Best Lemon Bars

This recipe is old but not old fashioned; the Best Lemon Bars never go out of style! Combine a tart lemon curd with a shortbread crust and the result is divine, a family favorite for almost 40 years!

A friend recently requested a copy of my recipe for Lemon Bars so I thought that a good reason to make some for me too, right? There are many recipes online but this is the one I’ve been using forever; didn’t realize how long forever was until I went to get the recipe and spied the awful photos. In this case forever was 2009.

Good excuse for me to make some more right? The recipe is from a cookbook that was a gift from my parents when I first showed an interest in cooking and baking; the Artist in the Kitchen is a cookbook published in 1977 for the St. Louis Art Museum and put together by the Friends of The St. Louis Art Museum. All recipes are from the personal archives of members and the Museum staff. Not unlike a Junior League cookbook…they are the best recipes from member’s personal archives.

Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email & I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!
Save Recipe

I realize that I’ve got two favorites in this book and how easy they are to find; the pages are pretty evident since they are the only two with butter fingerprints and signs of regular use..I need to try something else don’t I?

One recipe is for these Lemon Bars and the other for a delicious Zucchini and Cream Cheese Casserole. It’s easy and rich and I have always said I could eat the entire dish of that zucchini!

What makes them the best lemon bars (or squares…same thing!)? Well, there are a million variations but this one has always worked so well for me; I think it’s got a bit of extra lemon juice and has been a favorite of friends and family for years so I won’t tempt fate by trying another!

I had a darling friend who passed a few years ago who begged me to make them for him occasionally; he’s the one who insisted they were THE BEST LEMON BARS! I’ve also revised the recipe a bit in another post, Luscious Lemon Bars for a Crowd, if you need a dessert that will serve more people.

You’ll find the same photos and a similar recipe but I’ve revised that recipe a bit with more filling so you can stretch this treat to feed more people.

If you want to try something similar but over the top, check out these Lemon Coconut Bars with Mascarpone Cheese from Nordstrom’s Cafe. My daughter and I ordered lemon bars for dessert one day and this was their version. More work but also amazing.

When everyone is looking for the next best thing; I often find more comfort in something vintage, reliable and so delicious and these Lemon Bars fit the bill perfectly.

Lemon Bars have been a favorite for so long and I never see that changing; so whether you’ve been making them for years or are ready to take your first plunge; this recipe is simply the BEST!

PIN IT! ‘The Best Lemon Bars’

A plate of lemon bars cut into squares and topped with powdered sugar and a quarter slice of lemon.
The Best Lemon Bars have a crispy shortbread crust and a luscious lemon filling.

The Best Lemon Bars

Lemon Squares are a great combination of a crunchy crust with a yummy lemon filling; if you like lemon, you'll love these!
5 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Desserts, Fruits
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Squares
Calories 321 kcal


For the Crust

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour

For the Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • Powdered sugar for top


To Prepare the Crust

  • Blend butter with powdered sugar and flour. Press on the bottom of a 9X13X2 inch pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly colored.

To Prepare the Filling

  • Beat the eggs and blend with sugar, 2 Tbsp flour, baking powder, salt, lemon juice and rind. Pour over baked crust.
  • Return to oven and continue baking for 25-30 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over the top. Cool and cut into squares or bars.


Nutrition Facts
The Best Lemon Bars
Serving Size
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword bars, desserts, lemon, lemon squares, shortbread, squares
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I just sampled the lemon bars thanks to the fabulous baking of my friend Barb Kiebel, and they were the best lemon bars I’ve ever tasted – and I’m a lemon bar fan from way back! Thank Babs!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.