Six-ingredients are all you need for these easy lemon bars. Bursting with great sweet-tart lemon taste and a buttery shortbread base, they are everything a lemon bar should be. Perfect for every day or a special occasion.
Editors Note: Originally published February 7, 2017. It is being republished to be part of the 2018 Super Bowl Recipe roundup with expanded discussion and updated photos. It is a great recipe for get-togethers and is sure to please.
My wife had a knitting group, and a treat was needed to go with the tea. My wife suggested Lemon bars from a particular cookbook. Unfortunately, it was not there. I searched various cookbooks but nothing worth discussing. So online time.
I started at Cooks Illustrated as usually, but the recipe went on and on and on and on. I got some hints, but I wasn’t jumping through all those hoops.
I finally zeroed in on All Recipes – The Best Lemon Bars. With a 4.5 star rating, simple instructions, and not too many ingredients, it was for me. I read several hundred of the reviews and had my plan with modifications from comment land.
A 4 or 5 depending on if you’re a “lemon bar person” or not. But even the “not” will enjoy this. Better than any lemon bar I have tasted.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes on Easy Lemon Bars
The Baking Dish
The model recipe suggested ungreased, while Cooks Illustrated goes with a two crossed sheets of parchment paper. Other recipes greased the pan and some just the sides. Quite some variation.
I suggest parchment on the bottom and grease sides. You will still need to use a knife around the outside to remove. Do not follow the “ungreased” recommendation.
Lots of recipes add some lemon zest for more taste. That is fine if you want, but I don’t feel it is needed.
This would be an easy recipe to cut in half with a smaller baking dish.
The bars should be refrigerated for storage and should be good for 3-4 days. I’m not convinced that these would freeze well.
You can use fresh lemons. A medium lemon will have 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of juice so for the 2/3 cup of juice, use 4 medium lemons.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 9 by 13 baking dish. Give it a light brush of butter then cover the bottom with parchment paper.
Soften 1 cup (two sticks) of butter in the microwave. Mix the softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. If unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon salt. It will look crumbly.
Press into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until firm and golden.
Whisk together 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/3 cup flour. Add 4 eggs and the juice of 4 medium lemons (or 2/3 cup lemon juice.) Mix well.
Pour the lemon/egg mixture over the baked crust. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar.
Cool in refrigerator before cutting into 2-inch squares.
Do you want more recipes from 101 Cooking for Two? Sign up for the newsletter and get all posts delivered straight to your inbox!
If you enjoyed this recipe, the pleasure of a rating on the recipe card below is requested.
Originally Published February 7, 2017