Monday, June 8, 2009

Lemon Bars and a Little Helper

Lemon Bars

Sweet squares of sugar and citrus. I love them … especially, when other people make them. Ha. What I mean is, when I think about baking something new, I usually lean towards recipes that include chocolate or either chocolate and sometimes chocolate. But every time I’ve ever eaten one of these yummy yellow squares, I think why haven’t I ever made these things. So I did… kinda.

They’re really easy and you don’t even have to get out your mixer. First, grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan. I used a glass one. Next, you’ll need to make a crust.

Crust Ingredients

For the crust, you’ll just need flour, butter and confectioner’s sugar. Easy enough.


Whisk together 1 3/4 cup flour and 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar. Add 1 cup cold butter.


Then cut in the butter until the mixture is incorporated and crumbly. I used the back of a fork to work the butter into the flour. When it gets crumbly, pour it into your greased and floured pan and press firmly into the bottom. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

While the crust is baking, you can prepare the lemon topping.

Filling Ingredients

Again, easy ingredients. Flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder and lemon juice. Pretend that’s freshly squeezed juice from real lemons on the right. I didn’t have any on hand.

But before we go on, let me show you my little helper. She always asks to crack the eggs open if she’s around when I’m baking. And when she looks at me with those eyes, I’m sure you know the answer.

Little Helper

She’s great at it, too. So good, in fact, that I let her finish up the rest of the work.


Slightly beat the four eggs and set aside. Then, measure 1 1/2 cups sugar making sure it exactly meets the line on the measuring cup. She’s very precise.


Now you’ll need 1/2 cup lemon juice. Right now I wish I had those lemons, so she could experience squeezing the juice out of them. Oh well… moving on. In another large bowl, add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 4 slightly beaten eggs and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Look at those hands. Steady.

Little Helper

Stir all that together really good.

Lemon bars

And then pour it on top of the warm baked crust. Bake for another 20-25 minutes.

Remove and cool completely. Sprinkle with extra confectioner’s sugar and refrigerate.

Yum! And even better, I still don’t have to make them. She can do it for me while I make something chocolatey. Yippee!

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar (plus more for dusting)

1 1/2 cup plain sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan

To make crust:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and confectioner’s sugar
  • Cut in butter until combined and crumbly.
  • Press mixture into bottom of pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

To make topping:

  • While crust is baking, prepare topping.
  • In a larger bowl, add sugar, flour, and baking powder.
  • Then add slightly beaten eggs and lemon juice.
  • Mix well and pour on top of warm baked crust.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • When cool, dust with confectioner’s sugar and refrigerate.
  • Cut into bars and enjoy them cold!

Lemon Bars

Kate said...

ohh YUM

I'm gunna make them tomorrow after work! haha :]

my boyfriend luurrrves you.
first he gets a heart shaped cake, now lemon bars!? who knows what's next

June 8, 2009 05:00 AM
BA said...

Oh my gosh. I *love* lemon bars. Those look divine.

June 8, 2009 05:16 AM
Sarah said...

Lemon bars are my favorite summer treat! This looks like a wonderful recipe – can't wait to try!

June 8, 2009 05:26 AM
Yummy in my tummy said...

those look really good! i usually don't like lemon flavored desserts, but i may have to give this one a try. btw, do you always use white lilly flour? do you prefer it over the other commercial brands of flour? i was just wondering because i saw it at my local grocery store and was contemplating on whether to buy it or not.

June 8, 2009 05:30 AM
LaDue & Crew said...

I love all desserts lemon- Yours look especially good… probably even sweeter because you had help! Lemon is in the air these days! I made a lemon meringue pie- have a peek! link to

June 8, 2009 05:33 AM
Dutch girl love2bake said...

Oh my these look so good and so easy to make! I'm definitely going to try these sweeties out!

Oh btw, my blog used to be in dutch (but it's like baking and food fotography here in Holland is not so popular…really don't understand why?), but i've made a decision to turn my whole blog over. Maybe you're thinking why are you telling me this…hihi. You have been my inspiration for baking bloggin. I loved your work so much and because of you I've bought a Canon camera a while ago and I've been so happy ever since! I want to thank for that! You are really my inspiration and thank you so much to share everything with use.

xxx Bar.

June 8, 2009 06:10 AM
Liss said...

they look amazing. Yes, those go on the list for this week and I'll get my 3 little helpers to help me too. I do actually have lemons atm (they're in season here in Australia!) Thanks for sharing!

June 8, 2009 06:17 AM
Julie said...

oh no not again! Yum yum yum!! I am going to have to make these now as well as cheesecake.

June 8, 2009 06:17 AM
ConversationsWithACupcake said...

Ooooh! Lemon Bars.

WHY is baking SO good, but sooo not good for you?

We're off sugar this month, which made baking the Bake Sale Cupcakes over at my place quite the task.

But, oh! Baking! Luuurve it so much!

June 8, 2009 06:18 AM
Ka fée said...

It's my favorite dessert !! I'm going to try this this morning.
Your pictures are sublime, I'm fan ;-)

June 8, 2009 06:20 AM
This Girl loves to Talk said...

lemon flavoured anything is MY FAVOURITE :) Those look moist and devine!! Little helper did a fantastic job

June 8, 2009 06:21 AM
*star.mama* said...

You're the most horrible aunt ever. Making that beautiful child slave in the kitchen so that you can eat lemon bars. How absolutely… clever. Why haven't I thought of this before? I have a niece, I adore lemon bars and I'm sure I'm much more diabolical than you. Hmmm, sometimes I just have to have an idea smack me in the face before it really dawns on me.

Thanks for the tips in child labor! I'm sure my niece will think it was all her idea and that she's having fun while making my lemon bars. Come to think of it, you are pretty good at the diabolical dessert stuff.

June 8, 2009 06:32 AM
lindaaa said...

these look so flipping good!! i think i will try them soon…i just finished semi-perfecting cake pops (still cant get the cupcake pops to come out right) and now i'll try these! :)

p.s….just so u know, i ran across an ad on craigslist just now with ur pictures all over it!! didn't think it was right. link to

June 8, 2009 06:46 AM
Demingglobal said...

yummy! I'll have to try them! Also, did you know that the King Arthur Bread Flour Company sells donut pans? Might be easier than cutting out your own! plus they have an electric donut maker! So cute! But I'm not sure if it works with all recipes.

link to

June 8, 2009 06:52 AM
Lori Roberts said...

OMG!!!My son's favorite! I will make these on Tuesday my day off. Thanks for sharing!!!

June 8, 2009 07:11 AM
SandeeA said...

hahaha may I borrow your little helper? She's beautiful, no one could say NO to those eyes… Have never tried such lemon bars, but I have the same problem: I have to use chocolate somewhere in the recipe! Maybe I can prepare these whilst I eat some chocolate..

June 8, 2009 07:11 AM
arundati said...

your helper is as fabulous as the lemon bars….

June 8, 2009 07:14 AM
morgana said...

Mmmmm. Yummy… But With the help of this little princess it was precitable… ;-)

June 8, 2009 07:26 AM
puglyfeet said...

Oh dear, Bakerella. Why must you torture me so? :) These look irresistible.

June 8, 2009 07:33 AM
Nico said...

Happy coincidence! I also made these this weekend for the first time in about ten years. I'm, uh, a little out of practice. They were a bit too crumbly which may be down to the fact that I didn't use cold butter and only a touch of powdered sugar.

My trusty recipe book also called for two tsp grated lemon rind – it was yummy.

June 8, 2009 07:38 AM
Anonymous said...

Looks like they slice really neatly, compared to mine:) I'll need to try your recipe -Thanks so much! -Kim

June 8, 2009 07:40 AM
AngelaMarie said...

i made these a few years ago back when my SO and i were so new & fresh. i was excited to try something new & we both love lemon… Oh the horror when I pulled out the pan of lemon bars when it was grossly uneven… thick on one corner & just a sliver of lemon filling in the other corner… your nice pics make me want to try again.

June 8, 2009 07:47 AM
Sandra said...


wow..those looks very great…thanks for the recipe…i will trie to make them

June 8, 2009 08:11 AM
Mamalicious said...

i love lemon bars!!!! i love lemon desserts period! i will be making them soon….

June 8, 2009 08:26 AM
lacocinadeile said...

Ya quisiera yo tener esa "pequeña ayudante", seguro que todo el merito es de ella.

Se ven deliciosas esas barras de limon. Gracias por la receta.

June 8, 2009 08:30 AM
Tucker, Jess, and Brian said...

Oh, how I love lemon bars. So tangy and refreshing and YUM. What makes them even better? Drizzle raspberry or strawberry puree over the cooked and cooled bars before adding the dusting of powdered sugar. Oh wow. :)

Oh, and your little helper is adorable! Looks like she is walking in her Auntie Bakerella's footsteps very nicely. :)

June 8, 2009 08:53 AM
musa said...

ugh! i hate lemon desserts [except for cupcakes] but my dad absolutely adoresss them. i think i'll make these for him since the only citrusy dessert i've made was key lime pie and that was only twice :P

June 8, 2009 09:31 AM
Lynn said...

Looks yummy! I love having my little helper (my daughter) in the kitchen with me. She loves cooking and attends Young Chefs Academy, which is a cooking school for kids, it is a fantastic place.

June 8, 2009 10:32 AM
SugarMama said...

Oh my gosh, I just made lemon bars yesterday too, but mine was from a boxed mix. I had no idea that they were this easy to make from scratch- I already have all of the ingredients! Next time I will definitely try this recipe! Thanks Bakerella!

June 8, 2009 11:10 AM
m.e (Cathie) said...

so cute! I had a little helper aswell yesterday if you want to check it out.
link to

June 8, 2009 11:23 AM
apparentlyjessy said...

I keep seeing lemon bars in the blogging world, and I really want to try em, they just look SO delicious!
Your little helper is gorgeous! :)

June 8, 2009 11:25 AM
Steph said...

Those bars look perfect. I have to make lemon bars soon, especially since I have so many lemons that I end up juicing and zesting then freezing.

June 8, 2009 11:34 AM
Nerdy Jess said...

mmmmmm! These are by far my most favoritest dessert ever :)

June 8, 2009 12:02 PM
CuteStuffInside said...

Lemon is my absolute favorite – even more so than chocolate! They look so yummy!


June 8, 2009 12:09 PM
Katie (Life of a Firefighter's Wife) said...

Oooh, those look fabulous! I have a major citrus craving now. :D Now, if you a recipe for something that combines citrus AND chocolate… oh man…

Your little helper is so sweet!!

June 8, 2009 12:13 PM
DawnP said...

I love lemon bars, too, but I'm just like you — I love them when other people make them, but have never made them myself (because I always make something chocolate instead). I'll have to try these sometime soon, if I can get over my newfound obsession with Oreo truffles!

Your helper is adorable! Every child should have an "Aunt Bakerella!" :)

June 8, 2009 12:20 PM
Jessica said...

Mmmm those look delicious! Gonna have to try those next time I have an excuse to make dessert…

June 8, 2009 12:23 PM
Nichole & Dirk said...

I cant wait to make these! My husband will love them, i have been looking for a good lemon square bar and these look great! You Rock!

June 8, 2009 12:35 PM
BentoForKidlet said...

Those look so good! I will have to find some excuse to make up a batch. :D

June 8, 2009 12:35 PM
The Cookie Girl said...

Lemon bars are my weakness especially when they are tart. Yum!

What a great little helper you have there.

June 8, 2009 12:36 PM
LeeAnn said...

I just opened this email and 5 minutes later I'm in the kitchen making these!! Can't wait to try these out!! They look fantastic, and I just happened to have 1.5 fresh lemons in the fridge, just enough to get 1/2 cup of juice!! Must be my lucky day!

June 8, 2009 12:48 PM
bttrflybabydoll said...

I have everything on hand! I love when that happens! I'm making these today for dessert tonight…yum!

Thanks Bakerella!

June 8, 2009 12:53 PM
JoAnn said...

These made me laugh. Lemon bars were one of the first things I learned how to make. Once my boyfriend (now husband) said he really liked them, I kept on making them until he was "lemon-barred out". It's still a joke between us 28 years later :)

June 8, 2009 12:54 PM
Jeannie said...

Even though I have chocolate running through my veins, I :::adore::: lemon squares. I cannot wait to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing!


June 8, 2009 12:55 PM
Lisa W. said...

hmmm, now that looks a lot easier than I would have guessed. Thanks!!

June 8, 2009 01:08 PM
Anonymous said...

I always keep fresh lemons and limes in the house, usually oranges too. Fresh squeezed juice really makes a huge difference, esp. when you can add some lemon zest too, it is full of flavor. Lemons are great for cleaning and for water/club soda too. I'm a big fan.

June 8, 2009 01:11 PM
Amy said...

drooling! they look delicious…

June 8, 2009 01:19 PM
Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, your helper is so cute! Can I "borrow" her sometime? ;)

June 8, 2009 01:27 PM
Anonymous said...

That looks soooooo good. I've never had lemon bars, but I sure can't wait to try them!

June 8, 2009 01:46 PM
Karyn said...

Oooooohhh! I adore lemon bars! I haven't had them in such a long time. Thanks for the recipe… now I'm off to the grocery store!

June 8, 2009 01:53 PM
CherryFizz said...

I'm so going to try this recipe! It looks really yummie!

June 8, 2009 01:53 PM
Sydney said...

Yum those look mighty good!

June 8, 2009 01:56 PM
Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe, Bakerella! I just stumbled across your site and love it! I'm going to attempt Cake Pops (without the sticks) this weekend! :)

As for the lemon bars, I have quick question. Do they keep well? Could you freeze them or put them in the fridge for a few days?

Thanks again!

June 8, 2009 02:05 PM
Patti said...

lindaaa good call! Bakerella, I hope you get your photos off of craigslist.

June 8, 2009 02:10 PM
LisAway said...

I have never made lemon bars for the EXACT reason you site here (Um. . . no chocolate?) but seeing these pictures and knowing that you broke away from chocolate, I believe I can do it, too. Plus it's supposed to be HOT in Poland this week and this will be cooler and more refreshing than brownies. . .

Thanks for the recipe!

June 8, 2009 02:14 PM
Erica from Cooking for Seven said...

We usually don't go in for things that are overtly lemon, but we once made lemon bars that even DAD (the lemon hater) admitted were quite good.

Your bars look so tempting. You have put me in a baking mood. It's so dreary here today. And cold.

June 8, 2009 02:18 PM
Anonymous said...

Those look so yummy. We have a family reunion this coming weekend and I plan to make these as well as your Popsicle cupcakes for it. Thanks for having such an awesome blog.

June 8, 2009 02:27 PM
Caitlin said...

I used to make lemon bars all the time when I was in middle school. I went through a little bit of a baking phase and just went nuts! After about 3 months of making lemon bars my poor family was begging me to move on haha.

June 8, 2009 02:30 PM
Cari said...

I love your little helper! She will remember baking with you forever. Thanks for making this recipe so fun and including her in the process! It brought a huge smile to my face this Monday morning!

June 8, 2009 02:33 PM
Jenn said...

My favorite summer dessert!

June 8, 2009 02:44 PM
Katie said...

I LOVE lemon bars. One time when my Mom made them, she ran out of lemon juice, so she used a little lime juice. They were SO good. We call them sprite bars, and make them every once in awhile.

June 8, 2009 02:45 PM
mamaSchloss said...

I made lemon bars once. They called for condensed milk and came out more custard-like than translucent jello. They were really good. Although, I'm not sure if they were suppose to come out that way or if I messed up in doubling the recipe in one area and not the other.

It was the Nestle recipe. Delicious!

June 8, 2009 03:01 PM
Amanda Daybyday said...

Your little helper? So gorgeous. What a beautiful girl!
And I'm just like you…I do enjoy a non-chocolate treat, but when it involves me baking…chocolate is almost always in the recipe.

June 8, 2009 03:17 PM
ruboid123 said...

These look yummy and your little helper is a beautiful girl.

I'm going to try these using Splenda as I am diabetic. But I LOVE lemon so want to make some of these wonderful, lemony squares.

Thanks, I love your blog.

June 8, 2009 03:19 PM
I BLEED PINK said...

Does anyone know if you can adapt this recipe to any other fruit. I am not a big lemon person, but the bars look super yummy. Just curious. If you know of a receipe, please email me

June 8, 2009 03:26 PM
Kristy said...


June 8, 2009 03:29 PM
danbabex3 said...

they look delicious maybe i will try making them for my open house!

June 8, 2009 03:39 PM
Rach said...

This is so good… I think I'll make them today!!! I was actually just looking for a lemon bar recipe!!

June 8, 2009 03:41 PM
Samlita said...

I would just like to tell you that I'm trying these bars this weekend. Hopefully they turn out looking like that. Btw how amazing is the pink Kitchen Aid. I love mine even though its the only pink thing in my kitchen :)

June 8, 2009 04:07 PM
Heidi said...

My mom always made these at Christmas so somehow I stuck with that tradition, but no longer. I'm going to make a batch with my kids. They love anything with lemons. Thanks for the inspiration!

June 8, 2009 04:10 PM
NCary said...

you are such an inspiration. I stumbled onto your website when I was searching for cake pop recipes. I had seen them in an email or magazine at some point. I am so happy I found your site and just recently made the oreo balls and the nutter butter balls. They were very tasty! You are so creative and thank you for sharing your adventures.

June 8, 2009 04:40 PM
Sharon T said...

My hubby LOVES lemon bars. I make them extra lemon-y buy adding extra lemon juice, lemon zest and 1-2T flour. They're tart but that's the way we like them.

June 8, 2009 04:45 PM
Katy said...

thanks for inspiring me to re-visit this summer fave. they really ARE easy to make, and my hubby always gets excited when i make them. mostly because i, like you, rarely make anything without chocolate. he is dying for me to make your cheesecake pops, though.

June 8, 2009 04:46 PM
Atticelf said...

Oh, I LOVE Lemon Bars! You're making me hungry…haven't had breakfast yet. Mmmm…

June 8, 2009 04:47 PM
Donna said...


June 8, 2009 04:55 PM
mel ip said...

Lemon bars are one of my favorite desserts, so you just made my morning! The only thing is, I'm a little irked that I can't reach into my computer to eat the ones you made. They look SO good!!

June 8, 2009 04:57 PM
Anonymous said...

My mouth is watering!

June 8, 2009 05:04 PM
Anonymous said...

hi – i just made these yesterday using a different recipe, but the top was runny. i'm going to try your recipe and think the flour in the topping will solve that! thanks!

June 8, 2009 05:04 PM
Sherry said...

YUMMY! I love it when other people make lemon bars because I can control myself better. If I make them at home then I would eat the whole pan!

June 8, 2009 05:13 PM
chocolatechic said...

White Lily flour.

I miss living in the south for that reason.

June 8, 2009 05:17 PM
darcie said...

next stop: lemon bar pops? mmmmmmm. i vote yes.

June 8, 2009 05:19 PM
Sandy said...

I have been making lemon bars forever – they are a family favorite! :)

June 8, 2009 05:19 PM
Sue Sparks said...

Lemon bars is one of my favorites and how nice for you to have such a great little helper:)

P.S. Your photos are fabulous!!! I finally ordered a Lowel Ego Light and an extension tube, but they haven't come yet:)

June 8, 2009 05:51 PM
T- said...

Yum! I just made this and phase two is in my oven as I type this!

Thanks for the awesome recipe!

June 8, 2009 06:02 PM
Jonathan's Mommy said...

Thank you! My husband's favorite is anything lemon and so now I know what my son and I will make for him for Father's Day in a few weeks! Can't wait!

June 8, 2009 06:03 PM
Dayes said...

ohmigawsh! that all looks so good… i *LOOOOOOOOOOVE* lemon… and well i'm guessing everyone here loves sugar. ;-)

*sigh* maybe i'll make these on Friday to take up to the cottage.

June 8, 2009 06:07 PM
Haley said...

I just realized what I always do wrong with these things! Refrigerate!!! OMG this will change my life! My husband loves lemon (I'm a chocoholic so he rarely gets anything non-chocolate!) and last time I made him lemon bars, they tasted delicious but completely fell apart when I cut them. Now I will refrigerate before cutting and I'm sure they'll be perfect! Why didn't I think of this before?!

June 8, 2009 06:12 PM
Cilla said...

These look amazing… I WILL try them!
What is confectioners sugar? How does it differ from Icing Sugar?

June 8, 2009 06:32 PM
April said...

Lemon Bars are my favorite! Since chocolate is your favorite, then you could sprinkle 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips over the crust after you pull it out of the oven, let it sit for a minute then pour over the lemon mixture. Bake it up and it's surprising how yummy the white chocolate is with lemon…


June 8, 2009 06:36 PM
MaggieM said...

Although my ingredient proportions are a bit different (but basically the same), I make Lemon Bars frequently for my DH – he can't get enough of them!

June 8, 2009 06:48 PM
Jessica said...

Another great recipe! Aaaahh, these look AMAZING! Way to kick off summer.

June 8, 2009 07:07 PM
Bethie said...

One of my all time favorites!

June 8, 2009 07:10 PM
Baking Monster said...

these look great and summery too.

June 8, 2009 07:13 PM
Pola said...

I tried this recipe but I think I had some problem in converting 1 cup of butter. How much is it in weight?!

June 8, 2009 07:23 PM
FragaFam said...

I think I have more friends because of your creativity. :)

have you ever heard of lamingtons? theyre a chocolate sponge cake with coconut dessert from Australia. We had them with lemon squares when I visited there, so it reminded me to make them again soon!!

June 8, 2009 07:36 PM
Justin and Coralie said...

I'm ALWAYS a chocolate girl when it comes to baking, but I finally made some for a bridal shower I threw a couple of months ago. I used a box because lemon bars seem intimidating to me and they didn't set quite right, so I've been worried to try lemon bars again, but these look great! Thanks for sharing your great recipes. I'm so excited:)

June 8, 2009 07:54 PM
StuffCooksWant said...

Those look delish… love the lemon (and lime) tart thing, but really a chocolate girl at heart. Maybe you could incorporate a little lemon tart with chocolate deliciousness. Hmmmm??

June 8, 2009 08:03 PM
~ dee ~ said...

Love everything!!!
What is the name of the font you used for "Lemon Bars"?

June 8, 2009 08:24 PM
sharyl said...

i remember making those before…they're yummy i love lemon bars! but some reason, i'm only one in my family who does.

i need me a little helper too, is she for hire?

June 8, 2009 08:44 PM
Krishelle said...

Hi Bakerella! The lemon bars look fantastic, along with everything else you make! I can't tell you how much I love your site. I have tried quite a few of your things and I have loved every one of them!

Since I know you love baking, check out these gourmet cookies – the store is near my house and they are unvbelievable! Unfortunately I can't get the owner to give me her recipes, but they are amazing and even fun to look at!

link to

June 8, 2009 08:46 PM
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