Lemon Bars

Total Time

Prep: 10 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling


9 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
This delightful lemon bar recipe is from my mother's file. I've been serving it for many years. They has 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


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 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 zest; 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.

Lemon Bar Tips

Do lemon bars have to be refrigerated?

Since lemon bars are made with eggs and the filling is similar to a custard, you'll need to keep the bars refrigerated. If you don't like them cold, bring them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Why are my lemon bars gooey?

The most common reason for gooey lemon bars is they're undercooked. Be sure to bake them until the top is fully set and no longer jiggly in the middle. You'll also notice the edges will start to brown. Another reason your filling may be softer than you like is if you cut them before they're fully cooled. Let them rest on a wire cooling rack at least 1 hour until the center is firm and set.

How long can you keep lemon bars?

If you keep them covered and refrigerated, this lemon dessert will last up to 4 days.

Can I freeze lemon bars?

Yes, you can freeze lemon bars and have them ready to go for up to 6 months. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap sealing out as much air as possible. For added protection, slide the wrapped bars into a freezer bag or air-tight container. To serve, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.

How do I cut neat, clean slices?

In order to get those picture-perfect clean edges, the first step is to line your baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. This lets you lift out the entire pan easily and cleanly to make cutting simpler. The second step is to allow the baked bars to cool fully before making the first cut. If it's even a little warm, you run the risk of the filling spreading after it's cut. If you can refrigerate it before cutting, you'll get even cleaner, neater cuts.

Research contributed by James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor, Culinary

Nutrition Facts

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