Best Lemon Bars Recipe

In our humble opinion, lemon bars are one of the most delicious and most underrated desserts! This incredible recipe takes little time to whip up, and kids and adults alike can enjoy them. Recipe developer Jennine Bryant came up with the recipe for these tasty lemon bars, and there's no doubt that they will hit the spot. "It's a fairly foolproof recipe, and it's just so delicious! I'm not normally a lemon desserts fan (give me chocolate any day!), but I do really love these," Bryant raves. "The combination of sweet, buttery biscuit base and the tangy lemon is to die for!"

Another great part about this recipe is the versatility. "I think lemon bars can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion," Bryant shares. "They're a lovely midweek dessert idea, great with a cup of tea in the afternoon (that's how I've been enjoying them!) but with a little tarting up they're also great for dinner parties and smarter events like that." Of course, the flavor isn't the only great thing about these lemon bars. They're also easy to make and require minimal ingredients — perfect for whipping up a delicious dessert in a breeze!

Gather the ingredients to make lemon bars

Ready to get this baking party started? Before you get down to the nitty-gritty, you will need to compile a grocery list and head to the store. As in most baking recipes, you will need to pick up some unsalted butter and a little bit of sugar. Next, swing by the baking section and get plain flour. It's always wise to check for ingredients that you may already have at home already. Next, pick up a few eggs and some powdered sugar. As for the lemon part of this recipe, you'll use both the juice and zest. Bryant also uses dried lemon slices as decoration for the finished dish, but those are optional.

Mix the sugar, flour, and salt and bake the crust

Since you will need to use the oven for this recipe, go ahead and preheat it to 350 F. Next, grab a 9x14-inch baking dish or and line it with parchment paper. Be sure that the parchment paper fully covers the sides of the dish, so you can remove the lemon bars easily.

Grab your stand mixer sift ¼ cup of sugar with one cup of plain flour and ¼ of salt. Combine the dry ingredients with ½ cup of butter until the mixture is crumbly, and there you have your crust. Press the mixture into the base of the prepared baking dish and make it as even as possible. Using a fork, prick the bottom several times. "I would say I prick the base somewhere between 10 to 20 times. It's just to make sure the base doesn't puff up, so the steam can escape," Bryant shares. Then, pop the crust into the oven for 25 minutes.

Make the lemon filling

While the crust bakes, use your stand mixer to sift in the remaining cup of sugar as well as three tablespoons of plain flour. Then, add the three eggs, followed by ½ cup of lemon juice and ½ tablespoon of lemon zest. When the crust is ready, remove it from the oven and drop the temperature to 325 F. Leave the base to cool for about five minutes, then pour the lemon layer over the top. Place it right back in the oven and bake for another 25 minutes. This time, you can just relax as it bakes.

Let the bars cool and set

Once your timer goes off, take the baked lemon bars out of the oven and let them cool completely. Be sure to place them on a safe spot on the counter. Then, transfer the baking dish to the fridge to set further. Only do this once the pan has cooled completely. Keep the bars in the fridge for at least four hours, but you can also let them sit overnight to ensure that the lemon filling thickens up perfectly.

Serve the lemon bars and enjoy

After you remove the lemon bars from the fridge, slice them evenly into six squares. Then, dust the top with icing sugar and decorate with dried lemon slices. If you want to add something different on top, that's fine, too! "Some little ready-made meringues would be lovely, or even a big store-bought meringue that is crumbled," Bryant shares. "Some piped whipped cream would also go so well, and if you wanted to add some color, raspberries go with lemon flavor." And, as far as individual serving suggestions, Bryant says that she would opt for some whipped cream. Finally, as for leftovers, Bryant says that "these lemon bars need to be stored in the fridge; I tend to keep them in the dish that I made them and cover it well with wrap," Bryant shares. We hope you enjoy this tasty dessert!

Best Lemon Bars Recipe
5 from 37 ratings
Lemon bars have the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, and this recipe will walk you through the steps of making this tasty treat at home.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
6
Servings
lemon bars on board
Total time: 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Optional Ingredients
  • Dried lemon slices, for decoration
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and line a 9x14-inch baking dish or ceramic dish with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper fully covers the sides of the dish, so that the finished lemon bars can be easily removed.
  2. In a stand mixer, sift ¼ cup of sugar with 1 cup of plain flour and ¼ of salt, and then combine with ½ cup of butter until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. Press the mixture into the base of the prepared baking dish and make it as even as possible. Using a fork, prick the base several times and then bake this for 25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer, sift together the remaining 1 cup of sugar with 3 tablespoons of plain flour. Then, mix in the 3 eggs, ½ cup of lemon juice, and ½ tablespoon of lemon zest.
  5. When the base is ready, remove it from the oven and drop the oven temperature slightly, to 325 F.
  6. Leave the base to cool for 5 minutes or so, before pouring the lemon layer over the top. Put this straight back in the oven and bake for another 25 minutes, until the lemon layer has set.
  7. Take the baked lemon bars out of the oven and leave them to cool completely, before transferring them to the fridge to set further, either for 4 hours or overnight.
  8. To serve, slice the lemon bar block into 6 even squares, dust with powdered sugar, and decorate with dried lemon slices.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 424
Total Fat 17.7 g
Saturated Fat 10.4 g
Trans Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 120.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 62.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 42.7 g
Sodium 130.7 mg
Protein 5.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe