The best Classic Lemon Bars have a tangy lemon filling that sits on a homemade shortbread crust. We love these homemade lemon bars during the spring and summer season, especially when topped with powdered sugar.
If you’re a lemon lover, these sweet and tangy Classic Lemon Bars are a must! Is there anything better than creamy lemon filling on a sweet homemade shortbread crust?!
This time in my life also involved knee highs, saddle shoes, and watching Robin Hood on repeat for days straight (and by repeat I mean once the VHS was over, I would have to rewind it first before starting it over again; kids have it so easy these days).
I was a very independent 6 year old.
Because my family didn’t have cake often, it was a big day in the household when it was someone’s birthday. Like all good younger siblings do, I
pestered politely asked both my brother and sister, whose birthdays were before mine, to pick a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting–with neapolitan ice cream on top, of course.
Needless to say, they ignored my obnoxious pleas and chose their own way.
In the long run, it’s a great thing neither of them listened to me. It was one of those building experiences, ya know? Real character building.
Because other desserts exist. Other really delicious, really fantastic desserts exist. #lifelessonsfromlittlemichelle
Which brings me to these fabulous, sweet-yet-slightly-tangy-just-as-lemon-should-be lemon bars.
These are a cinch to make and absolutely the embodiment of everything spring and summer in both color and taste.
The Best Classic Lemon Bars Ingredients:
- fresh lemon and zest 🍋
- eggs (the eggs are essential to making a creamy custard lemon filling)
- baking powder, flour and sugar
Shortbread Crust Ingredients for Lemon Bars:
- powdered sugar
When it comes to these lemon bars with a shortbread crust, it’s important to remember that the shortbread crust calls for powdered sugar and the lemon custard filling calls for granulated sugar.
Powdered sugar is very, very fine, which is important for a shortbread crust, otherwise you will have a very grainy shortbread crust if you use granulated sugar. The granulated sugar will not dissolve in the crust, but it will dissolve in the lemon bar filling.
Easy Lemon Bars with a Shortbread Crust Tips & Tricks:
All right, so how do you make these easy lemon bars?! If you’ve never made homemade lemon bars, then this recipe is for you! It’s nearly impossible to mess up…unless you over bake them, like I may or may not have done verrry recently. 😂
- Let’s start with the shortbread crust. Are you a fan? If you’re not, you could definitely make these lemon bars with a graham cracker crust. However, if you’re a shortbread lover like me (and cannot get enough desserts with shortbread crusts in your dessert life), you’re really going to like these lemon bars.
- The crust is just butter, flour, and powdered sugar (with a dash of salt to offset the sweetness of shortbread). It’s really important to use powdered sugar here, as granulated sugar can give the shortbread crust a different texture.
- The filling is just a combination of eggs, lemons, flour, and sugar. Now, in this recipe, I use a bit of baking powder, as it gives the filling a bit of a “rise.” A lot of lemon bar recipes do not use baking powder (like my Coconut Lemon Bars), but for this recipe, I really liked the texture the baking powder gave these lemon bars.
Classic Lemon Bar Recipe Steps:
- Flour + powdered sugar + salt + melted butter is mixed together and pressed into the bottom of a pan. It’s baked in the oven for a little bit before the lemon bar filling is put on top to ensure the crust is thoroughly baked.
- Eggs + sugar + lemon juice + lemon zest + flour + baking powder are whisked together. Once everything is combined together, it’s poured on top of the slightly cooled shortbread crust, then baked until the lemon filling is set.
- The lemon bars do need to cool before you sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
Hello, sunshine. (Aka, the BEST lemon bars recipe of all time! I might be biased…)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup flour
- Powdered sugar
- Lemon slices
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 baking pan.
- Mix melted butter, flour, powdered sugar, and salt together. Once it comes together, press in an even layer into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, baking powder, and flour together. Once combined, pour over crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until filling has set. Allow to cool.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top each bar with a lemon slice if desired.
- Best when eaten at room temperature or when cold.
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