Lemon bars with a shortbread crust are an easy but pastry-case worthy dessert made in one bowl.
Plus the shortbread crust can be patted into place--no fussing with a rolling pin.
I know I always say this but really, these lemon bars are probably one of the very best desserts I've ever made.
If you like citrus desserts, you must also try Nellie & Joe's Famous Key Lime Pie Recipe (Just 3 Ingredients)
Easy Lemon Bar Recipe
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I'll earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See Disclosure.
I'm so glad you stopped by!
Can you smell the dark roast coffee I just brewed? Sit down and I'll pour you a cup.
Strong, hot coffee goes perfectly with a lemon bar recipe, a sweet, tart, zesty and easy dessert, I'm going to share with you.
Lemon bars are one of my most favorite desserts.
Of course, I’m in love with any and all citrus no matter the form.
How Do You Make Lemon Bars?
These citrus bars are easy, in some ways easier and faster than making a batch of cookies.
You make a shortbread crust using butter, sugar, flour and a bit of salt, which you press into a square cake pan, 8 by 8 in size.
While the crust is baking in the oven for 15 minutes, you make the lemon bar filling with eggs, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar.
Then you pour the lemon mixture over the crust and bake it.
Let cool, cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar if you like.
I’ve been making these lemon bars for years.
I found the recipe in a 1999 Cooking Light magazine.
I just realized that I've been making these citrus bars for over 20 years now!
Don‘t worry about the recipe coming from a healthy cooking magazine, these lemon bars taste decadent.
Even better, they come together quickly in one bowl.
Grated chocolate is a wonderful topping for coffee yogurt. Or anything really.
You also need a square cake pan, 8 x 8 or 9x9.
An 8x8 pan is also a good size for making homemade granola bars.
Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper before patting in your crust to make for easier clean up.
Make the crust first. While the crust is baking in the oven for 15 minutes, mix the filling.
Don’t worry if the filling seems really runny once you pour it in the crust.
The bars will thicken in the oven.
This recipe makes one 8 x 8 pan. So, if you're planning desserts for a party, you'll need to bake additional items.
You'll need two to three medium sized lemons to yield a third of a cup of juice and two teaspoons of zest.
How should you juice the lemons?
I own a couple different styles of citrus reamers but 99.9 percent of the time I just use a sturdy fork.
Yes, lemon bars can be frozen. Before freezing the bars, cut them into squares and put them on a tray or container unwrapped for 45 minutes to an hour until they firm up.
Then wrap each lemon bar either with plastic wrap or wax paper or freezer paper. Seal the individually wrapped bars in a freezer-safe container or bag.
You can freeze lemon bars for several months but I think the quality is best if you freeze no longer than three months.
Yes, refrigerate lemon bars well-wrapped. Lemon bars contain eggs and are similar to a custard filling so they should be kept refrigerated so bacteria doesn't develop.
However, having said that, lemon bars are okay to stay out at room temperature for a few hours if you're serving them at a party or gathering.
- For crust:
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- For lemon filling:
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
- ⅓ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3 tbps all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ cup powdered or icing sugar, sifted
- Make crust
- Beat sugar and butter in mixing bowl with beaters until creamy, about two minutes.
- Add flour. Beat on low speed until you have a fine crumb.
- Line an 8x8 inch square tin with parchment paper or spray heavily with non=stick coating Or rub thoroughly with a bit of butter.
- Dump crumbs into tin and press with your hands or with the bottom of a measuring cup to form a crust.
- Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes or until just crisp with the slightest bit of browning on the edges. Cool on wire rack.
- Make Filling
- Beat eggs on medium speed until foamy-about three minutes. Add remaining ingredients sugar through salt and beat until combined.
- Pour over cooled crust.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350. Pay attention to smell. When you smell lemon bars, the bars are likely done. There should be just a slight jiggle when you remove the pan from the oven but the mixture shouldn't be loose. If it's loose, bake for another five minutes or so.
- Let cool.
- Cut into squares.
- Serve with a sprinkling of powdered or icing sugar.
Make sure eggs are room temperature.
Use fresh lemon juice. This recipe won't be even a fraction as good with bottled juice.
This post and/or recipe may contain affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I'll earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See Disclosure policy.