Tart, chewy, sweet, citrusy — my lemon bars recipe has it all! Warning: you may have a hard time eating just one of these bright lemon cookies. They’re perfect for potlucks, picnics, dinners, and more, any event where you need to bring cookies or the ever-popular cookie bars.
My lemon bars recipe gives you wonderful squares of fruit cookies deliciousness with an easy-to-make crust, rich filling, and delightfully sweet-tart flavor. Best served with a tall glass of milk or a cup of tea or straight out of the pan!
If I’m entertaining a crown I sometimes stay with one theme. I might serve lemon brownies. They combine the goodness of lemon and the texture of brownies for a light delight, while the easy lemon cake is rich with buttermilk and gooeyness.
Let’s get baking!
My lemon bars recipe brings people together. No, seriously! Have you ever known someone to turn down a lemon bar? Exactly. You make these, and you’ll have happy dessert-eaters!
- 30-minutes start to finish
- The perfectly balanced lemon flavor
- That CRUST! Sweet and chewy
- Crowd-pleasing magic
My lemon bars recipe is so easy to make that it rivals those classic lemon bars in the box! If you’ve never tried making lemon bars with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, well, you’re in for such a treat. You’ll never go back to store-bought lemon juice!
Easy Lemon Bars Ingredient Notes
From juice to cutting to everything in between!
Juice: Most grocery stores put their citrus on sale, and you can get a huge bag for super cheap. Next time you see lemons like that, buy them, cut them, and store the juice in the freezer. You’ll thank me! You can also freeze the zest too!
Butter: For the crust, you’ll want your butter as cold as possible. Why? This helps your crust retain as much structure as possible, standing up against the strong lemon curd.
Cutting: If you want cleaner cuts for your lemon bars recipe, make sure your knife is cold and wipe it with a chilled damp towel between cuts. My grandma taught me to let the knife sit in a tall glass filled with ice water for a few minutes before I use it.
Is my lemon bars recipe a bar or a cookie or a pie? How should you store it? What’s happening here??
Never fear, friends! I’ve got you covered.
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! After your lemon bars recipe has completely cooled — pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes to speed up this time — cut your bars and wrap each one separately in cling wrap or zipper seal bags.
They can be stored for up to one month in the freezer without losing the delicious flavor and quality texture.
Lemon Squares Make Ahead Tips
You can easily make this lemon bars recipe ahead of time. The crust and filling can both be made separately and stored until you need to finish up the dish.
How Long Can You Keep This?
My lemon bars recipe will last up to six days in the fridge, once fully done. Be sure to let it cool, then chill them until they’re firm, slice them, and store them in an airtight container with wax or parchment paper between the layers to keep them from sticking to each other.
- Lemon pairs with so many flavors! I love grabbing some fresh blueberries and making the perfect sweet and tart lemon blueberry bars! Coconut lemon bars are also great — the tropical creaminess goes amazingly with the lemon tang of the bars. And let’s not forget rich and creamy lemon cheesecake bars!
- This lemon bars recipe is easily adaptable for other fruit! Strawberry bars or blueberry bars are both great desserts for springtime. I love the rich, earthy flavor of blackberry pie bars for summer or fall celebrations!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- powdered sugar
- Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with a double thickness of aluminum foil, allowing 2-3 inches to extend over long sides. Spray generously with nonstick cooking spray.
- Slice each stick of cold butter into about 8 slices. In the bowl of a food processor add flour, powdered sugar, and sliced butter. Pulse until butter pieces are about the size of peas. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and press evenly into dish. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until edges of the crust begin to brown.
- Make the Filling: In a small bowl combine baking powder and flour and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. Add sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and combine. Add flour mixture and combine. Pour filling over hot crust and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool bars in pan set on top of a cooling rack for about half an hour. Remove bars from pan and cool on rack completely.
- Lift a generous layer of powdered sugar onto bars. Cut bars and serve.
Want to go full cookie bars mania? Here are some of my other favorite recipes!
- 7 Layer Bars – Each layer is better than the last!
- Pecan Pie Bars – The classic pie in bar form!
- Monster Cookie Bars – Monstrous flavor in every bite.
- Toffee Bars – Crunchy perfection.
- Cake Mix Cookie Bars – Easy as dump, mix, bake!
- Cranberry Bliss Bars – Tender buttery bars, cream cheese frosting topped with cranberries!
Every time I make my lemon bars recipe, I can’t decide which part I like better. The tang of the lemon? The buttery crumble of the crust? I guess I have to make another batch to test them…
What’s your favorite part of lemon bars? Let me know in the comments!
Source: Adapted From Southern Living