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Lemon Bars

These easy lemon bars are a delightful recipe from my mother's file. I've been serving it for many years. This easy lemon bar recipe has a wonderful tangy flavor, and they're always a hit. The color and shape make them a nice addition to a platter of cookies. —Etta Soucy, Mesa, Arizona
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    9 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • FILLING:
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Additional confectioners' sugar

Directions

  • In a bowl, combine the flour, butter and confectioners' sugar. Pat into an ungreased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
  • For filling, in a small bowl, beat eggs. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, lemon juice and zest; beat until frothy. Pour over the crust. Bake 25 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Cut into bars.

Lemon Bar Tips

Do lemon bars have to be refrigerated?

Since lemon bars are made with eggs and the filling is similar to a custard, you'll need to keep the bars refrigerated. If you don't like them cold, bring them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Why are my lemon bars gooey?

The most common reason for gooey lemon bars is they're undercooked. Be sure to bake them until the top is fully set and no longer jiggly in the middle. You'll also notice the edges will start to brown. Another reason your filling may be softer than you like is if you cut them before they're fully cooled. Let them rest on a wire cooling rack at least 1 hour until the center is firm and set.

How long can you keep lemon bars?

If you keep them covered and refrigerated, this lemon dessert will last up to 4 days.

Can I freeze lemon bars?

Yes, you can freeze lemon bars and have them ready to go for up to 6 months. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap sealing out as much air as possible. For added protection, slide the wrapped bars into a freezer bag or air-tight container. To serve, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.

How do I cut neat, clean slices?

In order to get those picture-perfect clean edges, the first step is to line your baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. This lets you lift out the entire pan easily and cleanly to make cutting simpler. The second step is to allow the baked bars to cool fully before making the first cut. If it's even a little warm, you run the risk of the filling spreading after it's cut. If you can refrigerate it before cutting, you'll get even cleaner, neater cuts.

Research contributed by James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor, Culinary
Nutrition Facts
1 bar: 263 calories, 11g fat (7g saturated fat), 74mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Sherry
    Sep 18, 2020

    It's a great recipe, however, I did tweak the recipe after reading other reviews that filling was pretty thin. I made 1 1/2 of the recipe for the filling and I think it made the crust and filling a better ratio for flavor. It did not change the cook time either.

  • homemadewithlove
    Jul 4, 2020

    Summer delight! Great for picnics and lemon themed bridal shower

  • Emma
    May 10, 2020

    Mouth watering recipe! The exact measurements left with a buttery, flaky, delicate crust and a delicious lemon flavor from the filling. I normally eat more tart desserts, but this broke that barrier! ( If you want a more tart filling I suggest adding less sugar and more zest and/or juice. *Make sure not to tweak it too much; the ratio is for a reason and there is a possibility it can fall apart* ) Overall, fantastic!

  • cyndi9781x
    Apr 26, 2020

    This is so good. My family loved them. A go to recipe in this family. It's family approved!

  • aws atsging
    Feb 4, 2020

    Good one

  • FitnessLovingMom
    Jan 25, 2020

    Ive made this recipe TWICE. The first time the bars were sloppy and fell apart. A huge hot mess. Im very good at baking and following directions. Im also very good at measuring ingredients. I did nothing wrong. Yhe second time the bars fell as they cooled. The top had a crust and cracked. There were no holes in my shortbread. The filling layer was very thin. Im going to tey a sufferent recipe and see if I can master making lemon bars. No other recipe Ive found cooks filling for 25 mins. I think its too long filling too thin crust too thick.

  • karenlperry
    Jan 19, 2020

    Kate, the lemon zest comes from scraping the lemon peel, and yes, it does make a difference to the recipe. It heightens the taste of lemon! These bars are very good, I’ve made them several times over the years.

  • Ericka
    Dec 22, 2019

    I’ve been making this recipe for past 25 years. It’s the best! A tip though is to double the crust and triple the lemon filling part of the recipe and use the larger size casserole dish. Original recipe doesn’t have enough lemon filling.

  • Megan
    Jun 4, 2019

    Was a hit at work and they tasted great!

  • Mary
    May 21, 2019

    Tried and didn't come out close not sure why I pre baked the crust first then poured the mixture over it and some of crust rose to the top of the liquid ?