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Zesty Lemon Bars

Buttery shortbread and luscious lemon filling make these zesty lemon bars incredibly delicious! With their bright pop of colour and tangy citrus flavor they’re a crowd favorite!

Classic Lemon Bars

These Zesty Lemon Bars are one of my favorite lemon desserts to make! They’re fresh and bright, so easy to make and everyone seems to love them!

Whether you always find yourself with a stack of lemons in your fridge that need using up or an overproducing tree (lucky!) these Lemon Bars will become you go to!

Luscious Lemon Bars

There’s no better way to describe these lemon bars that luscious, almost gooey like in the best possible way!

The Lemon filling to shortbread ratio is perfect, don’t you hate it when that ratio is off, like yum but please give me more base! A great alternative to a chocolate dessert or perfect with a cup of coffee!

Lemon Bars stacked on each other

Lemon Bar Variations

Coconut Lemon Bars

To make these Coconut Lemon Bars add 1/2 cup or 45 of desiccated coconut to the base at the same time as the flour.

Lemon Lime Bars

For Lemon Lime Bars change the 1 cup lemon juice to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup lime juice. Add 1 Tbsp lime zest instead of 1 Tbsp lemon zest.

Oatmeal Lemon Bars

To make Oatmeal Lemon Bars change the flour measurement for the base to 1 1/2 cups or 190g and add 1/2 cup or 45g of rolled oats. Bake the base for the same amount of time.

Citrus Bars

Any other kind of citrus – orange juice, grapefruit juice – can be substituted for the lemon juice and lemon zest for this recipe.

A lemon cut in half

Common Lemon Bar Issues

How do you fix runny lemon bars?

Runny Lemon Bars are most likely caused from under baking. Make sure the filling no longer jiggles before taking it out of the oven. If your lemon bars are runny put them in the fridge to firm up as much as possible, keeping them cold will keep them firm.

Why do Lemon Bars smell eggy?

The recipe contains a large amount of eggs but this shouldn’t make them have an eggy texture of smell eggy. Make sure you haven’t skipped out on the zest and are using freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavour. Make sure your oven isn’t too hot as this can cause the eggs to scramble instead of baking into a delicious lemon bar.

How to tell when Lemon Bars are done?

The zesty lemon bars will be done when the edges are starting to brown and the filling no longer jiggles when the pan is shaken. Everyones ovens are different so this can take longer or shorter by a few minutes than the recipes states so make sure you keep an eye on them.

Why are my Lemon Bars gooey?

Lemon bars are essentially lemon curd on top of shortbread so they’re always going to be a little gooey. If you would like them firmer make sure to serve them cold!

When to put powdered sugar on lemon bars

Dust your lemon bars with powdered sugar just before you are going to serve them. After an hour or two the powdered sugar can dissolve into the lemon filling but if that happens you can always dust with more.

Lemon Bar ingredients

Lemon Bar Ingredients

225g / 2 Sticks Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature for this recipe so it creams easily with the sugar. If you forgot to get it out of the fridge here are a few easy ways to get it to room temperature fast.

1 Cup / 125g Powdered Sugar / Icing Sugar Powdered or icing sugar is used here instead of regular sugar as it dissolves much faster into the butter and is easier to mix. If you don’t have powdered or icing sugar on hand you can use 1/2 Cup of granulated sugar instead.

2 Cups / 250g FlourReduce the flour by 1/2 a cup and add 1/2 cup of rolled oats to make these Lemon Oatmeal Bars.

2 Cups / 400g SugarThese lemon bars aren’t too sweet but if you want less sugar you can reduce it to 1 1/2 cups instead of 2 cups.

6 Eggs – Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. If you keep them in the fridge just remove them about 30 minutes before you start baking.

1/2 Cup / 60g Flour

1 Cup / 250ml Lemon Juice – This is about the juice from 4-5 large lemons. Freshly squeezed is the only way to go here!

1 Tbsp Lemon Zest

Powdered Sugar / Icing Sugar to dust

How to Make Lemon Bars from Scratch

Base

In a large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer or the bowl of your stand mixer add the butter and powdered sugar. Mix on medium speed for a few minutes until well combined and the butter is light and fluffy.

Butter and powdered sugar in a bowl

Add the flour to the combined butter and sugar and mix together just until you can no longer see any dry flour. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to get all of the dry flour incorporated.

Tip the base into a lined 9 by 13″ or 23 by 33cm baking pan and use the back of a spoon to press it into a flat even layer.

Bake the base in a 160C / 325F oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown.

Lemon Bar base in a baking pan

Lemon Filling

While the base is baking in the oven make the lemon filling.

In a medium sized bowl add your dry ingredients, the flour and sugar. Crack in the 6 eggs and use a whisk to combine the ingredients together well. It may look a little lumpy at first but it should start to smooth out after a minute.

eggs, flour and sugar in a bowl

When the mixture is smooth and the lumps have been whisked out pour in the lemon juice.

Add the zest of one lemon (its much easier to zest the lemon first before juicing it). Give the batter a good mix together to combine the ingredients well. Set to the side until the base has finished baking.

After 20-25 minutes or when the edges of the base are just starting to get some colour remove it from the oven. While it’s still hot pour over the lemon filling, you may have a tiny amount left over depending on the height of your pan.

Place the pan back into the oven, being careful to keep it level so the lemon filling doesn’t spill and bake for another 25-30 minutes.

After 25 minutes check on the lemon bar to see if the filling has set completely. Give the pan a little shake and if it doesn’t jiggle it’s ready to come out. If it jiggles in the center give it another 5 minutes.

Let the lemon bars fully cool in the pan before placing them in the fridge for 1-2 hours to firm up (this helps them slice up nicely).

baked lemon bars

How to cut Lemon Bars

Remove them lemon bars from the fridge and using the paper to lift them up out of the baking pan. Pull the paper away from the edges and use a sharp knife to cut the lemon bars into squares. Keeping them in the fridge makes them firmer so they’re much easier to cut.

Finally dust with powdered sugar and they’re ready to be enjoyed.

How to store Lemon Bars

These Zesty Lemon Bars can be kept at room temperature the day they are baked. If you are keeping them any longer place them into an airtight container and into the fridge for 3-4 days.

How to Freeze Lemon Bars

If you would like to keep the lemon bars for longer than 3-4 days they can be frozen. Place the chilled lemon bars into an airtight container or bag and into the freezer for up to four months. Let the lemon bars defrost fully at room temperature before serving.

Sliced Lemon Bars

Common Questions about Lemon Bars

Do Lemon Bars need to be refrigerated?

You can keep them at room temperature the day you bake them. If you are keeping them any longer store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

How long do Lemon Bars last?

These Zesty Lemon Bars will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you want to keep them any longer than that they need to be frozen.

Can you use Meyer Lemons for lemon bars?

Yes Meyer Lemon work great for these Zesty Lemon Bars.

Fork and Lemon Bars

Other Lemon Recipes

Lemon Loaf

Lemon Slice

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Thyme Lemon and Honey Syrup Cakes

Homemade Lemonade

Zesty Lemon Bars

Zesty Lemon Bars

Yield: 12 Lemon Bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Buttery shortbread and luscious lemon filling make these zesty lemon bars incredibly delicious!

Ingredients

Base

  • 225g / 2 Sticks / 16 Tbsp Butter
  • 3/4 Cup / 90g Powdered Sugar / Icing Sugar
  • 2 Cups / 250g Flour

Zesty Lemon Filling

  • 2 Cups / 400g Granulated White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup / 60g Flour
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 Cup / 250ml Lemon Juice

Instructions

Base

  1. In a large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer or the bowl of your stand mixer add the butter and powdered sugar. Mix on medium speed for a few minutes until well combined and the butter is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the flour to the combined butter and sugar and mix together just until you can no longer see any dry flour. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to get all of the dry flour incorporated.
  3. Tip the base into a lined 9 by 13″ or 23 by 33cm baking pan and use the back of a spoon to press it into a flat even layer.
  4. Bake the base in a 160°C / 325°F oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown.

Lemon Filling

  1. In a medium sized bowl add your dry ingredients, the flour and sugar. Crack in the 6 eggs and use a whisk to combine the ingredients together well. It may look a little lumpy at first but it should start to smooth out after a minute.
  2. When the mixture is smooth and the lumps have been whisked out pour in the lemon juice. Add the zest of one lemon (its much easier to zest the lemon first before juicing it).
  3. Give the batter a good mix together to combine the ingredients well. Set to the side until the base has finished baking.
  4. After 20-25 minutes or when the edges of the base are just starting to get some colour remove it from the oven. While it’s still hot pour over the lemon filling, you may have a tiny amount left over depending on the height of your pan.
  5. Place the pan back into the oven, being careful to keep it level so the lemon filling doesn’t spill and bake for another 25-30 minutes.
  6. After 25 minutes check on the lemon bar to see if the filling has set completely. Give the pan a little shake and if it doesn’t jiggle it’s ready to come out. If it jiggles in the center give it another 5 minutes.
  7. Let the lemon bars fully cool in the pan before placing them in the fridge for 1-2 hours to firm up (this helps them slice up nicely).

Serving the Zesty Lemon Bars

  1. Remove the lemon bars from the fridge and use the paper to lift it up out of the baking pan. Pull the paper away from the edges and use a sharp knife to cut the lemon bars into squares.
  2. Finally dust with powdered sugar and they’re ready to be enjoyed.

Notes

How to Store Lemon Bars

The lemon bars can be stored at room temperature the day you make them. If you are keeping them longer, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

How to Freeze Lemon Bars


If you would like to keep the lemon bars for longer than 3-4 days they can be frozen. Place the chilled lemon bars into an airtight container or bag and into the freezer for up to four months. Let the lemon bars defrost fully at room temperature before serving.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 357Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 174mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 1gSugar: 51gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is estimated and isn't alway correct

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