Go Back
+ servings

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Print

The BEST Lemon Bars

The ultimate lemon bar with tons of tangy lemon flavor and a simple shortbread crust. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon bars
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 1 (9 x 13 inch) pan
Calories 221kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar, separated
  • 2 cups + 3 tablespoons white flour, separated*
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt, separated
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ~4-5 small lemons
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract, optional
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Line a GLASS or CERAMIC 9 x 13 pan (metal pans tend to make the bars taste metallic) with parchment and lightly spray just the bottom with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, beat together the softened butter, 1/2 cup white sugar, 2 cups of flour, almond extract, vanilla extract, and 3/4 teaspoon salt until well combined.
  • Press down evenly on the bottom of the pan and up the sides 1/2 inch and then place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown at the edges.
  • Meanwhile, place your lemons in the microwave for 15 seconds. Remove, and knead against the counter with your hand. (These two steps help to get your lemons super juicy.)
  • Very finely zest a lemon to get 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Be careful to avoid the white pith of the lemons as that will make your bars bitter. Juice the lemons until you have 2/3rds cup of lemon juice. Pulse the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar with the 2 teaspoons lemon zest in a food processor or blender -- just a few times to break down the zest and get it incorporated with the sugar.
  • Juice the lemons. Remove 3 tablespoons lemon juice and whisk it in a small separate bowl with the flour until smooth (this will make sure you don't have flour lumps in the mixture!). In another large bowl, lightly beat the 4 large eggs together. Add in the lemon juice along with the lemon juice + flour slurry. Add the sugar and zest mixture, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, lemon extract, and heavy whipping cream. Whisk until well combined. 
  • Pour evenly over the HOT crust through a fine mesh sieve (right out of the oven) and bake for another 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool and then chill in the fridge until the lemon layer is firm.
  • In my opinion these are best made the night before, stored in the fridge overnight, and enjoyed the next day!
  • Before enjoying, sprinkle the top of the bars with powdered sugar (through a fine mesh sieve). Slice and enjoy!

Video

Notes

*Make sure to spoon the flour into your measuring cup instead of pushing a measuring cup into a bag of flour. By spooning the flour in and then leveling your measurement you're getting the correct amount of flour. Pushing a measuring cup into flour is going to pack in way too much flour.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal