Easy Lemon Bars

I love this easy lemon bars recipe. It is perfect for the spring and summer. Lemon bars are light and refreshing, this recipe has always gotten rave reviews from my friends and family.

three lemon bars in a stack

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Classic Lemon Bars Dessert

If you have never tried lemon bars before they are a creamy, sweet, and tart dessert. I love them. While they may seem mysterious they are not difficult to make at all. In fact, I think that if people knew how easy they were to make, you would see many more served up everywhere.

lemon bars on a table and small cake stand


Lemon bars have a few simple ingredients in them. Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Butter – unsalted butter is preferred
  • Granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Eggs – I use extra-large eggs
  • Lemon juice – freshly squeezed is best
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Powdered sugar
ingredients to make lemon bars

Ingredient Notes

I personally will juice my lemons just before making this, but if you only have bottled lemon juice on hand, it will work ok. Bottled lemon juice isn’t my preference, but when I have been juicing lemons and come up short I have found the bottled juice to be helpful.

I urge you to use butter for this lemon bar recipe, I think butter really helps to bring a rich depth of flavor that you will fall in love with. You may also want to garnish your lemon bars with a heavy sprinkling of powdered sugar. The powdered sugar makes them look pretty.

How to Make Lemon Bars

  1. Cream together butter, granulated sugar, and flour.
    lemon bars shortbread crust dough in a mixing bowl
  2. Press the mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
    lemon bars shortbread crust dough in a baking pan
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  4. Place eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, flour, vanilla, and salt in a bowl.
    ingredients for lemon bars filling in a mixing bowl
  5. Mix until thoroughly combined.
    filling for lemon bars in a mixing bowl
  6. Pour filling over the cooked shortbread cookie crust.
    pouring lemon bars filling over the baked shortbread crust
  7. Bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Cool to room temperature then cut into squares.
  9. Dust the top with powdered sugar. Garnish with fresh lemon slices if desired.
    four lemon bars

How to Store Lemon Bars

I like to keep my lemon bars in the refrigerator after they have cooled. They are a little delicate. So be sure to keep yours in the refrigerator if you happen to have any leftover after your initial serving.

I find that they will stay fresh in for about 3 to 4 days, but you know, they will never last that long.

How to Easily Juice Lemons

I really like to use an Amco Enameled Aluminum Lemon Squeezer to juice lemons. The squeezer gets more juice out of a lemon than other methods.

I think this tool is easier to use than the old-style juices where you push down the fruit over a knob. I have been using one of these juicers for a long time.

lemon bars on a small cake stand

Love lemons? Try these recipes

Tasty Dessert Bars

Take a look at more easy dessert bars and family desserts here on CopyKat!

three lemon bars in a stack

Easy Lemon Bars

These classic lemon bars with shortbread crust are an easy dessert to make for any occasion. They are tart, sweet, creamy, and delish.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 255kcal


  • 8 ounces butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered’ sugar, for dusting


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream together 1/2 pound of butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 2 cups of flour.
  • When the mixture is crumbly press into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Press dough out evenly so that it has a uniform height throughout the pan. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, and remove from the oven. 
  • In a bowl, mix together 6 eggs, 3 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup flour, vanilla, and salt.
  • Mix until the filling is uniform in texture, and pour over the cooked shortbread cookie crust.
  • Bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes. Allow this to cool to room temperature before dusting with powdered sugar.
  • Be sure to refrigerate these cookies when not being served.



How do you know when lemon bars are done?
They are done when the filling is no longer loose or jiggly. The lemon layer will start to brown on the edges when it is done cooking. 


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.9mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Hedda

    On the recipe for 24 serving it say under ingredients one cup all purpose flour but by the instructions it says two cups of flour. How much do I use, one or two cups of flour?

  2. Maria V

    The lemon bars look yummy! I was wondering what will be the proportions for a smaller batch? Can you give your advice?

  3. jaye

    I’m looking for something different to bring to a work pot luck these look great, but with such a large crowd I think I’ll save this one for home. What type of flour did you use all-purpose or self-rising? and is that the flour you use for the majority of your recipes?

  4. Mona Greer

    These sound delicious…but my question is, why use unsalted butter,yet you use some salt too ?? I would have liked to see what they look like when you cut them and afterwards too….. also the music needs to be turned down a notch:)

    • stephaniemanley

      Why unsalted butter? Different brands of butter have different levels of salt. If I use unsalted, I know how much to add for consistent results.

      Why didn’t I cut them, I didn’t actively cut them on camera, but the photo you see is from the batch that I made.

      I here you about the music, thanks 😉

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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