These Classic Lemon Bars are simply the best! Traditional lemon bars with a buttery shortbread crust and a secret ingredient that makes them extra lemony. They have a luscious lemon curd filling and are a must try! Make them gluten free or traditional, your choice.
Looking for more lemon dessert recipes? You might also like Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins or Sara's Lemon Bread (not gluten free).
Why I love Classic lemon bars
• It's my grandmother's recipe! Originally called Lemon Love Notes. The name is so appropriate as she was a piano teacher and organist at her church.
• If you're a fan of lemon desserts, you will definitely love these bars. They're the BEST lemon bars I've ever had and also kid approved!
• With just a few simple ingredients, you can make this easy lemon bars recipe.
• Made with fresh lemons, these delicious lemon squares are perfect for bake sales!
What you need
• Flour - You can use either gluten free flour or regular flour for this recipe. I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour.
• Butter - Softened unsalted butter works great. If you want to make this recipe without dairy, you can use dairy free buttery spread.
• Lemon Oil - I used pure lemon oil (food grade) to make it extra lemony. You can find it on Amazon. If you can't find it, you can substitute the zest of one lemon.
• Lemon Juice - It's best to use fresh lemon juice but if you don't have it, you can use bottled lemon juice instead.
• Eggs - Large eggs work best.
How to make classic Lemon Bars
1) The crust comes together very easily by mixing up some room temperature butter or margarine, flour, powdered sugar and salt. A wooden spoon works well.
2) Heat oven to 350°. Press into a greased 9-inch square aluminum pan, then bake or 15 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, make the creamy lemon filling (eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon oil or zest, flour and baking powder) in a large bowl and pour over warm crust. Bake for 25 more minutes.
4) Let cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares with a sharp knife and serve cooled bars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to use the lemon oil? No, you don't have to use lemon oil. You can substitute the lemon zest of one lemon instead, if you prefer.
Can I make this recipe dairy free? Yes, just use dairy free buttery spread instead of butter.
• Air Bubbles - Don't worry if you see white air bubbles on top of the lemon bars. It's just air from mixing the eggs, that's rising to the top. Simply dust with powdered sugar.
• Make Ahead - 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.
• Freezing Tips - You can freeze your homemade lemon bars once they've been cooled and refrigerated overnight. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a sealed airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Then thaw and enjoy later.
Love this recipe? If you try it, be sure to tag me on @Instagram! You can also find me on Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook.
Classic Lemon Bars
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened Or dairy free margarine such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread
- 1 ¼ cup flour - gluten free or regular I used Bob's Red Mill all-purpose gluten free flour
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup lemon juice about 3 lemons
- ¾ teaspoon lemon oil Make sure it's food grade lemon oil or substitute the zest of one lemon
- ⅔ cup flour - gluten free or regular I used gluten free
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Stir together crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Press into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Place all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium low until completely combined. Pour into cooled crust. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar using a mesh strainer. Cut into squares and serve. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can you use any other oil to substitute for lemon oil in the recipe?
Lise Ode says
If you don't have the lemon oil, you can substitute 1-2 teaspoons of fresh lemon zest.
charlene Xerri Hili says
Hi, I have ready made lemon curd (my aunt made it herself) I have about 500ml of it, how much do I need to use to make this recipe please?
Kathy Boyd says
I'm going to try orange curd and see how that turns out. They both found the Lush will let you know
Okay so I tasted the lemons i used for the recipe and it turns out they were old:( so I'm thinking the recipe is fine if your lemons are fresh
Thanks for the lemon oil tip, the only lemon oil I'm familiar with is a lemon oil furniture polish!! I'm also looking forward to using the lemon oil in my most favorite pound cake recipe~ should I sub some of the butter with an equal amount of the oil or just use the oil as an extra ingredient? Thanx for sharing!!
Mom Loves Baking says
Just add as an extra ingredient and make sure you buy food quality lemon oil. Enjoy!
I AM SO GLAD YOU PUT THE RECIPE FOR LEMON CURD WITH THIS RECIPE. I HAVE NEVER MADE IT AND LOVE IT VERY MUCH! I ALWAYS BOUGHT IT!! I WILL BE MAKING THIS TO EAT AS A PUDDING ALSO! MAYBE WITH A LITTLE COOL WHIP ON IT! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
Mom Loves Baking says
So glad you like the recipe! Enjoy!
Wow!! Can't wait to try this!! Its great idea!! Wow very amazing Article.
Mom Loves Baking says