The Best Lemon Bars

This lemon bar recipe is a keeper.  It’s been in our family for 50 years!

Do you follow me on Instagram?  I love sharing lots of pretty and delicious there! lemon barsYou may have noticed a bit of a lemon theme these week.  I hope you non lemon lovers will bear with me.

This is a recipe that I have had for a really long time. The recipe originally came from a childhood friend’s mother in Wisconsin.  This recipe has been in my family for about 50 years.  That is no indication of how old I am!

lemon bars

It is the lemon bar my mother always made and it is the one I always make.    I am pretty picky about my lemon bars.  A lemon bar needs to have the right texture.  Not too gooey, not too dry.  It also has to have the right amount of lemon.  Not too sweet and not to tart.  For me this lemon bar is perfect.  Have you ever bitten into a lemon bar, full of anticipation, only to be sorely disappointed in the lack of lovely lemon flavor!??  So disappointing but I promise these won’t disappoint!

lemon bars

The only down side to this recipe is it only makes an 8 x 8 pan full!  The process is pretty easy though.  It starts with a shortbread/cookie like crust that is baked.  Then you add on a mixture of eggs, sugar and lemon and bake some more.  The final touch is a drizzle of a lemon glaze. Use fresh lemons for the glaze and use one of these to squeeze your lemons.  They are the best!

lemon bar collage

Lemon bars are one of my favorites.  They are perfect for any occasion and I especially love them at Easter time.

lemon barsBake up a batch, take a bite and enjoy!

lemon bars

Do you have my favorite tool to use with lemons?  A must have in the kitchen.  A lemon squeezer!

For other Lovely Lemon recipes try these:

Lemon Angel PieLemon Cheesecake BarsLemon Cream Cake



The Best Lemon Bars
  • ½ C butter
  • 1 C flour
  • ¼ C powdered sugar
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • ¾ C powdered sugar
  • lemon juice to make soft glaze
  1. Mix together butter, flour and powdered sugar and press into 8 x 8 pan.
  2. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
  3. Mix together sugar, flour and baking powder
  4. Add in eggs, lemon juice and lemon rind
  5. Pour this mixture over baked crust and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees or until edges are golden brown and mixture is set.
  6. Mix together powdered sugar with enough lemon juice to make glaze soft enough to drizzle over lemon bars while they are still warm.
  7. Cool and cut.

These truly are the best lemon bars - no one has disagreed with me yet!

Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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  1. Karen says

    I have the same recipe and have been making them nearly as long. I couldn’t agree more… they are the best!

  2. says

    I loved your Tip Me Tuesday link this week. {thanks girl!} Would you like Tip Junkie to feature your blog post to over 200,000 creative women? If you upload this blog post into your Tip Junkie craft room using at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL then I can easily feature it in my RSS feed, home page, and all my social networks instantly. {squealing with delight} ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}

  3. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe at our Cook it! Craft it! Share it! link party. I hope you can join us this Wednesday at 8:30 PM EST -Doree

  4. Tiffany says

    These look so good and in so sad it’s 12 at night so I can’t make them right now!! I’ll have to try them in the morning!

  5. says

    Same recipe I’ve been making from my grandmother’s collection for 30 years, no telling how long she had it, but it’s the best! So easy and my favorite for summer! I end up making them so often during the summer months that I memorize the recipe each year lol. Now I’m craving lemon bars!

  6. Melissa says

    For the icing.. About how much lemon juice? Just trying to figure out how many lemons to get. These look amazing. Def making them this week!

  7. Elise Darby says

    These are fan, I’ve just made them, but they are sloppy? They taste amazing abut they won’t hold their shape. Should I put them in the fridge? x

  8. Nicole says

    I made these last night and they came out perfect! I’ve been searching for a recipe that’s just right, not too sweet/lemony. One change I made to the recipe was to skip the drizzle on top and just dust with powdered sugar. It’s a little more forgiving when you cut them, hides the rough edges. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Nicole, I love that you loved them too. They really are the best. Good idea with just the powdered sugar although I do like the little extra zing the glaze gives it.

  9. lorrie says

    Lemon bars have to be one of my favorites, hands down. I love all things citrus, with Lemon bars being on the top of my list. Along with Coconut Lime white chocolate Macaroons (I made some last week, then sent them all to work with my husband, because I couldn’t stop eating them) My grandmother used to make a Lemon pie that tasted like Lemon bars, and I remember part of the process involved melting those hard lemon candies that were shaped like lemons, and fresh lemon juice and zest. I have looked all over for that recipe and never did find it in her many cookbooks. So now I make Lemon bars when I think about her Lemon’s as close as I can get to it, flavor wise.

  10. says

    This is my first time making lemon bars. Does the butter need to be cold, or softened? I softened mine to room temp and it became a sticky mess as I was trying to press it into the pan. It’s in the oven now. Hopefully it turns out ok.

    • says

      Jessica, You don’t want the butter softened (I will always note that in the recipe if it needs to be softened) The butter should be fairly firm (not rock hard) because you want it to form little pebbles when you mix it in with the flour, etc.

      • Christine says

        I’m just reading through the comments because I had a question about the butter too. So in mixing the butter with the flour etc, are you essentially cutting it in like you would for a pie crust? I assume it can’t be right out the fridge as you say not rock hard but not softened either….so somewhere in between!? lol

        I’m eager to try these tomorrow for after dinner, thanks for sharing!

        • says

          Christine, Yes, I cut it in just like with a pastry crust and the butter is firm, out of the fridge. Just cut it into small pieces when you add it in and it will blend in witha pastry cutter, with just a little muscle!

  11. Amy says

    These look amazing! I would love to take a batch to Easter dinner, but I will not have time the day of to make them. Do you suppose they would hold up being made the day before?

  12. Tiffany says

    Hi Leigh Anne, Is there a substitute for the egg that would still let the delicious flavor come through? Thanks!

    • says

      Tiffany, Sorry but I have no idea. I have never worked with egg substitutes before. If you work with them often I would just try what you normally use. Let me know what you end up using.

  13. says

    I would love to use this as part of a roundup I am putting together. I would use a small picture as part of a collage and then a link to this post. Please let me know if this is something you would like me to do. Thanks a million!

  14. Kris says

    OMG! I made these for a family bbq. They went like wildfire. Nothing left but crumbs! I doubled the recipe and put it in a 13×9 dish. Also I added crushed pecans to the crust and lemon zest to the glaze. It added that extra zing of lemon. Amazing, definitely a keeper!

    • says

      Kris, Love hearing this! They truly are the best and I’m glad agree! I bet the addition of the pecans and lemon zest was amazing, will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Andrea says

    I just made these and WOW! They are absolutely delicious! A few years ago I had a lemon bar at a church function and it was so sour and bitter I couldn’t even eat it. I pretty much swore them off after that but after coming across this recipe today on pinterest I decided to give them a try. I am SO glad I did! I dusted mine with powdered sugar but will try the glaze next time.

  16. Caitlin says

    These are really good and pretty easy to make. Only problem I had was destroying one corner piece trying to get them out of the baking dish (grr.. I greased it really well!). I used about 1/2 tsp of lemon extract in the crust layer just to make these extra extra lemony and they turned out FANTASTIC. Thank you!!

  17. says

    I’m baking then right now.. 4th of July treat.. kitchen smell so good.. I doubled the batch.. Can’t wait to taste it! Thanks for the recipe!! 😊

  18. Stephanie says

    Wonderful recipe!

    I have a little vacation rental near our home and I love to leave homemade goods for my guests, there’s nothing that says welcome like a homemade treat.
    This will be one of my regular offerings! Thanks!


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