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Classic Lemon Bars Recipe

Classic Lemon Bars Recipe are a classic spring recipe made with a buttery crust and gooey lemon filling. Top this lemon bar recipe with powdered sugar and you’ll have an easy and delicious dessert!

lemon bars

When April and May hit is just means lemon desserts. There’s nothing better than a sweet and tart lemon recipe to finish of a party or dinner as we head into the summer months.

Classic Lemon bars Recipe are one of those classic recipes that you probably think of when you think lemon treats. For good reason! They’re delicious.

The trick to a good lemon bar? Lots of fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.

You’ll also want a soft and buttery crust for your lemon bar recipe. All that gooey filling has to top something!

lemon bars recipe

How to Make Lemon Bars Crust

The crust of lemon bars is super simple to make. Start by using 2 sticks of softened butter and sugar. This will be the base of your really tender crust. Then you’ll add the flour and sugar to bring it all together to form a dough.

The dough will likely be a little crumbly at this point so add in a bit of lemon juice until it starts to come together, form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Press the dough into a prepared baking dish lined with parchment paper and bake by itself for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s golden brown.

recipe for lemon bars

Are lemon bars supposed to be gooey?

The lemon layer of lemon bars are essentially a lemon curd baked on top of the shortbread crust. They will be soft and somewhat gooey.

To avoid them being too gooey make sure you allow them to set completely when you take them out of the oven. You know when lemon bars are done when you move the pan a bit and they don’t jiggle.

You should cut the lemon bars when they are completely cool. Even better if you allow them to set up in the refrigerator for a couple hours!

How should lemon bars be stored?

Once you’re done serving (and somehow have leftovers!) you can store your lemon bars either in the refrigerator or in the freezer.

Store in the refrigerator by placing the lemon bars in an air tight container using parchement or wax paper to separate layers if you have more than one. They will stay fresh for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Store in the freezer by placing each individual lemon bar on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 2-3 hours until they freeze all the way through. Once frozen, wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and place them in a sealable bag or airtight container. Freezer for up to one month!

lemon bars

Don’t forget to top them with powdered sugar when they come out of the oven! If you follow these steps you will end up with the best lemon bars recipe!

Can I Make Lemon Bars Ahead of Time?

A classic lemon bars recipe is a great option for a make ahead dessert. Just pop the lemon bars into the fridge to keep them until they’re ready for serving. Remember, this is a fresh tasting dessert unlike a baked cookie, so you should only make lemon bars about a day ahead of time.

Can I Make Lemon Bars in  a Muffin Pan?

You can use a muffin tin to make lemon bars, just make sure you only bake them for 12-15 minutes after baking the crust (which you can bake for around 8-10 minutes) as they can overcook.

If you love lemon recipes then you’ll love these too!

If you love these, then you have to try these other BAR DESSERTS:

Classic Lemon Bars Recipe

A white plate stacked with bright yellow classic lemon bars recipe and strawberries in a dish behind it

Lemon Bars

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 24
Lemon bars are a classic spring recipe made with a buttery crust and gooey lemon filling. Top this lemon bar recipe with powdered sugar and you’ll have an easy and delicious dessert!

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Filling:

  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice about 3 large lemons
  • 2 tablespoon lemon zest 1 large lemon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • To make the crust: cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 1-2 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low, add the flour, salt and lemon juice and beat until just mixed. 
  • Dump the dough into the prepared baking pan and press the dough to the edges of the pan to build up 1/2 inch on the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown.
  • Remove from oven, leave the oven on and cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest in a large bowl. Mixture will be very runny.
  • Pour over the baked crust and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set and doesn't move when shaken.
  • Allow to cool completely at room temperature.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares before serving.

Notes

To freeze: Lasts 3 days in fridge or 3 months in freezer. Place on baking sheet and freeze completely for 3 hours then transfer to plastic bag and store until ready. Thaw in fridge overnight.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 195 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 67mg22%
Sodium 108mg5%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 3g6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Stacked lemon bars with a buttery crust and gooey lemon filling.

Lemon Whoopie Pies

Sweet and tangy, these lemon whoopie pies are a cloud-like dessert you won’t want to miss this spring. True to a whoopie pie, these are light and fluffy cake-like cookies surrounded by sweet cream cheese frosting. Perfect for spring celebrations!

Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

This lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting has a soft cake crumb and delicious lemon flavor. The cream cheese frosting is smooth & creamy for the perfect pairing.

This Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is soft, moist & deliciously buttery with a fresh lemon flavor. Dotted with poppy seeds & topped with cream cheese frosting - it's the perfect dessert for lemon lovers! ohsweetbasil.com

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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment

7 comments

  • Can you use salted butter instead of unsalted?

    • Reply
    • Yes, but I would omit the salt so it’s not too salty!

      • Reply
  • Will bottled lemon juice work just as well?

    • Reply
    • Bottled has a little more of a harsh taste so use a little less if you can, or half fresh half bottled

      • Reply
  • I love lemon bars! My frustration is with the powered sugar when it soaks in. I don’t know how to prevent that. I will be making these soon! 

    • Reply
    • You mean on the top? Letting the bars cool and kind of dry out their tops will help with that!

      • Reply
  • Love this bright, summery color and flavor!!

    • Reply

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