We Tried the Simple Lemon Bar Recipe That’s Taking over Reddit

If you're lemon-obsessed, you'll want to learn how to make lemon bars using this vintage recipe.

When it comes to dessert, anything made with lemon has my attention!

I recently stumbled across the recipe for Grandma’s Lemon Bars on Reddit, and knew I had to see what all of the fuss was about. The recipe is posted on r/Old_Recipes over and over again, and people have left thousands of comments about how amazing they taste. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make lemon bars like the ones my grandma used to make. Here’s what happened when I tested this heirloom recipe.

Psst: You can make all kinds of vintage desserts with fresh lemon.

How to Make Grandma’s Lemon Bars

The original recipe from u/JustHood calls for butter or margarine. But when it comes to baking, I’m 100% about butter, so that’s my suggestion for the best flavor. Learn the actual difference between butter and margarine.


  • 2 cups plus 4 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 5-7 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Here’s why you should always bake with room-temperature eggs.


Step 1: Prepare the crust

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Cream together 2 cups of flour and butter. Then, press into an ungreased 9×12-inch pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven when it’s light golden.

Note that I decided to grease the pan with cooking spray because I was convinced that the bars would never come out if I didn’t apply some sort of oil!

Step 2: Prepare the lemon filling

Beat together eggs and tablespoons of lemon juice. I used 7 tablespoons for an extra lemony flavor and I suggest that you do the same. Add in the remaining 4 tablespoons of flour, sugar and salt, and mix to combine. Pour the lemon mixture on top of the crust and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

Step 3: Sprinkle with powdered sugar

The original recipe says to sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm. However, sprinkling on the powdered sugar while the bars were still warm resulted in the sugar melting. I’ve always had powdered sugar showing on top of my bars, so I sprinkled some additional sugar on top once they cooled.

I also suggest waiting until the bars cool completely before cutting them. See our Test Kitchen’s guide on how to cut bars.

Single lemon bar on a plate with a forkApril Preisler for Taste of Home

The Verdict

These lemon bars were absolutely amazing! I wouldn’t use any less than 7 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice if you want to maximize the tart lemon flavor. I also would suggest greasing the pan if you want the bars to come out looking gorgeous.

I shared these lemon bars with my co-workers, and they were gone in an instant. Everyone agreed that they tasted very classic, much like their own grandmothers used to make. The group also said that they preferred to eat the bars when chilled because they were less messy/gooey.

It turns out this classic recipe is popular for good reason!

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April Preisler
April is a food and travel lover, wine enthusiast, ice cream obsessed and the vision behind the blog, Food n' Focus. Her favorite cuisine is Italian and loves to cook international recipes.