Luscious Lemon Bars

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You will only need a few pantry staples to make creamy, sweet, and delightfully tangy Lemon Bars. Dusted with powdered sugar, these classic and sophisticated Lemon Squares become next-level delicious!

 Suitable for vegetarian diets. Post includes Weight Watchers Points.

three lemon bars stacked on top of a white cake stand

You and I should be whipping up a batch of these lemon bars on weekends, weekdays, weeknights, and pretty much aaaaaaaaaall the time. 

Why? Because these sweet and tart lemon bars are like dessert heaven in every bite. The shortbread crust creates a buttery and crunchy base for the silky smooth and mouth-puckering yet sweet lemon filling.  

Related Links : Magic Cookie Bars.

We are for sure making loads of these dessert bars. Coz they are soooooo easy and soooooo simple that we just have to.

All of the ingredients for these lemon squares are everyday pantry items that you will likely have on hand, and the recipe comes together in no time at all. And don’t forget to invite the kids to help out with the easy lemon dessert recipe. 

side view of three stacked lemon bars

Why You’ll ♡ This

  • This pantry recipe contains common ingredients you already own.
  • The sweet, tart flavor is perfect for spring and summer.
  • These are easily cut into smaller squares so you can feed a crowd.
  • Your kids can make this fun recipe, with a little supervision from you. 
  •  Great for potlucks, baby showers, picnics, tea parties, and anytime.

What are Lemon Bars?

Lemon bars are a classic dessert made with common ingredients. The bottom layer is a yummy shortbread crust and topped with a creamy, custardy layer of lemon.

top down view of finished lemon bars served on a white platter

What’s in Lemon Squares?

Lemon bars are made with pantry staples that you will find in your cupboard right now:

  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Eggs
  • Baking powder
  • Powdered sugar
the ingredients needed for making lemon bars

How To Make Lemon Bars

  1. Make the crust. Add the ingredients for the crust into a mixing bowl, mix until combined, and press them into an 8×8 baking dish.
  2. Bake the crust. Bake the crust for 20 minutes. The crust provides support for the lovely lemon layer, and pre-baking the crust helps to make it nice and sturdy. 
  3. Make the topping. Then make the lemon bar topping by whisking together all of the topping ingredients. Carefully pour this on to the pre-baked crust.
  4. Bake the lemon bars. Add to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until done.
  5. Chill and serve. Allow the baking dish to cool on the counter for about an hour then chill in the refrigerator. Cut into squares and dust with some powdered sugar before serving.
image collage showing the first four steps for making lemon bars

Don’t these lemon squares look sooooo delicious?!?!

image collage showing the steps for making lemon bars

Recipe Tips 

  • You know the lemon bars are done when the filling looks set and the edges of the bar start turning that lovely golden color.
  • These are best baked in either a glass baking dish or a metallic dish lined with baking paper. Baking directly on metal can sometimes give a metallic taste to the bars.

Lemon Bars Recipe Variations

This lemony dessert is sweet and tangy, and these bars will be a popular dessert no matter where you take them. Lemon juice is a classic choice in this dessert, but you can substitute other flavors for a surprising twist. Try using 

  • lime juice
  • Meyer lemon juice
  • grapefruit juice
  • blood orange juice
  • orange juice

Regular orange juice won’t have the same tartness as the others but will be deliciously sweet.

For even more unexpected flavor:

  • add fresh chopped herbs like rosemary or thyme to the shortbread.
  • try topping the finished dessert bars with fresh blueberries, raspberries, or even a drizzle of chocolate.
lemon bars stacked on a serving plate and set next to a bowl of lemons

Meal Prep And Prep Ahead

Prep ahead – These lemons squares can be kept in the fridge for up to five days.

Freeze – These lemon squares freeze very well. Just follow these steps:

  • Let the bars cool completely.
  • Then wrap the whole batch in plastic wrap or foil add into a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to three months. 
  • Thaw them by placing them in the refrigerator overnight, then sprinkle with sugar and cut into squares.

Questions You May Have

Do I have to use fresh lemon juice?

Fresh lemon juice will give you maximum lemon flavor and tartness. You can use bottled lemon juice in a pinch, but the dessert won’t be as tart.

How do I easily remove these from the pan?

Line your baking dish with foil and leave a few inches of overhang on each side. When the lemon bars have cooled, simply lift the foil and remove the whole thing from the pan before cutting into squares. 

three lemon bars dusted with powdered sugar

Other Easy Cookies and Desserts You Might Like

Weight Watchers Points

There are 10 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving.

Thank you for reading my Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans, and much more for you. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

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three lemon bars stacked on top of a white cake stand
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Luscious Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars are a classic and sophisticated sweet treat that is easily made with everyday pantry staples.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Cooling time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Western
Servings: 12
Calories: 212kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

For the Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Lemon Topping

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

To make the crust

  • Add the flour, butter, sugar, and salt to a mixing bowl, mix until combined, and then press into an 8×8 baking dish.

Bake the crust

  • In a 325F / 162C preheated oven, bake the crust for 20 minutes. The crust provides support for the lovely lemon layer, and pre-baking the crust helps to make it nice and sturdy. 

Make the topping

  • Then make the lemon bar topping by whisking together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, flour, baking powder, and salt. Carefully pour on top of the pre-baked crust.

Bake the lemon bars

  • Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until done.

Chill and serve

  • Allow the baking dish to cool on the counter for about an hour then chill in the refrigerator. Cut into squares and dust with some powdered sugar before serving.
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Notes

  • You know the lemon bars are done when the filling looks set and the edges of the bar start turning that lovely golden color.
  • These are best baked in either a glass baking dish or a metallic dish lined with baking paper. Baking directly on metal can sometimes give a metallic taste to the bars.
There are 10 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

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5 from 4 votes

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These lemon bars are so delicious! My whole family loved them and wants to make the recipe again soon!

  2. 5 stars
    These sound AMAZING. I love how they’ve got zest and butter running through them. They fit so perfectly together in this bar!

  3. 5 stars
    You had me at lemon!…and your recipe instructions totally remove the fear factor from this one. Thanks for another beautiful recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    My husband loves lemon bars. I haven’t made them for him lately. These look to die for. I’m going to make them in the next couple of days. I love that I already have everything I need.