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

Sharon said...

YUM :}

June 13, 2009 11:01 PM
Puanani503 said...

I love lemon bars..I've tried baking it once and it was a bit too strong..I think I'll try your version. Love the pics. and tutorial!

June 14, 2009 01:24 AM
Joiner Family said...

Hi there – I am passing on a Kreative Blogger Award and I love your blog! You probably already have received many of these but if not take a look at me blog to see what happens next!

June 14, 2009 03:04 AM
Autumn said...

You completely and absolutely blow me away. I just found your blog and I'm really trying to decide if you are a magical fairy. Congrats on perfection- in design, cooking, photography, writing, style, and good humor!

June 14, 2009 03:08 AM
Nathan said...

Just made these myself (okay, I made the kids make them, but they had a blast)!

June 14, 2009 03:16 AM
Bakerella said...

Kucikucijer – They are regular chicken eggs. They are more populare here, but we also have brown egg in the grocery store.

Kristy aka Kuttin Kards – Adobe Photoshop

Hayley – do them like hostess cupcakes, but instead of chocolate, use pastel colors. Simple and sweet.

A Touch of Whimsey Designs – Not if you put an extra layer of sugar on top of the one that gets absorbed.

Sweet Potato Pi – I think you'll like them.

tabithablogs – they're tart enough for me.

Sharee – I use all kinds of different size tips, but they're mostly the wilton brand.

June 14, 2009 03:39 PM
Jennifer said...

I made these last night and didn't think they turned out that lemony – which I like my lemon bars kind of tart.

My regular recipe from Cooking Illustrated's Baking Illustrated book has a much stronger lemon flavor.

June 14, 2009 06:24 PM
Claudine said...

My 5 year old and I made these wtith Smart Balance Light instead of butter because she is allergic to dairy products. They turned out PERFECTLY!! (the crust is slightly sofer than expected, but amazing none-the-less) Everyone is happy at our house. Thanks for the delicious recipe.

June 14, 2009 08:32 PM
brettlacey said...

I made these tonight and they were so tasty! I usually make them from the box but it doesn't make very many. this recipe made a bigger pan and i had everything I needed in my cupboards. so easy and so yummy! can't wait to make the hamburgers, i'm gonna surprise my bbq quests!

June 15, 2009 03:43 AM
Sleepless said...

i just baked your lemon bars this morning. They were DEELISH!!!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes!

June 15, 2009 04:03 AM
Lara said...

Made these tonight. They go particularly well with cognac.

June 15, 2009 12:54 PM
The Heuslein Family said...

All I can say is YUM YUM YUM!!! These are delicious! Thanks!!!

June 15, 2009 02:45 PM
Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great recipe. I made these from scratch, squeezed the lemon juice and everything. I even had a powdered sugar mongram on them because it was an engagement party. And then, as I was packing everything up to leave for the party, I discovered that my dog had eaten everyone of the squares but two. I was not a happy camper!

June 15, 2009 06:21 PM
Sugar Diva said...

I made these on Friday for my family's weekly dinner together!!! They were AWESOME!!!! Love them. I usually leave the leftovers at my mom's whenever I make dessert, oh, but not these, I brought them home and gobbled them up the next day… OK, I shared with my husband…

June 15, 2009 11:12 PM
Anonymous said...

I made these lemon bars today and was really disappointed in the lack of lemon flavor and tang in the topping. I used the bottled lemon juice, as you did, and could barely taste the lemon as it was overpowered by the butter in the crust. I'm getting ready to try another batch but this time, I'm going to add the finely graded zest of one med. lemon. I'll let you know how they turn out!

Wards_Wife (Twitter)

June 17, 2009 12:25 AM
Cata said...

They looked so yummy and easy, and delicious, that I had to give them a try. check them out…I hope you like it!

June 19, 2009 06:10 PM
me the fioricet junkie said...

I can't believe they're that easy to make! And your little helper is so lovely, I'm pretty sure she'll be just as good a baker as you when she grows up. I'll make these for tonight's treats after dinner. I have all the ingredients here.

June 19, 2009 06:21 PM
Katie said...

I added sweetened flaked coconut to mine (and a little less sugar) and they look good!

June 20, 2009 01:10 AM
SAB said...

I am new to your blog. I absolutely love your ideas. I even went out and bought some mini cookie cutters to attempt you cupcake pops. Keep the great ideas coming. You are an inspiration.

June 20, 2009 01:48 PM
CatHerder said...

I am making those TODAY for fathers day! :-)

June 21, 2009 11:22 AM
Christina Viering said...

These sound really easy and refreshing.

June 21, 2009 02:37 PM
Bakerella said...

I'm happy to hear so many of you enjoyed this recipe. I had no idea lemon would be such a hit.

June 22, 2009 01:58 PM
Fine Life Folk said...

Great images. I'm sure those lemon bars are just as good. It makes me want to head out later to my favorite coffee shop serving lemon bars.

June 22, 2009 06:42 PM
Amanda said...

Lemon bars are, by far, one of my favorites! They are simple and delicious! These look wonderful!

June 22, 2009 08:01 PM
Leanne said...

These were the easiest squares to make, and delicious to boot! The entire tray disappeared before dinner was even on the table.

June 25, 2009 01:27 PM
Christelle said...

I don't have a sweet tooth, so i tend to admire your pieces of art (oh yes they are!!!) for their look, – and your shopping trips , brilliant!- , but these, I think I'll make them, I LOVE THEIR TEXTURE, THEY LOOK FANTASTIC!! Oh yess!!!!

June 25, 2009 05:03 PM
...Erin... said...

Ok, I'm making these now. Oh! The crust is done! I'm going to add the top and bake and I can't WAIT!

June 27, 2009 04:13 PM
henzy said...

oh these look so good.

June 29, 2009 12:24 AM
Amanda O said...

I made these and were AWESOME!!! Thanks for the great recipe!

July 1, 2009 03:17 PM
carolyn bowles said...

I'm so excited to make these. I grew up always eating the lemon bars my mom made. But since I have never found a good recipe. Thanks so much for being here!

July 4, 2009 01:59 AM
Tina said...

I made these today and they are the BEST! Thanks for sharing!

July 4, 2009 09:37 PM
Jennifer said...


I just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know that I made these lemon bars for a 4th of July BBQ and they were a HIT! They were the quickest thing to disappear from the table and now my family wants more.

Thanks for the recipe.

July 9, 2009 11:04 PM
i don't play hockey said...

i used 2 fresh lemons, & got just under 1/2 cup of juice squeezed out of them, but the dessert still had a really great lemon flavor. next time i know to buy 3 lemons! :-) it was a very sweet dessert, so next time i might cut out a little of the sugar. overall, i loved-loved-loved these lemon bars!!! i will definitely make them again. THANKS bakerella!

July 10, 2009 06:57 PM
Anonymous said...

I made these last night and they are delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

July 12, 2009 02:32 PM
Vino Luci said...

I love lemon bars too and have been using this recipe for many years; they disappear.

Once when lunching with my daughter at Nordstrom's we had their lemon bar for dessert expecting something like we were used to.

It was..sort of, but with toasted coconut in the crust and a whipped topping with mascarpone and more coconut.

More decadent but I love them both! I don't have a photo of the coconut version, but it's online here:

July 28, 2009 07:23 PM
aguaracu said...

This is probably a strange question, but where did you got the 'cups' your using from, or from which company are they?
I love that they wrote 2/3, 3/4 … on them – and you don't really get cups like that in Germany. :-)


July 30, 2009 03:44 PM
Margo said...

Thanks for the recipe! I brought these to a summer BBQ over the weekend, and they got lots of compliments. I did add a little bit of lemon zest and forgot to butter and flour the pan (they were still relatively easy to remove from the pan) but didn't make any other changes.

August 3, 2009 10:14 PM
Bakerella said...

Sorry, I don't remeber where I found those cups. Wish I did.

August 4, 2009 12:31 AM
cakester93 said...

hey! i just made these following your recipe. im 15 and NOT a very good cook. ummmm, was the lemony stuff suppossed to be bubbling BEFORE it went into the oven? i think it must have just simply been the lemon's reaction to the baking soda…but still. i hope the oven doesnt blow up. but then again…it is ME cooking…so i wouldn't be surprised if it did.

August 8, 2009 01:01 AM
Yumi said...

@Cakester93: The recipe calls for baking powder rather than baking soda because baking soda when mixed with lemon juice results in a chemical reaction that basically causes explosions. So no, it was not supposed to be bubbling before it went into the oven…worst case scenario, you have a very entertaining story to write about on your blog.

@Bakerella: I made these lemon bars for a small get-together with my friends, and they tasted GREAT, although they're not quite as pretty as yours. Thanks for the recipe!g

August 8, 2009 01:45 PM
camila said...

hi bakerella!
I made this lemon bars a few months ago and my whole family loved them!
you don’t know how much I love your blog, well, website… I’m 15 years old and I’m from argentina but it isn’t hard for me to read all the recipes cause I’ve been studying english since I’m 9 lol
anyways, I hope you keep posting delicious things like this one, actually everything you bake seems delicious *drool*
un beso! (:

September 27, 2009 04:30 AM
belle said...

mine came out looking funny and tasting slightly like a grilled cheese sandwich..?

October 11, 2009 01:14 PM
Dawn said...

I love love love lemon bars!! Simple looking recipe too!! The best part is all ingreds are easily available in Austria too!

Have you ever made gooey butter cake??

October 18, 2009 06:18 AM
Therese said...

These were super easy and really tasty. I don’t think I will try another recipe again because these were basically perfect. Everyone in my office was raving about them too! Thanks so much!

November 6, 2009 10:11 AM
LilLauren said...

these were so amazing! I made them for a party I have tomorrow…and I just don’t know if they are going to make it that long as I keep on snacking!

I followed the recipe exactly, and I was a little worried, but kept going and they were great. I wasn’t sure if the crust mixture absorbed enough of the dry ingredients in the butter, but when I pressed them in the pan, it seemed fine. ALso it looked a little hard on top, and the edges slightly got a little darker when I had it in the oven the second time, but this just helped keep them together when I took them out of the pan.

I’ve made them before lemon bars before, and they came out very yucky, with a very bad crust. These are perfect!Thank you so much for the recipe! So yummy!

November 18, 2009 10:36 PM
Danielle said...

Now, I want Lemon bars…

December 29, 2009 05:44 PM
Shawn said...

These were super easy to make and delish!!

February 6, 2010 09:10 PM
Christine said...

What temperature do I bake these at?

February 25, 2010 01:54 PM
PastryPrincess said...

lemon bars are so simple and yet so great. i like mine to have a nice tartness to them and a not-too-thick base. they go well with lime, too. perfect on a summer’s day and always a crowd pleaser. i always cut really big squares and make the lemon layer extra thick because you can never have enough lemon bar! ;) right?!

March 6, 2010 06:28 AM
mimi said...

these pictures are making me extremely hungry.

March 20, 2010 10:06 AM
Heather said...

I made these the other day and they are AMAZING. Thanks for the great recipe!

March 31, 2010 06:50 PM
mcaguayo77 said...

Hi Bakerella!!!
Im from Mexico, and I really love your site. I got in looking up for ideas to make cupcake pops, and let me tell you that you have AMAIZING things. I love baking and trying different recipes.
Yesterday I saw this lemon bars and OH MY GOD!
Didn’t want to wait, and I made them. WERE REALLY DELICIOUS!! I’d like to show you some of them..where can I send you a photo?
oh well….receive my best wishes, and congrats for all your beautiful work.

April 9, 2010 01:11 PM
Maggie said...

one word: scrumptious.

April 23, 2010 09:48 PM
Emily said...

Awesome! im going to try these on the weekend! might invite some friends around and do it together. do you have lots of friends bakerella? coz my motto is
good cooks always have good friends.
did i mention u r my hero? im 13. ur awsum!

May 11, 2010 05:38 AM
Jennifer said...

I love these!! They are really easy to make!! They are also realy fun!! You can make these with anyone. You can even teach it to your kids! It’s that easy!! I just can’t get enough of these!! they are too good!! I make them for about every holiday….( :

May 21, 2010 08:34 PM
Babz said...

So easy and so delicious! I am a terrible baker, but these were easy and hard to mess up. They turned out great!

May 23, 2010 11:51 PM
florella said...

Thanks for the recipe. i’m going to give this a try tomorrow. Just to check with you, is it unsalted butter you’re using here? or just any normal salted butter? Thanks.

September 10, 2010 01:11 PM
Allison said...

Girl, I have had this recipe saved in my “Cooking” bookmark for MONTHS, and just tried it today after a boring day at home doing nothing. They are absolutely amazing! I substituted agave syrup for half of the sugar (trying to be a little healthier – forgetting about the 2 sticks of butter that went into the crust!), and they are absolutely PERFECT!
Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring me to do something today! :)

September 22, 2010 06:13 PM
Lisaspassion2scrap said...

I just stumbled upon your website yesterday & made this slice today , OMG it is fantastic, probably my new fave slice, thanks!

November 6, 2010 06:29 AM
Laura said...

I am making these currently and they look amazing thus far! thank you!

November 20, 2010 04:53 PM
Chelsea said...

Hi Bakerella! My family and I absolutely love these lemon bars! We eat them so often! Something that we discovered was that the bars were not lemony enough for us the first time, so on our second batch we doubled the lemon to a cup, and it still wasn’t that “POW” that we wanted, so now we add a cup and a half to the bars and we cut the butter in the crust to 3/4 of a cup! They are so delicious!

November 24, 2010 01:27 PM
Sweetie pie said...

I think your the best person I know. Stop being so perfect. Wish I had a mom like you. Yum is my word. YYYUUUMMM

December 31, 2010 07:18 PM
Estelle said...

Your “tarte au citron ” is very apetizing!! I’m going to try this recipe very soon and i will say to you if i love it. I just hope i’m not going to make an error because i’m not sure to understand all the words of the recipe.
Thanks and kiss from France

January 19, 2011 03:08 PM
ilovechocolatetoomuch said...

so what happens if i make it without the crust?

March 2, 2011 07:16 PM
Ellery said...

Oh my those look so good! It is 11pm on a Saturday and I am reading your website and just drooling (literally, just got it on the keyboard)! Trying to think about how I can make every recipe dairy-free :) These should be pretty easy if I use my non-dairy butter…but then how exciting is that?!

April 3, 2011 02:09 AM
Heather said...

I was looking for a lemon bar recipe and this came up. Since it’s my first time making them, I want something easy. My boyfriend got me some Lemon Jammy bits from King Arthur flour (this is the link for the blueberry ones: Think I could sub these (and some raspberry ones too!) for the lemon juice?

Also, I’m a chocolate girl too! =)

April 3, 2011 06:12 PM
Phoebe said...

Ooh, I made these last week! The crust came out a bit on the crispy side (think I baked it for a tad too long!), but the lemon topping was perfect! Everyone seemed to love them :)

June 12, 2011 05:25 AM
Anonymous said...

thank you soo much for the recipie….It was awesome..

June 24, 2011 09:43 AM
jen said...

i love lemon squares and never made them until i found this recipe. simply amazing and so easy! i make them all the time now. thanks!

July 23, 2011 10:01 AM
Nikki More said...

I tried these! And they’re super easy and turned out awesome! I wish the crust was a little crunchier though. I didn’t wanna leave them in longer cos I was scared they might burn. :) Awesoooome! :)) I love it! Gonna have my friends try them :”> Thanks for the great recipe!

August 30, 2011 03:27 AM
Summertime said...

i want to see you!! post up a pic of urself!!!!!!

August 31, 2011 10:52 PM
Cassidy said...

These turned out awesome! The only problem I had was having just enough crust mixture to fill the bottom. However, they are amazing and i have made them twice this week! Thank You!

September 2, 2011 10:42 PM
Anonymous said...

the best in the world

September 4, 2011 03:23 AM
Kimberly said...

Yay for your girl! I admire her precision and care. Bravo!!

September 6, 2011 12:27 AM
Briana said...

My mouth is watering. I haven’t had lemon bars in SOOOO long. I’d pay 20 bucks for one of those. I MUST make these

September 6, 2011 08:35 PM
Daniela Schmaedecke said...

Hi Bakerella! I’ve just made lemon bars……perfect and absolutely YUMMY….I’m from Brazil and I was surfing the net when I came acroos youe website…..I’ll try more recipes….I hope I can find all the ingredients I’ll need for your suggestions…

September 12, 2011 10:49 AM
Jen said...

Hey there, I just wanted to let you know I started making these lemon bars not too long after you originally posted this recipe. Ever since then I get constant requests for these. They are SUPER yummy!!! I’ve just been asked to make a huge batch for the Vetran’s Day assembly at my son’s school. Need to go and stock up on lemon juice!!! LOL!

September 13, 2011 09:56 AM
emily said...

made these… sooo easy and delicious!

September 13, 2011 02:00 PM
angie colon said...


September 16, 2011 03:15 PM
vera said...


September 18, 2011 05:48 PM
Debby J said...

Lemon bars are one of the things my son always makes and he would never give me his recipe. Well, now I have one of my own!!!! I just may have to make them and see what his reaction is!!!

September 22, 2011 10:29 AM
shaila said...

i had these yesterday but it would kick it up a knotch if you add powdered sugar on top ( yummmy in peoples tummy!!!)

October 8, 2011 03:18 PM
shaila said...

i ment a little les sugar so it tastes alot better

October 8, 2011 03:19 PM
Taegan said...

Hey, Bakerella!
I just finished making these lemon bars for my family, and everyone loved them! My dad loves lemon bars, but is very particular. So after many failed attempts, we’ve found the perfect recipe for him! And all of us thought they were just divine! Thank you so much!

October 22, 2011 09:32 PM
Amy said...

My husband loves anything lemon so I decided to surprise him with this recipe. The only thing I did different was add in some lemon zest. But I have to say this is going to be my go to recipe for ease.

October 23, 2011 05:10 PM
Danielle said...

I made these this weekend for our family pumpkin carving party. They were a hit! Thanks so much.

October 24, 2011 10:56 AM
Kathy said...

Looking for something easy and tasty for Harvest festival I think this is it going to make them in muffin tins ,what do you think?

October 26, 2011 12:28 PM
Anonymous said...

I love these, except I double the topping because otherwise there is to much dough.

October 26, 2011 09:43 PM
Mag said...

Could you tell me how long we can keep them before they go bad ? not that I think many would stay if I baked only one tray, but a friend of mine has these organic lemon trees and he has TONS of lemons to spare, so… We all try and cook new things with them.
( I can share lemon based recipes whenever ;))

October 30, 2011 12:46 PM
santa said...

these look awesome!

November 6, 2011 02:28 PM
Kelly said...

I’ve been making lemon bars forever… my ex-bf used to think I was a genius for making them. LOVE them!

November 22, 2011 10:29 AM
laura lien said...

I have been on the hunt for a perfect lemon bar. I have made many but none have compared to this little shop that I can buy them homemade from. The gal will not share her recipe and they are to die for. She uses a lemon glaze on them instead of powdered sugar. I wonder if that’s the difference that takes them from good to amazing??

Has anyone tried these (recipe here on Bakerella) yet? i see lots of comments on how they look or plans to make them but no posts on how anyone did on making them??? Any pointers , tips ??

December 5, 2011 04:50 PM
Teresa said...

How do you cut them and get them out of your pan so squarely & neatly without tearing them up?

December 6, 2011 01:31 AM
Taya said...

yuummmmm!!! these look absolute delish. this site is amazing, suprisely it has taught me how to cook almost like a pro! well..sort of, thankyou for this loveley recipe i hope theres more. :)

December 8, 2011 03:50 AM
Diane said...

This is my go to recipe for lemon bars. They turn out perfect every time. Not too sweet. Not too sour. Better with fresh squeezed lemon juice.

December 11, 2011 11:25 PM
Janice said...

I love your website, first when it was a blog, and now something better. How come you changed your blog to a website?
I made this lemon bar once, two years ago. It was amazing! I had to restrict myself from eating more than three pieces. The shortbread crust is not too sweet, and my favorite part was the topping. oh that lemony, sweet topping melted in my mouth….hmm

December 14, 2011 03:02 PM
jenny said...

OMG, just made them.So easy and taste so good!

December 21, 2011 05:42 PM
xtina said...


January 2, 2012 06:57 PM
Amy said...

I have now made this recipe a few times and it is now to the point where people are requesting it. I only did one change and that is I have been adding lemon/orange zest to the topping. Love your site!

January 16, 2012 11:58 AM
Valentina said...

I made this recipe and they were delicious!
thanks, i hope you still download recipes like that. :)

January 16, 2012 02:48 PM
Comment Pages

Random Sweetness
Newsletter 2
Left Custom Ad
Google Left
Bakerella T-Shirts
Show off your inner Bakerella with a super-cute T!
FM Media Survey