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Deliciously sweet Lemon Bars with a shortbread crust and a rich lemon filling. Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa’s famous recipe.

Lemon Bars

A few weekends ago, we offered to bring a dessert to a church event, and these delicious Lemon Bars were a big hit. Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Parties! cookbook, these lemon bars were a best-seller for years at Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa specialty food store, and I can totally see why – they are truly fabulous!


Lemon Bars

A good Lemon Bars recipe is something that I believe everyone should have in their go-to recipe collection, and this particular recipe should be a strong contender for your own recipe box.

Lemon Bars

How do you make Lemon Bars?

You may be surprised at how easy these Lemon Bars are to bake! You’ll start by making a lightly-sweetened, buttery shortbread crust that is baked until firm.

Lemon Bars

Then, you’ll pour a rich and lemony-sweet filling over the crust, and bake again until the filling is set. Once the bars have cooled, the top is sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar for one additional bit of sweetness – plus the powdered sugar looks very pretty on top!


Lemon Bars

Cut into squares or triangles, then add a little more confectioner’s sugar before serving.

Lemon Bars

If you are a lemon dessert lover like we are – these rich and intensely lemon bars are a must-try dessert, and they certainly won’t disappoint!

You may enjoy these other Lemon recipes:

This recipe originally appeared on A Family Feast in March 2013. We’ve updated the recipe and photos.

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Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 55 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24 generous-sized triangles, or 48 smaller triangles
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


For the Crust

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling

6 extra large eggs, at room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup all-purpose flour

Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting


To make the crust

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture until just mixed. The mixture will resemble large, soft crumbs.

Pour the crumbs of dough into a 13x9x2-inch baking pan (glass works best for us) and press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan, making the dough as smooth as possible and building up a ½ inch edge on all sides.

Chill the dough.

While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Once the oven has preheated, bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is very lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool. Keep the oven on.

To make the filling

While the crust is baking, make the filling as follows:

Mix together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Mix until well combined.

Pour the filling mixture over the baked crust and then bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the filling is set.

Let cool completely. (We found it easiest to cut these bars if they were refrigerated for a few hours before cutting.)

Cut into 12 squares – then cut each square into triangles (either 24 or 48 smaller triangles).

Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

Keywords: Lemon Bars recipe


Lemon Bars

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  • Donna wrote:

    How many lemons do you need to make one cup of lemon juice?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Donna – It really depends on the size and quality/freshness of your lemons…maybe 4-6?

  • bett ballard wrote:

    All your recipes look so wonderful; it’s hard to choose which one to try first. The good thing is, I keep stock of all the ingredients. I’m going to make the chocolate Toll House Chocolate chip pie, the Chocolate chip cookies and the roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon. Then, the Lemon bars for my grands who love lemon anything to take to their house. Thank you for sharing all your good things to eat…

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Betty! We’re glad you found us and I hope you love the recipes!!

  • Theresa wrote:

    These look so good…. Makes me hungry

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Theresa!

  • Julie Henriksen wrote:

    These look just wonderfull! You have a lot of great recipes and images on your blog, Martha! Very inspirational!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Julie!

  • Pooja wrote:

    looks very pretty….m gonna try this!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Pooja!

  • Allison wrote:

    These were SO fabulous! I blogged about them here:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe! (Anything from the Barefoot Contessa HAS to be good!)

  • Elizabeth @ SugarHero! wrote:

    These look ah-mazing! I am such a sucker for lemon bars that are a little soft (none of that hard rubbery stuff for me, please) and these look PERFECT.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Elizabeth!

  • cindy wrote:

    this looks amazing, I will have to try it and would love to feature this on my blog!:-)

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Cindy!

  • Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust wrote:

    Oh man, that crust! And that filling! Beautiful bars!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Dorothy!

  • Sarah @ SimplyScrumptiousBySarah wrote:

    These look scrumptious!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Sarah!

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