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 116 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 116 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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About the author

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. I am pretty sure I’ve left 2 or 3 reviews on this recipe. If I haven’t, then shame on me! I return to this recipe quite often – ingredients that I always have on hand, it’s easy, comes together quickly, perfect when you need an unplanned dessert, and it’s super delicious! Gosh! It’s a perfect recipe! Thank you for the gift! :)5 stars

  2. Excellent recipe. Only 2 of us, so I cut it in half. Easy and delicious, great balance of tart and sweet. Definitely making again.5 stars

  3. Can I line the baking pan with parchment before baking the crust? I’d like to be able to lift the whole dessert out of the pan to make cutting easier. Thanks!!!

  4. i loved these lemon bars!!
    is there a recipe to make chocolate bars instead of lemon??
    something with the same consistency…
    just chocolate not lemon.
    any suggestions!?!5 stars

  5. These are so fire. I was skeptical about the crust, because I’ve never made anything like this and am new to baking, but it came out perfect. I’ve never had a better lemon bar, not even in any store.5 stars

    1. That should work just fine Robin! If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

    1. Hi Mot, a 9 x 9-inch pan is a common pan and I have this one here which can be found on Amazon! I haven’t tried an 8 x 8-inch pan but it should work just fine, however you may need to increase the bake time slightly.

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Mary, but that should be just fine. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

    1. The lemon zest does add flavor and I have only tried the recipe as written Mary so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out.