These Homemade Lemon Bars are absolutely divine. Buttery shortbread crust topped with a thick, glossy and sweet lemon filling. Finished off with powdered sugar, it’s simple, perfect, and classic.
It took me a long while to perfect these bars, to be honest. There are some things that I can do that are really challenging to others but super simple to me, like learning a new language or pulling off a tutu (truth). But there are other things that are totally brainless that I cannot seem to master, baking potatoes to perfection and a bumpless ponytail, to name a few.
And of course, lemon bars. Before today.
These bars are super easy and come together in minutes! And they’re so buttery, gooey and lemony – essential for any respectable lemon bar!
First, you whip up your shortbread crust. Cut some butter into a mixture of flour and a little sugar. This takes a little bit of time, so ponder your existence on this little grain of sand we call Earth or, you know, thumb through the latest Us Weekly. I’ll let you guess which one I did.
Once the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, press it into a foil-lined and lightly greased 13×9″ baking pan. Bake it off for a few minutes and while it bakes, make your filling (aka, the best part of this existence on this little grain of sand we call Earth).
For the filling, you’ll whisk together some eggs, sugar (lots!), lemon juice, lemon zest, and a teensy bit of flour which helps thicken it and hold the whole shebang together. Whisk it until it’s super smooth, then pour it over the par-baked crust, throw it back into the oven, and bake it up for a good 20 minutes. Once it’s baked & cooled, pop it in the fridge to set for about 2 hours. This gives everything time to settle and form into perfectly cut gooey lemon bars. But if you absolutely can’t wait, just let it come to room temperature after baking before cutting into bars. I won’t tell.
And yeah. That’s it. Super simple, straightforward, and oh so delicious. Novice bakers and experts alike will appreciate this fantastic, classic recipe. And then we’ll all collectively agree that this is one of the best parts of living on Earth.
The Best Homemade Lemon Bars
- FOR CRUST:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter cut into cubes
- FOR FILLING:
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 5 medium lemons
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Powdered sugar for dusting on finished bars
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter cubes with a pastry blender or two forks until coarse crumbs form. To test if it's done, grab a fistful of the crust dough; if it holds together in one piece, it's done.
- Pour the crust into the prepared pan and pat it into an even layer. Bake for approx. 7-8 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- While the crust bakes, make your filling. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar together. Whisk it really well so all those clumps of flour are broken up. Alternatively, you may sift the flour into the sugar mixture. Add in the eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest and stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the crust.
- Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until the center is just about set and only very slightly jiggly. Do not over bake! Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Gooey, supremely lemony and perfect, these bars are a classic for a reason!
Have a super sweet day!
Michele @ Alwayzbakin says
I’ve actually never made lemon bars. I know, weird, right?? These look like heaven on a plate. Totally pinning for later!
To be honest, I had only made the pre-packaged boxed kind before this. (Well, before I attempted making versions of this recipe that were unsuccessful) 🙂 They are so good!
Mmm, I love lemon anything! Anything citrusy actually. Now that spring is finally here for real, I’m all about these and some key lie pie!
You’ll LOVE these bars, Karen! They would be equally amazing as key lime bars – but shh, I plan on making those and posting them, too! 🙂
Well, they didn’t turn out as pretty as yours, but they sure tasted amazeballs! Not a crumb left!
Karen, so glad you loved them! They’re one of my new favorites!
Everyone loved them! Next time I’m gonna mix up the filling a little better so there are no weird white spots. But really, nobody even cared lol
That’s happened to me too – I like whisking the flour and sugar together really well before adding the eggs, lemon juice & zest. Plus, if nothing else, cover it up with powdered sugar! 😉
Hi there, can’t wait to make this but what if you have pre made lemon curd, would that work for this recipe? 🙂
Hi Olivia, I have not tried this with premade lemon curd so I can’t be too sure. If you try it, let me know how it goes!
Lindsey Leeber says
Made these for my coworkers and they loved them! Personally I like mine a little more tart so my cheeks pucker, may add less sugar to mixture next time. Easy recipe to follow!