Lemon Bars

Sunday 18 April 2021

Lemon Bars 

These easy Lemon Bars are a delightful recipe taken from the pages of my Big Blue Binder.  For those of you who don't know this is a big blue vinyl binder filled with recipes, handwritten and clipped, that I have been saving since I was about 9 years old.

It has travelled around the world with me and is filled with all of my tried and trues.  Many are family recipes, having been handed down through the generations.  

Others are gifts from friends. Something I ate and enjoyed in their homes, and that they were kind enough to share the recipe with me.  Shared recipes are the best recipes of all!

Lemon Bars 

This is a pretty classic lemon bar recipe.  They are the perfect combination of tart and sweet!  Everything a good lemon bar should be.

There is something about lemon flavoured baked goodies that sings the song of my heart. I can't get enough of them. When push comes to shove and I had to choose between something lemon or something chocolate . . .  well, lemon would win every time.

Lemon Bars 

Actually I do have a recipe for Lemon and Chocolate Slices on here that is pretty darned good. With those you get the vanilla shortbread crust, topped with a layer of melted semi-sweet chocolate.

Onto this goes the lemon curd filling and the rest is history. Deliciously different. You can get that recipe here.  Its pretty lush.

Lemon Bars 

I also have a recipe for Raspberry Lemon Bars, which you can find here.  Along with a lot of other delicious lemon recipes. 

Recipes such as Homemade Lemon Curd, Little Lemon Ginger Cakes, Raspberry Lemon Bars, Blueberry Gingerbread. (You split that cake and put lemon curd in the middle.)

Then there is a luxurious Lemon Tart, sweet Lemon Cupcakes, Lemon and Poppyseed Bundt Cake, Lemon & Blueberry Drop Scones, and even a few more recipes for lemon delights.

All on that same page. If you like lemon, its the mother-lode of lemon tastiness.

Lemon Bars 

Classic Lemon Bars however are hands down my absolute favorite bar.  With their simple shortbread-like crust and tart sweet lemon filling, they always delight.  

And they are such a simple bake. I don't know why people think they must be complicated.  They aren't in the least. Nothing could be easier. 

Lemon Bars

The crust contains only three ingredients. Plain or all purpose flour as it is also called.  Salted Butter. Sifted icing sugar.  

I always sift my icing sugar to get out any lumps.  It doesn't take long and you get a much nicer finish in your baked goods rather than trying to use it without sifting it. 

These three ingredients are rubbed together in a bowl until they are well combined.  They make a rather crumbly mixture.  Don't worry, its supposed to look that way. 

Lemon Bars 

This crumbly mixture gets put  and pressed into  either an 8 inch square baking dish or a 9 inch square baking dish. If you use the 8 inch square dish you get deeper layers.  I like them better in the 8 inch square dish.

You just put the crumbly mixture in and then press it compact.  I find using the flat bottom of a metal measuring cup does a really great job of this.  

Lemon Bars 

This crust gets baked for 20 minutes. It will be nicely set at the end of that time. 

While the crust is baking you can get busy with the business of whisking the filling ingredients all together. There is nothing out of the ordinary there either.  

The filling is simply lemon juice, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, baking powder and salt.  Just whisk everything together on high until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Always, ALWAYS, use fresh lemon juice and add the zest.  Fresh juice blows the one from concentrate out of the water and the zest really does add to the lemon flavor of the bars!

Lemon Bars 

This mixture gets poured over the hot baked base and then the pan is popped back into the oven to bake the filling. It takes about half an hour.

At the end of that time the filling should be completely set.  A finger pressed in the center should meet with some resistance and not make a dimple. At that point you know they are perfect.

Lemon Bars 

The most difficult part of making these lush bars is waiting for them to cool enough so that you can cut them into bars to enjoy.  Seriously.  Nothing could be easier.

You do need to leave them set for about an hour prior to cutting them. I know, its hard  . . .  I always want to dig in right away,  but believe me, it is well worth the wait.

Lemon Bars
Its a tough job but someone has to do it!!

I like to dust them with icing sugar prior to serving them.  There is no point in doing that too early because the bars will absorb the sugar.   I always do it just before serving.

Like a girl who is getting dressed up to go to a party, a dusting of icing sugar prettifies these up beautifully.  Its not necessary, but it is nice.  

If I am being really fancy, I will also pop a tiny bit of fresh lemon on top to further decorate them.  But trust me when I say these are delicious even without the icing sugar topping and lemon bits.

These are just full on TASTY TASTY!  A family favorite treat for sure!

Lush Lemon Bars

Lush Lemon Bars

Yield: Makes one 8 or 9 inch square pan
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 48 Mininactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 58 M
Perfect in every way. Lemon bars with a sweet shortbread cookie crust and a lush sweet/tart lemon topping.


For the crust:
  • 1 cup (140g) plain all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (35g) icing sugar, sifted
For the filling:
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 cup (195g) granulated sugar (in the UK use caster sugar)
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Optional but nice:
  • Sifted icing sugar to dust
  • small bits of lemon to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4. Have ready an 8 or a 9 inch baking dish. Note that an 8-inch dish will give you a much thicker filling.
  2. Measure all the ingredients for the crust into a bowl and blend together until evenly blended. It will be crumbly. Press this mixture into the bottom of your baking dish.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. For the filling, beat the remaining ingredients using an electric whisk for 3 minutes on high speed, until light and fluffy. Pour this mixture over the hot crust.
  5. Bake for for 25 to 30 minutes, or until totally set and the top is firm when lightly touched in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least an hour in the pan.
  6. To serve cut into squares and dust with icing sugar. Decorate with bits of fresh lemon if desired. Delicious!
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This is one of my sister's plates that she sells from her Lost Lovelies Shop.  I love the colours in this one. You can find her shop here.  Its filled with lots of lovely collectables.

Lemon Bars

I thought the plate went very well with the squares and also with my tea towel. I never know what colors I am going to use. I just sit down and start to embroider.  This one is one of my favourites, but then again I say that about them all n'est ce pas!!

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  1. You had me at lemon! I adore any dessert with lemon in it and now I'm going off to make these straight away, as I have all the ingredients at home and there's something about that pretty yellow filling and the thought of the lemon flavour that is calling me.

    Will I get a burned mouth, I wonder.... I will let you know - my willpower is not as strong as yours and I've been known to burn my mouth on things like melted cheese because I'm too impatient to wait :)

    1. LOL about the burned mouth. I really hope you enjoy these Marie! When I bake them, I can't leave them alone. You have been warned! xoxo

  2. Since I live alone I wonder are these freezable?

    1. Yes, you can! Lemon bars can be frozen for up to 3-4 months. Cut the cooled bars (without confectioners' sugar topping) into squares, then place onto a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. Individually wrap each bar in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place into a large bag or freezer container to freeze.

  3. This might get made for this weekend, Marie, and if not, very soon. Lemon bars are hands down my favorite dessert. Thanks for adding the freezing instructions.

    1. You are very welcome Jeanie! I hope that you and Rick enjoy them! xoxo

  4. I'm not sure if my other comment went through -- I was having computer issues. But thanks for this -- my fave dessert. Period! And thanks for the freezing instructions, too -- great for if I have to do a bunch.

  5. When you say the filling is to be light and fluffy mine was still runny and grainy but did get lighter in color I’m just wondering if this is correct? Doing my best to make lemon bars and so far all the other recipes I’ve tried haven’t been right and I’m hoping this is the one! My great grandmother was from England and she made the best lemon bars but she didn’t have a recipe and didn’t measure anything because she made them so frequently and I’ve been missing her and the feeling eating the bars something terribly! Any assistance would be appreciated!

    1. The filling should be much lighter in color and thicker than it was when you started. Perhaps fluffy isn't the right word, but it shouldn't be totally runny either. I am not sure how to explain it better. I wish I could help more! Let me know how you get on! xo

    2. I had the same problem! Not sure why, I whisked for even longer than suggested.

    3. But how did they bake up? As you can see mine were perfect?


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