Easy Lemon Bars


lemon bars

Pucker up, pals!  It’s Lemon Bar day!

Pucker up further, these are easy peasy lemon haha squeezy and loaded, loaded I say, with happy lemony goodness.  

Honestly, I never thought it possible to find a good lemon bar.  Or, I should rephrase — I had yet to find a truly tasty, truly lemony, not packed with copious amounts of sugar….

…Ok, I hadn’t had a good lemon bar until this recipe.

Mike’s not a lemon fan which is much too bad for him.  Sometimes I just can’t figure his tastes out, so strange to me.  I still love him nonetheless.  Regardless, I made these anyway because I think they’re outrageously fabulous and had to share them with you.

These really truly are the best lemon bars I’ve ever had, and I’ve had plenty of lackluster, limply “lemon” sugar bombs with sad wimpy crusts.

An added bonus with this recipe is that it makes a bunch….what’s a group of lemons called….hmm, I guess they don’t have a name.  Right, this recipe results in a 9 x 13 pan of bright joy which means you will hands down be the hero at the next bake sale.

Yellow is my favorite color, see, so these Lemon Bars from Rock Recipes clearly get me jazzed in more ways than one.  The cheery yellow screams happy happy happy and they are practically exploding with lemon flavor.

The only problem I have with this Lemon Bar recipe, if you can call it a problem, is that I absolutely cannot tear my mind away from these.  It is an ongoing battle.  Haunted.

plated lemon bars viewed from above
I mean.  Seriously.  Right?

“Hey Becky, whatcha say we bake up some a’ those yummy lemon bars today, yeah?”  

“C’mon Mind, I’ve got work to do….”

“Whatever, they’re so good.  Bright and cheery and eeeeasy.  And sooo good.  Lemon. C’mon.  Let’s go.”

“Ugh, Mind, you gotta stop, man.”

Or worse, once I’ve baked them which I don’t do often for what’s becoming very obvious reasons, I keep finding myself doing drive-by’s in the kitchen, slowly, more frequently than usual, or outright hovering over the damn storage container, embattled.

“Hey Becky.  You can have one more.  Yeahhhhhh.  It’s fiiiiine.  They’re small.  No big deal.”

“………..ugh…..”  the container opens.  Happy Mind, happy mouth, back to online shopping for stretchy pants.

I suppose it’s a good thing Mike is not a lemon fan, I’d be baking these far too routinely.  Related point, I froze the remainder I hadn’t crammed in my face and they freeze nicely.  They’re also good eaten frozen.  Ahem.

Moving on.

Right, so these are seriously incredibly simple to make and you only need a scant few ingredients.

prepping lemon bar ingredients
Oh I am so ready for this!

If you are unable to find unwaxed lemons, no problem.  I typically wash mine with dish soap, hot water, and rinse well.  I see online there are oodles of other methods like pouring boiling water over them, microwaving them, scrub with a brush….Don’t make it too hard on yourself though.

Ok, so line a 9 x 13 metal pan with some parchment paper,* or just the same you can use cooking spray (see the recipe about glass pans).  The parchment makes it easier to lift the full sheet of goodness out of the pan in one fell swoop if you prefer.

Using a pastry cutter,* grating the butter with a box grater, or just smearing the butter in with your fingertips, or yes, a food processor but please be judicious, combine the butter, sugar, and flour in a large bowl until you get pea-sized lumps.

cutting butter into flour with pastry cutter
Smush smush that butter and flour together.  Here’s where I stopped.

By the way, the Kitchen Innovations one I purchased, mwah, love it.

Dump that bowl of stuff into your pan, spread it around evenly, press firmly into place, and bake.  I mean, seriously, how much more easy could this be?!

crust pressed into baking pan
You can use a cup to press if you prefer, but I used my hands.

Meanwhile, zest and juice your lemons.  I’ve got one of those handy microplane* type zester tools.  Don’t forget, only get the yellow zest; avoid that bitter white pith.  Casual, light pulls of the zester over the skin is likely perfect.

zesting lemons
Could I be any more ridiculous…with the lemon cutting board of all things?!  I know but c’mon, it’s fun.  Thanks Mom, for the cutting board!

Oh, the recipe calls for two lemons which is sufficiently vague considering lemons vary in size so.  My lemons averaged about 3 1/2” long total and 2 1/4” fat, so, decent sized.  I ended up with half a cup of lemon juice so aim for that at minimum.  If you end up with more, hey, more lemon but I wouldn’t go over 3/4 cup lest it doesn’t set properly.

Righty-o….Halfway through the crust baking, which is essentially a shortbread by the way, aka ten minutes left or so -ish, whisk everything else up in a bowl and let it sit.  I understand letting it sit ten minutes is kinda key, not sure why, but if it works, I ain’t gonna question.

whisked lemon topping
Whisked and ready to pour.  Whisk really really well, you’ll feel the sugar hadn’t dissolved.

Pull the crust base out of the oven, give your liquid ingredients a healthy whisk again, then pour over the crust.  Back into the oven to bake it goes.

partially baked lemon bar crust in pan
Iiii know, the parbaked shortbread crust looks creepy and weird but it’s right and fine!
What comes out?  Oh man.  Utter euphoria.

freshly baked lemon bars in pan
Baked!  Ugh, gotta wait until they cool?!  Ugh.
Don’t be sad if the lemon part is pocked with burst bubbles.  Just sprinkle with powdered sugar and no one will ever know.  Or care, my goodness trust me on that one, they’ll be too busy compulsively eating these to notice.

baked lemon bars on plate
Happy baking!

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

lemon bars
I’ll be at my freezer eating these if you need me.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

24 bars
Prep time
15 Min
Cook time
45 Min
Total time
1 Hour
The happiest, lemony-iest lemon, bestest Lemon Bars you will ever make!


  • 1 cup (226 g) cold unsalted butter cubed small (2 sticks, 16 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup (99 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (297 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 lemons zested and about 1/2 cup (118 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • powdered sugar to serve


  1. Line a 9 x 13 metal baking pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350° F (176° C). If a glass dish is being used instead, preheat the oven to 325° F (162° C).
  2. In a large bowl, add the crust ingredients and with a pastry cutter, blend until the butter is pea-sized. A food processor can be used as well; be judicious so as to not over-process.
  3. Dump the crust ingredients into the baking pan, spread it evenly, and press it in firmly. Par-bake the crust for 20 minutes.
  4. Zest and juice the lemons then finely chop the zest.
  5. About halfway through the crust baking, whisk the lemon topping ingredients, the sugar, eggs, lemon juice and zest, thoroughly in a medium bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the baking pan from the oven, thoroughly whisk the lemon topping ingredients to mix completely, then pour over the shortbread crust. Carefully move the pan back into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is set and browning along the edges is seen.
  7. Cool the bars in the pan completely. Cut to serve and sprinkle with powdered sugar.


Adapted from Rock Recipes.

Nutrition Facts



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details and information about gram weights.

dessert bar, lemon bar, lemon

*The parchment paper, pastry cutters, and microplane zesters are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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