Best-ever Lemon Bars!

Zesty Lemon Bars Recipe with Shortbread Crust

The sweet, buttery soft shortbread cookie crust and the lusciously creamy filling with a zesty lemon flavor give these lemon bars the perfect balance between sweet and sour.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bars, lemon
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 9 squares
Calories 450kcal
Author Jillian - a Food, Folks and Fun original!



  • cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • Zest of 1 lemon, about 1 Tablespoon of zest


  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 large lemon, about 1 Tablespoon of zest
  • cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed from about 4 large lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter


  • powdered sugar, for dusting



  • Move the oven rack to the middle, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a nice overhang on all four sides.
  • Add the flour and sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
    Lemon Bars Step 2
  • Add the butter and pulse until the dough almost looks like a cohesive dough, this will take about 15-20 1-second pulses.
    Lemon Bars Step 3
  • Press the dough into an even layer into your prepared pan. Bake the shortbread crust until it’s lightly golden in color, about 15 to 20 minutes. Move the crust to a wire rack to cool. Leave the oven on.
    Lemon Bars Step 4


  • While the crust cools, in a medium saucepan whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and cook over medium-low heat, while stirring constantly with a rubber scraper. Keep stirring until the filling is thickened and pudding-like, 8-10 minutes.
    Lemon Bars Step 5
  • Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium-size bowl. Pour the lemon filling into the strainer and use your rubber scraper to press the mixture through. Make sure you scrape the underside of the strainer into the bowl.
    Lemon Bars Step 6
  • Stir in the butter until it’s melted.
    Lemon Bars Step 7
  • Pour the filling over the slightly cooled crust and spread into an even layer.
    Lemon Bars Step 8
  • Bake the lemon bars until the filling is set, about 15-20 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 1-2 hours.
    Lemon Bars Step 9
  • Use the foil or parchment overhang to lift the lemon bars from pan. Use a knife to cut the bars into 9 squares.
    Lemon Bars Step 10
  • Dust the lemon squares with powdered sugar just before serving.
    Lemon Bars Step 11


Serving: 1bar | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2.3mg