Brighten up any summer celebration with this easy lemon bars recipe. Made using fresh lemon juice and zest, these lemon bars are best served cold with a sprinkling of powdered sugar!
When life gives you lemons, make lemon bars! Sweet, tangy and oh so satisfying, lemon bars are the perfect summer dessert for BBQs, picnics, family reunions or whatever you’re celebrating.
This easy summer dessert recipe starts with a buttery shortbread crust, then a creamy lemon layer is added. A sprinkling of powdered sugar is all you need to finish off these classic summer treats!
How to Store Lemon Bars
If you’re eating your lemon bars within a day or so of baking them, you can keep them at room temperature. Just place them in an airtight container. If you need to stack them, separate layers with a sheet of parchment or waxed paper.
For longer storage, it’s best to keep your lemon bars refrigerated.
Do lemon bars need to be refrigerated?
Yes, it’s best to store lemon bars in the refrigerator. To store them, simply cover them with plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge. Stored this way, your lemon bars should keep for about 1 week.
Can you freeze lemon bars?
Yes, you can freeze lemon bars! Cut the cooled bars (without the powdered sugar topping) into portions, then wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil (you can also freeze the bars without cutting them). Bars can be frozen for up to 3 months.
The day before serving, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
Tips and Tricks for Making Lemon Bars
- Since these bars rely so much on lemons for their flavor, we suggest using fresh lemon juice, if possible. The store-bought bottles are convenient, but you miss out on a lot of natural flavors!
- Air bubbles are completely normal when making lemon bars. These little white bubbles are simply trapped air rising to the surface. If your lemon bars have air bubbles, you can easily cover them with a dusting of powdered sugar.
- Zest first, juice second! For optimal results, use a citrus juicer to squeeze out every last drop!
- Don’t rush the chill time…these bars are much better once they’re fully set.
- To easily remove your bars from the pan, line your baking dish with parchment paper. A little extra paper up the sides of the pan prevents sticking and makes it easier to remove your bars once cooled.
- For super clean cuts, make sure your bars are completely cool before cutting. You can also run the knife under hot water before each cut for picture-perfect lemon bars!
More Lemon Recipes for Summer
Pucker up your baking with a few of our other favorite lemon dessert recipes!
This Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Buttercream is perfect for whenever you need a little taste of summer.
These Lemon Madeleines are buttery and soft, a great pairing to a cup of afternoon tea.
Start your morning off right with these Lemon Basil Donuts, featuring the sweet, citrusy flavor of Meyer lemons.
Bright in color and flavor, these Lemon Raspberry Tarts are a wonderful treat for a summer bridal shower or brunch.
Enjoy the perfect balance of floral lavender and citrusy lemon with these Lemon Lavender Cupcakes.
No matter what you’re celebrating, this Easy Lemon Cake is perfect for any occasion. Top it with blueberries or raspberries for added color and flavor.
Cool down on hot summer days with this simple Lemon Meringue Pie, the perfect dessert for picnics and summer parties.
For a taste of the tropics, look no further than this Lemon Lush recipe. A coconut and macadamia nut crust adds amazing flavor to this treat.
Pistachios and lemon are a perfect match in these delicious Lemon Pistachio Blondies.
Give your sweet lemon tart a crunchy topping with this fun Lemon Meringue Cookie Tart.
A favorite of kids and adults alike, these Lemon Meltaway Cookies taste even better when they’re topped with a lemon sugar glaze.
Light and zesty with the seasonal flavors of blueberries and lemon, these Blueberry Cookies with Lemon-Rosemary Glaze make a lovely addition to a summer brunch or wedding shower.
Easy Homemade Lemon Bars
- 13 in. x 9 in. baking sheet
- Vegetable pan spray
- Mixing bowls
- Cooling rack
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar) plus additional for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup lemon juice (from about 8 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
Make the shortbread crust
- Preheat the oven 350ºF. Prepare 13 in. x 9 in.pan with vegetable pan spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, powdered sugar and salt.
- Add butter to the mixture and stir to form a soft dough. Then press into the bottom of the pan and freeze for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Make lemon layer filling
- While the crust is baking, whisk together granulated sugar and flour in a medium bowl.
- Add eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the mixture over the hot crust and return to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the center is set. Cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack.
Decorate and serve!
- Once your lemon bars have completely cooled, they can be cut into individual portions. Before serving, dust them with additional powdered sugar for the perfect finishing touch!
- To Store: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- To Freeze: Wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months.
Have you tried making this easy lemon bar recipe? If so, we’d love to see how it turned out! Share a picture of your treats on social media and tag us @wiltoncakes.