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Close up image of lemon bars from scratch on white boards with sliced lemons.

Lemon Bars With Shortbread Crust

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 20 squares


This easy Lemon Bars Recipe has only seven simple ingredients! A buttery shortbread crust holds up a fresh, tangy lemon curd layer that is topped by a generous dusting of powdered sugar. An ideal recipe for your next family gathering!


Shortbread Crust Recipe

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Lemon Curd Filling Recipe

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 tsp, grated lemon zest

3 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. powdered sugar


  1. Grease and flour 8-inch square baking dish. If using parchment paper, line the baking dish with parchment paper. Cut a large enough sized sheet to allow for overhang for easy removal of the bars. I make these bars without parchment paper and they cut out of the pan nicely.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, unsalted butter and granulated sugar. Using a pastry blender or clean hands, mix to combine until mixture resemble coarse crumbs.
  3. Next, sprinkle the crumbly mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared 8×8-inch baking dish.
  4. Press the mixture down by hand, or gently press down using the bottom of a drinking glass. 
  5. Bake in 325°F oven for 25 minutes.
  6. While the crust is baking,
  7. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, (if using unsalted butter), beaten eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  8. Set mixture aside until the crust has finished baking.
  9. Remove the baked crust from the oven and set on a heat-proof surface. Pour the mixture into the baking dish on top of the baked crust.
  10. Bake in 325°F oven for 20-25 minutes. The centre should not be jiggly.  The 25 minute baking time is always the perfect time for my oven. 
  11. Cutting and serving: Cool the baked lemon bars for 1 hour at room temperature on a wire cooling rack. Next, chill them in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  12. Use a sharp knife to slice into squares. Wipe the knife with a damp cloth between cuts to keep a nice clean edge to the bars.
  13. Using a fine sieve, dust squares with powdered sugar, if eating them immediately. If eating later, refrigerate, covered in plastic wrap and dust with powdered sugar before serving.


  1. This recipe calls for unsalted butter and the addition of 1/8 tsp. of salt. if you do not have unsalted butter on hand, you can substitute salted butter but you will need to omit the salt in the lemon curd filling.
  2. Butter and eggs should be at room temperature. Take them out of the refrigerator one to two hours before starting the recipe.
  3. Use a glass dish for this recipe. If you do not have a glass dish, you can use a metal baking dish but you will have to line it with parchment paper. Cut out a square of parchment paper that is large enough to hang over the edges. Cut each corner of the parchment paper so that it folds into the corners. A metal baking pan can react with the acid in the lemon.
  4. Storage instructions:To store Lemon Bars, cool completely at room temperature, then store covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator for up to one week. Dust them with powdered sugar as you are serving them. They are delicious served cold or let them come to room temperature before serving.
  5. Freezing instructions:A great bar for freezing, simply cool completely at room temperature, then place cut squares in freezer-safe container. An additional layer of plastic wrap or foil around the container will give it added protection.
  6. Thaw in refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 square
  • Calories: 163
  • Sugar: 13.3 g
  • Sodium: 18.6 mg
  • Fat: 9.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 12.2 mg