Best Lemon Bars Recipe

These are absolutely the best lemon bars!  I have found that it is hard to find a really good lemon bar recipe, as some have too much crust and not enough filling while others are not lemony enough.  Here is the recipe that I recommend – it is just right!

More favorite Cookie Recipes and Secrets To Making Perfect Cookies.   Also learn How To Have A Successful Holiday Cookie Exchange or Cookie Swap.

Don’t forget to check out my American High Tea or Afternoon Tea Menu (with recipes) which includes these delicious Lemon Bars Deluxe.

Best Lemon Bars Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Lemon Bars Recipe
Servings: 2 dozen lemon bars
Lemon Bars:
  • 4 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated (from two large lemons)
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar) to decorate finished lemon bars
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Extra butter, softened (for greasing pan)
Lemon Bars Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Adjust oven rack to middle position.

  2. Prepare Crust and bake.

  3. While crust is baking, make the Lemon Filling: 

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and flour; stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and salt to blend well.  Pour mixture onto top of the baked warm crust.  You may set the prepared Lemon Filling aside until crust is finished baking.  When ready to pour on warm crust, re-blend Lemon Filling mixture and pour into the warm crust.

  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the filling feels firm when touched lightly.  Remove from oven and transfer the pan to a wire cooling rack and cool for 30 minutes.

  6. After cooling, grasp the parchment paper and carefully lift the bars onto a cutting board.  Cut into serving size squares or bars.  To cut the bars, do not make a sawing motion with your knife, instead make long, clean cuts the length of the pan.  Wipe the knife clean by dipping it in hot water and wiping with a clean kitchen towel to dry between cuts.

  7. Sieve powdered or confectioners' sugar over bars and serve.  NOTE: The powdered sugar will start to be absorbed into the Lemon Filling after several hours, but it can be reapplied before serving.

  8. Storage:  Three days at room temperature, three weeks refrigerated (individually wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent drying), or three months frozen.

  9. Yields about 2 dozen bars.

Crust Instructions:
  1. Lightly butter a 13- x 9-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper or wax paper allowing edges to come over the sides.

  2. Pulse flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor.  Add butter and blend, 8 to 10 seconds, and then pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Sprinkle mixture into prepared baking pan and press firmly into an even layer with slightly raised sides to hold in the filling.

  3. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes and then bake until golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes; remove from oven, place on a wire cooling rack, and let cool slightly.

  4. After crust is finished baking, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Source:  Slightly adapted this recipe from the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, May/June 1998.

More Delicious Lemon Cookies:

Lemon Meringue Bars
If you love Lemon Meringue Pie, you will definitely love these Lemon Meringue Bars.  So delicious and easier to make than a pie.

High Tea Lemon Cookies
This is an old-fashion recipe that is very rich and delicious.  Be prepared though, all your friends will want this recipe after they taste these delicious cookies.

Lemon Melt Away Cookies
As the title says, “These cookies literally melt in your mouth!”  These cookies have a shortbread-like texture and taste wonderful!

Lemon Sable Cookies
Sable cookies are a classic French cookie originating in Normandy.  Sable is French for “sand,” which refer to the sandy texture of these delicate shortbread-like cookies.


Bar & Brownie Cookies    Christmas Cookies    Lemons    Tea Cookies   

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