This homemade lemon bar recipe is a little bit of sunshine wrapped in a tiny, perfect bar. Lemon and sugar are the highlights of this pretty package. This homemade lemon bar recipe yields a lot, so you’ll have plenty to share (or keep for yourself).
Warning: This Homemade Lemon Bar Recipe post includes lots of gratuitous action shots of sifted sugar.
(Not that we’re complaining.)
There’s something so vintage about biting into a thick wedge of lemon bar. It’s so rewarding when the texture is firm and the lemon is a little bit tart, and the crust is just like shortbread. It’s such a simple dessert, that I can’t help but be transported to a lazy summer day, a long, long time ago.
This recipe is a classic homemade lemon bar recipe. The ratio of shortbread to lemon curd is perfect: and the lemon curd is thick and holds its shape. It only requires seven ingredients and, despite being several steps, it’s easy to make.
The number one requirement for an amazing homemade lemon bar, is it must have an incredibly buttery, cookie like crust. We make our crust first. First, we line our 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. By using parchment paper, removal of the finished dessert is less sticky and it makes the finished product easier to cut.
Then, cook the bottom layer for about 20 minutes in a 325 degree oven.
Now, while the crust is baking, you can work on the lemon curd. One of my most favorite and versatile tools is an offset spatula. It’s angle works wonders for spreading ingredients in a shallow pan, and I use it for everything from spreading rice crispie treats, smoothing batters into pans, transferring hot cookies, and icing onto cakes. I can have confidence in using one or two to help me move and support cakes and baked goods. I have them in different sizes, and they all come in handy.
If you don’t have one, you’ll be surprised with how many uses it has once you finally purchase one (like this one, here!).
Sift powdered sugar and flour together, into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and lemon juice, and mix until combined. Take out shortbread and poke with fork holes all over. Did you do it? It’s therapeutic.
Then, pour lemon mixture over the shortbread like so, and bake.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the center appears firm. Remove from oven and let cool completely, in order to solidify the curd.
Once cooled, cut into tiny squares. Dust with an abundance of powdered sugar. Use a fine mesh strainer – one with smaller holes will give you a finer dusting of powdered sugar. Here’s promised action shots.
A few easy notes:
- Chilling the lemon bar before eating does two things: firms up the lemon curd and refines the flavor of the bar. We recommend storing in the fridge until cool.
- Wait to sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Powdered sugar can sometimes melt, and while it will taste the same, it won’t have the appealing dusting of powdered sugar. If you plan on serving for guests and are concerned about appearance, then dust with powdered sugar shortly before serving.
- Can these freeze?! Yes, and they even taste amazing frozen. Wrap air tight, and pop in the freezer for up to 3 months! Just be sure you don’t put powdered sugar on them, prior to freezing.
- Interested in the history of a lemon bar? This fun site has information on a lemon bar’s history!
Making these for high tea? Try our fun and sparkly peach drink to pair with it!
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Homemade Lemon Bar Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Lemon Filling Ingredients
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Line 9×13 pan with parchment paper, slightly larger than the pan
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Recipe for Shortbread
- Melt 1 cup of butter and mix in 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 cups of flours.
- Mix to combine, then spread into the prepared pan.
- Poke the crust several times with holes.
- Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, until edges are starting to get golden brown.
Recipe for Lemon Filling
- Sift remaining sugar and flour into a large bowl.
- Add eggs and lemon juice, and whisk to blend.
- Pour into prepared pan, over the shortbread layer.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or unti the center looks firm.
- Cool completely before cutting.
- Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy.