Lemon Bars


A perfect balance of sweet and tart, these lemon bars, prepared in layers, require surprisingly little hands-on work. You’ll mix the buttery, shortbread crust and as that bakes, you’ll whisk together the creamy, citrus filling. When the crust’s baked through, spread the top layer over it, and bake for awhile longer, before letting the whole pan cool in the fridge. One simply but smart shortcut—lining the baking pan with crisscrossed sheets of parchment paper—makes lifting these bars out of the pan, chopping, and storing them a snap. Even better: The individual bars, wrapped or covered, will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Lemon Bars
Photo: Victor Schrager
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
24 bars


  • Crust:

  • nonstick cooking spray

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • Filling:

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • cup granulated sugar

  • cup fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • teaspoon kosher salt

  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with the cooking spray. Line the pan with 2 crisscrossed pieces of parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides; spray the parchment with the cooking spray.

  2. Make the crust: In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, granulated sugar, and salt; pulse until fine crumbs form. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until pale golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, flour, cream, and salt.

  4. When the crust is baked, rewhisk the lemon mixture and pour onto the hot crust. Bake until just set, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely in the pan, then refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

  5. Holding both sides of the paper overhang, lift the cake out of the pan, transfer to a cutting board, and cut into 24 rectangles (6 rows by 4 rows). Store the bars covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Dust with the confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

117 Calories
5g Fat
16g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 117
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 40mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 2g
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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