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best lemon bar recipe

I have posted this recipe on my photography blog  before but thought that I would share it here because it is a favorite of mine.

I love anything lemon.  Sweet, savory, lemon does it for me.  These lemon bars are one of my favorite desserts on the planet and completely remind me of my mom.  When I had my oldest son she came to my house to take care of us and these are the first thing that I asked her to make for me.  I love them.  They are easy to make, hold well, and freeze like a dream.  I usually cut the squares pretty small and freeze half a batch for another time.  I make these in my Cuisinart but you can easily make them by hand.  That is what Martha would do.  But as we all know, I am no Martha.

Also, had a bunch of gorgeous Meyer Lemons laying around and wanted to use them up.  They made these a little sweeter than I would have liked.  If I were to use Meyer Lemons again, I would have definitely reduced the amount of sugar in the filling or cut it with some full strength lemon.  I loved the bright yellow color that the Meyer lemons gave me, but these are supposed to be on the tart side.

For the crust:

2 cups flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
pinch of salt
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

For the filling:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.  In a food processor, put the dry ingredients in the bowl and pulse.  Add the butter and pulse until it turns into the size of peas.  Press the crust into the bottom of the pan.  Bake the crust for 20 minutes.

Let the crust cool a bit and start on the filling.

Put all of the filling ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and process until smooth.  Right before you are ready to pour it over the crust, add the baking powder.  Give it one more whirl and you can pour it in.  Pour it gently on top of the crust or the crust can break.

Bake the lemon bars for another 25 minutes or until the lemon filling is set.

Cut into squares and share with a friend.

the best lemon bar recipe

Lemon Bars

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • For the filling:
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. In a food processor, put the dry ingredients in the bowl and pulse. Add the butter and pulse until it turns into the size of peas. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 20 minutes.
  2. Let the crust cool a bit and start on the filling.
  3. Put all of the filling ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and process until smooth. Right before you are ready to pour it over the crust, add the baking powder. Give it one more whirl and you can pour it in. Pour it gently on top of the crust or the crust can break.
  4. Bake the lemon bars for another 25 minutes or until the lemon filling is set.
  5. Cut into squares and share with a friend.
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66 Responses to Lemon Bars

  1. Amanda says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. I dont even like lemon bars but I want to eat these! :)

  2. I have limes dropping off of my trees these days and this recipe inspires me to whip up some lime bars! Thanks!!!

  3. Sally DePamphilis says:

    Bree,
    They look good enough to eat! My favorite, too!
    Great website, I’ve been sharing it with my friends. You’re amazing!
    Love, Sal

  4. Memoria says:

    I love lemon bars! I must try this recipe out. I love that it can be halved easily.

  5. wintkat says:

    love all things lemon too
    one ? photo of ingredients shows lemon zest on cutting board but I don’t see it listed in recipe
    invited to a friend’s for dinner tonite and will take these along
    thanks and have a great weekend
    wintkat

    • bakedbree says:

      I sometimes add it, I figure you can never have enough lemon, but the recipe really does not call for it.

  6. Kathleen says:

    Bree, these sound delicious. I just bookmarked the recipe. I want to make them for my son when he comes home next week for spring break! Your photography is absolutely stunning!!

  7. Lucy says:

    I too love anything lemon, especially lemon bars! Beautiful – I’m not sure I’d be very good at sharing these :)

  8. Erin Ledford says:

    these look AMAZING!! cannot wait to make them!

  9. I just made these this morning! Mine did not look anywhere near as gorgeous as yours do! The recipe seems the same, apart from the baking powder which mine didn’t have. I did not get the lovely separate layers though. Any idea what I am doing wrong?

  10. toni says:

    I think I will make these for Easter! Thanks, Bree!

  11. Hey Bree, I made these again the other day, following your tip to wait for the crust to cook before adding the filling. I got the separate layers (hooray) but it somehow became an upside down slice in that the gooey lemon layer ended up on the bottom and the crust on the top. Help! I am not normally so incompetent with baking…just this delicious little slice has me beaten into submissive cowering!

  12. Traci Hughes says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING!! I cannot believe you find the time to be successful at so many things. This website is visually stunning, not to mention the recipes look yummy. I went shopping today and plan on making these lemon bars tomorrow. Also, I am Italian and grew up with Limoncello, so I hope to make that in the near future too.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful gifts! -Traci =)

  13. […] that if these bars aren’t the Holy Grail, they’re awful close.  I found this recipe at Baked Bree, one of my favorite food blogs.  My criteria for a new lemon bar recipe is based on past […]

  14. […] dessert with you.  Secondly, because I really fell in love with this version.  I love anything lemon and the cornmeal gives the biscuit a slightly grainy texture which I really liked.  And thirdly, […]

  15. Dangler says:

    I made these yesterday, and they were so lemony and delish! Perfect balance of lemon filling and crust, and not sticky-sweet at all. Freshy, lovely & lemony!

  16. Dee says:

    Can these be frozen to serve a few days later? I am making mutiple baskets of bar cookies – lemon bars were a request – and I will need to freeze them in order to have enough made for the order! They will be going to school teachers lounges!

  17. […] If I had to list my Top 5 favorite foods, matzo ball soup is high on that list.  It is my ultimate comfort food.  When I am sick, I want matzo ball soup.  When I am happy, I want matzo ball soup.  When I am grumpy, I want matzo ball soup.  You get the idea.  When my oldest son was born, my mom came to stay with us for a few days and she offered to make me anything that I wanted.  Anything at all.  Matzo ball soup is what I wanted.  And lemon bars. […]

  18. I really love the tangy taste. I like lemon flavor as well. I am fond of tasting new foods and trying them myself. The lemon bars look amazing in the images, I don’t know if they will look the same . The recipe is put on very well.

  19. […] bars by bakedbree , Cupcake from The Sweetest Occasion , Lemon ginger jam by Studer T.V. blog comments […]

  20. Carmen says:

    Hi
    Just wondering if I have to use the lemon extraact as I have everthing but…

  21. erin says:

    What if I don’t have a food processor?

  22. […] wish to increase the sugar to 2 1/4 cups.  Next time, I will try one egg less or… this go to recipe found on Pinterest.  What is your favorite lemon bar recipe?  Please do […]

  23. Your bars look absolutely perfect with that lovely thin lemon layer – divine!

  24. Danielle says:

    Too much crust and not enough lemon batter. I am disappointed :-(

  25. […] dessert with you.  Secondly, because I really fell in love with this version.  I love anything lemon and the cornmeal gives the biscuit a slightly grainy texture which I really liked.  And thirdly, […]

  26. […] cookies, I think about lemon bars with a crunchy cookie bottom and a creamy sweet tart topping. BakeBree has a beautiful recipe that showcases in detail the steps to creating this incredible treat. If […]

  27. Jodi says:

    hi bree:
    do you ever freeze your lemon bars? what’s the best way and does it work? i just need to keep them fresh for the next few days.
    thanks!

  28. lindsey says:

    I have never made anything like this, so how do you know when the lemon is set? Do you use plain flour or self rising and it the top suppose to have a thin crust?

    • bakedbree says:

      It will not jiggle and the top will crust over. Always regular flour, I never use self-rising. The filling/crust is about 50/50.

  29. Kjbq says:

    Making these yummy treats today!!! You introduced me to my first lemon bar 8.5 years ago! Hope they turn out like yours.

  30. […] Filling (adapted from Baked Bree) 1 package extra firm tofu, drained 1 1/4 cup organic sugar (or coconut sugar) Zest and juice of 3 […]

  31. Hannah says:

    these were SO great! I used to make some terrific lemon bars years ago and lost the recipe, so settled to trying other ones- after a long break, I decided to try this one and it is RIDICULOUSLY good! Definitely will be making it again, maybe reducing the butter in the crust a bit…

  32. Ginger Jones says:

    Do you freeze these AFTER you bake them?

    Thanks

  33. Amanda says:

    These are so good and easy to make. I will try extra lemon and maybe zest next time to add even more lemon flavor and tartness. This will be a go to recipe for me. Thanks!

  34. […] If I had to list my Top 5 favorite foods, matzo ball soup is high on that list.  It is my ultimate comfort food.  When I am sick, I want matzo ball soup.  When I am happy, I want matzo ball soup.  When I am grumpy, I want matzo ball soup.  You get the idea.  When my oldest son was born, my mom came to stay with us for a few days and she offered to make me anything that I wanted.  Anything at all.  Matzo ball soup is what I wanted.  And lemon bars. […]

  35. Trish says:

    These look fabulous and are perfect for the cookie/square exchange I’m doing. Just wondering how many this recipe makes??

    Thanks!

  36. […] Lemon bars- tied for one of my 43568723 favorite desserts. These are probably the best looking lemon bars I’ve seen, and now I know what I’ll be doing […]

  37. Evelien says:

    Could you tell me how much 2 sticks of butter is? in grams or cups or whatever is used for butter in the US =) I’m planning on making these for easter!

  38. Maureen L says:

    Hi,
    Wow — those look absolutely gorgeous! Can you tell me why baking powder goes into the filling though. Some recipes use it, others do not. I would like to know what purpose it serves? Thanks so much!
    MJ

  39. […] I adapted the recipe from the one Baked Bree posted on her blog […]

  40. […] I (clearly) have very strong opinions about my lemon bars, so I read a bunch of recipes online and in my personal hoard of cookbooks (the first reference was in 1984, for the curious ones out there) and developed my own. Three of my blogger influences were Epicurean Mom, Averie Cooks and Baked Bree. […]

  41. Ann says:

    These were great except my crust was too crumbly and just fell to bits, I think it was the spray I used though, it had flour in it. My pan was dark and I ended up having to adjust the temp, but I added zest and more lemon juice and some Doterra oil lemon to the filling I was worried it might be too much but it was perfect the lemon taste we all wanted thank you Bree. My family and I love your recipes.

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