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You need just 5 ingredients to make the perfect luscious lemon bars. This lemon bar recipe is the perfect balance between sour and sweet. 
Two Lemon Bars stacked on each other topped with a lemon slice.
Lemon bars are a classic dessert. People always love the bright zippy lemon on that delicious melt-in-your-mouth shortbread crust. This recipe makes the most lusciously thick lemon bars. The ratio of crust to lemon is perfect, giving you all the bold lemony goodness on top of shortbread. It’s so easy to make and lemon bars really only require 5 simple ingredients: sugar, butter, flour, eggs, and lemon juice. That’s it!

Did you know? The bottom crust of a lemon bar is a shortbread. Making shortbread is as easy as 1, 2, 3 since the basic recipe for shortbread is 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter, 3 parts flour. This recipe has a little extra flour to help support the weight of the lemon topping.

Shortbread crust being placed into a pan.

Lemon bar filling being poured into the pan.

What kind of lemons should I use to make lemon bars? Can I use Meyer lemons? Can I use juice from a bottle?

You can use any variety of lemon to make lemon bars, including Meyer lemons. A Meyer lemon is a mix between lemons and mandarin oranges. They are sweeter and produce a more orange color of juice.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice will provide the best flavor in your lemon bars, but you can definitely use lemon juice you buy in a squeeze bottle from the grocery store. The flavor never tastes quite as bright or fresh, but it does work and should be used in the same amount as called for in the recipe.

How much juice comes from one lemon?

The amount of juice that comes from one lemon can vary. Sometimes it depends on the size, but often it’s just a matter of fact that some lemons are simply juicier than others. In our testing we have found that 1 large lemon can generally yield between 2 tablespoons and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of lemon juice. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is 3 tablespoons of juice per lemon. There are 16 tablespoons in 1 cup. You will need between and 4 to 8 lemons to yield 1 cup of lemon juice. We recommend purchasing at least 6 lemons to make this recipe.

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Two lemon bars stacked on top of each other and topped with a lemon slice
You need just 5 ingredients to make the perfect meyer lemon bars. It's the perfect balance between sour and sweet.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter sliced
  • 2 cups flour

Lemon Layer

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl use a pastry cutter to combine the butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 cups flour, or use a food processor. Press this dough into the bottom of the 9x9 pan. Bake for 15 minutes. 
  • Five minutes before the crust is done baking, mix together the 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.
  • Gently pour the lemon mixture over the baked crust and return to the oven and bake until lemon layer is set, about 40-50 minutes. 
  • Let cool completely before dusting the tops with additional powdered sugar, if desired. 


Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 45mg | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Bars

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5 stars
I have tried many lemon bar recipes,,,,some have left me with a “spongy lemon filling “, and some just blah. This is not the case with these. The filling is thick and creamy with a great lemon taste. I used an 8×8 pan and baked for the exact time as stated in the recipe. They lifted out of pan easily and were easy to cut clean squares. A definite keeper. (I did not have Meyer lemons but I did add 1tbs of orange juice to the lemon juice to add a little sweetness,, tasted wonderful)


I only have a bottle of lemon juice from concentrate, will that work?


5 stars
Excellent! I made these Lemon Bars with ordinary lemons and then, as the recipe stated, Meyer lemons. Meyer Lemons (of course) won hands down. (Using ordinary store bought lemons was quite tarte). The half-inch shortbread crust is delicious, five star rating on its own.

Karen and Will Lozow Cleary

5 stars
My husband and I love these lemon bars ! I had never made them from scratch and they’re wonderful ! The Stay At Home Chef is our favorite online place for recipes of all kinds .

Viola Vines

You are the best! I have never been so happy to be successful when it comes to baking! I owe it all to you. I am expanding my horizons because of YOU! Thank you so much!

Lovely slice but for Australians don’t put a cup of lemon juice just half a cup juice and half a cup of water because I think our lemons are really sour over here !! Made one batch, and I love tang, but It was too much !! Had to smother them in whipped cream to eat them ….aw so hard !!
Next batch perfect!!!


5 stars
I love your recipes. All a hit! Would like to receive e mail. Defenitely 5 stars

5 stars
I made these yesterday and they turned out perfectly. Such a lovely sweet lemony tang with a delicate shortbread base. They were the perfect dessert served with whipped cream.

I used a 9 x 13 pan, I found the bottom layer too thick in the 8″ square pan. Excellent bars!!

Jackie Hill

5 stars
Mind blowingly good served cold from the fridge !!! A lemon lovers delight !!!!

Kaitlyn Reece

Made these a few nights ago… The flavor is awesome! Love the sweet crust and sour custard-like torte topping combination. So easy too! I baked for 60 minutes and the center was still a bit under done. But still delicious. My only complaint is the nutritional information on this recipe… It is soooo very wrong. It says 248 each with making 9 servings. There’s absolutely no way… With a cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, and the flour..🤔 It’s impossible. I worked it out to about 480 calories each with this recipe making 9 servings. That’s a very significant… Read more »

Jane Wiles

Absolutely yummy. I made them a bit thinner with less sugar in the topping!

5 stars
One word. YUM! I try to save every recipe because this young lady knows what is good!


5 stars
Perfect combination of sweet and sour!


5 stars
Made these tonight using a gluten free flour. Very, very good. Will definitely make again. Should leftovers be refrigerated?

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