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

4.89 from 17 votes
bar1200
The Best Lemon Bars
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Chill
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
Ingredients
CRUST
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (256g) all-purpose flour
FILLING
  • 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
Instructions
CRUST
  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.
FILLING
  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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Comments

  • Eli says:

    Unsalted butter?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      I work with iambaker and am happy to help out with questions!
      Hi, Eli! Both unsalted and salted butter would work in the lemon bars recipe. Enjoy!

  • Cheryl Miller says:

    Can you do any substitutions in this recipe like use almond flour instead of regular flour and a sugar substitute instead of sugar to cut the calories and carbs down?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Cheryl! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You can use almond flour instead of all-purpose flour, but we have not tested any sugar substitutes on this recipe. Have a great day!

  • Jennifer Lee says:

    When we poured the lemon onto the crust, the crust bubbles up..?!?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Jennifer! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Here are a couple of things you could try if the crust is bubbling up. Let the pie crust chill in the refrigerator for about a half an hour before baking it. About halfway through baking it, dock the crust (poke holes in the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork). I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • cheryl Miller says:

    Elizabeth:
    You use the same amount of almond flour?

  • Barbz Griffith says:

    So delish and easy to make.

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