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Lemon Bars

Deliciously sweet lemon bars with a shortbread crust and a rich lemon filling. Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa's famous recipe.

This past weekend, 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 fabulous!

This is another one of those recipes for when you aren’t worrying about counting calories!  The bottom of the lemon bars have a lightly, sweetened buttery shortbread crust.  Then a rich and lemony-sweet filling is poured over the crust and baked until the filling is set.  Once the bars have cooled, the top is sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar for one last bit of sweetness – plus the powdered sugar looks very pretty on top!

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


Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars - 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


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
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


To make the crust

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Chill the dough.
  4. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. 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

  1. While the crust is baking, make the filling as follows:
  2. Mix together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Mix until well combined.
  3. Pour the filling mixture over the baked crust and then bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the filling is set.
  4. Let cool completely. (We found it easiest to cut these bars if they were refrigerated for a few hours before cutting.)
  5. Cut into 12 squares – then cut each square into triangles (either 24 or 48 smaller triangles).
  6. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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    Leave a Comment


  1. These look scrumptious!!!

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. These were SO fabulous! I blogged about them here:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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

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

  8. These look so good…. Makes me hungry