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A person holding a lemon bar with a bit taken out of the corner of it.

Classic Lemon Bars

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy lemon bars recipe, how to make lemon bars, Lemon
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 58 minutes
Cooling time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 13 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 588kcal
These lemon bars are always a crowd favorite whenever we serve them. They can be made several days in advance. Allow the bars to sit out on the counter for about an hour to make cutting them easier.
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Equipment

  • 9"x13" baking pan, we prefer metal, but glass will work, too
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST

  • cooking spray
  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter 2 sticks, room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • cups all-purpose flour

FOR THE FILLING

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs room temp
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest zest from 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed, about 4 lemons
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar for dusting

Instructions

MAKE THE CRUST

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a bowl with a hand mixer, add the softened butter with the sugar. Blend (aka: cream) on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour and continue to mix until crumbly and moist in texture.
  • Line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper, leaving enough on the ends to grab a hold of after baking. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  • One handful at a time, transfer the dough to the parchment-paper-lined pan. Use your fingers and hand to press the dough into the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn brownish. Let cool for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

MAKE THE FILLING

  • Whisk together the sugar, flour, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Place in the oven and bake for 28 minutes, or until the mixture has set and is firm.
  • Let cool for about 20 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  • Remove and allow to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Carefully and gently use the edges of the parchment paper to remove the lemon bars from the pan. Either gently remove the parchment paper from the crust, or cut the bars into squares, and then remove from the paper.
  • Sprinkle the powdered sugar over the tops of the bars.

Video

Notes

The dough will not form into a ball when you are mixing the creamed butter with the flour.  Use your hands to press the dough into the pan lined with parchment paper that has been coated with cooking spray.
The dough can be made up to 24 hours in advance.  Cover with plastic wrap.
The filling should not be jiggly after baking.  If it's still jiggly, let it bake a little longer.
Lemon bars should be kept refrigerated, but are fine to sit out at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours.   
They also freeze beautifully.  Let thaw completely before serving.  We don't recommend freezing them for more than 1 month. 

Nutrition

Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 723IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg