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Nana’s Homemade Lemon Bars

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Bright lemon curd filling over a simple shortbread crust, these lemon bars are sure to please. They are perfect for picnics, potlucks, or parties 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 homemade lemon bars with shortbread crust and gooey lemon topping out of pan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is lemon bar crust made of?

Lemon bar crust is a lot like a shortbread cookie, it is made from butter, flour and sugar.

Do lemon bars need to be refrigerated?

Yes. You should store your lemon bars in the refrigerator. Cover them with plastic wrap and they will keep for up to a week.

If you are a sucker for lemon desserts, you may also like:

Lemon gooey butter cookies are so soft and delicious. They are loaded with cream cheese and start with a cake mix, so they are super easy to make! 

Lemon chess bars are another great option. They have a cakey crust and gooey buttery cream cheese filling that is popping with lemon flavor.

If you like chocolate Texas sheet cake, you are going to love lemon texas sheet cake! It is made in a saucepan just like the original, but it is bright and lemony! 

No bake lemon blueberry cheesecake jars are soft and delicious. They have been a hit every time I made them. 

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

piece of powder sugar coated lemon bars on plate with fork

Nana’s Lemon Bars

Carlee
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!
4.89 from 9 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Servings
Calories 208 kcal

Ingredients
 

Crust

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Filling

  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 4 large eggs
  • cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
Makes: 9 x 13inch rectangle

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cream together butter and sugar.
    1 cup butter, ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Add flour and mix until combined. Press into an ungreased 9×13" pan.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes, or until set.
  • Meanwhile, juice the lemons.
    2 lemons
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and the sugar.
    2 cups all purpose flour, 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • Add the eggs and lemon juice, whisking to combine.
    4 large eggs
  • Pour lemon filling over baked shortbread crust.
  • Bake 20 more minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into bars.

Notes

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.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 208kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 73mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!

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Recipe Rating




Camilla

Monday 15th of May 2023

Ratio of topping to crust is off. I will double the lemon topping part of recipe. Adjust the sugar down a little also.

Carlee

Monday 15th of May 2023

I am curious to hear how that works for you. You'll have to let me know how it goes.

anne@simpleandsavory

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!

Carlee

Wednesday 8th of May 2019

You should!

Jolene

Saturday 6th of April 2019

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

Carlee

Monday 8th of April 2019

We are too, especially during the warmer weather!

Erin

Thursday 4th of April 2019

Lemon bars are so dang good and these look perfect

Carlee

Monday 8th of April 2019

Aren't they though? Thank you!

Unknown

Thursday 4th of April 2019

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

Carlee

Monday 8th of April 2019

I hope you enjoy them!