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Lemon Bars

Prep Time:

10 minutes

Bake Time:

1 hour

Total Time:

4 hours


12-16 servings




For the shortbread crust:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the lemon filling:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)

  • 1 tablespoons lemon zest (optional)

  • ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract (optional)


For the topping:

  • confectioners' sugar (optional)

Tools Needed

Baking Dish

Mesh Strainer


Citrus Juicer

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Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.

  2. Make the crust: Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir to completely combine. The dough will be thick. Press firmly into prepared pan, making sure the layer of crust is nice and even. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

  3. Remove from the oven. Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the warm crust (not all the way through the crust). Set aside.

  4. Make the filling: Sift the sugar and flour together in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, then the lemon juice until completely combined. Stir in optional filling ingredients.

  5. Pour filling over warm crust. Bake the bars for 26-36 minutes or until the center is relatively set and no longer jiggles. (Give the pan a light tap with an oven mitt to test.) Remove bars from the oven and cool completely at room temperature, about 2 hours. Then, stick in the refrigerator for 1-2 more hours until chilled.

  6. Once chilled, lift the parchment paper out of the pan using the overhang on the sides. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares before serving. For neat squares, wipe the knife clean between each cut. Cover and store leftover lemon bars in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.



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