Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (2024)

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by Stephanie Manley, Last Updated 17 Comments

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I love this easy lemon bars recipe. It is perfect for the spring and summer. Lemon bars are light and refreshing, this recipe has always gotten rave reviews from my friends and family.

Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (1)

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Classic Lemon Bars Dessert

If you have never tried lemon bars before they are a creamy, sweet, and tart dessert. I love them. While they may seem mysterious they are not difficult to make at all. In fact, I think that if people knew how easy they were to make, you would see many more served up everywhere.

Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (2)


Lemon bars have a few simple ingredients in them. Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Butter – unsalted butter is preferred
  • Granulated sugar
  • All-purposeflour
  • Eggs – I use extra-large eggs
  • Lemon juice – freshly squeezed is best
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Powderedsugar
Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (3)

Ingredient Notes

I personally will juice my lemons just before making this, but if you only have bottled lemon juice on hand, it will work ok. Bottled lemon juice isn’t my preference, but when I have been juicing lemons and come up short I have found the bottled juice to be helpful.

I urge you to use butter for this lemon bar recipe, I think butter really helps to bring a rich depth of flavor that you will fall in love with. You may also want to garnish your lemon bars with a heavy sprinkling of powdered sugar. The powdered sugar makes them look pretty.

How to Make Lemon Bars

  1. Cream together butter, granulated sugar, and flour.
    Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (4)
  2. Press the mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
    Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (5)
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  4. Place eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, flour, vanilla, and salt in a bowl.
    Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (6)
  5. Mix until thoroughly combined.
    Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (7)
  6. Pour filling over the cooked shortbread cookie crust.
    Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (8)
  7. Bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Cool to room temperature then cut into squares.
  9. Dust the top with powdered sugar. Garnish with fresh lemon slices if desired.
    Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (9)

How to Store Lemon Bars

I like to keep my lemon bars in the refrigerator after they have cooled. They are a little delicate. So be sure to keep yours in the refrigerator if you happen to have any leftover after your initial serving.

I find that they will stay fresh in for about 3 to 4 days, but you know, they will never last that long.

How to Easily Juice Lemons

I really like to use an Amco Enameled Aluminum Lemon SqueezerEasy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (10) to juice lemons. The squeezer gets more juice out of a lemon than other methods.

I think this tool is easier to use than the old-style juices where you push down the fruit over a knob. I have been using one of these juicers for a long time.

Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (11)

Love lemons? Try these recipes

  • Lemon Italian Cream Cake
  • Passion Fruit Lemonade Tea Starbucks
  • Lemonade Milkshake
  • Red Robin Purple Lemonade
  • Old Fashioned Homemade Lemonade
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
  • Lemon Lush Dessert
  • Chicken Limone
  • Oven Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast
  • Fried Lemon Pepper Wings Recipe

Tasty Dessert Bars

  • Fudge Jumble Bars
  • Easy Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Take a look at more easy dessert bars and family dessertshere on CopyKat!

Easy Lemon Bars

These classic lemon bars with shortbread crust are an easy dessert to make for any occasion. They are tart, sweet, creamy, and delish.

5 from 2 votes

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Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Lemon Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour 5 minutes minutes

Servings: 24

Calories: 255kcal


  • 8 ounces butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered’ sugar, for dusting


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Cream together 1/2 pound of butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 2 cups of flour.

  • When the mixture is crumbly press into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Press dough out evenly so that it has a uniform height throughout the pan. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, and remove from the oven.

  • In a bowl, mix together 6 eggs, 3 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup flour, vanilla, and salt.

  • Mix until the filling is uniform in texture, and pour over the cooked shortbread cookie crust.

  • Bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes. Allow this to cool to room temperature before dusting with powdered sugar.

  • Be sure to refrigerate these cookies when not being served.



How do you know when lemon bars are done?

They are done when the filling is no longer loose or jiggly. The lemon layer will start to brown on the edges when it is done cooking.


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.9mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Hedda

    On the recipe for 24 serving it say under ingredients one cup all purpose flour but by the instructions it says two cups of flour. How much do I use, one or two cups of flour?


    • Stephanie Manley

      The recipe takes a total of 3 cups of flour, I listed the flour on the recipe twice, once as 2 cups for the crust, and then the 1 cup for the filling.


  2. Maria V

    The lemon bars look yummy! I was wondering what will be the proportions for a smaller batch? Can you give your advice?


    • Stephanie Manley

      You could try half this and baking in an 8 x 8 pan, but the baking time would change.


  3. Nina Christian

    Can I use almond flour in place of white flour?


    • Stephanie Manley

      I haven’t tried this before.


  4. Sandy

    Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (13)
    We loved these!


    • Stephanie

      Was your crust mushy after baking?


  5. Carrie

    Hello Stephanie! Do you use fresh lemon juice or bottled?


    • Stephanie

      I have used both. Fresh tastes better.


  6. jaye

    I’m looking for something different to bring to a work pot luck these look great, but with such a large crowd I think I’ll save this one for home. What type of flour did you use all-purpose or self-rising? and is that the flour you use for the majority of your recipes?


  7. Haneen Izhaq

    How jiggly should the center be when it should be pulled out of the oven (if at all)? Thank you!


    • Stephanie Manley

      It should give a little, but it shouldn’t be like runny like uncooked caked batter.


  8. Mona Greer

    These sound delicious…but my question is, why use unsalted butter,yet you use some salt too ?? I would have liked to see what they look like when you cut them and afterwards too….. also the music needs to be turned down a notch:)


    • stephaniemanley

      Why unsalted butter? Different brands of butter have different levels of salt. If I use unsalted, I know how much to add for consistent results.

      Why didn’t I cut them, I didn’t actively cut them on camera, but the photo you see is from the batch that I made.

      I here you about the music, thanks 😉


  9. Melanie Bauer

    These sound absolutely delicious!


    • Stephanie Manley

      Thank you very much.


Leave a Reply

Easy Lemon Bars - CopyKat Recipes (2024)


Can I use foil instead of parchment paper for lemon bars? ›

Line your 9x13 pan with foil or parchment paper. I've used both. Foil tends to stick to the bottom of the lemon bars a bit, so if I had to choose one, I'd say use parchment paper.

Why do my lemon bars have a crust on top? ›

The crust forms when the sugar in the lemon bar mixture caramelizes and browns during baking, creating a slightly firm, crispy layer over the bars. The top crust isn't always visible, as we all enjoy sprinkling powdered sugar on top of the bars before serving.

What is lemon bar crust made of? ›

The crust in most lemon bars usually starts with creaming or rubbing softened butter with a mixture of flour and sugar. Instead of softened butter, I prefer to use melted butter.

What can I use instead of parchment paper for lemon bars? ›

From Foil to Silicone: The Best Alternatives to Parchment Paper
  1. Aluminium foil. Aluminium foil is probably your best option for replacing parchment paper. ...
  2. Greased pan. ...
  3. Cooking spray. ...
  4. Silicone baking pad/mat. ...
  5. Wax paper. ...
  6. Non-stick sheet pans.
May 10, 2021

Why can't i use a metal pan for lemon bars? ›

Acidic ingredients can cause the metallic pots or spoons to leach into the ingredients. Whenever making things with lemon, vinegar or other highly acidic ingredients it is best to stick with heatproof glass bowls and pans, stainless steel pots and silicone utensils.

How many bars in a 9x13 pan? ›

You will get6 bars with a little extra space for a sample for the cook, to taste for quality control. If 9" seem too long , cut in half and you will have a nice dozen. I spray my pans with oil so the food slips out easily, and I start by cutting the food in half; cut the halves in half; and so on.

How do you cut lemon bars without sticking? ›

I have found that a hot, wet, very sharp knife helps quite a bit. Also, make sure the bars are completely chilled before cutting.

Do you refrigerate lemon bars? ›

Lemon bars should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated in order to prevent bacterial growth or foodborne illness. The filling in lemon bars is made with eggs and can become a breeding ground for bacteria if it's kept in the danger zone (between 41 and 153 degrees F).

What is the brown dot on my lemon? ›

Brown spots vary in appearance and can indicate a range of problems. Uniform spots with clear boundaries often point to fungal issues, while irregular blotches could signal bacterial infections. Spots with a yellow halo might be citrus canker, and those that look like tiny scabs could be a sign of lemon scab disease.

Why do my lemon bars smell eggy? ›

If your lemon bars have a strong eggy taste/smell, it's likely due to the lemon curd being overbaked. Be sure to take the lemon bars out of the oven as soon as they're done.

Why did my lemon bars turn out upside down? ›

Set a timer for 5 minutes after pulling the crust from the oven to ensure it doesn't cool too much—if the shortbread is allowed to reach room temperature, the uncooked lemon curd will slip off the top and pool in the bottom of the dish, turning your lemon bars upside down (sounds bananas until it happens to you!).

How do you keep powdered sugar from melting on lemon bars? ›

To Keep Powdered Sugar from Melting, Add Cornstarch

So go slow and be conservative with the amount of cornstarch you add. A good rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of cornstarch for every 1/4 cup of powdered sugar used.

What is it called when you shred lemon peel? ›

First, a little citrus anatomy lesson:

You can zest it (yes, zest is both the name for the lemon rind and the action you take to remove it) to capture lemon's essential fragrance and flavor in order to enhance almost anything you're cooking. Beneath the lop layer is the white, spongy pith, which is unpleasantly bitter.

What can I do with too many lemons? ›

And with these 25 recipes, you'll never waste any lemony goodness again.
  1. Lemon Scones. Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm. ...
  2. Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts. ...
  3. Lemon Macarons. ...
  4. Angel Hair Pasta with Salmon and Creamy Lemon Sauce. ...
  5. Lemon Za'atar Potatoes. ...
  6. Blended Whole Lemon Lemonade. ...
  7. Lemon Yogurt Cake. ...
  8. Classic Lemon Bars.
Jan 7, 2024

What happens if you use foil instead of parchment paper? ›

Aluminum Foil with Oil: Good for Baking, Especially at Hotter Temperatures. Aluminum foil with oil is another good substitute for parchment paper. As with a greased baking sheet, the fat may subtly impact the way your food cooks. Additionally, there is a chance that some of the food may stick to the pan.

Is it okay to use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper? ›

While aluminum foil can replace parchment in many cooking and baking applications and is certainly more optimal for storage, there are a few things that only parchment can do—and you can't beat its non-stickability.

Is it safe to use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper? ›

The bottom line is that you can use foil for many of the same things you would use parchment paper for, but it doesn't mean you always should. If parchment paper is for hot use, and waxed paper is for cold use, think of foil more as your alternative for insulating use.

What happens if you use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper for baking? ›

For roasting or baking savory foods, aluminum foil is a good alternative that allows for a simple clean-up. However, foil on its own is not nonstick, so a coating of nonstick spray or oil might be necessary to prevent your food from sticking.

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