Classic Lemon Bars, Like Sunshine to Your Tastebuds
Our classic lemon bars recipe features a tangy lemon filling, nestled atop a delicious shortbread crust. And while we consider them a delight during the spring and summer, they also seem like true comfort in the fall and winter months. Serve them for an everyday treat. Or add them to your next gathering. They dress up quite nicely!
Does any food fascinate a true lemon lover like a sweet and tangy lemon bar? Just the thought of the sweet shortbread crust hosting a topping of creamy lemon filling brings that craving. If you like lemon, try these lemon bars.
Born and raised in the northern climate of upstate New York, I didn’t know the delights of lemon bars. Sure we had lemonade and the occasional lemon cookie. Lemon meringue pie sometimes appeared in our home, too, thanks to my Mom who was an expert baker.
Even in college, again in upstate NY, I don’t recall trying lemon bars. No, not until my husband and I moved to Florida with our first children. Then, amidst the major citrus growers, I sampled a lemon bar.
Was that actual sunshine on my tastebuds? It might have been. The mix of tangy and sweet, the cookie with the creamy lemon. Should I admit that I actually ate two bars that first time? Honestly, I just could not believe the flavors that popped from that little treat.
I needed to learn to bake these tantalizing little treasures. After all, finding a suitable baker each time I chose to consume them might not be easy. And I did find a recipe. Actually, I found several. From these, I tweaked to create what I consider the absolute best classic lemon bars!
And, they go together quickly. In fact, I consider them quite easy to make. Try them and I think you will find the delicious taste and beautiful color say SUNSHINE to you, too!
Ready to make the Classic Lemon Bars recipe?
Classic Lemon Bars
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1⅛ cup flour all-purpose
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup flour
- powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan.
Make the cookie
- Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl.
- Add the melted butter and mix until it forms a ball.
- Put into the baking pan and pat down to an even layer.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Make the filling
- While the cookie bakes, beat the eggs, then beat in the sugar.
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and baking powder. Mix to combine.
- Mix in the flour until completely combined.
- Pour over the pre-baked crust.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, until the filling is set.
- Allow to cool. Then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Serve cool or chilled.
Time to Jazz the lemon bars a little more?
These bars shine as they stand. They stand brilliantly. But for an extra special touch, consider adding a bit of fresh fruit to the top.
Another option that shows beautifully involves adding the fruit before baking. When the filling is mixed, just before pouring into the crust, carefully stir in a few blueberries, raspberries, or even diced lemon. Some add pineapple tidbits for a slightly different flavor pop. And they keep the sunshine look.
Whichever you choose, we think you will find these bars will create happiness to your family and friends.
Tips & Tricks to use when making our classic lemon bars recipe
Even if you have never made lemon bars, you will find this recipe easy to make. However, I do have some tips to help and a bit of caution.
First, note the different types of sugar the recipe calls for. While you certainly could use granulated sugar in the shortbread crust, it creates a more grainy texture. Because powdered sugar is very fine, it makes the delicious and tender shortbread consistency that makes shortbread nearly melt in your mouth. Granulated sugar will not dissolve in the same way in the crust.
be very careful not to overtake. The filling gels to create a less creamy, not very tasty concoction.
Looking for an even simpler recipe? This one comes together quite easily, but you can skip the shortbread crust using one of two options.
- Store-bought shortbread cookies cannot stand on their own to homemade. But, if you choose, use them as your crust.
- Or, just a graham cracker crust. In fact, some people prefer the graham cracker flavor with the lemon filling. The choice is yours.
You may make these without the baking powder. However, we find that it helps the filling rise a bit more, giving a lighter texture.
Hello, sunshine. Meet flavor!
FAQ relating to lemons and our classic lemon bars recipe
Do lemons have any real health benefits?
Yes, they do! Consider these facts:
- Lemons are a good source of Vitamin C which helps support your heart and cardio health. Vitamin C also helps increase iron absorption in your gut.
- They contain soluble pectin fiber, helping you feel full longer, helping with weight control. Pectin also helps your overall digestive health!
- Citric acid from lemons and other fruit aid in preventing kidney stones. Research indicates citrus fruit, including lemons, may help prevent cancer. Studies on the topic continue.
Are lemons sustainable?
They certainly are! One lemon tree produces about 600 pounds of fruit a year. And, unlike some fruit, lemon trees produce year-round.
What is lemon zest?
Lemon zest is the grated rinds of the lemon fruit. These offer intense flavors that enhance foods, especially used in baking.
What part of the tree is used for lemon tea?
While you certainly may add a small amount of lemon juice to your hot water for a delicious tea, true lemon tea is brewed from the leaves of the lemon tree.