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Two lemon bars on a plate!

Best Lemon Bar Recipe

  • Author: Mindee
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Lemon Bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Let me show you how to make these tart lemony squares baked over a buttery shortbread crust!  They are so easy and completely from scratch!  This old fashioned lemon dessert is never out dated.  Luscious lemon curd with the  perfect balance of sweet and tart makes the best dessert bar for any get together!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup Butter (no substitutes)
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbs . Lemon Zest (about 2 medium sized lemons)
  • 1/4 cup FRESH Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 5 Tbs . Flour
  • Additional powdered sugar for sprinkling on the top of baked lemon bars.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. It works best to line a glass baking dish with parchment paper.  That way you can lift the entire dessert out of the pan to cut. OR you can butter the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan WELL. Do not use pan spray.
  3. Prepare the crust by whisking the 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar together.
  4. Cut in the butter until it is well combined and crumbly.
  5. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
  7. Prepare the lemon filling while the crust bakes.
  8. Beat the eggs and sugar together until it is very light yellow in color.
  9. Zest and juice the lemons.
  10. Beat the lemon zest, lemon juice, baking powder and flour into the sugar and eggs.
  11. Pour over the hot crust.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes.  Top should be just barely starting to brown.
  13. Cool the lemon bars until completely cool.
  14. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into 20 bars and enjoy!


  • If you want lemon bars that are bursting with lemon flavor every time you must use fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest.  Not bottled.  That's the secret.  A lot of people want to use bottled lemon juice or the dried zest for convenience but you will be disappointed with the results every time.
  • Just note that powdered sugar is used for dusting but also in the crust. If you use granulated sugar in the crust it will be tough and grainy.
  • Variations: Add a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds to the crust for a lemon poppy seed twist.

Keywords: classic lemon bars, best lemon bars recipe, lemon squares, lemon dessert bar