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This is one of the easiest lemon bar recipes you’ll find! With only 5 main ingredients, you’ll soon have zesty, fresh lemon bars that will become a staple recipe in your home.
I’m drooling even writing about these lemon bars.
The topping is a perfect balance of sweet and sour while maintaining an ever-so-soft texture.
This lemon perfection lays on top of a soft sugary-buttery-cookie-like base that serves as its delectable foundation.
Simply put: You’re gonna need to be making these.
What Makes This Lemon Bar Recipe so Easy?
Believe it or not, this recipe only requires 5 main ingredients. That’s it! Let’s talk about those:
Ingredients in the Crust
- All-Purpose Flour
- Salted Butter
Ingredients in the Lemon Topping
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice
So simple right!?
How to Make Lemon Bars: Step-by-Step
Make the Crust
Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt.
Add the cut-up butter to the bowl and use a pastry cutter to cut it all together until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, use your hands.
Press the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes.
Zest and Juice the Lemon
This is where the fun tools start to come out to play.
I love any excuse to use my microplane zester. It makes the zest so soft and fluffy if that’s even possible. You’ll work through all 3 lemons and get the zest from all of them.
After that, you’ll squeeze the juice out of those 3 lemons. Perks for zero waste, right!?
Make the Lemon Topping
Now for the main event!
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. Set aside.
- In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl combine the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk together.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Whisk until fully incorporated.
Pour filling over the crust and bake for another 20 minutes or until the lemon topping is solidified.
Now, don’t be like me and slice before you cool. Because if you are like me, you’ll get lemon bars with rougher edges.
Alas, rough edge or not, they taste delicious.
But be sure to let them chill in the fridge for a few hours, k?
What if I got little air bubbles at the top?
Fear not, this is quite normal. It’s actually air from the eggs rising to the surface. Sometimes they show up and sometimes they don’t. I’m sure someone smarter could tell me why but my solution is covering it up with powdered sugar.
Can I use bottled lemon juice?
Yes but no. I mean you can. But you shouldn’t.
If you want the full lemon experience, you need real lemons. Plus you need the lemon zest to give you intense lemon flavor without making it too sour. Opt for the real deal, my friend.
More Lemony Recipes You Might Like
Can I Freeze Lemon Bars?
Yes, lemon bars freeze well. Simply place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
To prepare, simply let thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
Did you make this? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram at @thrivinghome so we can see your creations and cheer you on!
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 large eggs
- Zest of 3 lemons (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
- Juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
- Powdered sugar, for sprinkling on top
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- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with butter.
- Make Crust: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt for the crust. Add the cut-up butter to the bowl and use a pastry cutter to cut it all together until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. (If you don’t have a pastry cutter, use your hands.)
- Bake Crust: Press the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Make Filling: While the crust bakes, whisk together the sugar and flour for the filling in a small bowl. In a separate mixing bowl (we recommend using the same one you used for the crust to save on dishes!), whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Bake with Filling: Pour filling over the crust and bake for another 20 minutes or until the lemon topping is solidified.
- Cool: Allow to cool 10-15 minutes and then refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Serve: Sift powdered sugar over the top before cutting into squares.
- Want your bars to be a bit thicker? Use an 8×8 pan. Cooking time will be a bit longer.