This recipe for Lemon Bars packs a burst of citrus in every bite. A sweet dusting of powdered sugar is the only thing they need before they’re ready to be devoured.
Easy Lemon Bars Recipe
When life gives you lemons, make lemon bars! This kind of citrus bar is always a popular option regardless of the occasion. Lemon is often associated with warm weather and spring desserts and for good reason. When lemons are in season it’s the time to make this kind of handheld treat I mean who can resist a freshly baked lemon bar. The shortbread-like crust forms the perfect foundation for the lemon custard filling. Be prepared to apply several dustings of powdered sugar and store them chilled to lengthen the shelf life. How to make Southern Lemon Bars: (Scroll down for full printable recipe.)
- Prepare Pan – Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to form handles for lifting from the pan. Spray parchment with cooking spray or lightly butter.
- Dry Ingredients – Use a whisk to sift together flour, sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest.
- Butter – Using a pastry blender cut the cold butter into the mixture until it resembles peas. Press evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake Crust – Bake crust for per the recipe just until lightly golden around the edge.
- Filling – In the same bowl, whisk together sugar, lemon juice, eggs, flour, lemon zest and salt until fully blended. Pour over warm crust.
- Bake Filling – Place the pan back into the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes OR until the center is set when gently shaken.
- Cool – Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Lift from the pan using the parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to cut into 20 even squares or desired size pieces. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
How to Make the Best Lemon Bars Recipe
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Lemon Bars: For the crust you’ll need all purpose flour, cornstarch, fresh lemon zest, powdered sugar and butter.
- For the lemon bars filling you’ll need: Granulated sugar, lemon juice, large eggs, butter, all purpose flour, fresh lemon zest and salt.
- Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: 13 x 9 inch baking pan or dish, a pastry blender or food processor to cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients, a whisk and mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a powdered sugar duster or fine mesh sieve to dust the tops. You’ll also need a sharp knife for cutting or a cutting spatula.
- It’s important to allow ample time for the Lemon Bars to cool completely before attempting to cut into squares. If not, the filling can weep.
- For the cleanest cuts, use a super sharp knife and chill the bars before cutting.
- Dust the tops with plenty of powdered sugar just before serving. Please note, it tends to melt into the bars. This is normal and isn’t an indication that anything is wrong.
- Lemon bars should be stored in an airtight container chilled in the refrigerator. You can store them for up to 3-5 days. If stacking, place wax paper between each layer to prevent them from sticking together. You’ll need to dust with powdered sugar again when serving.
- You can also freeze these lemon bars for up to 2 months. When doing so, wrap each bar with wax paper or plastic wrap then in aluminum foil to keep them airtight. Package in a Ziploc bag to prevent them from becoming freezer burned.
More Southern Style Lemon Desserts to Make
Lemon is a winning choice for dessert that seems to please everyone. So pucker up buttercup and make these lemon recipes to enjoy, too:
- Homemade Glazed Lemon Cookies are two bite size.
- Blueberry Lemon Trifle features a combination of two complementary flavors that pair beautifully in this stunning dessert.
- Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake is a made from scratch cake that everyone will love.
- Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake Trifle makes a beautiful centerpiece for your dessert table.
- Lemon Poppy Seed Scones can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch or as a tea time treat.
- You may also enjoy this recipe for Lemon Whipped Cream from The Kitchen Magpie.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 cup cold salted butter, cubed (If using unsalted butter, add 1/4 tsp salt)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 6 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to form handles for lifting from the pan. Spray parchment with cooking spray or lightly butter.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, use a whisk to sift together flour, sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest. Using a pastry blender cut the cold butter into the mixture until it resembles peas. Press evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake crust for 20 minutes just until lightly golden around the edge.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling: In the same bowl, whisk together sugar, lemon juice, eggs, flour, lemon zest and salt until fully blended. Pour over warm crust.
- Place back into the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes OR until the center is set when gently shaken.
- Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Lift from the pan using the parchment paper.
- Use a sharp knife to cut into 20 even squares or desired size pieces. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container, chilled for 3-5 days.