Lemon Bars

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“Knowest thou the land where the lemon trees bloom, where gold orange glows in the deep thicket’s gloom, where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows, and the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose?” ~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

These are the best lemon bars I’ve ever made. They’re adapted from Ina Garten’s cook book “Barefoot Contessa Parties!” The crust is a buttery shortbread and the filing is the lemony-est lemon. Enjoy!

For the crust:

  • 1/2 pound butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 6 jumbo eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • garnish with lavender blossoms and edible flowers if you wish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, mix the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of a table top mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Pour the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.


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  14 comments for “Lemon Bars

  1. Sandy
    April 23, 2010 at 9:33 am

    You know every baked item I make comes out of a box. I am like the commerical where I bake items out of the box and can throw a little flour or confectioners’ sugar on my apron and face, mess-up the hair and look like I have been in that kitchen all day just baking away for the family…

    I am also known to find someone else to make my baked goods…such as the bakery, bake sales, friends or other family members….

    But just because I like you, I just might try this since I don’t have to roll out the dough, you see I buy the pie crust in the store already made or buy the complete pie in the freezer, too…

    My hubby might be happy, happy since he saw the bars and wanted the recipe so maybe he could help make them????

    Your friend,

  2. April 23, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I’m not a fan of rolling out pie crust either. I have a wonderful ‘no-fail’ pie crust recipe that I never use.

    The lemon bar recipe is pretty easy, and they’re SO good. I think making lemon bars with the hubby sounds like a date night 🙂 Have fun!

    Your friend,

    • darcy solon
      March 24, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Making these on Saturday for Easter dinner. Started the 3-day Coconut Cake, too. Thanks for the recipes. And, just for the record…it’s filling, not filing. Sorry! I am a grammar/spelling Nazi! Love your recipes.

      • Melissa
        March 25, 2016 at 9:25 am

        Hi Darcy 🙂

        I’m so happy you like the recipes! Enjoy, and Happy Easter.

        PS… thanks for the correction, and for telling me. I’m obsessive about spelling and grammar too. It’s hard to catch my own mistakes sometimes. Best ~M

  3. Drea
    April 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    They are DELICIOUS!!!

  4. April 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I’m glad you think so!

  5. Gale reyes
    February 19, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Hi! You”re such a blessing to me and you inspire me a lot in my baking….i pray God continue to bless you and your family even more so you can continue to share a lot of your delicious recipes to all of us

    • Melissa
      February 21, 2014 at 6:47 am

      What a sweet compliment! 🙂 thanks so much, Gale! I so appreciate you and all of my loyal readers. XOXO ~M

  6. Stacy
    June 1, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    These are the BEST lemon bars that I’ve ever made. I’ve tried other recipes and none of them were this good!

    • Melissa
      June 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      YAY! thanks, Stacy! I’m so happy you like them! XO ~M

  7. Dianne
    January 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    The recipe says to “dust with confectioners sugar”. The picture of the lemon squares looks like there is some type of crumbly coating on the top. Is this just my eyes playing tricks on me?.

  8. sara
    July 21, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    i have the exact same question as dianne. On the picture it looks like there is crumble topping and not cond=fectionner sugar. If that’s true, how would you do that?

    • Melissa
      July 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      It’s culinary lavender 🙂

  9. Zeina
    December 14, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Thank you for the recipe, can we make it 2-3 days ahead of time ?

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