Sweet and tangy, these easy lemon bars are the ultimate dessert! They are made with a delicious buttery crust and a rich lemon filling.
I love lemon desserts! There is something about fresh lemons that adds a refreshing touch to sweets. I will always remember that day when I went to a friend’s birthday party and took a bite of the most delicious lemon bar ever. So, of course, I rushed home to recreate it, and after many tests, I can say that these are the best lemon bars out there! I’m so excited to share the recipe with you today.
It all starts with a buttery and firm crust. It doesn’t get soggy (even after storing in the fridge!) and the buttery flavor balances out the sweet and tangy notes of the lemon filling. And…oh my, the lemon filling is ultra delicious! It is made with fresh lemons, so it is bright and refreshing. And finally, the proportion between the shortbread crust and the lemon filling is just right.
As you can tell, I am a BIG fan of these easy lemon bars. So let me show you how to make them!
How to Make Lemon Bars
Alright, so there are two parts to these lemon bars: the buttery crust and the lemon filling.
1. Making the Crust
The crust I use for these lemon bars is the same as the crust recipe in my apple peach crumb bars. It’s my go-to crust recipe whenever I am making bars, and that’s because it doesn’t get soggy even after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days. It is a bit sturdier than pie crust in order to provide structure to the lemon bars, and it’s got that subtle crunch when you bite into it.
There are only 4 ingredients in the crust recipe: VERY cold butter, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt.
Per usual, you can find specific ingredient quantities and instructions in the recipe card below. Here, I like to provide additional detail and tips:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt until well-combined.
- Add the very cold butter cut into cubes and cut into the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until you get pea size crumbles and everything is incorporated. You can also use a food processor.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 pan lined with parchment paper with overhang. The mixture will be crumbly and look dry. Note: lining the pan with parchment paper will make it a breeze to remove from the pan and cut into squares.
- Press into the pan evenly. Use a measuring cup to press down, and make sure it’s all compact.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until slightly golden brown around the ages. Why? Pre-baking or parbaking the crust prevents sogginess. Plus, the crust and the lemon filling have different baking times, so pre-baking it gives it a head start.
2. Making the Lemon Filling
While the crust is baking, make the lemon filling. Only 4 ingredients: fresh lemon juice and zest, sugar, eggs, and flour. For specific ingredient quantities, see the recipe card.
- Whisk together the flour and granulated sugar.
- Whisk eggs and add it to the flour and sugar mixture. Then whisk in the lemon juice and lemon zest until well-combined.
- Pour the filling onto the pre-baked crust. Then return to oven and bake at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes until set.
- Remove from oven and let cool for at least 3 hours before cutting into it. Tip: for the best consistency, refrigerate it overnight. It will help the filling set much better. And it tastes better cold!
- Cut into squares and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Tips for Making the Best Lemon Bars
- Line the pan with parchment paper with overhang: this will make it easy to lift and remove from the pan.
- Use VERY cold butter for the crust: cold butter means tender and flaky crust.
- Parbake the crust: parbaking the crust will prevent sogginess once the lemon filling is added.
- Use fresh lemon juice: fresh is always better!
- Let it cool completely and refrigerate: cooling down and refrigerating the lemon bars will allow the filling to set and have better texture and consistency.
- Dust with confectioner’s sugar to cover the air bubbles: air bubbles from the eggs are sometimes inevitable…nothing that a dusting of confectioner’s sugar can’t fix!
How to Store Lemon Bars
Lemon bars need to be stored in the fridge and will be good for about 3 days. You can also freeze for up to 1 month.
I am seriously in love with these lemon bars! They are rich, sweet, and tangy at the same time. I also love the buttery crust that balances out the flavors. These are seriously very easy to make and turn out delicious.
Thank you for reading. I really hope you like these. And if you’re looking for more delicious sweets, check out these out:
- easy key lime pie
- perfect brownies
- apple peach crumb bars
- sea salt chocolate chip cookies
- arkansas possum pie by House of Nash Eats
And please don’t forget to pin this recipe! Much appreciated 🙂
Easy Lemon Bars
- 1 cup very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes - (2 sticks)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 6 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice - (4-5 large lemons)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
- Zest of 2 large lemons
- Confectioners sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 ceramic or glass pan with parchment paper with overhang. No need to grease it.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, and salt until well combined. Cut in the cubes of VERY cold butter into this mixture using a pastry blender or use your fingers (but be quick so the butter stays cold!), until the flour mixture is incorporated into the butter and you get pea size crumbles or smaller.
- Press down the mixture into the prepared pan on all sides using something like a measuring cup. Make sure it's compact and evenly distributed.
- Bake about 20 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Then, remove from oven and press down the crust slightly using a spoon to make it compact (some parts may have expanded with the heat).
- While the crust is baking, whisk together flour and sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 6 eggs plus the egg yolk until combined, and add it to the flour and sugar mixture. Mix until combined. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and mix until well-combined and incorporated.
- Pour filling onto prepared crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set.
- Allow to cool in the pan for at least 3 hours. You can also refrigerate it overnight for firmer texture (highly recommended). Remove from pan, cut into squares and dust with confectioner's sugar. Enjoy!