Bars / Desserts

The Best Lemon Bar Recipe

Lemon Bars: A classic Summer staple dessert! Buttery shortbread crust bursting with a tangy yet sweet lemon curd filling! You can’t go wrong!

We are HUGE lemon lovers. I contend that lemon pairs with just about anything. It’s one of the most versatile flavors in my humble opinion. You can’t go wrong and these Lemon Bars are no exception!

8 simple ingredients needed for this recipe

  • Flour – Flour is used in both the shortbread crust and the lemon curd filling. It is essential to the filling to help stabilize the curd
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Salt
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract – most Lemon Bar recipes do not call for vanilla, however, I add it to just about all of my baked goods. I love how it plays with the tart lemon juice
  • Fresh Lemon Juice – fresh always provides the best flavor, however if you are in a pinch you can use bottle juice

5 easy steps to make these Lemon Bars

Make the shortbread crust: Mix all the shortbread ingredients together until a dough forms. Press the dough into the bottom of a 8×8 parchment lined pan.

Bake the crust: It is imperative to pre-bake the crust for added stability to the bars

Make the filling: While the shortbread crust is baking prepare the lemon curd filling

Bake the Lemon Bars: Once the shortbread crust is done baking, pour the lemon filling on top of the bars and bake for 30 minutes or until filling is set. If it looks liquidy when lightly jiggled, it needs to bake more. A slight jiggle is fine as it will continue to set.

Let cool: Once the Lemon Bars are done baking, allow them to cool to room temperature for at least an hour. Afterwards, let them cool for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar once fully cooled and enjoy!

Tips for making the best Lemon Bars

Fresh Lemon juice: Fresh squeezed juice is key to get the most flavor in your bars! If you are looking for a juicer, I highly recommend this one.

Line the baking pan with parchment paper, this will help ensure easy removal of the bars from the dish.

Use a glass baking dish! The Lemon Bars will pick up a slightly metallic flavor when using a metal pan.

These bars are best served cold, they should not sit out in a warm environment for too long otherwise they might start to ‘melt’ slightly.

NOTE: If you wish to make more, these can be made in a 9×13 pan and baked for about 20 minutes. Your bars will be thinner than what these photos show.

Can Lemon Bars be made ahead of time?

Yes! You can easily make these a day or two ahead of time. I recommend storing these in an air tight container with parchment paper separating each layer in the refrigerator.

These Lemon Bars can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Do you love easy bar recipes like I do?! Here are my favorites: Fluffernutter Bars, No Bake Peanut Butter Bars, Banana Chocolate Chip Bars.

The Best Lemon Bars

The Best Lemon Bars

Yield: 12 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours

Lemon Bars: A classic Summer staple dessert! Buttery shortbread crust bursting with a tangy yet sweet lemon curd filling!


  • Shortbread Crust
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Lemon Curd Filling
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Sift flour, powdered sugar, and salt together.
  3. Add melted butter and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Press dough into a prepared 8x8 baking dish
  5. Place dish in freezer for 10-15 minutes
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown
  7. Gently use a fork to pierce the top of the shortbread crust
  8. While the shortbread is baking, sift the granulated sugar and flour together in a mixing bowl.
  9. Using a whisk attachment, add the eggs and lemon juice on medium-high until well combined.
  10. Pour lemon curd filling onto shortbread crust
  11. Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes until the top is mostly set - with a slight jiggle in the center.
  12. Allow bars to cool to room temperature for 2 hours then transfer to fridge for at least another hour. This will allow the filling to completely set.
  13. Once ready to enjoy, take out of the fridge and dust with powdered sugar.


If you wish to make more, these can be made in a 9x13 pan and baked for about 20 minutes. Your bars will be thinner than what these photos show.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 4g

The nutritional values above are auto calculated by a nutrition program and can vary based on brands of ingredients used.

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    August 7, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    Perfect squares for a perfect treat! Lemon bars are a classic and I loooove them so much! Your crust looks amazing!

  • Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    August 7, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    These lemon bars sound delicious right about now!

  • beth
    August 8, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Yum! My daughter and I love anything lemon. I can’t wait to make these! So excited!

  • Suzy
    August 10, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    So tasty! Love how the lemon curd filling taste with the shortbread! So good!

  • Sandra | A Dash of Sanity
    August 11, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    This is so gorgeous!! My kids can’t wait for me to make it again!


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