The Best Lemon Bars

filed under: Bars · Dessert on March 10, 2020

This perfect Lemon Bars Recipe has two important things; the perfect amount of lemon and a rich buttery crust. I add a bit more lemon juice than most, but it’s what sets my lemon bar recipe apart! If you love these you will also love my Orange Bars!

Lemon Bars Recipe

Growing up in Minnesota I knew these as “lemon squares”. It’s just what my grandma called them! They were served at most potlucks, Thanksgiving, Christmas, church fundraisers, and definitely bake sales.

So what is a lemon square/lemon bar? They are tart, sweet, and buttery perfection, all rolled into one! I find myself making these decadent bars all year long, but especially in the winter. There is something so refreshing about lemon desserts when there is snow on the ground. (which is half the year when you live in Minnesota!)

One Lemon Bar Dusted with confectioners sugar

How to Make Lemon Bars

Lemon Bar recipe (full recipe below)

  • 9×13 pan (I love this recipe in an 8×10 pan as well, the crust is wonderfully thick)
  • aluminum foil
  • Room temperature ingredients are key! I teach you how to quickly warm up butter and eggs here. Out of eggs? Check out some Egg Substitutes to try in this recipe!
  • Lining your pan with foil is optional. You can also use parchment paper, I would just make sure it extends up over the sides for easy bar removal.
  • Only have 2 lemons but want to get as much juice as possible? Take the lemon and roll it on the counter roughly, pressing hard on the lemon. This will help to loosen up the juices before extraction.
  • Try to get your crust as even as possible! In case you were wondering how to make lemon bar crust, I will share my secret! I press the crumbs into the pan then go back with a hard flat surface (like a drinking glass) and press down on the crust. This helps to create an even surface.
  • Feel free to use only 1/2 cup of lemon juice the first time you are making these bars. I just happen to like that awesome extra lip-smackin-kick of the real lemon juice and like to use a lot!
  • Make these bars Gluten-Free simply by using an interchangeable Gluten-Free flour. I used Namaste Perfect Flour Blend and it worked beautifully.


Lemon Squares Stacked 5 high

How to Store Lemon Bars

While these bars can be kept out at room temperature for several hours, they should be refrigerated if you can’t finish off the pan the same day you make it. If you know that you are going to be storing them, try to only cut off the pieces you need, not cutting up the entire pan into bars. (Hint: This also means nice crisp cuts when you serve them cold!) I usually place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the bars and then cover with foil. Lemon bars can be stored for several days in the refrigerator.

If you are freezing the lemon bars I like to cut them into individual size portions and then wrap each bar with plastic wrap. Date it and stack neatly in your freezer! To thaw, either place bars in the refrigerator the night before using or leave on the counter to come to room temperature.


One Lemon Bar straight on view

Love lemon desserts? Try any of these:

Raspberry Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemon Surprise Cake

Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Easy Lemon Cupcakes

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

4.93 from 27 votes
The Best Lemon Bars
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
2 hrs
Total Time
50 mins

This perfect Lemon Bars Recipe has two important things; the perfect amount of lemon and a rich buttery crust. I add a bit more lemon juice than most, but it’s what sets my lemon bar recipe apart!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon bars
Servings: 12
Calories: 238 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (256g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (32g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your hands. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan lined with foil.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden.
  1. Whisk together 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Crack eggs into a separate bowl, then whisk them into the sugar and flour mixture. Add 2/3 cup lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust.

  2. Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the oven. (Do not cover)
  3. Allow bars to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours then dust with confectioners sugar.
  4. Cut into squares and serve.

Recipe Video

The Best Lemon Bars!

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  • cheryl Miller says:

    You use the same amount of almond flour?

  • Barbz Griffith says:

    So delish and easy to make.

  • Joan says:

    Re: Lemon Bar’s,
    I made them and even my husband who
    Isn’t wild over lemon loved them
    My one question is that I also love Lime.
    Could I use lime instead of the lemon all the time? I’d be so very grateful for your response, Joanie

  • Samantha says:

    Absolutely Perfect!!! Thank You ❤️

  • Ian D’Rozario says:

    Good quick recipe.
    Can u give me some recipes for diabetics?

  • Daniel says:

    Made this using Key West Lime Juice instead of lemon juice. It turned out great!!

  • G says:

    How much Crisco shortening would be needed to substitute in for butter?

  • Whitney says:

    I made these last week, they were DELICIOUS! I was nervous because I have never made lemon bars before but these were easy and tasted great! The crust was amazing! My husband even liked them ( he doesn’t typically eat many sweets). Thank you for the great recipe!

  • Trudy says:

    I made these lemon bars yesterday and refrigerated them overnight. Just tasted them today and OMG, the lemon flavor is delicious (not overpowering at all if you’re a lemon lover)! I did have difficulty evenly pressing the crust into the pan because it “warmed up” and got quite sticky, but that’s probably because the inside room temperature was somewhat warm. Next time, I’ll chill the dough in the frig for awhile before pressing it into my pan. I also baked the crust for about 10 minutes longer because I prefer a crisper shortbread crust. After juicing my lemons, I opted to add some lemon zest to the crust so as not to waste it. I’ve been researching lemon bar recipes for a very long time and I’m so glad I picked yours! Truly a refreshing and wonderful dessert!

  • Susan E Hutchinson says:

    This is my “go to ” lemon bar recipe, it is absolutely the best!I have never been disappointed by any of Amanda’s Iambaker recipes!

  • Laurie says:

    Can you use a graham crust?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Laurie! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. A graham cracker crust sounds delicious! Let us know how the bars turn out and have a great day!

  • Michelle jussab says:

    I love all your recipes…you my favourite baker😘😘

  • Susan Price says:

    Can I freeze these if I want to make them in advance of an event?

  • Justine says:

    Would these hold up to a cookie cutter after being chilled? Or at all? I’m hoping to make them dinosaur shaped for a theme party 🥳

  • Bonnie says:

    The recipe calls for 4 large eggs. I only have extra large eggs. How many extra large eggs should I use?

  • Jayne says:

    FANTASTIC!!! Followed the recipe exactly as written. These are so delicious. Will be making these again and again. Thank you Amanda!!

  • Millie Mason says:

    The quintessential recipe for the classic Lemon Squares!
    Short on prep time, long on rich tangy buttery flavor. Quick and easy!

  • Sidney Ragland says:

    Can you use lemon zest in the filling or is the lemon juice alone enough?

  • TucsonTracey says:

    I love these lemon bars. The recipe is easy and mine turned out perfect the first try. Just made a second batch but used 2/3 cup frozen pineapple juice! Can’t wait for them to be chilled😉

  • Rebecca says:

    This is the absolute best lemon bar recipe! I’ve been using your recipe for years! They are so easy to make and are always delicious!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.