A perfectly balanced sweet and tart lemon curd is layered between a buttery shortbread crust and powdered sugar. This Lemon Bars recipe is simply the best!
If you love lemon recipes as I do, you’ll love this lemon dessert! These Lemon Bars are made with real fresh-squeezed lemon juice and zest, which tastes way better than artificial lemon flavoring. One bite and your taste buds will be having a sweet and tangy blast!
If you live in the South and have access to lots of fresh local lemons, you’re so fortunate! Load up on lemons and bake all of these delicious lemon recipes. Oh… and don’t miss this Iced Lemon Loaf. It tastes better than the one they sell at Starbucks! 😉
Before starting this recipe, you’ll want to verify that you have the following common ingredients:
- Lemons – Fresh lemons are everything when it comes to baked goods. They far surpass extracts or juices. If you want a vibrant pop of flavor, fresh is the way to go!
- Sugar – These bars require a hefty amount of granulated sugar–all good things in moderation–right?
- Eggs – Be sure to have large eggs on hand for this recipe. Bonus points for farm-fresh eggs! These are a major ingredient in making the lemon curd.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is all you need to make the best shortbread crust. You will also need a little to thicken the lemon curd filling.
- Butter – Because butter makes all baked things delish! The shortbread layer will need 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter.
- Salt – This will enhance the flavor of the shortbread crust.
Equipment and Supplies Needed
We used the following equipment and supplies to make this recipe. Items that are optional or can be substituted will be noted.
- 8 x 8 baking dish – You can use a 9″ x 13″ pan but they will be thinner.
- parchment paper – I love to line the pan with this for easy cleanup.
- zester – To get that precious yellow zest from the lemon skin.
- juicer – This will make sure you extract every last drop of juice from your lemons.
- cutting board – A steady surface to cut your lemons on.
- chef’s knife – To slice your lemons in half for juicing.
- wooden spoon – Makes it easy to combine your softened butter, flour, and sugar.
- whisk – This will help get your lemon curd perfectly.
- mixing bowls – To prepare the shortbread dough, and the lemon filling.
- measuring cups & spoons – Needed to measure out your ingredients.
This recipe is easy to make if you know the right tips and tricks! Here are my tips for ensuring your Lemon Bars comes out perfectly.
The beauty of these lemon bars is that you can bake them in 3 different sized baking dishes. We prefer a thicker bar so we baked ours in an 8 x 8 sized dish. However, 8 x 11, and 9 x 13 sized baking dishes are also excellent.
Cutting lemon bars is easy if you follow these 3 tips.
- Use parchment paper inside the pan (see image) can make cleanup, cooling, and cutting these bars easier.
- Allow bars to cool for one hour before removing the parchment paper from the pan. They will still be warm, but will be less likely to break.
- Use a wet chef’s knife (longer than the length of the bars) to carefully cut through cooled bars. Rinse knife between cuts to make clean slices.
If you want to store your Lemon Bars, just follow these easy steps.
If these bars are going to be enjoyed the same day they do need to be refrigerated. However, if you plan on eating them at a later time, they do need to be refrigerated. They will last up to 48 hours for best taste.
You can also freeze these on a baking sheet for 6 hours (or until frozen) and then store them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To enjoy thaw in the refrigerator. You will need to add a fresh dusting of powdered sugar before enjoying.
Follow the recipe below to make Lemon Bars! This recipe makes 9 large bars, but you can adjust the recipe card for other serving sizes.
- 8" x 8" baking dish
- parchment paper
- measuring cup
- measuring spoons
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- Wooden Spoon
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ⅔ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar For dusting cooled bars.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix softened butter, lemon zest, flour, and sugar. Dough will be thick and should spread nicely into the bottom of your parchment-lined pan.
- Place pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is firm to the touch, and golden-brown in color.
- In a medium bowl, whisk sugar, lemon juice, eggs, flour, and zest. Pour over baked crust, and return pan to the oven for an additional 25 minutes. Top layer will be thick, and center will be jiggly.
- Cool bars in the pan for one hour before removing the parchment paper lined bars. See notes for cutting tips. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the cooled bars before serving.