These bright and tart lemon bars have a luscious lemon layer and a buttery shortbread crust! Dust these easy lemon squares with powdered sugar for a pretty treat that will brighten any day!
The Best Lemon Bars
Guess what? We’ve made it to FRIDAY. Is it just me, or has it been the longest week ever? I thought Monday was Friday, so you can probably take a guess at how slowly this week has inched along. But today is a good day. Today is the day we share these bright and tangy lemon bars. These luscious lemon squares are complete with a tender and buttery shortbread curst and a perfectly tart lemon layer. Dust them with some powdered sugar and eat the whole pan yourself.
Ingredients for Lemon Bars
Before I’d made lemon bars I thought they were a mystical, tricky dessert. That luscious lemony layer and flaky shortbread crust…surely it required the skill of making a soufflé or at the very least dividing egg yolks. But no! Lemon bars are actually one of the easiest, prettiest spring treats to make at home. AND they only call for these 5 ingredients:
Butter: You can’t have a shortbread crust without butter, baby! Use high quality buttery for the ultimate, tender shortbread.
Sugar: Granulated sugar will sweeten the lemon layer and the shortbread crust! You’ll also want some powdered sugar to dust the tops of these luscious lemon squares!
Flour: You’ll need flour in the shortbread crust and a few tablespoons to firm up the lemon layer! Make sure you sift your flour to prevent any clumps!
Lemons: No surprises here! You’ll need the juice and the zest to make these perfectly tart lemon bars!
Eggs: Make sure your eggs at room temperature and well beaten to make sure you don’t have any weird unbeaten egg whites or yolk clumps ending up in your finished product.
How to make the best tart lemon bars
Lemon squares are super easy to make, but these three easy tips will ensure you get a buttery, melt in your mouth shortbread crust and a just firm enough, perfectly tart, perfectly sweet lemon layer.
Blind bake the shortbread crust: The last thing you want is a soggy shortbread crust. Blind bake the curst for 20 minutes before pouring the lemon layer over it to ensure that it gets a head start to providing the perfect firm, yet tender base.
Sift the flour and sugar: The lemon layer is thickened with a little bit of flour and sweetened with sugar, but you want it to be suppppper super smooth. Sift the flour and sugar together before adding all the other ingredients to prevent and clumps.
Bake at a low temperature: Baking the lemon bars at a low temperature ensure an even, light bake and prevents any burning or browning of your squares, keeping them bright and sunshiney!
How do you zest a lemon?
No, it is NOT a stupid question!
It’s actual super super simple. Just wash your fruit and whip out your zester. If you don’t have a zester I would highly recommend investing in one, but you can also use a microplane. In desperate times I have even used a fine cheese grater and it does the trick. Hold the zester at an angle and pull your lemon across until you reach the white of the rind. Rotate your lemon, repeating until you’ve gone all the way around your fruit. All of the zest will gather on the back side, where you can just scrape it into your batter!
We hope these lemon bars bring a little sunshine to your Frida. Happy weekend baking, lovies.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper on all sides. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, flour, and salt until the mixture comes together. The mixture will be crumbly.
Press the shortbread in an even layer into the prepared pan. Use a fork to make a few holes in the crust. Blind bake the crust for 20 minutes.
While the crust bakes, make the lemon layer. Sift the sugar and flour together in a large bowl to get rid of any clumps. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add to the flour and sugar mixture and whisk until just combined. The mixture will be thin.
Take the crust out of the oven and pour the lemon layer over the blind baked shortbread crust.
Lower the oven temperature to 325°F and bake for 20-25 more minutes or until the center no longer jiggles. Take the bars out of the oven and allow to cool completely.
Once the bars are completely cool, transfer to the fridge to set for 2 hours (or overnight) until ready to serve! Slice the lemon bars and serve cold with a dusting of powdered sugar!