This easy Lemon Bars recipe is loaded with fresh lemon flavor and they have the best shortbread cookie crust . It’s the perfect lemon dessert for BBQs and summer!

Looking for more lemon dessert ideas? Try these Tripe Lemon Baby Cakes With Lemon Pudding Cream or these Mini Lemon Custard Cups!

A Lemon Bar on a blue plate with more lemon bars stacked behind it

Lemon Bars Are One Of My Favorite Desserts To Make

If I had to choose a handful of recipes that my family, friends, and co-workers associate me with, these snappy Lemon Bars with the perfect shortbread cookie crust would be a top contender. They have been requested over and over again. And they’ve also been a huge bargaining tool for me. It seems like all I have to do is mention “lemon bars”, and people will magically do as I wish. (I’m quite serious about that!)

A Lemon Bar square on a blue plate surrounded by lemons

This Lemon Bar Recipe Is Extra Tangy

I’ve gone through a fair amount of recipes for lemon bars in my life. It seemed like they were all just a bit off in some category – some were just plain eggy and didn’t taste like lemon at all, while others were all crust or a sloppy mess when you tried to cut them. I was left disappointed so many times.

Until I came across Paula Deen’s recipe…

Paula got it right. Except that I might like my lemon bars just a tad more tangy tart than the average, so I added a bit more lemon zest. But by the raves I hear when one takes a bite, I’ve come to realize that serious lemon bar lovers crave that extra liveliness just as much as I do.

Top view of lemon bars on a red and blue plate

If you haven’t yet found that perfect lemon bar recipe you’ve been searching for, and if tangy tart makes your mouth water with delight, I promise you…this will end your longing.

A Lemon Bar on a blue plate sprinkled with powdered sugar

A Lemon Bar on a blue plate with a stack of more lemon bars behind it

Lemon Bars

Yield: 24 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This easy Lemon Bars recipe is loaded with fresh lemon flavor and has the best shortbread cookie crust. These sunshiny bars are the perfect lemon dessert for BBQs and summer!


For the crust:

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

For the lemon filling:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 4 T. grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray a 9″ x 13″ glass or ceramic baking pan with cooking spray. Or line the pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the long sides - and then use the sides to lift the finished bars out for easier cutting. Set aside.
  2. For the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the butter, flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Mix with a large spoon or your fingers until well combined. Shape dough into a ball and then pat evenly into your prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until set and just beginning to turn color. Remove from oven.
  3. For the lemon filling: While the crust is baking, prepare the lemon filling. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour mixture over the warm baked crust and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center is set and no longer jiggly. The top should be lightly golden brown. Although you don’t want to over-bake, you don’t want to under-bake either, as the lemon filling will not set up properly. My oven bakes a bit on the light side, and I always bake this for 35 minutes. If you find that the bars didn't fully set, don’t give up on this recipe. Give it another try and increase the baking time. It will work! Remove pan from oven and let cool completely at room temperature. I usually let cool on the counter for about 2 hours and then put the pan in the refrigerator to chill for 1-2 hours.
  4. To serve: I recommend serving these chilled or even just slightly chilled. Once cool, dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares. If lining the pan with parchment paper, cut around the edges of the pan to loosen, and then pull the bars out of the pan using the overhang on the sides. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares. For the neatest squares, wipe the knife clean between each cut.


I prefer to store these bars in the refrigerator, pull them out about 10 minutes before serving, and enjoy them with a slight chill. But they also keep very well on the kitchen counter for a few days. And they freeze well!

Adapted from Paula Deen & Friends – Living It Up, Southern Style

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 260Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles!