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A grid of easy lemon bars dusted with powdered sugar made with my lemon bars recipe.
Easy Lemon Bars Recipe
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!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 9
Author: Gemma Stafford
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)
Shortbread Crust:
  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (170°C) then butter and line an 8x8 inch baking tin, set aside. 

  2. 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.

  3. Transfer the shortbread dough to your lined baking tin and press it into one even layer using your fingertips and the palm of your hands. Then prick the crust all over with a fork.

  4. Bake the shortbread crust for 25 minutes. While the base is baking, make the lemon filling.

Lemon Filling:
  1. 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. 

  2. 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)

  3. Remove the crust from the oven then fill with the lemon filling. 

  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top has formed a crackle-top crust and is golden brown.

  5. Allow to fully cool before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into squares. 

  6. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Watch the Recipe Video!

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