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Stack of lemon bars on parchment paper with top lemon shortbread having a bite removed.
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5 from 3 votes

Lemon Bars

Sweet and tart, this Lemon Bars recipe is a classic not to be missed! Our no-fail lemon topping is crisp, bright and never gooey over top of a buttery shortbread crust.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Cooling Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon bars, lemon squares
Servings: 24 2x2" bars
Calories: 281kcal
Author: Rachel


Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter Room temperature
  • cup Granulated Sugar
  • cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 lg Egg Yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Salt

Lemon Curd

  • 6 large Eggs
  • 4 large Egg Yolks
  • 1 cup Fresh Lemon Juice 6-8 lemons
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter 2 sticks, cut into tablespoons
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered Sugar For dusting the tops


Make the crust.

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (177C) and line a 9x13 inch glass or ceramic baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides.
  • Using an electric or stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat until creamed and fluffy.
  • Add egg yolks and vanilla extract, beat until well combined.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add flour 1 cup at a time, pausing each time the flour is just starting to combine and scrape sides. Mix until well combined, but don't overmix the dough. The dough will be slightly crumbly.
  • Put the dough in the baking dish and evenly press into the bottom of the pan. With a fork, gently prick the crust many times all over the bottom.
  • Bake the crust on 370F (177C) for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.

Make the lemon Curd.

  • While the crust is baking, stir eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add butter and heat on stovetop over medium heat. Stir constantly but do not let the lemon topping boil. Stir until thickened, about 10-12 minutes or until the curd you can draw a line in the coating on the back of a spoon and it stays. (See photo in post).
  • Remove from heat and pour through a mesh strainer to remove any lemon or egg bits.
  • Pour the curd evenly over the crust (the crust does not need to cool). Return to oven and bake at 325 (160C) and bake for 20 minutes or until topping is set. The center will be just slightly jiggly in the center.
  • Allow to cool at room temperature to keep from cracking. Then transfer to the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to cool completely. Dust evenly with powdered sugar and cut into squares.


Serving: 1square | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 28.1g | Protein: 3.6g | Fat: 17.7g | Saturated Fat: 10.6g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 19g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg