Lemon Bar Recipes

Lemon bars are one of the EASIEST desserts to make but they’re guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. I love the soft lemon filling paired with a crisp shortbread crust and the flavor is beyond delicious; so bright and zingy with all the lemon flavor from the juice and zest, they’re simply irresistible!

Lemons: Fresh lemons, not from a bottle. I’ve had a questions about using other citrus fruit and that is totally fine. Try subbing in some orange juice and zest.

Butter: I always specify unsalted butter just because different manufacturers add various amounts of salt to salted butter. The best way to have uniform results from a recipe is to use unsalted butter then add however much salt you need separately. If you don’t have unsalted butter then go ahead and use salted butter! Just omit the extra salt.

lemon bar recipes

Lemon Bars

lemon bar recipes

These bright and zingy lemon bars are easy to make and so delicious!

Prep: 20min

Total: 255min

Yield: 15

Serving Size: 1 bar

Nutrition Facts: servingSize 1 bar, calories 385 kcal, Carbohydrate 66 g, Protein 6 g, Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 111 mg, Sodium 113 mg, Fiber 1 g, Sugar 46 g


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (360g, divided 2 1/2 cups for crust and 1/2 cup for filling)
  • 2/3 cups powdered sugar (66g, for the shortbread, plus more for dusting)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter (melted, 170g)
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest (zest of three lemons)
  • 3 cups sugar (600g)
  • 8 eggs (large, room temperature)
  • 1 cup lemon juice (fresh, 240mL)


  1. Heat oven to 350F and line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together 2 1/2 cups of flour (300g) with the powdered sugar and salt, then pour in the melted butter and mix until combined. You can also do this using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. If you’d like a dash of vanilla can be added in with the butter at this step.
  3. Sprinkle the dough into your lined pan and press down into a flat layer. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until a light golden color.
  4. While the crust is baking add the sugar to a food processor and add the zest of three lemons. Pulse until the zest is fully incorporated and sugar is a light yellow color. If you don’t have a processor just mince the zest and mix with the sugar in a bag or bowl.
  5. Add the sugar and remaining half cup of flour to a large bowl and mix well. You can sift together however and zesty sugar bits will need to get dumped out of the sifter as they might clog things up and not go through.
  6. Pour in the lemon juice and add the eggs then mix very well until completely combined.
  7. Pour the filling onto the warm crust then transfer to oven and bake for about 25 minutes, turning halfway through the bake. Remove from oven and allow to cool for an hour before chilling in the refrigerator for two hours.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into bars using a clean, sharp, damp knife. Clean and re-wet the knife after each cut.

Lemon Bars

lemon bar recipes

You only need 7 ingredients to make these lemon bars. The lemon curd filling is extra thick and creamy and sits on an irresistible butter shortbread crust. Always bake lemon bars at a lower temperature to avoid over-baking. See recipe notes for important tips. They’re simply the best lemon bars and are perfect for picnics, bake sales, spring brunches, baby showers, and bridal showers.

Prep: 10min

Total: 3h50min

Yield: 24


  • 1 cup (230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons (265g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (46g) all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • optional: confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 glass baking pan (do not use metal) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
  2. Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir to completely combine. The dough will be thick. Press firmly into prepared pan, making sure the layer of crust is nice and even. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the warm crust (not all the way through the crust). A new step I swear by, this helps the filling stick and holds the crust in place. Set aside until step 4.
  3. Sift the sugar and flour together in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, then the lemon juice until completely combined.
  4. Pour filling over warm crust. Bake the bars for 22-26 minutes or until the center is relatively set and no longer jiggles. (Give the pan a light tap with an oven mitt to test.) Remove bars from the oven and cool completely at room temperature. I usually cool them for about 2 hours at room temperature, then stick in the refrigerator for 1-2 more hours until pretty chilled. I recommend serving chilled.
  5. Once cool, lift the parchment paper out of the pan using the overhang on the sides. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares before serving. For neat squares, wipe the knife clean between each cut. Cover and store leftover lemon bars in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  6. Lemon bars can be frozen for up to 3-4 months. Cut the cooled bars (without confectioners’ sugar topping) into squares, then place onto a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. Individually wrap each bar in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place into a large bag or freezer container to freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator, then dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Classic Lemon Bars Recipe

lemon bar recipes

Lemon Bars with intense lemon flavor and a buttery shortbread crust. This recipe is so simple, can be made ahead and even frozen.

Prep: 30min

Total: 85min

Yield: 20

Serving Size: 1 serving

Nutrition Facts: calories 314 kcal, Carbohydrate 51 g, Protein 4 g, Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Trans Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 82 mg, Sodium 53 mg, Fiber 1 g, Sugar 36 g, servingSize 1 serving


  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter ((16 Tbsp) room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 7 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (*)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest (from 4 to 5 lemons)
  • 1 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed (from 5 large or 8 medium lemons)**)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners sugar (to dust)


  1. PREP: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 13x9x2” baking pan with parchment paper (it should go most of the way up the sides so filling doesn’t spill over.
  2. CRUST: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together softened butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 cups flour and 1/4 tsp salt. Continue mixing until mixture is crumbly and no dry flour remains. Spread the dough evenly into the bottom of your prepared pan. Press it with your fingertips to flatten and even out the dough. Bake crust at 350˚F for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden at the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
  3. FILLING: While the crust is baking, zest then squeeze the lemons and prepare your filling. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until blended. Add Lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk to combine. Add 1 cup flour and whisk until smooth and very well blended and no traces of flour remain.
  4. BAKING: Pour filling over the warm crust and bake in the center of a preheated oven at 350˚F for 30-35 minutes or until the filling is set. As soon as the filling is no longer wobbly in the center, remove from the oven so you don’t over-bake. Cool in the pan at room temperature for at least 1 hour then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. TO SERVE: Pull the parchment paper up slightly to loosen from the pan then transfer to a cutting board and cut into 18-20 squares then dust the tops with powdered sugar.

Lemon Bars

lemon bar recipes

Your family won’t be able to get enough of these lemon bars—a nice, cookie-like crust with just enough filling for a yummy spring or summer treat.

Prep: 15min

Total: 55min

Yield: 16 – 20 serving(s)


  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 4 whole large eggs
  • Zest and juice of 4 medium-sized lemons
  • Powdered sugar, for sifting


  1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350˚. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with butter. (Use an 8 x 10 pan if you’d like the layers to be a little thicker.)
  2. Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter to the bowl and use a pastry cutter to cut it all together until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Press into the prepared pan and bake until golden around the edges, about 20 minutes.
  3. For the filling: Stir together the sugar and flour. Crack in the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix until combined. Pour over the crust and bake about 20 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours, then sift powdered sugar over the top before cutting into squares.

Lemon Bars


How long will lemon bars keep?

Cover and store leftover lemon bars in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freezing Instructions: Lemon bars can be frozen for up to 3-4 months. Cut the cooled bars (without confectioners’ sugar topping) into squares, then place onto a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour.

Why did my lemon bars turn out runny?

Runny Lemon Bars are most likely caused from under baking. Make sure the filling no longer jiggles before taking it out of the oven. If your lemon bars are runny put them in the fridge to firm up as much as possible, keeping them cold will keep them firm.

What is lemon bar crust made of?

The crust in most lemon bars usually starts with creaming or rubbing softened butter with a mixture of flour and sugar. Instead of softened butter, I prefer to use melted butter. Making the crust with melted butter rather than softened keeps it crisp and perfectly contrasted to the creamy, lemon filling on top.

Do lemon bars need to be refrigerated?

Lemon bars should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated in order to prevent bacterial growth or foodborne illness. The filling in lemon bars is made with eggs and can become a breeding ground for bacteria if it’s kept in the danger zone (between 41 and 153 degrees F).

About the author

Helen is an author and editor at helenbackcafe.com, who has a passion for writing about recipes. She loves to experiment with different ingredients and cooking techniques to create delicious and unique dishes.

Among all the foods, pizza holds a special place in her heart, and she loves exploring different variations and toppings to create the perfect slice. Through her writing, Helen hopes to inspire others to get creative in the kitchen and share their love for food with the world.

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