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Super Easy Lemon Bars. Using only 5 basic ingredients!

Super Easy Lemon Bars. New and improved, with a deeper lemon layer! With only 5 simple ingredients and an incredibly easy recipe. Bake these luscious lemon bars and anyone who tastes them will  just rave about them!

Lemon bars on a white platter with tea service in the background

Super Easy Lemon Bars

Great lemon bars are an absolute baking classic. Over the last 10 years this recipe has been one of the most used and raved about cookie recipes on this blog.

Since we have over 200 Cookie recipes, on site, that is a very substantial endorsement indeed.

Overhead photo of lemon bars being cut on a wooden board

These bars are very easy to cut too.

Easy is the operative word in this recipe.  They start with simple 3 ingredient crispy shortbread bottom, which couldn’t be easier to put together nd then=n press into the bottom of a baking pan.

The simple whisked-together lemon custard top is also oh so easy. 

Close up photo of a single cookie bar on a wooden cutting board

The shortbread bottom stays crisp beneath the creamy lemon layer.

With only 5 simple ingredients, these lemon bars are sure to become a new stand by recipe in your house like it did in mine.

Once you see how fast and easy it is to throw together a batch of these incredibly tangy and delicious lemon bars, you’ll never waste another lemon again.

2021 Lemon Bars Update (originally published March 2011.)

Super Easy Lemon Bars

Super Easy Lemon Bars, our original version is still very, very good.

Although, I find the original recipe to be excellent, I had a thought while recently making another batch. Can I make these with even more lemon punch?

A lemon bar could never be too tangy for me, so I thought, why not a thicker lemon layer? I modified the recipe slightly to try it.

Lemon bars shown with fresh lemons

Super Easy Lemon Bars

All I did was simply increase the ingredients in the lemon layer by 50% to get even more of that silky lemon layer on top. It worked out very well indeed. 

I sampled more than a few myself and then sent the remainder to friends, who raved about them as well. They were just too good to keep to myself.

Close up photo of a platter of Super Easy Lemon Bars

Super Easy Lemon Bars. A perfect teatime treat.

The other tweak I tried was adding just a little baking powder to the shortbread bottom layer. With the extra weight of the topping, I wanted to be sure the shortbread base would not get soggy.

It worked perfectly and is well worth trying when you make your next batch.

How to zest a lemon 700 x 800ideo collage of 3 steps of how to zest a lemon

How to zest a lemon, to maximize flavor.

Simply whisk the lemon layer ingredients together

Simply whisk the lemon layer ingredients together.

Add shortbread crumb mixture to pan

Add shortbread crumb mixture to pan.

Lightly press the crumbs evenly into the pan

Lightly press the crumbs evenly into the pan.

Bake the bottom layer until golden brown at the edges

Bake the bottom layer until golden brown at the edges.

Love lemon recipes?

If you are a real lemon lover like me, I’ve put together a countdown of our Top 50 Lemon Recipes from over a decade on Rock Recipes.

Best Lemon Recipes image collage with title text for Pinterest

Best Lemon Recipes

Like this lemon bars recipe?

We have over 200 more great recipes like this in our Cookies Category and for other sweet ideas browse through hundreds of recipes in our Desserts Category.

Super Easy Lemon Bars shown on a wooden cutting board with title text added for Pinterest

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Super Easy Lemon Bars with title text added for Pinterest

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Close up photo of a single cookie bar on a wooden cutting board
Yield: 36 cookie bars

Super Easy Lemon Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Super Easy Lemon Bars. New & improved with a deeper lemon layer. Using only 5 simple ingredients & a very quick preparation time, this is the easiest & best lemon bars recipe I've ever tried in almost 40 years of baking.

Ingredients

For the pastry base

  • 1 cup cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (optional. See notes below)

For the lemon layer (See notes below for ingredient amounts to use for a thicker lemon layer)

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • zest of two lemons, very finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons, (about 2/3 cup juice)

Instructions

To make the pastry base

  1. Using a pastry cutter or in a food processor blend together the butter sugar and flour.
  2. Press evenly into the bottom of a greased and parchment paper lined 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Bake for 20 to minutes at 350 degrees F ( 325 degrees F if you are using glass bake-ware) The bottom should just be beginning to brown slightly at the top edges.

For the lemon topping

  1. Simply whisk together the sugar flour, eggs, zest and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Allow the topping to sit for about 10 minutes before whisking together well again and pouring over the baked shortbread base.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for about another 20- 25 minutes or until the top is slightly browned and the custard appears to be set. Cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar when cool or try adding a meringue topping.

Notes

Making a deeper lemon layer.

! For a thicker lemon layer (See notes below for ingredient amounts to use for a thicker lemon layer)
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp flour
6 eggs
zest of three lemons, very finely chopped
juice of 3 lemons, (about 1 cup juice)

Note on the shortbread bottom.

I added just a little baking powder (1/4 tsp) to the shortbread bottom layer. With the extra weight of the topping, I wanted to be sure the shortbread base would not get soggy.

It worked perfectly and is well worth trying when you make your next batch.

Recommended Products

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Nutrition Information

Yield

36

Serving Size

g

Amount Per Serving Calories 125Saturated Fat 3gCholesterol 31mgSodium 52mgCarbohydrates 17gSugar 11gProtein 1g

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Heather Higgins

Thursday 7th of October 2021

My base was also oily and bubbly, the same as Nicole reported, when I took it out of the oven to put topping on. Checked other recipes for shortbread ( which I believe this base is supposed to resemble) and it would appear that you need 2.5 cups of flour to 1 cup of butter and 0.5 cup of sugar. Please recheck your recipe quantities as I think you have posted the wrong quantity of flour.

Ashley

Monday 27th of September 2021

I’m in the process of making these right now, I poured the lemon layer on top of the bottom and it went right through the bottom layer mixing them together. Was the bottom layer not cooked long enough before adding the lemon top?

Adrienne

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

I'm going to make these soon. I was just curious if you ever tried incorporating the coconut crumble into these easier lemon bars? The lemon filling in that recipe is much more involved. I just wonder if it would work with this easier lemon filling?

Grandma Patty

Friday 13th of August 2021

"With only 5 simple ingredients" You can't count to 7?

Vera Mulvey

Friday 9th of July 2021

There are SO MANY ads on this site it is almost impossible to read your content. I don’t mind some ads and I know the ads pay for the site, but on your site they have taken over. Sorry☹️

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