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lemon bars sprinkled with powdered sugar

Lemon Bars

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars 1x


These bright tangy lemon bars are made with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, a shortbread crust, and a splash of cream in the lemon layer for a wonderfully creamy balance. 



For the Crust:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the Filling:

  • 2 large eggs plus 7 large yolks
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ grated lemon zest plus ⅔ cup juice (4 lemons)
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • confectioners’ sugar


  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350℉.
  2. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with 2 long sheets of aluminum foil. Lay the foil in the pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over the edges of the pan. Push the foil into the corners and sides of the pan and grease foil. 
  3. For the crust: In a food processor, combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until combined (about 3 seconds).
  4. Cut butter into 8 pieces and sprinkle over top of flour mixture. Pulse until mixture is a pale yellow and crumbly (about 8 pulses). Sprinkle mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer.
  5. Bake about 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking, until crust starts to brown.
  6. For the filling: While crust is baking, whisk eggs and yolks together in medium saucepan. Add granulated sugar and whisk until combined.
  7. Whisk in lemon zest, juice, and salt.
  8. Add butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted and mixture thickens slightly registering 170℉, about 5 minutes.
  9. Immediately strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into bowl and stir in cream.
  10. Pour the warm lemon mixture over hot crust. Bake 10-15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the filling is shiny and opaque. The center should jiggle slightly when shaken. 
  11. Let bars cool completely, about 2 hours.
  12. Lift the bars from the pan using the foil overhang. Cut into squares, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve. 
  13. Keep leftovers in the fridge and add additional powdered sugar before serving.


  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

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