Easy Lemon Bars {Lemon Squares} - CakeWhiz

Easy Lemon Bars {Lemon Squares}

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The best easy lemon bars recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. These lemon squares have a buttery shortbread cookie crust with sweet and tangy lemon curd filling.

Lemon is one of my favorite flavors. It is so bright, refreshing, tangy, and if a flavor could be a feeling, lemon would be joy! These bars are bursting with lemony goodness, creamy curd, and the perfect buttery crust to compliment it all. This Lemon Meringue Pie and Lemon Pound Cake {With Cake Mix} will help you fill your lemon cravings along with these bars.

How To Make Easy Lemon Bars Recipe From Scratch?

  1. Mix dough– In a bowl, add butter, flour, powdered sugar until you have a crumbly dough.
  2. Spread cookie dough– In a square pan, lined with parchment paper.
  3. Chill it– In the fridge for 15 minutes.
  4. Bake it– At 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Cool it– Remove from oven and let it cool for 15 minutes.
  6. Prepare the lemon curd filling– In a bowl, add lemon juice, zest, eggs, sugar, flour and mix until combined.
  7. Pour filling– On top of the shortbread crust.
  8. Bake again– At 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.
  9. Cool completely– Remove from the oven. Let it cool completely to room temperature.
  10. Chill it– Cover with plastic foil and chill in fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  11. Finish it– Remove from fridge and sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
  12. Enjoy!– Cut slices with a sharp knife.

Topping Options

Buttercream frosting– Use store bought or this way better, homemade American Buttercream Frosting Recipe.

Lemon frosting– Who can have too much lemon? Add this Lemon Frosting (Lemon Buttercream) atop these lemon bars.

Whipped cream– Make Homemade Whipped Cream (13 flavors) or add store bought.

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Coconut cream– This Healthy Chocolate Coconut Cream Frosting would make a great dairy free addition.

Melted white chocolate drizzle– Melt white chocolate and drizzle it over these bars for additional sweetness.

White chocolate ganache– Use this recipe, Easy Chocolate Ganache {2 Ingredients}, but use white chocolate chips instead.

Jam and preserves– Add fruit jams and preserves such as blueberry, strawberry, cherry, or blackberry.

Coconut flakes– Top these bars with sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes based on your preference.

Variations For Best Lemon Bars

No bake lemon bars– Make the crust as directed, then mix together lemon pudding (mixed according to the package) and 8 oz of cool whip. Pour it into the crust and let is set in the fridge for up to 2 hours or over-night.

lemon blueberry bars– Add blueberries to the curd.

Meyer lemon bars– Use Meyer lemons for their vibrant flavor.

Lemon cheesecake bars– Replace the lemon curd filling with a lemon cheesecake filling.

Try other crusts– Use this Graham Cracker Crust (No Bake) or this Oreo Cookie Crust (No Bake). You can also use a pretzel crust for a salty, sweet bar variation.

Add extracts– Such as almond, vanilla, or even lavender extract.

Add shredded coconut– This adds texture and sweetness.

Mix in other berries– Such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or even blackberries.

Add lavender– Add dried lavender into the curd.

Use other citrus juice and zest– Like grapefruit, blood orange, regular oranges, or lime.

Tips And Techniques For Classic Old Fashioned Homemade Lemon Squares

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best– It is the freshest, strongest, flavor and I highly recommend it.

Why are my lemon bars runny? How to fix it? This may mean that the bars are underbaked, in which case cook them a little longer, or they need to chill longer so that they set properly. They may also be over-baked, in which case, next time cook them for less time.

Why did my lemon bars crack? Either the eggs were over- mixed, or the bars were over baked.

Why are my bars brown on top? The temperature may have been too high for baking, or they were over-baked.

Why are there white bubbles on top of bars? They are created from the air the eggs release while baking. It is nothing to worry about, and the bubbles will be covered up by the powdered sugar on top anyways.

How do I know the lemon bars are done? Bake with lemon curd filling at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until the top is almost set and the center jiggles slightly.

line pan with parchment paper– This prevents the bars from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and makes for super easy clean-up.

What size pan to use? I use and recommend an 8×8 inch pan. This is the size pan that this recipe is designed for.

Do I have to chill the bars? Yes, cover the bars with plastic foil and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. Do not skip this step because it allows the filling to set further.

Let the crust cool before filling with curd– This ensures that the curd filling doesn’t seep into the crust and make it soggy and runny.

Storage

Refrigerate– In a sealed container for up to 1 week.

Freeze– Wrapped well in saran wrap or foil and then placed in a freezer bag or container for up to 2 months.

Thaw– In the refrigerator.

More Lemon Desserts

Stack of Two Easy Lemon Bars on Dark Wood Base With Partial Bite

Easy Lemon Bars

The best easy lemon bars recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. These lemon squares have a buttery shortbread cookie crust with sweet and tangy lemon curd filling.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Chill time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade lemon curd, summer dessert
Servings: 16 Slices
Calories: 187kcal
Author: Abeer Rizvi

Ingredients

Shortbread crust

  • 1/2 cup Butter Unsalted, Room temperature
  • 1 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Powdered sugar Not granulated sugar

Lemon Curd Filling

  • 1/2 cup Lemon juice Freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp Lemon zest
  • 3 Eggs Large, Room temperature
  • 1.5 cups Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup All-purpose flour Sifted

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, add butter, flour, powdered sugar until you have a crumbly dough.
  • Spread cookie dough in a square pan (Dimensions: 8×8), lined with parchment paper.
  • Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until it's golden brown on top.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool for 15 minutes.
  • While the shortbread cookie crust is cooling, prepare the lemon curd filling.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add lemon juice, zest, eggs, sugar, flour and mix until combined.
  • Pour this filling on top of the shortbread crust
  • Bake again at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until the top is almost set and the center jiggles slightly.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool completely to room temperature.
  • Then cover with plastic foil and chill in fridge for 2 hours or overnight. Do not skip this step because it allows the filling to set further.
  • Remove from fridge and sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
  • Cut slices with a sharp knife and enjoy!

Notes

  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

Nutrition

Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Stack of Best Lemon Squares on Dark Wood Base
Fork With a Bite of Classic Homemade Lemon Bar on Dark Wood Base
Closeup Shot of Dessert Bar Composed of Shortbread Cookie Crust and Lemon Curd Filling

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