Tart lemon custard filling with a crumbly, buttery shortbread crust. These easy lemon bars are melt in your mouth delicious and a cinch to whip up. Let us show you just how super easy it is to make this home made lemon bars.
Why This Recipe Works
You are going to love this easy lemon bars recipe because of the simple, delicious ingredients, and because of how easy it comes together. Tangy lemon pairs perfectly with the buttery crust. This dessert is always a crowd pleaser. Easy Lemon Bars are something I remember as being a "grown-up" dessert when I was a kid. My mom would make lemon squares occasionally and I don't remember particularly liking them. Funny how as you grow up so does your taste. Now that I'm an adult I love lemon desserts - and lemon bars are at the top of the list! But I also love lemon cookies, trifles with lemon filling.
About The Ingredients
All of the ingredients for this recipe can be found at your local grocery store. Here are a few items to note:
- Fresh Lemons - you'll need medium sized, fresh lemons. Make sure that the lemons are firm and a bright yellow color. Avoid greenish or pale lemons.
- Powdered sugar - sometimes called confectioners sugar. We use this in both the crust and as a topping.
- Salted butter - I prefer using salted butter for the crust. I feel like it brings out the flavor of everything else.
A complete list of ingredients can be located in the recipe card below.
How To Make Easy Lemon Bars
Step 1: Add flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt to a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Add in cubed butter
Step 3: Using a pastry blender, or two knifes, cut the butter and blend until it resembled course crumbs.
Pro Tip: You can also use your kitchenaid stand mixer and the paddle attachment to blend the pastry into the course crumbs. This saves a bit of elbow grease.
Step 4: Press the mixture into the bottom of the 9x13 baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Step 5: While the crust is baking, prepare the lemon custard filling by combining eggs, sugar, flour, and lemon zest in a large bowl.
Step 6: Add in lemon juice.
Step 7: Using a whisk, or a stand or hand mixer - blend together until well combined.
Step 8: Remove crust from the oven and pour lemon filling onto the hot crust. Return to oven and cook for an additional 18-20 minutes.
Step 9: Remove from oven, and let cool completely. Cut into squares.
Step 10: Top with powdered sugar and serve. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Lemon bars are a wonderful dessert to customize. Here are a few ideas for a twist on classic lemon bars:
Lavender Lemon Bars - add ¼ teaspoon of culinary lavender oil to your lemon layer before baking.
Rosemary Lemon Bars - add 2 teaspoon of minced, fresh rosemary to your lemon filling before baking.
Use Fresh Lemon Juice- I know you may be tempted to use the bottled lemon juice, but resist! Use fresh lemons for the brightest flavor. I recommend using a citrus press to extract the maximum amount of juice.
Don't over-mix your filling - by mixing until just combined, you'll avoid extra air bubbled in your finished product.
Removing lemon bars from the pan - I recommend using parchment paper in the bottom of your pan. You can leave the ends out so that the entire pan of lemon bars can be lifted out of the pan, and then sliced into squares.
Cutting your lemon bars - Make sure your bars are completely cool before slicing. You can also opt to chill your bars before slicing. I actually prefer them chilled. This will aid in smooth slices. You can also try running your knife under hot water before slicing, or slicing with a plastic knife.
Store these easy lemon bars in an airtight container in the fridge. These babies will last 5-6 days.
The edges will be golden, and the middle will no longer jiggle.
The simple answer? Don't worry about it. A few bubbles are bound to happen. Not over-mixing your filling will help with this. If you have some bubbles, they will still be delicious lemon bars.
Easy Lemon Bars
- hand or stand mixer
- 9x13 pan
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- zest from 2 lemons
- juice of 4 lemons
- ⅓ cup flour
- powdered sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.
- Combine flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt.
- Using a pastry blender or your kitchen air paddle attachment, blend in the butter until is resembles coarse crumbs.
- Press mixture into the bottom of you pan.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges are golden.
- With a hand or stand mixer mix the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour until well combined.
- Pour over hot crust and return to oven for 18-20 minutes.
- Let completely cool on wire rack.
- Cut into squares, sprinkle with powdered sugar and refrigerate in a covered container.