If you’re looking for the best Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust, this one is it. Easy cookie crust with a sweet and tangy lemon filling and lemon glaze, topped with powdered sugar!
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All lemon bars are NOT created equal. If you’re here looking for the secret to the best lemon bars, you’ve come to the right place.
For years I have tried DOZENS of lemon bar recipes, and they all vary in consistency and taste, tart, sweetness, moisture and dryness.
What I love most about a lemon bar, is a buttery shortbread crust with a sweet, tart lemon topping. I’m open to glazes and powdered sugar.
Today’s recipe has been made in my kitchen at least a dozen times over the past year. I’m finally getting around to sharing it. Why did I wait?
Well, every time I attempted to take pictures they turned out so bad. Apparently I’m not good at photographing lemon bars. Even today’s pictures are blah….but since I use my own website as a recipe box, it was time to document my favorite recipe for lemon bars!
How to make Lemon Bars
STEP 1: Start by lining an 8 x 8 inch (or 9″ square pan) with foil or parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
PRO TIP: Use a glass pan if possible. I find the flavor is best, and the citrus doesn’t interact with the metal pan!
STEP 2: In a large mixing bowl, cut together the cold butter, all-purpose flour, and powdered sugar. Mixture may be crumbly. Press into bottom of prepared baking dish.
STEP 3: Bake crust in oven for about 15 minutes.
STEP 4: While crust is baking, make the lemon filling. Combine granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
STEP 5: Remove crust from oven and immediately pour mixture over the baked crust. Return baking pan to oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
STEP 6: Remove bars from oven. To make glaze, whisk together powdered sugar with lemon juice. Drizzle over warm bars. Cool completely then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
When chilled, remove from pan by lifting the foil (or parchment) and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
What you need to make these bars
- 8 inch square baking dish
- parchment paper or foil
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
Lemon Dessert recipes
If you’re looking for some of the best, flavorful, crowd-pleasing lemon desserts, I’ve got you covered.
Lemon Cheesecake Bars top the list of favorite lemon treats. With layers of cookie crust, lemon cheesecake and lemon cookie bars this is one of the most delicious desserts ever, you won’t be able to stop eating these!
Lemon Hand Pies: flaky, baked hand pies with a sweet lemon filling! Don’t forget the dusting of powdered sugar on top!
FAQ For Lemon Bars
Can you freeze lemon bars
YES! After cutting the lemon bars, separate slightly in an airtight container that is freezer safe
How long do lemon bars last
Keep lemon bars refrigerated in an airtight container. Best if eaten within 5 days.
How much lemon juice is in a lemon
On average, you can expect about 2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice for one lemon.
How do you know when lemon bars are done
Much like jello, the filling of a lemon bar should jiggle slightly. Anything looser and you’ll need to continue baking.
Lemon in Savory Dishes
You’ll love this tangy, Lemon Garlic Pasta as a side dish with your favorite chicken or fish! Or enjoy it as your main entree in under 30 minutes!
Cozy up to this Harvest Salad recipe with it’s delicious Lemon Poppy Seed dressing. You’ll love the flavors of apples, pears, cashews, and swiss cheese in this hearty salad recipe!
Creamy Lemon Hummus is a fresh snack alternative to heavy dips. One bite of this hummus will keep you coming back for more!!
Tips for making Perfect Lemon Bars every time
- Use real lemons for the lemon juice. Bottle lemon juice doesn’t have the same fresh flavor!
- Chill your lemon bars. For best results, lemon bars have an enhanced lemon flavor when chilled, plus it let’s them firm up some so they are easier to cut.
- Speaking of cutting, the filling in lemon bars can be a little finicky when cutting. If you want PERFECT lemon squares, pop the bars in the freezer for half an hour before slicing.
- Help! My powdered sugar has absorbed into my lemon bars. No fear. This happens. First, wait until the bars have cooled and chilled before adding your powdered sugar. It’s best to sprinkle generously right before serving. But, if it absorbs again, just add more powdered sugar, you can’t go wrong!
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MORE EASY DESSERT RECIPES:
- Sugar Cookies
- Banana Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Pecan Tassies
- Italian Lemon Cake
- Zucchini Bread
- Watergate Sheet Cake
- Apple Bread
- Cranberry Bliss Bars
- Flower Candy
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Eclair Cake
- More Brownies and Bars
If you're looking for the best Lemon Bars recipe, this one is it. Buttery shortbread crust with a sweet and tangy lemon filling!
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
For the filling:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon worth)
For the topping:
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Line an 8 x 8 inch (or 9" square pan) with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, cut together the cold butter, all-purpose flour, and powdered sugar. Mixture may be crumbly. Press into bottom of prepared baking dish.
- Bake crust in oven for about 15 minutes.
- While crust is baking, make the lemon filling. Combine granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Remove crust from oven and immediately pour mixture over the baked crust. Return baking pan to oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
- Remove bars from oven. To make glaze, whisk together powdered sugar with lemon juice. Drizzle over warm bars. Cool completely then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- When chilled, remove from pan by lifting the foil (or parchment) and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 35mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g
Recipe originally published November 25, 2018
The BEST Lemon Bars with a shortbread crust and tangy sweet lemon filling!