Brownies & Bars

Easy Lemon Bars Recipe

4.61 from 319 votes
My lemon bars recipe has all the best bits of classic lemon bars but made even easier!
This Lemon Bars Recipe is all you need!

Hi Bold Bakers!

This recipe is long in the making! Since the birth of Bigger Bolder Baking have all been asking for an easy Lemon Bars recipe. Well, brace yourselves!

It’s finally here!

My Lemon Bars Recipe has all the best bits of classic lemon bars, but made even easier. Some lemon bars require pre-cooking the filling, or extra equipment, but these tangy & rich lemon bars are made in one bowl and by hand.

Made with a classic sweet and buttery shortbread base topped with a super fresh lemony custard, these lemon bars boast a crackle top, gooey center, and crunchy sweet base. Basically, these lemon bars are going to make all of your friends and family swoon!

What is shortbread?

Shortbread, or shortcrust pastry, is the beginning of my easy lemon bars recipe. Shortbread is defined by a super crunchy and flaky texture that has a sweet flavor. Made by hand with just butter, flour, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar, you can imagine why this crust is also the base of millionaire’s shortbread — as they taste like a million bucks.

The rich sweet crust bakes ahead of the filling to ensure it’s cooked through. After baking for 25 minutes, I fill them will the custard filling and then it’s just a matter of time!

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How do you make this lemon bars recipe?

These homemade Lemon Bars are made with an easy lemon custard filling. Made by combining egg yolks, sugar, and lots of fresh lemon juice and zest, the filling of this lemon bar has all the component of the best homemade lemon curd.

[ This recipe calls for vanilla! Did you know you can make your own extracts? ]

The difference is that there’s no fussy cooking over a stove or worrying about curdled eggs. All of the ingredients are combined then poured over the shortbread crust. They bake somewhat low and slow, and this is what allows the lemon custard filling to develop its thick custard center and golden brown top.

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Are lemon bars best-served cold?

While I really like the idea of warm gooey lemon bars I do find them easier to cut into squares when they are fully cooled. This is an important step in setting the center of the lemon bars. After cooling I love to dust these easy lemon bars with powdered sugar for that extra touch of sweetness.

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NOTE: THIS RECIPE HAS BEEN EDITED ON 9/6/2018 TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE FILLING. WE HAVE RESOLVED ANY ISSUE WITH THE RECIPE. Gemma 🙂

Watch The Recipe Video!

Easy Lemon Bars

4.61 from 319 votes
My easy Lemon Bars Recipe has all the best bits of classic lemon bars but made even easier! Give it a go!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 9
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
My easy Lemon Bars Recipe has all the best bits of classic lemon bars but made even easier! Give it a go!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 9

Ingredients

Butter Shortbread Crust

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (caster sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (6 1/4oz/177g) all-purpose flour
  • 10 tablespoons (5oz/142g) butter, cubed and softened

Lemon Filling:

  • 8 egg yolks*
  • 1 1/2 cups (12oz/340g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4oz/115g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 lemons, juiced and zested (about 3/4 cup juice )
  • 1/2 cup (2 ½oz/71g) all-purpose flour (See Notes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (See Notes)
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

NOTE: THIS RECIPE HAS BEEN EDITED ON 9/6/2018 TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE FILLING. WE HAVE RESOLVED ANY ISSUE WITH THE RECIPE.

    Shortbread Crust:

    • Preheat your oven to 325oF (170oC) then butter and line an 8x8 inch baking tin, set aside. 
    • In a large bowl combine the sugars and the flour. Next rub in the butter until you've reached the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. Continue to bring the shortbread together using your hands until the dough forms a ball.
    • Transfer the shortbread dough to your lined baking tin and press into one even layer using your fingertips and the palm of your hands. Then prick the crust all over with a fork.
    • Bake the shortbread crust for 25 minutes. While the base is baking, make the lemon filling.

    Lemon Filling:

    • In a medium bowl combine the egg yolks, sugar, soft butter, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and zest then mix to combine. If the mixture looks a bit separated, don't be alarmed. 
    • UPDATED STEP: lastly, whisk in the flour and  baking powder until there are no lumps. (We added this step 2018 to rectify lemon bars that were not setting)
    • Remove the crust from the oven then fill with the lemon filling. 
    • Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top has formed a crackle crust and is golden brown.
    • Allow to fully cool before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into squares. 
    • Cover and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

    Recipe Notes

    *Flour and baking powder were added to this recipe after the video launched. It's important to add it as it sets the lemon filling. 
     
    *Save your leftover egg whites for meringue recipes and you can even freeze them for later

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    Veronique
    Veronique
    2 months ago

    Hubby has been asking for lemon bars ~ cant wait to try these for him ~

    Lojane
    Lojane
    11 months ago

    Hi Gemma,
    I’ve been following ur recipes for a year now and I absolutely love them. I’m 15 now but I hope to become a master baker like you. I tried this recipe specially for my cousin who loves lemon deserts. Wish u all the best and keep baking!! ❤️❤️❤️

    Alpana
    Alpana
    9 months ago

    awesome..loved it. simple and quick yet yummy and delicious

    Izreen
    Izreen
    8 months ago

    Made this recipe over and over. Superb! Tq so much Gemma for being a wonderful teacher

    Jonelle
    Jonelle
    1 year ago

    Hi Gemma! Trying this for the first time… can you please explain what you mean by “line” the baking pan. Your instructions say to butter and line the pan. Is that flour after the butter as customary or butter than parchment? I’m assuming so. Thanks for the clarification! ????

    Harriet
    Harriet
    10 months ago

    I made bigger bolder lemon bar and they are AMAZING!!!!!!!

    Alex
    Alex
    1 year ago

    Does the crust really need to bake for 25 mins? I baked mine for 25mins and it got burnt
    I even reduced the temp by 5°. By the time It got out of the oven with the filling, it just turned black.

    Joshua Lee
    Joshua Lee
    10 days ago

    Hi Gemma, just wondering do we have to add in the flour and baking powder? Is that step only necessary if our fillings aren’t setting?

    Priya
    Priya
    11 days ago

    Hi
    Awesome Recipe.Can we Substitute Eggs if we can then what to use.

    Susan
    Susan
    12 days ago

    Hi Gemma!
    So I made your lemon bars but with oranges – fantastic!
    I did use one lemon and then enough orange juice (which was two and a half navel oranges) to get to the 3/4 cup. And I also cut back a bit on the sugar…
    For some reason it took way longer in the oven but I’m not complaining…such a great flavor!
    Thanks again!

    About Us

    Meet Gemma

    About Us

    Meet Gemma

    Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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