Perfect Lemon Bars

Tart and tangy Lemon Bars with a buttery shortbread crust are  sure to steal the spotlight as your Easter dessert this year. This super easy dessert is guaranteed to brighten up even the gloomiest spring day. Beside who can think of a better dessert for springtime? I know I can’t! Lemon bars are best eaten the day they are made while the shortbread crust is firm and the lemon filling is tart. You can keep these covered in a refrigerator for a few days but the shortbread crust will soften and the lemon flavor won’t be as tart. But seriously, they aren’t going to last that long anyway! 😉 These refreshingly sweet and tart lemon bars are the perfect dessert for Spring! :)

Perfect Lemon Bars


For the Crust:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold cut into 1-inch pieces
For the Lemon Filling:

4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons finely grated zest, about two large lemons
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, about 3 to 4 large lemons
1/3 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt


Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends and then lay second sheet crosswise over it.. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade. Pulse flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add butter and process 8 to 10 seconds, until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal. Process again for three 1-second bursts. Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and press firmly with fingers into even layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
While the crust is baking, make the filling: in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour. Stir in lemon juice, zest, milk, and salt; set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Stir filling mixture and pour into warm crust. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely. Cut into bars and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Source:, originally from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, May, 1998

16 Responses to “Perfect Lemon Bars”

  1. #
    Shaz (Feedingmykidsbetter) — April 21, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    That looks gorgeous! I love lemon treats!

  2. #
    Linda — April 21, 2011 @ 9:13 am

    Hi Christina:
    Oh, how we love any kind of lemon dessert! Your Lemon Sugar Cookies were out of this world; now I can’t wait to try the bars!

  3. #
    katshealthcorner — April 21, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    LEMON!!! Those are the best! 😀

  4. #
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos — April 21, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    mmmm lemon flavored anything is always yummy. :)

  5. #
    simplynutritiouskate — April 21, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    These bars make me feel like I need to be eating them on a beach somewhere !

  6. #
    The Teenage Taste — April 21, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

    I’m not usually a fan of citrus desserts, but lemon bars are my one exception. These look fabulous! You take amazing pictures!

  7. #
    Cara — April 21, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    Love lemon squares! The crust on those looks perfect!

  8. #
    Caroline — April 21, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    I absolutely love lemon bars, and completely agree with what you said about them not lasting very long!

  9. #
    Jenny — April 21, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    These look so light and delicious 😀

  10. #
    Rach @ This Italian Family — April 21, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    Beautiful :)

  11. #
    freshandfoodie — April 21, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

    These look absolutely perfect! Love how light and flaky the crust looks under the creamy lemon. The perfect spring treat!

  12. #
    happywhennothungry — April 21, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    These lemon bars look beautiful! Love how perfect they are for spring. Yum!

  13. #
    Sara — April 21, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

    Love lemon bars. I can’t wait to try similar bars but with orange, lime, and other fruits.

  14. #
    Jeannie — April 23, 2011 @ 12:54 am

    Hmm….totally agreed with you, it looks so sunny and bright! I love everything lemony:D Happy Easter to you!

  15. #
    Janeth Herrera Ley — November 14, 2011 @ 4:18 am

    i tried them with the green lemon.. TASTYYY!! =D

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