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wider shot of lemon bars stacked on a plate with a bite taken out of one lemon bar

My Favorite Classic Lemon Bars Recipe

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 9-12 squares 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking


My very favorite lemon bar recipe with a gently spiced shortbread crust, cream lemon curd filling, and a generous dusting of powdered sugar.



For the Crust:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 (127 grams) cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

For the Topping:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Powdered sugar for topping


  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper (so that it over hangs slightly from the pan) and grease the parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour, salt, and coriander. Beat on low speed until dough is incorporated. Dough may come together, but if it remains shaggy, that’s fine too.
  3. Dump the crust into the prepared pan and use your fingertips to press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes until just browned around the edges.
  4. You can make the filling while the crust is baking! In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and lemon zest until well combined and slightly thick. Add the flour, cornstarch lemon juice, and salt and whisk until blended.
  5. Pour the filling over the still warm baked crust. Return to the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and no longer wavy-jiggling in the center.
  6. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Placing them in the refrigerator will help the bars cool faster and set more firmly. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Slice lemon bars into nine squares. Use the over hanging parchment paper to lift the squares out. Dust generously with powdered sugar before serving.
  7. To store the lemon bars, place them in an airtight container separated by wax paper layers.

Keywords: lemon bars, lemon, shortbread, easy recipe, lemon dessert