How to Make the Best Lemon Bars Recipe

This classic lemon bar recipe makes the perfect dessert for a baby shower, bake sales, special occassion, or just the perfect treat with a cup of tea.

With its bright lemon color, these classic lemon bars are made with simple ingredients. A crisp shortbread crust paired with a luscious lemon filling makes these the best lemon squares ever!

Stack of lemon bars in front of a basket of lemons

How to Make Homemade Lemon Bars from Scratch in an 8 x 8 inch square pan

Ingredients for this Easy Lemon Bars Recipe:

Ingredients for lemon squares
This lemon bars recipe only has a few simple ingredients.
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salted cold butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (Fresh lemon juice is best, but you can also use purchased lemon juice.)

Step by step instructions:

1. Prepare the buttery shortbread crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare pan by lining it with parchment paper.

Lemon bar crust ingredients in a mixing bowl.

In a medium  bowl, mix together the flour and powdered sugar. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the cold butter until it resembles course oatmeal.

Lemon bars crust pressed into an 8x8 inch baking pan.
Lining the 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper makes it easy to remove later.

Press into an 8 x 8 inch prepared pan that has been lined with parchment paper and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Baked lemon bars crust.
The crust should be lightly golden brown and pulling away from the sides when it is baked.

2. Prepare the sweet tart lemon curd filling.

Lemon bars lemon curd filling ingredients in a white mixing bowl with a whisk.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon juice. (Fresh lemons make the best lemon juice, so if you have some, I recommend using fresh lemon juice.)

Lemon bars lemon curd filling in a baking pan.
Pour the lemon curd filling over the bake crust and bake again.

3.Pour the lemon mixture over the warm crust and bake 20-25 minutes longer.

The filling is cooked when the center is set.

Place lemon bars pan on a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

Slab of lemon bars with icing sugar sprinkled over the top.
Wait until the bars are fully cooled before slicing.

Remove them from by the pan by lifting the parchment paper. Sprinkle with a generous dusting of confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar) for a pretty finishing touch.

Cut into 16 squares with a sharp knife.

Slices of lemon bars on tiny serving plates.

How to store lemon bars.

Since lemon bars have a custard filling, it is recommended to store them covered in the refrigerator if they aren’t going to be eaten within a few hours.

I like to even store them in the freezer if I want to make them ahead for a future event.

Stack of lemon bars

How lemon bars became a family favorite recipe.

Although lemon recipes are typically thought of as Spring or Summer recipes, the first time I remember eating them was at Grandma’s house at Christmas time!

I was a freshman in college and she enjoyed baking special treats for me and my college friends. This recipe was a memorable one that has been a favorite ever since. Now, I find it is a great recipe to take to potlucks, bridal or baby showers, or family picnics.

Other squares recipes you may enjoy:

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Grandma's Luscious Lemon Bars Recipe

Grandma's Luscious Lemon Bars Recipe

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Grandma’s classic lemon bars recipe makes the perfect dessert or tea time treat. Made with simple ingredients, it has a buttery crust and a sweet, tangy lemon curd filling. You’ll have trouble eating only one!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Step One: Prepare the crust.In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour and powdered sugar. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until it resembles course oatmeal.
  2. Press into an 8 x 8 inch pan that has been lined with parchment paper and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  3. Step Two: Prepare the lemon curd filling.Whisk together the eggs, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon juice.
  4. Pour the filling over the hot-from-the-oven crust and bake 20-25 minutes longer. The filling is cooked when the center is set.
  5. Step Three: Let cool completely before cutting.Place lemon bars pan on a cooling rack and cool completely.
  6. Remove them from by the pan by lifting the parchment paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar for a pretty finishing touch.
  7. Cut into 16 squares.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

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3 Comments

  1. I just made this and can’t wait to have it with tea later today! It is still cooling off. Thank you for sharing quick, easy and delicious recipes!

  2. I made this recipe and it was very easy. Many people in my family like lemon squares. The crust was nice but the squares did not taste much like lemon and I did double the amount of lemon. A bit disappointing.

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