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Lemon Bars

 

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
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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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  1. Amanda

    March 12th, 2010 at 9:10 am

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

  2. Sue

    June 13th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    The recipe calls for two sticks of unsalted butter. Not sure what is meant. I know it is not a pound of butter. I have never bought butter in sticks.

    help

  3. bakedbree

    June 15th, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    1 cup, or 1/2 pound.

  4. Wendy Jo Peterson, RD

    March 12th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

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

  5. Sally DePamphilis

    March 12th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    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

  6. Memoria

    March 12th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

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

  7. wintkat

    March 13th, 2010 at 3:56 am

    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

  8. bakedbree

    March 13th, 2010 at 9:29 am

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

  9. Kathleen

    March 13th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    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!!

  10. Lucy

    March 14th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

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

  11. Erin Ledford

    March 14th, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    these look AMAZING!! cannot wait to make them!

  12. spice and more

    March 18th, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    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?

  13. toni

    March 31st, 2010 at 2:02 pm

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

  14. spice and more

    April 27th, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    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!

  15. Ncgirl

    April 15th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I had the same thing. How do you keep the lemn on top?

  16. bakedbree

    April 15th, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I am not sure what you mean. Did you let them cool completely?

  17. aluv16

    January 28th, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    If the crust isn’t fully cooked, it rises to the top and the lemon goes to the bottom.

  18. Traci Hughes

    May 10th, 2010 at 12:15 am

    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 =)

  19. Dangler

    September 1st, 2010 at 10:53 am

    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!

  20. bakedbree

    September 1st, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    so glad that you liked them!

  21. Dee

    October 24th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    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!

  22. bakedbree

    October 24th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Yes! I do it all the time.

  23. TomHolmes1945@Home Bar Review

    November 9th, 2010 at 5:06 am

    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.

  24. bakedbree

    November 10th, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    thank you Tom!

  25. Carmen

    August 28th, 2011 at 9:22 am

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

  26. bakedbree

    August 29th, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Just leave it out. I add it because my does. 🙂

  27. erin

    February 1st, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    What if I don’t have a food processor?

  28. bakedbree

    February 9th, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Use a mixer or by hand.

  29. thelittleloaf

    April 4th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

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

  30. bakedbree

    April 8th, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    thank you little loaf!

  31. Danielle

    April 7th, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Too much crust and not enough lemon batter. I am disappointed 🙁

  32. bakedbree

    April 8th, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I am sorry that you are disappointed, but that is exactly what the picture looks like.

  33. Lori

    December 15th, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I saw this comment, and decided to change it up a bit because I also like a lot of the lemon filling. I did the crust per recipe, and did 1 and 1/2 the recipe for the filling. Turned out great!

  34. bakedbree

    December 16th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Great!

  35. Jodi

    May 4th, 2012 at 11:57 am

    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!

  36. bakedbree

    May 6th, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    All the time! It is my favorite way to eat them.

  37. lindsey

    May 20th, 2012 at 9:52 am

    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?

  38. bakedbree

    May 22nd, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    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.

  39. Kjbq

    May 22nd, 2012 at 3:17 pm

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

  40. bakedbree

    May 22nd, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I hope so too. Put the leftovers in the freezer, my favorite way to eat them. 🙂

  41. Hannah

    August 6th, 2012 at 8:10 am

    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…

  42. bakedbree

    August 6th, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I am so glad that you liked them so much Hannah!

  43. Ginger Jones

    October 5th, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Do you freeze these AFTER you bake them?

    Thanks

  44. bakedbree

    October 8th, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    After they are baked.

  45. Amanda

    October 21st, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    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!

  46. bakedbree

    November 2nd, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I am so glad. Love this recipe.

  47. Trish

    December 7th, 2012 at 8:11 am

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

    Thanks!

  48. bakedbree

    December 8th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    A 9×13 pan, so you can cut it into as many pieces as you like.

  49. Evelien

    March 27th, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    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!

  50. bakedbree

    March 31st, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    1 cup.

  51. Maureen L

    March 28th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    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

  52. bakedbree

    March 31st, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I think that it makes the filling make a crust of sorts and help it set.

  53. Ann

    June 27th, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    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.

  54. bakedbree

    June 30th, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I am so glad!

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