This Easy Lemon Bars Recipe is a refreshing, sweet, and slightly tart treat made up of a lemony custard filling on top of a buttery shortbread crust.

This easy dessert is quick to make and every absolutely loves them!

Stacked Lemon Bars With a Powered Sugar Topping

Easy Lemon Bars

Never in a million years did I think I’d say that I like love Lemon Bars… but I do!!!

I’ve always liked lemonade and lemon chicken but lemon desserts and pastries were never hard for me to pass up. However, a few years ago I finally gave lemon a second chance and was pleasantly surprised to find how deliciously fantastic it is in things like cheesecake, cupcakes, and these bars.

Overhead shot of Lemon Bars in a baking pan

The Buttery Crust

What makes these so good? First, that crumbly buttery shortbread crust. And please don’t substitute the butter with margarine or shortening. Butter is best and makes everything 983x better.

And the FRESH lemon… Second, to make this lemon bar recipe, you need the best lemon custard! When baked, it forms a crust on top with the soft sweet and tangy filling underneath. Fresh lemon juice is a must! And to top it all off, they’re sprinkled with powdered sugar… LOTS of powdered sugar.

How Much Juice is in One Lemon

Like most fruit, lemons can range in size but on average each lemon will give you give about 3 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Each lemon will provide about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest using a microplane grater.

My only warning, besides being irresistible and ruining your diet, is to not make these for your birthday, or at least just don’t put birthday candles on them. Trust me! I know from experience. We were celebrating a friend’s birthday and Lemon Bars were his cake of choice. The candles were stuck down into the bars and lit, we sang “Happy Birthday”, waited as he paused to make a wish… then inhale, exhale… BOOM! The powdered sugar rose into a dust cloud that quickly caught fire and slightly singed his eyebrows. It was quite shocking, scary, and hilarious all at the same time. Oh, the life lessons we learn.

Overhead shot of three plates with Lemon Bars on them

If you’re looking for a bright and cheery dessert for your upcoming spring or summer party, make these sweet and tangy refreshing Lemon Bars!

More Lemon Recipes

Stacked Lemon Bars With a Powered Sugar Topping
5 from 114 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Lemon Bars Recipe

Classic Lemon Bars have a sweet tangy lemon curd baked on top of a buttery shortbread crust.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 16
Author Melanie


For the Crust:

  • 10 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Filling:

  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder


For the Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9x9 inch pan.
  • Mix the flour, powdered sugar, and salt together. Cut the butter into the mix until crumbly and then press into the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden. Meanwhile, make the filling.

For the Filling:

  • Whisk all the filling ingredients together until combined.
  • Pour over the cooked crust and place back in the oven for 17-20 minutes until filling is set.
  • Cool completely, dust with powdered sugar, cut into squares.
5 from 114 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 179 | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 39mg | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American


Lemon Bars with title
Lemon Bars with writing



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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. This recipe is fantastic. I’ve made lemon bars in the past and they weren’t quite right for some reason, so were not my favorite dessert to make for myself or company. During that time I also became gluten intolerant. My husband brought a few lemons home from visiting his mom and I thought I would try one more time. I wanted this to be a fast thing, so used a gf one to one flour (it did have xanthan in it). They turned out GREAT. I followed Holly’s recipe EXACTLY, except for the flour substitution. We all (even the glutenous ppl) LOVED it. The filling was smooth and very flavorful and the ratio of crust to lemon was perfect too! Thank you Holly. So happy to have a keeper for lemon bars!5 stars

    1. This makes me so happy to hear, Kathy! Glad it was such a hit for everyone (gluten free and not)!

  2. Your recipes are so manageable and delicious. I have been wanting to try lemon bars for ages and when I seen your recipe, gave it a go. What a hit with my hubby who had to restrain himself from finishing them in one night. Thank you

    1. I love this recipe! Always comes out awesome! Other lemon bar recipes But don’t compare! But if I wanted to use sweetener for the filling would it still work?5 stars

  3. Love these! I’ve made them several times. I have an abundance of wild blueberries right now. I’m going to add a cup or so to the lemon mixture and maybe add a TBS of sugar. I’ll let you know how they turn out. We especially love your buttery crust and I will use it as a base for other bars. Thank you so much!5 stars

  4. I’ll be honest: the story about your friend’s birthday is what made me choose this recipe, but the delicious lemon bars made the recipe a new favorite!5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried doubling the recipe Dee. I’d suggest baking in two pans, or in a 9×13. The bake time will change in a 9×13 pan. Let us know if you try it!

      1. I tried this yesterday. they came out fine but the outer corners of the crust overbaked and stuck. I pre-baked it for 16 or 17 minutes so my guess would be to reduce that to like 10 to 15 minutes. and maybe grease more. I might’ve greased too lightly. I’m gonna try again soon and leave an actual review.

  5. After finally giving in to my husband’s requests for lemon bars, I made them using this recipe and it was a hit! The shortbread crust is great and the filling is nice and gooey. I used the zest from 2 medium lemons and the juice – only slightly more than called for. I’ve never made or eaten lemon bars before trying this recipe, but I’m satisfied enough to stick with this one.5 stars

  6. Hi!!! I’m from Argentina…I love your recipes!! Thank you for sharing them with the world.
    I’ve just prepared this recipe…so, my lemon bars are in the oven right now.
    I cannot wait to taste them!!

  7. Lemon bars are one of my favorite desserts of all time! These look perfectly delicious!

    1. It will not produce the same crust if you use granulated sugar instead of powdered. I hope this helps!