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Shortbread Lemon Bars Recipe

Shortbread Lemon Bars Recipe

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 YIELD: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 or margarine
  • 4 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


  • 1. In a food processor, combine flour, confectioners' sugar, and lemon and orange peel. Cut in butter until crumbly; process until mixture forms a ball. 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.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the filling ingredients; mix well. Pour over hot crust. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine topping ingredients. Spread over filling. Bake 7-9 minutes longer or until topping is set.
  • 3. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into bars just before serving. Yield: 3 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Shortbread Lemon Bars

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Reviewed May. 9, 2017

"These were a hit at our Christmas dinner!"

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."

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!"

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."

Reviewed Oct. 19, 2013

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

Reviewed Oct. 2, 2013

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

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."

Reviewed Sep. 2, 2013


grandma ikki
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."

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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