Mom’s Legendary Lemon Bars

Mom’s Legendary Lemon Bars – a soft and chewy shortbread crust with a perfectly delicious, tart lemon filling.

The most delicious lemon bars: #cakebycourtney #lemonbars #besteverlemonbars #lemon #dessert #lemonbardessert #lemonbarrecipe

Mom’s Legendary Lemon Bars

I’m excited to share with you a favorite family recipe today: my mom’s legendary lemon bars! My mom is a lover of all things lemon and, in my eyes, is an expert of all things lemon flavored! Over the years she’s test dozens of lemon bar recipes, and while she’s found many she’s liked, mom always goes back to her tried and true recipe.

The most delicious lemon bars: #cakebycourtney #lemonbars #besteverlemonbars #lemon #dessert #lemonbardessert #lemonbarrecipe

The Standard

When we deem something “the best” or our “favorite,” there’s always a personal standard that dish has met. It’s like finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. We all have certain (and sometimes different) expectations of what makes “the best” chocolate chip cookie. With that in mind, let me tell you a little about what makes my Mom’s Legendary Lemon Bars “the best” in my mind.

I learned from my mom that the perfect lemon bar has a chewy shortbread base. Some recipes she tried over the year were too flakey or too crispy. She’s taught me that the perfect crust (in our eyes), has a slight crumble but is overall soft and chewy.

The most delicious lemon bars: #cakebycourtney #lemonbars #besteverlemonbars #lemon #dessert #lemonbardessert #lemonbarrecipe

The perfect lemon bar also has a tart lemon filling that gets slightly crispy on top but is soft and gooey on the inside. As it cools, it should set a bit, but still be slightly gooey. And to get the best experience eating a lemon bar, it is truly so important to let them cool completely. When the bars are completely room temperature, is when you’ll get the true texture of the crust and filling.

The most delicious lemon bars: #cakebycourtney #lemonbars #besteverlemonbars #lemon #dessert #lemonbardessert #lemonbarrecipe

These have been my family’s go-to lemon bars for as long as I can remember. They were even the inspiration to my Lemon Bar Cake I made for my mom’s birthday last year.

I hope you love them as much as our family does!


The most delicious lemon bars: #cakebycourtney #lemonbars #besteverlemonbars #lemon #dessert #lemonbardessert #lemonbarrecipe

Mom's Legendary Lemon Bars

5 from 10 votes
Soft and chewy shortbread crust with a tart lemon filling.



  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) salt
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour


  • 4 eggs slightly beaten
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 g) baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13" baking pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and powdered sugar. This will kind of look like buttercream!
  • Add the salt and the flour. Mix until well combined. It should look like a dough
  • Pat the crust into an even layer in the prepared 9"x13" pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. (Mine was perfect at 17).
  • To make filling, mix all of the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat until a smooth, silky consistency. Once the crust is baked, pour the lemon filling over hot crust and bake again for 20 to 25 minutes. (Mine was perfect at 20 minutes).
  • After the bars have baked, let them cool completely. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the bars and then cut into squares.
Cuisine Lemon Bars
Course Dessert
Keyword Lemon Bars, Mom's Lemon Bars

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Leave a Comment



  2. Can not wait to try this recipe! I have two questions though – Will the center be a little jiggly? I don’t want to overcook! Also, how can these be stored without making it hard? Plan to serve the following day. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Holy Moly! I didn’t think I even liked lemon bars until I made these yesterday!! Amazing-not eggy at all, chewy crust that is divine. Simple to make—seriously, the best—I made my husband hide the pan from me because I can’t stop eating them. Thank you to your beautiful mom for finding this recipe and for you sharing it. You’re so adorable and fun to watch on my IG feed everyday.

  4. Good morning,

    I have a question about lining the pan with parchment. Do I just line the bottom or should I line the sides, also. I know sometimes it is suggested because it helps to get the bars out of the pan.

    Thank you,
    Mary Lea

  5. 5 stars
    These were super yummy!!! I’m not sure what i did wrong, though.. the lemon layer was super runny. Did i not beat it enough? The top had a perfect crunch, just the lemon didn’t set.

    1. It should probably be cooked a little longer and then make sure you let them cool completely to room temperature.

  6. Have you ever done this with dairy free butter? My daughter has a dairy allergy. So I’m curious as how good it would be.

  7. 4 stars
    Love lemon bars but have never tried making before! I tried this recipe this morning. I should have done a little more research before putting theses in the oven because I quickly realized that I didn’t have a good understanding of how I would know when they were “done”! And unfortunately, I didn’t bake long enough. 😕. The edges are set nicely and DELICIOUS! The center is runny and not very tasty. 👎🏻. But those edges – so good. I will absolutely make again and bake longer next time to determine the appropriate baking time for my oven. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe which encouraged me to begin experimenting with lemon bars! 😃

    1. You dont want your pan to jiggle, that’s how you will know they are done. And then make sure you let them sit long enough to set.

  8. Hi ! Did you cut them into squares after they cooled down or before ? Just wanted to be absolutely sure about this because many times brownies tend to crack on the top while cutting them
    Thank you !

  9. 4 stars
    My filling was still runny after baking and cooling. They taste great so I’m going to gamble and put them bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Hope they still come out ok. Of course I made these for Mother’s Day!

  10. 5 stars
    These were delicious!! This was my first time making lemon bars and this recipe was super easy to follow. I made these with gluten-free flour and they turned out perfectly. Thank you for sharing this recipe! Looking forward to the next time I make them. 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    These turned out amazing-ly delicious! I didn’t even think I liked lemon bars, now they’re my new favorite dessert! They turned out exactly as pictured. Thanks for sharing ❤️

  12. Thank you for sharing your Mom’s lemon bar recipe. I absolutely love lemon bars! We have couple lemon trees on our property, and we end up with tons of lemons. I will be making this when our lemons are ready. Can’t wait!

  13. 5 stars
    I’ve made these twice now and I absolutely love them! Tossing out my old lemon bar recipes and replacing it with this one! Perfect texture, chewy and oooey gooey but still holds its shape! Perfect! The hardest part is waiting for them to cool so you can dive into them!

  14. I made these bars 2 times…..first time they were really delicious. I used the standard measurements (not grams). The second time, I used a scale and measured in grams. It states 55 grams of lemon juice which was about a cup (not 1/4 cup)of lemon juice. The bars baked for about 40 minutes and are still watery. Should it be less grams or did I misunderstand?

    1. Use a glass pan and check your oven with an internal oven thermometer. Your oven may be running hot.