These bright and citrusy Lemon Bars are the perfect sweet treat for any occasion.
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.
Why Are These Lemon Bars Great //
This is why I love these lemon bars:
- They are delicious and refreshing, with a tart and tangy lemon filling and a sweet and buttery crust.
- They are perfectly balanced and will satisfy your sweet tooth without being overly indulgent.
- They are actually not that hard to make, and you should have most ingredients already in you pantry.
- They are perfect all year long: for a springtime tea party, a summer barbecue, or a winter holiday gathering.
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
How to Make // The Steps
Step 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.
Step 2: Let the crust cool a bit and start on the filling.
Step 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.
Step 4: Bake the lemon bars for another 25 minutes or until the lemon filling is set.
Step 6: Cut into squares and share with a friend.
How to Cut the Perfect Lemon Bars //
Cutting lemon bars may sound easy but following those 3 tricks should help you get the best results:
- Make sure the bars are fully cooled and set. This will help the bars hold their shape and make for cleaner cuts.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the bars into squares or rectangles. If you want to make the cuts even neater, my trick is to run the knife under hot water and dry it before cutting to help the knife glide through the bars without sticking.
- Finally, to prevent the bars from breaking, use a spatula or pie server to carefully lift each bar from the baking dish and transfer it to a serving plate.
What Are The Best Lemons To Use for Lemon Bars //
When making lemon bars, I strongly recommend using fresh lemons. This will give you the most flavorful and aromatic lemon juice, which is ESSENTIAL for the filling of the bars. You can use either regular lemons or Meyer lemons. Regular lemons will give the filling a tart and tangy flavor, while Meyer lemons will add a slightly sweeter and more floral note.
I 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.
It is important to zest the lemon before juicing it, as the zest adds a lot of flavor to the filling. Another trick get more juice from your lemon is to roll it on a cutting board with your palm before cutting it open. This will help to break down the cells and release more juice.
Should Lemon Bars Be Refrigerated After Baking?
Although the high acidity of the lemon filling helps to preserve and keep the bars safe to eat, it’s still important to store them in the fridge.
To store lemon bars, allow them to cool to room temperature and then transfer them to an airtight container. Place the container in the refrigerator and the lemon bars will keep for several days.
When serving the lemon bars, you can either serve them cold straight from the fridge or let them come to room temperature before serving. They can also be heated briefly in the microwave.
Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake | Baked Bree
Wednesday 24th of April 2019
[…] love lemon. Lemon anything. But I really love Meyer Lemons. I had never understood what they were until I […]
Friday 27th of June 2014
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.
Monday 30th of June 2014
I am so glad!
Thursday 28th of March 2013
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
Sunday 31st of March 2013
I think that it makes the filling make a crust of sorts and help it set.
Wednesday 27th of March 2013
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!
Sunday 31st of March 2013
Friday 7th of December 2012
These look fabulous and are perfect for the cookie/square exchange I'm doing. Just wondering how many this recipe makes??
Saturday 8th of December 2012
A 9x13 pan, so you can cut it into as many pieces as you like.