This old fashioned lemon squares recipe makes a light and creamy cookie topped with a light powdered sugar dust. Full of lemon flavor and a delight for any lemon lover, these are the best lemon bars.
This lemony dessert is a classic favorite and is so easy to make.
Why This Recipe Rocks
These classic lemon bars are a perfect way to celebrate the season. They are great for picnics, barbecues, tea parties and bridal showers. With a nice lemon layer
This lemon bar recipe has a buttery shortbread crust, a lemon custard filling and a lovely dusting of confectioners sugar.
These are easy dessert bars are so simple to make and are sure to be a family favorite.
These are perfect for a light summer dessert.
This lovely dessert can be made with simple ingredients you likely have on hand.
- all purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extrack
- lemon zes
- baking soda
- Lemon Custard Ingredients
- granulated sugar
- all-purpose flour
- freshly lemon juice from 1 ½ lemons (must use fresh lemon juice)
- lemon zest
- confectioner's sugar for topping
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Old-Fashioned Lemon Bars
See the step by step process.
Combine butter and flour and dry ingredients.
Mix on low speed until crust is crumbly.
Push the crust into the bottom of the pan and bake.
In a separate bowl, prepare custard. Pour the lemon custard on the warm crust. Place into oven at 350 f.
Let cool for an hour then transfer to the refrigerator to chil.
Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into squares.
Cup of lemon juice can be prepared ahead or time.
If you want to make the bars ahead of time, you can refrigerate them the day before you serve them. Then dust with powdered sugar when ready to serve.
To minimize air bubbles, tap side of pan once custard has been poured, prior to baking.
- Margarine - is not recommended as the buttery crust is important in this recipe
- Passion Fruit - You can make a passion fruit curd in the place of a lemon curd.
- Gluten Free - You can substitute gluten-free flour and gluten-free confectioners' sugar for the regular flour and powdered sugar, respectively.
- large bowl
- glass square baking pan
- parchment paper
- wire rack
- lemon zester
- sifter (optional)
Cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container.
Be sure to use a glass baking dish and not a metal pan to make these bars. The acid from the lemon can react with uncoated aluminum and cause it to taste bitter.
Use a sifter to sift the flour and sugar for best results.
What kind of lemons should I use?
You can use any kinds of lemons available at your grocery store or farmers market.
Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons?
You can but it won't taste the same, I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice.
How can I make lemon bars more kid-friendly?
You can also add a little bit of vanilla extract to the crust and reduce the amount of sugar a bit.
Old Fashioned Lemon Squares Recipe
Flaky Crust Ingredients
- 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- ¾ cup softened butter 1 ½ sticks of butter
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon zest from one lemon
Lemon Custard Ingredients
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups white sugar
- 6 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 ½ lemons
- ½ teaspoon zest from one lemon - teaspoon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9x13 pan with butter and set aside.
- Add the flaky crust ingredients into the bowl and mix with a hand mixer on low speed for 2 minutes until the consistency is crumbly.
- Add the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Use your fingers to press firmly to create a compacted even layer
- Bake the crust for 22 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack / or towel. (The crust does not need to cool beyond the time it takes to prepare the lemon custard.)
- In a bowl add the lemon custard ingredients. Use a hand mixer on low for 2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and silky. Pour the lemon custard over the crust.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Use a toothpick to make sure the lemon custard comes out clean.
- Place the 9x13 baking dish on a cooling rack for 1 hour until bars are at room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator for 2 hours or until chilled.
- 8.. Cut into 20 bars.
Use a glass or ceramic plan. Do not use metal, as the lemon bars will taste of metallic.
Always use fresh juice over store-bought. You will reap all the benefits of the lemon flavor.
The bars may seem wobbly and not fully set, even though the toothpick comes out clean, but they will continue to bake while cooling.
The chill time is extremely important for the bars to be completely set.
These can be gluten-free by replacing the all-purpose flour with gluten-free all purpose flour.
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