I just love this homemade lemon bars recipe also known and lemon squares. A yummy shortbread cookie-like base topped with an incredible lemon filling and finished off with powdered sugar. Pure heaven!
If you are in the mood for something with lemon in it, then you have got to try this lemon bars recipe. It is a great way to use fresh lemons you may have gotten at the store or have growing on the tree. When life gives you lemons make lemonade or lemon bars!
They are so easy to make, if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!
Step 1: Gather the ingredients
In order to make these scrumptious lemon bars you need a handful of easy to find ingredients, some or most of which you may already have in your home:
- Flour – All purpose/plain flour
- Lemon juice – You can’t have lemon bars without lemon juice!
- Lemon zest – Not necessary but adds some extra lemon flavor.
- Powdered sugar
- 9×13 pan
- Aluminum foil
- Pastry roller
- Hand mixer
Step 2: How to make lemon bars from scratch
Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Add the softened room temp butter to a large bowl along with 1/2 cup of sugar and cream them together.
Scape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and then add in half of the flour and mix it in. Followed by the other half of flour. The result will be damp butter crumbs of flour and sugar. If you have ever made shortbread cookies, this is pretty much identical to that. Essentially the lemon bars base is shortbread.
Step 3: Bake the shortbread cookie lemon bar base
Take a 9×13 inch baking pan and line it with aluminum foil or parchment paper. If using foil make sure to spray it with cooking spray. You can also just spray the pan if you like. Foil or parchment paper makes it easier to cut later.
Pour the lemon bars shortbread cookie base into the pan and spread it out evenly and then back it down a bit, using a pastry roller or can or something like that. The back of a big spoon will work too.
Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes, just until the edges are slightly golden brown, don’t bake it too long, or it will be very crumbly.
Once out of the oven allow it to cool for 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare the lemon topping.
Step 4: Make the homemade lemon bars topping and bake
In a medium bowl add the eggs and beat them with a whisk. Then add the sugar, lemon juice, flour, lemon zest and mix it all together which will created the lemon filling/topping. A micro plane works great for getting lemon zest.
Pour the lemon bars filling over the shortbread cookie base and spread it out evenly as needed. Bake it again in the oven for 20 minutes.
It should be slightly golden brown around the edges and maybe a few spots in the middle when it is done. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely at room temp. Then place it in the fridge to set. This will take 2 to 3 hours. You can cut into it before then, but it is better to wait.
Now pull up the parchment paper or aluminum foil will will take the whole large lemon bar out of the pan. Pull the sides down and cut it up into smaller squares, or who knows maybe you want to leave it as one giant lemon bar? haha.
Don’t forget to dust the tops of the lemon bars with powdered sugar. And there you have, super easy recipe. Enjoy!
How long do lemon bars last?
Not very long in my house, and I live by myself! Place the leftover lemon bars in an airtight container or in a ziplock bag in the fridge for about a week. You can also freeze them if you like. They will last 2 to 3 months frozen.
Here are a few other recipes you may like:
- 9×13 pan
- Aluminum foil
- Pastry roller
- Hand mixer
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour 240g
- 1 cup of softened unsalted butter 226g
- 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar 100g
- Juice from 2 medium lemons add a third for extra lemon flavor (1/4 cup, 60ml)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup of flour 30g
- 2 cups of sugar 400g
- Zest from 1 lemon roughly 1 tsp.
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- First, preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Next add the softened butter and 1/2 cup of sugar and cream them together with a mixer.
- Scrape the sides with a spatula, then add half of the flour and mix that in really well, then add the rest of the flour and mix that in. When you are done you will have large crumbles of buttery, sugary, flour.
- Pour the mixture into an aluminum foil or parchment paper-lined 13×9 pan, or just spray the pan with cooking spray.Then push down the mixture with your clean hands and fingers until it spreads out. Use a pastry roller if you like to get it nice and even.Bake it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, just until it is lightly brownish on the top. Don't over bake it, the cookie will get super crumbly.
- Let the cookie base cool for 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare the lemon topping/filling.
- Add the eggs to a medium bowl and beat those with a whisk, then add the sugar, lemon juice, flour, lemon zest (optional) and mix it all together. A micro plane works great for getting lemon zest.
- Pour the lemon filling on top of the cookie base and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes. The sides should be slightly brown and maybe a few light brown spots on top. Remove it from the oven and let it cool at room temp completely then place it in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours to set up.
- Unwrap the foil from the edges of the huge lemon bar. Then take a knife and cut it into squares. If the knife sticks too much, run hot water over the knife, before each cut. Then dust the tops of the lemon bars with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
Do you like this recipe? Pin it if you like. Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.