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Classic Lemon Bars

These delicate, citrusy, classic Lemon Bars have a buttery crust, a thick, tangy filling, and it’s all topped with powdered sugar!

AN EASY, CITRUSY HOMEMADE DESSERT

These Lemon Bars are an old-fashioned favorite dessert that has the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors. Whether you’re a fan of citrusy treats or just looking for a refreshing dessert option, these dessert bars will quickly fly off the dessert table. Plus, they really are insanely simple to make – the hardest part is waiting for them to chill!

A small pile of Lemon Bars, the top with a bite missing.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’S)

How do you get clean slices on the Lemon Bars?

Use a clean, sharp knife, and dampen the blade with a wet paper towel before each slice.  

Do Lemon Bars need to be refrigerated after baking?

Yes! You need to let the bars chill for two hours in the fridge once they’ve baked in the oven and cool down a bit.

What kind of stand mixer did you use in your photos?

Every time I show this mixer in my process photos I get asked about it so I figured I would answer that here. I used a Bosch mixer (paid affiliate link) for this Lemon Bar recipe. But, any other stand mixer or hand electric mixer would work just as well. The Bosch mixer is really nice, but it is pricey and honestly, regular stand mixers and electric mixers work just as good as this Bosch mixer.

Can I use bottled lemon juice?

No. Please don’t. Bottled lemon juice has a very fake and overly acidic taste. The lemon juice is the star player in this recipe so it really needs to be fresh lemon juice for the absolute best tasting results.

Do you really need that many eggs?

I know it seems like a lot but it is not a typo. You really do need 8 eggs for this recipe. I think it is best to allow them to come to room temperature (if possible) before using. This will help them mix into the batter so much easier.

How to store leftovers?

Leftover lemon dessert bars should be stored in an airtight container and should be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.

A small stack of homemade Lemon Bars.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

All purpose flour, eggs, lemons, butter, sugar, salt, and powdered sugar.

HOW TO MAKE LEMON BARS

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray. Set aside. In a medium bowl sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Add melted butter and blend until combined.  

collage of two photos: a baking pan lined with parchment paper; a mixing bowl with powdered sugar, flour, melted butter, and salt.

Add the dough into the lined pan and press into a flat thin layer with the bottom of a cup.  

collage of two photos: unbaked Lemon Bar crust dough on a parchment lined baking pan; lemon zest and sugar in a bowl.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until a light golden color around the edges. Place sugar in a food processor or mixer, and add in the lemon zest. Pulse or blend until  the zest is fully incorporated, and sugar is a light-yellow color. Add the remaining half cup of flour to the sugar mixture and blend well.  

Add lemon juice and eggs, and blend until completely combined. 

collage of two photos: lemon and sugar in a the bowl of a stand mixer; eggs added to mixer bowl.

Pour the filling over the crust and place in the oven. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, turning the pan after 15 minutes. Check for doneness by wiggling the pan. If it doesn’t jiggle in the middle, it’s done. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for an hour  before chilling in the fridge for at least two hours. Cut bars into desired size the dust with powdered sugar.

collage of two photos: pouring the lemon bar filling on top of baked crust; dusting powdered sugar on top of finished lemon bars.

Enjoy!

Two stacked Lemon Bars on a plate.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES? 

A small pile of Lemon Bars.

Classic Lemon Bars

A tangy, citrusy, lemon flavored dessert bar, with a buttery crust that's topped with powdered sugar.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes
Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients

Crust

Lemon Filling

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray. Set aside.
    A baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl sift together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2/3 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted until combined. This is easiest with an electric hand mixer but you can do it by hand.
    A mixing bowl with powdered sugar, flour, melted butter, and salt.
  • Add the dough into the lined pan and press into a flat thin layer with the bottom of a cup.
    Unbaked Lemon Bar crust dough on a parchment lined baking pan.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until a light golden color around the edges.

Lemon Filling

  • Place 3 cups granulated sugar in a food processor or mixer, and add in 3 Tablespoons lemon zest. Pulse or blend until the zest is fully incorporated, and sugar is a light-yellow color.
    Lemon zest and sugar in a bowl.
  • Add 1 cup all purpose flour to the sugar mixture and blend well.
    Lemon and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  • Add 1 cup fresh lemon juice and 8 large eggs, room temperature and blend until completely combined.
    Lemon juice and eggs being mixed into dry ingredients.
  • Pour the filling over the crust and place in the oven. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, turning the pan after 15 minutes. Check for doneness by wiggling the pan. If it doesn’t jiggle in the middle, it’s done. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for an hour before chilling in the fridge for at least two hours.
    Lemon mixture being poured on crust in a baking dish.
  • Cut bars into desired size (I cut them into 16 bars) and dust with 1/4 cup powdered sugar (or more to taste.) Pro tip: Use a clean, sharp knife, and dampen the blade with a wet paper towel before each slice.
    Powdered sugar being sifted on Lemon Bars.

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • Serving sizes can change depending on how big or small you cut the bars.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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