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Lemon Bars Recipe

Lemon Bars Recipe

This dessert is a delightful recipe from my mother's file. I've been serving it for many years. The lemon bars have a wonderful tangy flavor, and they're always a hit. The color and shape make them a nice addition to a platter of cookies. —Etta Soucy, Mesa, Arizona
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling YIELD:9 servings


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • Additional confectioners' sugar


  • 1. In a bowl, combine the flour, butter and confectioners' sugar. Pat into an ungreased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
  • 2. For filling, in a small bowl, beat eggs. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, lemon juice and peel; beat until frothy. Pour over the crust. Bake 25 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Cut into bars. Yield: 9 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 263 calories, 11g fat (7g saturated fat), 74mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 0g fiber), 3g protein .

Reviews for Lemon Bars

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Psalm127-3 251863
Reviewed Jul. 25, 2016

"we get home from vaca in a few days-this'll be made quickly"

Nycdee 250079
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2016

"I followed the recipe exactly. I like the filling but the crust was too sweet. I love sweets but this was too much. I ruined it when I tried getting it out of the pan, definitely needs greasing or parchment paper. I will make it again but with less sugar"

Laurie73 249301
Reviewed Jun. 11, 2016

"Absolutely delicious but I added 1 teaspoon of lemon extract to the mix!!"

Orbs 249294
Reviewed Jun. 10, 2016

"Delicious! Thank you, Etta for sharing this recipe. I made these for my Mom so she could freeze them and have them on hand for company."

missdc 249103
Reviewed Jun. 5, 2016

"These are delicious as written but for a little extra taste add 1/4 cp. chopped walnuts to the crust....makes a big difference in taste and crunchiness. I also add one teaspoon of lemon extract to the filling. Will make often."

CocineraH 245957
Reviewed Mar. 24, 2016

"I really like this recipe, and I love the low calorie count! I do add more fresh lemon juice - about 4 Tbsp usually, because as written, the lemon flavor isn't strong enough."

ChocolateCroissant 245400
Reviewed Mar. 13, 2016

"Delicious and very easy to make! I'd make it every month of I could!"

Lily380 244669
Reviewed Feb. 29, 2016

"Light dessert. Very good!!"

Robwalk1 244659
Reviewed Feb. 28, 2016

"Best thing I have eaten, and so easy to make! I made the crust in my food processor,

and poured it into my 8 x 8..and pressed it down, and it worked great.."

Catbird513 244242
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2016

"My husband and I love lemon. We tried these lemon bars and thoroughly enjoyed them. They hold together well and are good warm or cold. The only thing I did different was, I did not put the confectioner's sugar on the top. Definitely a crowd pleaser and a very refreshing dessert."

Mariellyn25 244101
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2016

"I've tried other recipes and they were all ok. I really like this one. I didn't read the other reviews until it was in the oven so I was a little worried that it wouldn't have enough lemon but it turned out delicious. I really love the crust..but this was my first time baking with butter instead of margarine so maybe that's it. The flavor is great. I cooked the crust fifteen minutes and the filling twenty five as written. It's perfect. It's already really good warm but I can't wait to try it cold. It set fine also. So yes I did the recipe as is and it's very good. Thank you. Ill be keeping this one and doubling it up next time."

ChiefBeam7 241446
Reviewed Jan. 10, 2016

"I made this recipe using gluten-free flour and it was absolutely wonderful! It is slightly different from a lot of lemon bars recipes. I describe it as "shortbread cookies meets lemon"! My father-in-law, who loves lemon bars, would have eaten the whole pan, if I would have let him!"

binderj05 240936
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2016

"Love that I can share with friends as I live my taste of home magazine I already receive."

nuttyprof 222208
Reviewed Mar. 6, 2015

"need to double the filling and add more lemon"

bzymami 221345
Reviewed Feb. 25, 2015

"Great base but like most needed a few tweaks to suit our family. I added 1/2 cup chopped nuts to the crust base, and it needed to bake for additional 7 minutes because I doubled the recipe to fit into a 13x9 pan . Then cut the amount of sugar to 2/3 cup and increased the amount of fresh lemon to 1/2 cup. Yes, we like lemon! Yum!!"

heather5278 221245
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2015

"I followed the directions exactly the first time and the result was so-so. The bars set up fine but the crust was so hard that it made getting the bars out of the pan quite a challenge. The end product was too chewy and hard to eat. The second time I lined the pan with parchment paper and baked the crust for ten minutes. Then I added the filling and baked for an additional 25 minutes. The result was perfect. The third time I made these bars, I doubled the recipe and lined a 9x13 inch cake pan with parchment, baked the crust ten minutes and the filling an additional 25 minutes and again the bars turned out perfectly. I have also used this recipe as a base for what I call Almond Shortbread bars. I made the crust as specified and then for the filling I omitted the lemon parts and instead added 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp almond extract. The result was quite tasty!"

Birdbrain777 220923
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2015

"This was pretty good, and I mostly followed the recipe. Instead of using an 8x8 pan, I used a pie plate and spread the dough up the sides as someone suggested. Next time, I will grease it though because it was hard to get out without crumbling. I also added a 1/2 tsp of almond extract to the crust. I only cooked the crust for 15 min before adding the filling. I didn't have fresh lemon so used squeeze lemon and lemon extract. It turned out very tasty. Mine set up just fine after baking and cooling. A quick, tasty weeknight dessert."

HotMamaJones 219605
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2015

"While the taste was good, the cookie crust was way too hard. I feel that the crust should also be spread not just across the bottom of the pan but 1/2" up the side. When I added the filling it was too much and it flowed over under the cookie. This is what caused, I believe, the cookie crust to be very, very difficult to cut. My filling set up fine and I will try it again but spreading the bottom dough on the bottom and up the sides of the pan to contain the filling."

AppleTarts 217654
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2015

"I made these as a late night treat for my husband and myself. My husband was reading the recipe out to me as I asked and he skipped the part that I need to bake the cookie itself first, my other issue was that my filling was runny at first, but it firmed up in the freezer. I am going to make another batch today and double the filling because I too like a thicker filling. Also, for those wondering about the cookie part, though it was an accident he looked over it, the cookie came out just how we were wanting it too so I am very pleased. It was almost like a pie crust instead of a crunchy cookie...basically It was soft but firm. I am giving this 5 stars because with some tweaking, extra filling and extra lemon it will be perfect! (for us)

Also, I thought it worth a mention then when I juice my lemons, I leave the pulp :)"

RLOsb 30595
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2014

"Great taste. I gave it a four because of the consistency. I doubled the recipe and used a 13 x 9. I baked it for the time recommended (25 minutes) and it was nice and brown on top. It was way too runny to eat warm so I put it in the refrigerator. After 5 hours in the refrigerator, it was still pretty runny. It was not a solid bar that you could pick up and eat. Next time, I will not double and I will put foil over the top after 20 minutes or so and lengthen the cooking time. Otherwise, my family loved it."

Mrs.Laurendi 16623
Reviewed Jul. 24, 2014

"Delicious!!! I gave the recipe a four star rating because I didn't follow it exactly. People seem to get bothered when you modify it and then rate it high. I changed three things. Firstly, I left the cookie in for an extra five minutes, I found it too mushy on my first try. Secondly, I doubled the filling because I like it thicker like a lemon brownie. Lastly, I added about three (3) more tablespoons of lemon juice and lemon peel. While I liked the taste on my first try, my family wanted more of a lemon taste. The recipe is good we just wanted a little more. I guess my family is just greedy lol. We can't stop eating these."

TerriLeeC 39548
Reviewed Jul. 11, 2014

"Perfect as is. Took to 4th of July party and it was a huge hit! I used the parchment paper per ebramkamp's advice. With the never ending need to experiment, I'm trying something new right now . . . replaced 1 cup flour for: 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup almond flour to give it a little almond cookie flavor to compliment the lemon. Yumm"

dzz1qy 30590
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2014

"After reading the reviews I added extra lemon juice. Very good!"

Pattonjaj 42216
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2014

"I made this as as is. It definitely needs more lemon flavor. Next time I will add more lemon juice or maybe add some lemon extract."

ebramkamp 13157
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2014

"A wonderful lemon bar recipe. I did use freshly grated lemon peel in lieu of the extract. Another trick I do to make it super easy to remove the bars from the pan is to lightly butter the pan then line with parchment paper which hangs over the edge of the pan a bit. I butter the pan lightly to keep the parchment paper in place. When the bars are done all I have to do is grab the ends of the parchment paper, pull everything out and place on a cooling rack. Clean up is also a breeze."

KristineChayes 70058
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2014

"Made these lemon bars this afternoon and they are delicious! I, too, doubled the amount of fresh lemon juice and grated lemon rind because my family likes more of a tart lemon taste. I will definitely be making these again!"

buttermilk maid 201744
Reviewed Apr. 5, 2014

"This is one of my go to desserts. Great with bottled lemon juice but outstanding with fresh lemon. It makes a great addition to a cookie tray and it is so easy."

anitamm 15030
Reviewed Mar. 28, 2014

"Taste just like my mom's! Delicious!! I will be adding this to my files!!"

mtapia 30549
Reviewed Mar. 14, 2014

"I've tried several lemon bar recipes, this one still gets voted #1. * Note: let cool completely or you will have a sticky mess. Much better the following day."

Aquarelle 10817
Reviewed Mar. 8, 2014

"Make it 4 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 lemons' worth of grated zest, and these bars are fantastic."

cbspencer 16946
Reviewed Feb. 8, 2014


tthorn1973 201743
Reviewed Jan. 18, 2014

"Love these lemon bars"

lurky27 70057
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2014

"YUM! I am huge lemon fan, so I doubled the amount of lemon juice. Oh so good!

~ Theresa"

khegeman 16945
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2014

"Delicious, but needs more lemon flavor. The first time I made them they were just OK,. I increased the lemon juice to 4 tbsp. the second time I made them and found them much tastier and delicious."

kafaughn 13155
Reviewed Sep. 6, 2013

"Delicious! Made it in an 11x7 and baked the crust for 25 minutes and the top for 20 minutes. Came out perfectly."

gjd9655 10816
Reviewed Jun. 11, 2013

"Very yummy!!! no changes!"

jmkasprak 201742
Reviewed May. 6, 2013

"These bars are a bit crust-heavy, but that keeps them from falling apart like some lemon bars I've tried."

OldChurchMom 13139
Reviewed Apr. 22, 2013

"This is the exact recipe that was in my Grandmother's recipe box. Her neighbor, Mrs. Bullard, made it for us every time we came to town for a visit. She was a fabulous cook...I wish I had her bread and butter pickle recipe! These lemon bars are a taste of my fondest childhood memories!!!

Thanks for sharing."

Melanietoler 16250
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2013

"very lemony. just like I remember."

mknoll 39542
Reviewed Nov. 20, 2012

"Made these for a bridal shower and they were good! The only thing I would change is to add more lemon juice to suit my tastes. The lemon was not very strong. But, my husband liked them and he doesn't normally like lemon flavored things."

keverwann 16943
Reviewed May. 28, 2012

"I think the crust would be a better thickness if this was made in a 7x11 pan; just a touch larger than the 8x8. Mine didn't cut as nice as the picture, but I didn't wait for them to cool completely; I was impatient to eat them. They taste very good, but the powdered sugar doesn't stick when you wait for the top to cool so it makes inhaling while eating rather uncomfortable. Overall, a success for my first lemon bars."

wasoongu 42213
Reviewed May. 22, 2012

"I've tried several lemon bar recipes, looking for the perfect one. This is it! I double the amount of lemon juice, though, to give them a little extra punch. Don't skip the grated peel! Just make sure you wash the lemon well before grating, and only include the yellow rind - none of the nasty white stuff. :)"

Kaublee 10815
Reviewed May. 13, 2012

"These were delicious! I followed the ingredients recipe exactly and cooked in a 9x9 pan. I cooked the completed bars for 20 minutes. Perfect!"

gfgx3 16248
Reviewed Apr. 20, 2012

"I just made this recipe, followed everything to the letter, baked the crust and then with the topping exactly as called for, and it didn't turn out. The crust was too thick and came out raw, the filling had a crusty top that broke apart, and the filling was still runny. I don't know what might have happened....all my ingredients were fresh, measurements exact, but it just didn't work."

CookingGem 42632
Reviewed Apr. 7, 2012

"Wonderful. Crust light and flaky. Best lemon bar recipe I have ever made. I highly recommend it."

PMFCookie 42212
Reviewed Feb. 17, 2012

"This is very good, but I may play with the recipe a bit. Felt the crust had a little too much butter in it and I may double the lemon layer... I want a higher percentage of lemon to crust."

dozer77 37321
Reviewed Feb. 14, 2012

"one word...OUTSTANDING!!"

girlhappy 15029
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2012

"the only complaint I have with this recipe is that I found it a little too sweet.But really this was the best lemon bar recipe I have ever made! thanks for the recipe.I will be making it again for sure."

chocolatecraze 13138
Reviewed Sep. 30, 2011

"I made this for my husband and i used lemon extract which made it even a lemony taste. try it . U will love it. I did and i dont even like the taste of lemons until i tried this recipe. yummm!"

selias 42190
Reviewed May. 3, 2011

"Very good!!

I baked it too long,,,so the bottom was well done and hard to remove from pan. But VERY tasty!!!! Next time I will reduce the time..."

LoriR1234 16622
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2011

"Made this recipe for the girls at work. Big hit!! I didn't put as much butter in crust. I thought 1/4 cup was plenty and it was. I'm making this recipe again today for my family. Thanks Taste of home for all your recipes!"

*Glow* 42631
Reviewed Feb. 4, 2011

"These lemon bars are delicious! Everyone just loved them. The recipe is exact. I will definitely be making these again =)"

julies1103 30544
Reviewed Jan. 23, 2011

"Very good and easy too. My husband koved them!"

baby dumpling 30527
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2010

"They are the best and so easy to make. I made them for the office and everyone wanted the recipe. I had to make 7 batches because my husband and son kept eating them when they were done."

windsong77077 16620
Reviewed Sep. 9, 2010

"Incredibly delicious! So easy and everyone loves them. Always double the recipe in a 9x12 glass pan. Even leftovers.Try'll be so glad you did!!"

swskitty 201741
Reviewed Aug. 5, 2010

"After making these I'v decided that I am not a big lemon bar fan, perhaps lemonade but not lemon bars. I am giving this recipe 4 stars because the recipe was exceptionally well and impressive. Also I do stress that you prick crust with a fork before baking. Good Luck!"

tmoverby 201740
Reviewed Jun. 1, 2010

"My daughter, who doesn't really care for lemon that much, tried this and raved about it. She called it the "best desert you've ever made, Mom." I've made quite a few, and chocolate scones were her previous favorites. Now she bugs me to make it again and again! I recommend making at least double the recipe. These are MUCH better than the expensive box mix you can buy! Thanks so much for the great recipe!"

mom2tek 40775
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2010

"This was VERY good, easy to make! It was a hit at the party I made it for! Will be keeping this receipe as a family favorite!"

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Wine Pairings

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.