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Classic lemon bars

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Everyone’s favorite and super easy classic lemon bars recipe, with soft and tangy lemon curd on top and buttery homemade shortbread crust on the bottom. With only 7 ingredients, this decadent dessert may become your next family beloved recipe.

a stack of lemon bars

Who is up for some yummy soft and zesty lemon bars? This is a traditional and full proof recipe that we tried many times in the family. Even through the bars are so buttery and sweet, you still feel like you are getting some nutrition and vitamins because of the rich lemony flavor.

How many lemons are here?

I used 2 whole lemons and juiced them. You can use a juicer or just squeeze 4 halves in your hands, catching little seeds. You don’t want seeds to get into your curd. Zesting a lemon is also a great idea. Zest adds tons of additional flavor to bars.

step by step photo of dough preparation

How to make perfect lemon bars

Here is an easy step by step guide of how to make the best and softest bars. Its easy and you probably already have all the ingredients at your home!

  1. First thing you want to do is to create a shortbread crust. Soft the butter and mix it with flour and sugar using hand or stand mixer. I pulled my butter from the fridge too late, so it was solid cold. Quick tip: Place the package in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and butter will get soft but not melted.
  2. Press crust into a 9×13 inch pan. It should press really easy and it will be just enough dough. Bake and pull out right before it start to brown.
  3. Meanwhile you want to make a lemon curd. Juice your delicious lemons, i used ones form our friends garden. If using small lemons, juice 3 or 4. Otherwise 2 big lemons will work. Whisk them with eggs and sugar, add flour. Add zest if using and mix it in. I would not use too much zest so curd doesn’t get bitter.
  4. Now is the fin part! Part curd over the crust! It might be a bit splashy but that’s ok, it will settle once bake. Put in the oven and bake until perfection! And most importantly- don’t over bake. Bars should be a bit shaky and soft to touch.

So once lemon bars are cooked, let them cook completely. When slicing, try to cut wih your spatula so make bars the same size (its when you cut right in the pan). If you used parchment paper and were able to pull them out, then you can totally slice them with the knife.

a piece of soft bar with a slice of lemon on top

Decoration tips

Would you like to decorate your lemon bars? I bet you do! The easiest way is probably just to use a few lemon slices and place them on top of each bar. A quarter of a slice also looks great!

Whipped cream and zest create a pretty fancy look. Just put a dollop of cream on top of each bar and sprinkle with some zest. Easy peasy and pretty!

a stack of lemon bars
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Easy classic lemon bars

Everyone's favorite and super easy classic lemon bars recipe, with soft and tangy lemon curd on top and buttery homemade shortbread crust on the bottom. With only 7 ingredients, this decadent dessert may become your next family beloved recipe.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time36 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy lemon bars
Servings: 16 bars
Calories: 270kcal


For lemon curd

  • 1 cup butter soft
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups flour

For shortbread crust

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • juice of 2 big lemons


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inches pan with parchment paper if using.
  • Using a hand or stand mixer mix all the ingredients for crust, until it crumby. Press into the pan and bake for 17 minutes. Pull it out of the oven.
  • Meanwhile make a curd. Using the same mixer whisk eggs with sugar, lemon juice and flour. Add zest if using. Dont whisk to much, just to combine. Pour over the crust and bake for about 18-20 minutes. Make sure that the top is still soft when you pull it out of the oven. It will set later.


To soft the butter quick, just place it in the microwave for 10 or 15 seconds. It will get soft but not melted.
Use only fresh lemons for the juice. It makes a big difference.
If using a 9×9 pan, just half all the recipes and use the same oven and time instructions.
To help eggs mix easier use them at the room temperature,


Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 414IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators.

Tried this recipe?Follow me at @Myberrymaple and tag #berrymaple!

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