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Easy Lemon Bars {Lemon Squares}

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! This Lemon Meringue Pie and Lemon Pound Cake {With Cake Mix} will also help you fill your lemon cravings.

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

How To Make Easy Lemon Bars Recipe From Scratch?

  1. Make cookie dough– By mixing together butter, flour, powdered sugar.
  2. Spread dough– In a square pan.
  3. Chill in fridge- For 15 minutes.
  4. Bake it– Until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven- And let it cool.
  6. Make lemon curd filling– By mixing together lemon juice, zest, eggs, sugar, flour.
  7. Pour filling– On top of the shortbread crust.
  8. Bake again– Until the top is almost set.
  9. Remove from oven- And let it cool completely.
  10. Chill– Overnight.
  11. Enjoy! With a dusting of powdered sugar.

Topping Options

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

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

Whipped cream– Make Homemade Whipped Cream or use store- bought version if you are short on time.

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

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

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

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

Coconut– Top these bars with sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut. It adds a lovely texture and flavor.

Stack of Best Lemon Squares on Dark Wood Base

Variations For Best Lemon Bars

No bake lemon bars– Make the crust as directed. Then, mix together lemon pudding mix (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 some fresh blueberries to the curd mixture or you can swirl in some blueberry jam.

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

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 sweet and salty variation.

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

Add shredded coconut in the crust or lemon mixture- This adds texture and sweetness.

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

Add lavender– Don’t add a lot or else it will taste and smell like soap.

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

Fork With a Bite of Classic Homemade Lemon Bar on Dark Wood Base

Tips And Techniques For Classic Old Fashioned Homemade Lemon Squares

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best-Because it has 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 under-baked, in which case cook them a little longer, or they need to chill longer so that they set properly.

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 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 these bars are done baking? They are done when the top is almost set and the center jiggles slightly.

Line pan with parchment paper– This is very important because it 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.

Closeup Shot of Dessert Bar Composed of Shortbread Cookie Crust and Lemon Curd Filling

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 and then enjoy.

More Lemon Desserts

Stack of Easy Lemon Bars on Dark Wood Base
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Easy Lemon Bars

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Chill time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 55 mins
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.
Yield: 16 Slices

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
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 187
Author: Abeer Rizvi

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