Zesty Lemon Bars

Both sweet and tart, lemon bars are as at home at a ladies’ luncheon as they are at a picnic. They’re like the little black dress of Southern sweets. This recipe will keep you stocked up all summer long. 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Zesty Lemon Bars
Makes about 24
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3½ cups (700 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 large eggs (400 grams), room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (6 grams) lemon zest
  • 1 cup (240 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Garnish: lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 13x9-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups (250 grams) flour and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Gather dough into a ball, and flatten into a disk. Transfer to prepared pan, pressing into bottom.
  4. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool in pan on a wire rack.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, lemon zest and juice, and remaining 3 cups (600 grams) granulated sugar. Add remaining 1 cup (125 grams) flour, whisking to combine. Pour filling onto prepared crust.
  6. Bake until set, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut into bars, and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Garnish with zest, if desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.



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  1. Have others made these Lemon bars? I thought there was way too much lemon juice, it took forever to cook.
    I would cut back the juice to 3/4 cup or less, almost an hour. They tasted good, tho and I will try them again

    • Me too! It takes longer to bake than 30 minutes at 350F. Mine are still in the oven and I’m going on 35 minutes but will stay at it!

  2. These are fantastic! Mine came out a big gooey and sticky on the top layer – definitely messy fingers eating these – but the flavor is amazing. I love lemon desserts but don’t like the eggy flavor that curd can sometimes have. These are bursting with lemon and buttery cookies; no egginess.

  3. Best lemon bars that I’ve ever made/had and my neighbors agree. Followed the recipe exactly except for the cooking time. I used a gray metal pan and baked for 40 minutes. I will make a double batch next time because the neighbors that I shared with want more bars and the recipe!


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