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Nana’s Lemon Bars

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Bright lemon filling over a simple shortbread crust, these lemon bars are sure to please. They are perfect for summer BBQs, potlucks or anytime you just need something sweet!

piece of powder sugar coated lemon bars on plate with fork

      Making lemon bars from scratch is easier than you may think. With all of the fresh citrus out right now, I had to make a batch. It brings the bright taste of sweet lemon together with a buttery shortbread crust.

It makes my mouth watering just thinking about it. Take a bite out of summer in the most delicious way!

      My mother-in-law makes the most delicious lemon bars. So of course I had to ask her for the recipe. Now we all get to benefit!

       I have always enjoyed lemon bars. If they were available at a gathering, you better bet I was going to have one on my plate.

squeezing fresh lemons to make lemon bar filling.

      But despite my adoration for them, I don’t think I had ever made them before.  Nana on the other hand, had gone through a number of recipes to find her favorite.

       She was generous enough to share the fruits of her labors with us several times along the way. So I was really excited to give her recipe a try for myself.

pouring lemon filling over shortbread crust for lemon bars.

      She said the key is to juice fresh lemons yourself, don’t take the shortcut and use the bottled lemon juice.  Besides, juicing a lemon is really quick and easy so it’s worth the tiny bit of effort.

      I had hit the jackpot with fresh citrus recently, so I decided to whip these up with some meyer lemons.  That made for some super delicious treats.

      My husband’s eyes got really big when he saw the lemon bars.  I didn’t know how much he likes them, but now I do!

       He couldn’t wait to get his hands on one.  So I gave him one to snack on while I took the pictures.

sifting powdered sugar over 9x13 pan filled with homemade lemon bars.

      I loaded the rest on a plate to take to family dinner at my parents’ house.  There he ate a couple of more before we even had dinner.

      He admitted to eating at least 3 more after dinner.  One of my brothers was trying to keep pace with him.

    So, needless to say I didn’t have a whole lot of bars left on that plate when we came home.  That is a sign of a successful dessert!

     While lemon bars are good all year round, they still make me think of summer. So having these makes me so ready for all of the BBQs to come.

lifting piece of lemon bars out of pan.

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Yield: 24 Servings

Nana's Lemon Bars

lifting piece of lemon bars out of pan.

Bright lemon filling over a simple shortbread crust, these lemon bars are sure to please. They are perfect for summer BBQs, potlucks or anytime you just need something sweet!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes



  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups flour


  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. Add flour and mix until combined. Press into an ungreased 9x13" pan.
  3. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until set.
  4. Meanwhile, juice the lemons.
  5. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and the sugar. Add the eggs and lemon juice, whisking to combine.
  6. Pour lemon filling over baked shortbread crust.
  7. Bake 20 more minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into bars.


Lemon bars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

For longer storage, freeze individual bars then place in a freezer save container for up to 3 months.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 2g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

close up of lemon bar with shortbread crust and powdered sugar dusted on top.

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Tuesday 9th of April 2019

Lemon bars remind me of summer parties when I was a kid, they were always on the dessert table. Seeing this recipe makes me want to make them this summer!


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

You should!


Saturday 6th of April 2019

Yes, those would disappear quickly here too, we are huge lemon lovers!


Monday 8th of April 2019

We are too, especially during the warmer weather!


Thursday 4th of April 2019

Lemon bars are so dang good and these look perfect


Monday 8th of April 2019

Aren't they though? Thank you!


Thursday 4th of April 2019

I LOVE lemon bars! I can't wait to try these ones.


Monday 8th of April 2019

I hope you enjoy them!

Cheese Curd In Paradise

Thursday 4th of April 2019

These look perfect! I can't wait to give this recipe a try!


Monday 8th of April 2019

Thank you!

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