★★★★★

The Best Lemon Bars

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!

Love lemons? You’ve got to try our lemon coconut cake. Or give our easy lemon ricotta cookies a try soon.

If you're looking for the best Lemon Bars recipe, this one is it. Buttery shortbread crust with a sweet and tangy lemon filling!

Why these Lemon Bars are Best

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.

  • Buttery shortbread crust
  • Sweet and tangy lemon topping
  • Powdered sugar for a touch of sweetness to finish

How to make Lemon Bars

Easy Lemon Bars with a shortbread crust and sweet, tart filling!

STEP 1: Make the crust. Mixture may be crumbly. Press into bottom of prepared baking dish.

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: While crust is baking, make the lemon filling. Use our guide on how to zest a lemon for best tips and tricks.

STEP 3: Bake until edges are golden brown. DO NOT overbake.

STEP 4: Top with icing and powdered sugar. the best of both worlds.

When chilled, remove from pan by lifting the foil (or parchment) and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

The Best Lemon Bars made with a shortbread crust and lemon filling. Topped with glaze AND powdered sugar.

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!

Creamy, delicious Lemon Cheesecake has the perfect consistency and is topped with a homemade Lemon Curd!

Imagine if a snickerdoodle cookie combined with a lemon. That’s what these soft and chewy Lemon Crinkle Cookies taste like! The perfect flavor combination!

Lemon Hand Pies: flaky, baked hand pies with a sweet lemon filling! Don’t forget the dusting of powdered sugar on top!

Lemon Bars: the perfect recipe has a shortbread crust and tart lemon filling.

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.

Tips and Tricks

  • 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!

More Easy Dessert Recipes

Yield: 12 bars

Lemon Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

If you're looking for the best Lemon Bars recipe, this one is it. Buttery shortbread crust with a sweet and tangy lemon filling!

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

For the filling:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon worth)

For the topping:

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Line an 8 x 8 inch (or 9" square pan) with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. 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.
  4. Bake crust in oven for about 15 minutes. 
  5. While crust is baking, make the lemon filling. Combine granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. When chilled, remove from pan by lifting the foil (or parchment) and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Notes

  • 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!
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 35mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    The BEST Lemon Bars with a shortbread crust and tangy sweet lemon filling!

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    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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    Posted on September 23, 2019

    Comments & Reviews

    1. Your lemon bars look amazing! I’ve never tried making them but your recipe seems pretty straightforward. I think the husband will love these, along with my Mom.

    2. I made these lemon bars for an anniversary party this past weekend and they were such a hit. One lady commented that they were a little piece of heaven. 

    3. Im looking for a recipe where lemon bar crust is somewhat soft and moist and not hard or crunchy….if that make sense. What is the texture of the bars like? Moisture?

    4. Please include nutritional facts with your recipes.  I have family members who need to keep track of sugar and sodium   Thanks

      1. They get a little soft and gooey in the freezer. It’s possible, but they don’t have the best texture after thawing,.

      1. Yes! I’ve done it several times! My only suggestion would be NOT to double the glaze. The original recipes makes a sufficient amount to cover the 13×9. Just double the bars part 🙂

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