Classic lemon bars with a buttery shortbread crust. These bars have a super tangy lemon filling that is perfectly tart and not too sweet, just how lemon bars should be! If you want to try another version try my lemon cheesecake bars.
How to Make Oven Baked Lemon Bars
Making from scratch homemade lemon bars is actually quite easy! Just allow yourself time and enjoy the process.
Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the crust ingredients.
Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden.
In another bowl, whisk together the filling ingredients until smooth and completely combined.
Pour the filling ingredients over the baked crust.
Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, but do not let them brown! These lemon bars will firm up as they cool down.
Remove and cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar once cooled, then slice and serve
How long do lemon bars last?
Lemons bars will last 4-5 days if you put them in the fridge! Simply keep them in an airtight container.
Do I have to refrigerate lemon bars?
You definitely should keep them in a container in the refrigerator as they are a custard filling. They are fine at room temperature when you are serving them for a few hours however so don’t worry about that!
Can I freeze lemon bars?
My Grandma would freeze these bars no problem! Simply store them in an airtight container in layers, with parchment paper or waxed paper between the layers. Then freeze them for 3-4 months!
- Cut the lemon bars into the size of bars that you want. It is easier to cut them now rather than after you defrost them!
- Place one layer in the bottom of an airtight container.
- Place parchment paper or waxed paper on top.
- Place another layer of bars, then paper.
- Repeat until the container is full, then place the lid on top.
- Freeze for 3-4 months.
- To defrost them, simply remove the bars that you want to defrost ( not the entire container!) and leave them out at room temperature until they are defrosted.
How to cut lemon bars
If you want to cut these lemon bars perfectly ,the secret is to get them half frozen! Here are a few tips to slicing lemon bars.
- Cool the bars completely at room temperature, or if you live in Alberta in the winter, just put them outside to cool. It’s faster.
- Place the bars into the freezer until they are half frozen. (also works outside if you live in Alberta lol)
- Use a very sharp knife to slice them .
- Wipe the knife after each cut to prevent it from sticking to the bars.
Karlynn’s Tips and Tricks for Making Lemon Bars
- When it comes to the type of lemon to use for lemon bars, fresh is always the best! However let’s get real, we don’t always have fresh lemons at home ( and if I do, I used them for cocktails like my lemon drop martini haha!) so bottled lemon juice works fine as well.
- The lemon zest? Yes, you are going to need a fresh lemon for that, but IF you don’t have it, don’t let that stop you from making these lemon bars if you have a craving! The lemon zest just adds that extra zing to it!
- Don’t forget to use salted butter in the shortbread crust! The salt is a trick to cut the sweetness and boost the flavour of the lemon bars.
- You can use parchment paper instead of aluminum foil, just leave enough hanging over the edge of the pan so that you can lift the bars out once they are cooled.
- IF you are going to cut them without half-freezing them, cut them IN the pan, then lift them out, this prevents them from cracking and breaking when you lift them out. You’ve done the breaking already!
If you are looking for more bar recipes, try my Butter Tart Bars, Raspberry Coconut Bars or my very favourite, Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars!
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- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Total Time
- 40 minutes
- 24 bars
- Karlynn Johnston
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs beaten well
- Powdered sugar to top
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Line the 9x13 pan with aluminum foil, leaving handles at the sides so that you can remove the bars later on.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the crust ingredients.
- Press into the bottom of the aluminum foil lined pan.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden.
- In another bowl, whisk together the filling ingredients until smooth and completely combined.
- Pour the filling ingredients over the baked crust.
- Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, but do not let them brown! These lemon bars will firm up as they cool down.
- Remove and cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar once cooled, then slice and serve.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
These are so sweet I hardly taste anything but sugar. Bummer.
gayle smith says
These worked out perfectly! The easiest lemon bars ever, thanks for the recipe!
Leanne Jensen says
Are you kidding? I am the queen of false threats…just ask my kids! Nope, I look forward to your entries & recipes too much!
The Kitchen Magpie says
Haha Leanne! I agree with you about those cookies, they are my favorite ever! But please don’t leave 😉
Leanne Jensen says
Yum! I think I am going to have to unsubscribe from your page!! I have gained weight….especially from the crispy, crunchy chocolate chip cookies. I won’t admit how many dozen I have made…& eaten all by myself. Seriously the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. Thank you for the yummy & easy to follow recipes! You are fab!
Yummy! What a great idea and recipe! The bars were great.
Thank you for the inspiration.
Greetings from Germany
Heidi Namba says
Wow! These were amazing.
Thanks for sharing.
I would love to make these squares. If I made a whole pan of them, I am afraid I would eat the whole thing myself.