Classic Fresh Lemon Bars

Classic Lemon Bars

Einahpets32 (Stephanie)/Flickr CC 2.0  

  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 24 Bars (24 Servings)

These classic, tangy lemon bars have a tart, refreshing, and irresistible appeal. For something rich and different, try the chocolate lemon bars variation—now we're talking!


  • Crust: 
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Lemon Topping: 
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Confectioners' sugar (for dusting)

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

  2. Make the crust: In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the flour, beating until well combined and mixture holds together and forms a dough. Press the dough over the bottom of the prepared pan.

  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm when touched.

  4. Make the topping: In a medium bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well blended. Pour the mixture over the crust.

  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is set.

  6. Cool the lemon bars completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar before cutting into bars.


  • Store the bars between layers of wax paper in an airtight container at cool room temperature up to 3 days, or refrigerate up to 1 week, or freeze up to 2 months.
  • To make cut the bars easier you'll want to wait until they have cooled completely. You can score the bars right out of the oven though, which will make cutting easier.
  • To cut the bars, don't make a sawing motion with your knife, instead make long, clean cuts the length of the pan. Wipe the knife clean by dipping it in hot water and wiping with a clean kitchen towel to dry between cuts.

Recipe Variation

Chocolate lemon bars: Try these bars with a chocolate crust for a deliciously interesting variation. In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until blended. Add 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into small pieces, and beat until mixture clumps together and forms a dough. Press the dough over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it looks dry on the top. Pour filling over crust and proceed as directed.