Classic Lemon Bars

classic lemon bars

I love cookies. I really do. More than cupcakes or cheesecakes or pies or … well, maybe not more than doughnuts. The point is that if you love cookies as much as I (and, thankfully, my children) do, then you need a long list of cookie recipes to choose from. These lemon bars are a favorite of my oldest daughter’s. They make me think of Christmas because they were one of the many cookies my mother stacked in the dozens and dozens of cookie tins she gave as gifts every December. They are a lovely Christmas cookie — tart and sweet and citrusy. But they’re good anytime. And not so hard to make as you might imagine. I’ve added a pinch of salt, a scrape of lemon zest and just a bit more juice than my mother’s recipe. I hope these become one of your favorite cookies, too.

Makes about 24 bars


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 6 Tbsp. lemon juice (the juice from roughly 2 lemons)
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Place butter in 9×13 baking pan and put it in the oven for 2-3 minutes until butter is melted but not browned. Remove pan from oven, swirl butter around the pan to grease the entire bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides. Pour melted butter into medium mixing bowl.
  3. Add flour, powdered sugar and salt to butter. Mix well. Then press dough into baking pan, across the bottom and slightly up the sides.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. While the crust is cooking, beat eggs. Add granulated sugar. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Whisk in flour and baking powder until all is well-mixed. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Cool slightly.
  6. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into desired-sized squares.