lemon bars with lemon slices

Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

These are the most luscious, lemony lemon bars with shortbread crust. Melt in your mouth, buttery shortbread is layered with a fresh, full-bodied lemon custard baked on top.

  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Yield: 20 1x



For the Crust:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 TB regular butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch pieces

For the Filling:

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 TB all purpose flour
  • Juice of 3 large lemons (2/3 cup)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp table salt


  1. For the Crust:  Preheat oven to 350F with oven rack at middle position.  Press a long piece of foil into 13×9 baking dish, so that the ends hang over the dish (helps with removal of bars.)  Grease the foil and set aside.
  2. Blend flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor until fully combined, about 15 seconds. Add butter and process to blend, about 10 seconds. Then pulse until the mixture looks pale yellow, resembling a coarse meal. (If you’re doing it by hand, mix the dry ingredients together in large bowl.
  3. Freeze butter and grate it on large holes of a grater, into the bowl and toss pieces to coat with flour mixture.  Rub the bits with fingers until flour turns pale yellow and resembles coarse meal.)  Sprinkle crust mixture into prepared pan and firmly press into an even layer over bottom of pan.  Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes.  Then bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. For the Filling:  Whisk eggs, sugar, and flour in large bowl.  Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and salt to incorporate.
  5. Reduce oven temp to 325F. Stir filling mixture well, and pour into warm crust.  Bake until filling feels firm upon a very light touch, 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack and cool completely to room temp.
  6. Tightly cover and  chill in fridge before serving. Once chilled, remove entire dessert with foil sling, and cut into squares. Dust with powdered sugar upon serving, if desired. Bars will keep well in fridge, covered.


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  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 184
  • Sugar: 14.2 g
  • Sodium: 60.4 mg
  • Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.4 g
  • Protein: 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 37.3 mg
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: lemon bars, lemon bars recipe