crust and fresh lemon filling.

FAQ

Do I have to keep lemon bars in the fridge?

It is best to store this easy lemon bars recipe in a covered container in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to four months.

Could I use a different citrus flavor in this recipe?

This easy recipe is flexible enough that you could replace the lemon juice with grapefruit, orange, blood orange or lime juice.

Can I use bottled lemon juice?

If at all possible, you should use fresh lemon juice in this recipe. Bottled lemon juice will not give you the same rich lemony flavor.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up side shot of lemon bars stacked on top of each other

Lemon Bars

5 from 7 votes
This old fashioned lemon bar recipe is a classic family favorite. The buttery crust is covered with a creamy lemon filling that is both sweet and tangy. Dusted with powdered sugar before being served, this homemade dessert is the best!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

FOR THE CRUST

  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour

FOR THE FILLING

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup lemon juice fresh is best, about 4 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
  • For the crust mix the butter, sugar, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
  • Add the flour and stir to combine.
  • Press firmly into your prepared pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are light brown.
  • Add the sugar and flour into a large bowl. Use a whisk to get out any lumps.
  • Add the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice and whisk until combined.
  • Pour the filling over the warm crust. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the center is set and doesn’t jiggle.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely at room temperature. Then refrigerate.
  • Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Notes

TIP: Use fresh lemon juice to really enhance the flavor of this recipe, bottled lemon juice will not have the same flavor or texture.
 
TIP: This is one recipe that I really recommend using a glass baking dish for. I just use a standard 9×13 glass casserole dish that you can pick up just about anywhere.
 
TIP: Once your lemon bars are well chilled, take an oiled and very sharp knife and cut. I recommend wiping it off in between cuts just to get those beautiful, clean lines.

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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