Shortbread Lemon Bars Recipe
Shortbread Lemon Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Shortbread Lemon Bars Recipe

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4.5 23 24
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I've put together two family cookbooks over the years, and this recipe ranks among my favorites. These special lemon bars have a yummy shortbread crust and a refreshing flavor. I'm never afraid to make this dessert for guests since I know it will be a hit. —Margaret Peterson, Forest City, Iowa
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min. + chilling
MAKES:36 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min. + chilling
MAKES: 36 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 172 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 51mg cholesterol, 70mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.


  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, confectioners' sugar, and lemon and orange peel. Add butter; cover and process until mixture forms a ball.
  2. Pat into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes or until set and the edges are lightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl,combine all the filling ingredients. Pour over hot crust. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until set and lightly browned.
  4. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients. Spread over filling.
  5. Bake 7-9 minutes longer or until topping is set. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into bars just before serving. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Shortbread Lemon Bars in Taste of Home December/January 2000, p27

Sweet White Wine

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

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2124arizona User ID: 845443 265791
Reviewed May. 9, 2017

"These were a hit at our Christmas dinner!"

MizzMarr User ID: 7718590 223292
Reviewed Mar. 22, 2015

"I made these today using all fresh ingredients. I added toasted crushed pecans to the shortbread and added a homemade blackberry compote for a topping on top of sour cream. Looks delish and can't wait to taste them after dinner tonight. Wish I could attach a picture."

rebhallberg User ID: 5595031 64614
Reviewed Jul. 9, 2014

"Just finished making this. The sour cream layer has not set and I cooked it for extra time. I hope after cooling and overnight refridgeration it will set. Haven't tasted it yet, so we will see!"

hoover1030 User ID: 7668300 51048
Reviewed May. 16, 2014

"Can I just say these are the best lemon bars I have ever eaten? Fabulous! I put some in the freezer so I can get my fix every few days."

dkk1234 User ID: 5176732 28892
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2013

"This is too delicious for words. My grandchildren absolutely love them and beg for more."

jellydoll User ID: 3053593 31200
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2013

"Very tasty! Loved the the tangy filling. Used powdered sugar as the topping . Very simple but very appetizing."

kittystone User ID: 6854243 28890
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2013

"My husband loves lemon anythings. I used toasted coconut in the crust. I toasted the coconut in a pan on the stove. about a cup (we love coconut) Then I only used about one cup of flour and the coconut. The crust dough was very sticky. I solved the problem by dusting the dough with flour then pressed it in the pan. (I used

parchment paper) I had to also use the old bottled lemon juice (didn't want to go to the store) It was still very good. Will probably make this lots."

LauraManning User ID: 968398 28882
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2013


grandma ikki User ID: 3267712 37141
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2013

"These are very good, nice lemon flavor. I did change the base a bit a few times by processing some toasted coconut and replacing half the flour with the fine ground coconut. Adds a great flavor."

BBfanAnne User ID: 57831 28867
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2013

"I haven't made these yet, but will. When baking these, I would be certain to have the sour cream at room temperature before putting it on the hot baked lemon bars. Instead of dumping it right onto the middle of he baked bars, begin putting tablespoons of filling on, starting around the outside edge and working in toward the middle. This is the way I do it to my sour cream topped cheese cake and it works. I really do think this will solve that sinking problem. I hope you try it. Jo"

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