Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust Recipe

These homemade lemon bars feature a delightfully tangy lemon curd filling atop a buttery shortbread crust. The perfect balance of sweet and sour, these bars are a classic treat for any season, especially ideal for picnics, bake sales, or as a refreshing dessert at spring brunches.


Shortbread Crust:

  • Unsalted Butter, melted: 1 cup (16 Tbsp; 226g)
  • Granulated Sugar: 1/2 cup (100g)
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: 2 teaspoons
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • All-Purpose Flour: 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons (265g)

Lemon Filling:

  • Granulated Sugar: 2 cups (400g)
  • All-Purpose Flour: 6 Tablespoons (46g)
  • Large Eggs: 6
  • Lemon Juice: 1 cup (240ml), freshly squeezed (about 4 lemons)
  • Optional: Confectioners’ Sugar, for dusting


Prepare the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9×13-inch glass baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Stir in the flour until fully combined and the dough is thick.
  4. Press the dough firmly into the prepared pan, ensuring an even layer. Bake for 20-22 minutes until lightly browned.
  5. Poke holes in the warm crust with a fork (not all the way through). This helps the filling adhere better.

Make the Filling:

  1. Sift the sugar and flour together in a large bowl to prevent lumps.
  2. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice, until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour the filling over the warm crust.

Bake the Lemon Bars:

  1. Continue baking for 22-26 minutes, or until the center is set and no longer jiggles.
  2. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature.
  3. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until chilled. This makes them easier to cut and enhances their flavor.

Finish and Serve:

  1. Lift the lemon bars out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang.
  2. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if using, and cut into squares.
  3. Wipe the knife clean between each cut for neat squares.


  • Ensure the crust is evenly pressed into the pan for a consistent baking result.
  • Cooling at room temperature before refrigeration helps prevent the top from cracking.
  • Cutting the bars while cold ensures clean, professional-looking slices.


Q: Can I use bottled lemon juice? A: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor, but you can use high-quality bottled juice in a pinch.

Q: How do I make sure the filling sets properly? A: Avoid overbaking. The filling should not jiggle in the center when it’s done. Let it set in the fridge as instructed to achieve the perfect consistency.

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

48 minutes

Total Time

58 minutes + cooling and chilling time


24 squares










These lemon bars with shortbread crust offer a refreshing burst of lemon paired with the richness of a buttery shortbread base. They are perfect for sharing and sure to be a hit at any event. Enjoy the burst of citrus and the compliments that come with every tangy, sweet bite!

Leave a Comment