Traditional recipes

Lemon Squares Recipe

Lemon Squares Recipe

“These simple recipes are my go-to when I need something to satisfy my sweet tooth. My daughters love them, too!” — Katie Couric


*Note: The pan should be larger than a cake pan — bars are better a little thinner rather than thick.


  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups plus 6 tablespoons flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup butter, plus more for greasing
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated


Calories Per Serving298

Folate equivalent (total)12µg3%

  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup confectioners&#8217 sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • Lemon zest for garnish
  • Confectioners&#8217 sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with foil and generously coat it with cooking spray.

To prepare crust: Combine flour, confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add oil and butter using your fingertips, blend into the flour mixture until evenly combined. The mixture will be a little crumbly. Firmly press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake the crust until just barely beginning to brown around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes.

To prepare filling: Whisk granulated sugar, cornstarch, baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Whisk in eggs. Stir in water and lemon juice. Pour the filling over the crust.

Bake until just set, 18 to 20 minutes. (The center should still be a little jiggly--it will firm up as it cools.)

Let cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack, about 1 1/2 hours. Gently lift out of the pan all in one piece using the edges of the foil. Cut into 9 squares. Garnish with lemon zest and dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired, just before serving.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Mix flour, butter and powdered sugar thoroughly. Press evenly into an ungreased 8 x 8 x 2 inch or 9 x 9 x 2 inch square pan. Make a little rim up the edges to hold in the filling. A quarter inch or so will do it. Bake 20 minutes.

Beat remaining ingredients about 3 minutes of until light and fluffy. Pour over the hot crust, spreading it out evenly.

Bake about 25 minutes longer or until no imprint remains when touched lightly in the center. Remove from oven, sprinkle the extra powdered sugar on the top, if you like. Cool, cut into squares.

Reviews ( 15 )

uhm. is that 350 degrees FARENHEIT or CELSIUS. this is my first time to bake. EVER. so i wish this recipe didn't assume that everyone gets all the abbreviations. plus, this is an international website, so units of measurement aren't standard.

i followed the recipe exactly and they turned out dry. ive definitely had better lemon bars

Really puzzled by the wild range of reviews for this recipe. Made these yesterday and thought they were GREAT! I didn't adjust or alter the recipe in any way. I thought they were just the right amount of sweetness and tartness and the recipe really was EASY. Will definitely make again.

I love these! I make them all the time for potluck gatherings and they're always a hit. Extremely easy to put together.

I don't know what problems these "nay-sayers" had with this recipe, but I tried it this morning, and it turned out wonderfully well, and they will now become a permanent part of my culinary repertoire!! For those who had issues, you might want to check your oven temp.

Come out perfect every time

These are AMAZING! They're absolutely delectable! I can't believe anyone would give them anything less than 5 stars. My family can't stop eating them. I also made them for a PTA luncheon and people raved and wanted the recipe. I may have added a smidge more lemon rind than called for. I wasn't sure how loosely or tightly packed my measured teaspoons of grated lemon rind should be, so I may have added a bit extra the first time I made them, but they were sooooo good I keep doing it that way. For those who said theirs were gelatinous: You are probably undercooking your batch. Generally, I will bake cookies or brownies the minimum amount of time called for in a recipe because I like them moist and chewy, but these cooked the full amount of time. Delicious! Just what a lemon square should be!


4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3 lemons)

How to make it :

Preheat oven to 350F / 180C degrees.
Brush a square baking dish with melted butter.
Crush graham crackers
Then add in sugar and butter and blend to mix.
Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes.
Cool crust, 30 minutes.

*In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk.
*Add lemon juice whisk until smooth.
*Pour filling into cooled crust carefully spread to edges.
*Bake until set, about 15 minutes.
*Cool in pan on rack.
*Chill at least 1 hour before serving.
Serve with whipped cream.

Recipe Summary

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sifting
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray line pan with two crisscrossed rectangles of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse flour with confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add butter pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into bottom and 3/4 inch up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Bake until crust is lightly browned 20 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees.

Meanwhile, make the lemon filling: In a bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until thick. Beat in granulated sugar, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour over warm crust. Bake until set, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature refrigerate about 1 hour.

Using paper overhang as an aid, lift square from pan. Sift remaining tablespoon confectioners' sugar over the top. Cut into 16 squares.

Reviews ( 18 )

I agree with other reviewers, you definitely need to watch your cook time, as well as add extra lemon zest. Otherwise, I found this recipe quite easy to make. The thick crust supports the weight of the custard-like topping nicely. Everyone seemed to enjoy them, they went very quickly! I will be making these again most assuredly!

I have made these several times and they are gone in minutes. When I don't bring them I hear " . . . . . but I had my heart and mouth all set for your lemon bars."

Made these luscious lemony bars several times. Get many requests to make again and again. Suggest doubling or tripling the lemon zest if you really like lemon. Watch your oven door window so as not to over bake. I wait until the crust on the edges just "barely" brown. Tastes best chilled in my opinion.

fantastic recipe. Think the cooking times are off however, the cookie base got too brown, as did the lemon custard part. They were delicious, but tasted overcooked. and i took them out early.

Delicious, love lemons. So easy but hard to eat just a few at a time!! A definite repeat.

These were amazing! Butter cookie with a lemon custard topping. Yummm.

These taste amazing. The only reason why I am giving them a 4 instead of a 5 is b/c 1- they aren't very forgiving. I could my for 35 minutes just like it said, and the edges were burnt so bad they aren't edible. I just cut off the edges of the whole pan an served the inside portion and they taster great and were a great texture, but they're super easy to overcook. And like other reviewers said, the crust is a tad on the bland side, it could easily take on double the amount of powdered sugar. Also with the crust, if I made this again, I would 1 and 1/2 half the crust recipe so it's a thicker crust and I would do the same with the custard, either that or put it in a smaller pan than 9x13 like it says, they're just super thin.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides butter paper.

Make crust: Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Add flour, and mix on low just until combined. Press dough into the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of prepared pan prick all over with a fork. Bake until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Make filling: In a large bowl, whisk together yolks, condensed milk, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over hot crust in pan return to oven, and bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

Refrigerate until filling is firm, about 2 hours or up to 3 days. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface cut into 16 squares, and dust with confectioners sugar.


In food processor, mix flour and sugar blend in butter until mixture clumps together.

Press firmly into 8" (20 cm) square pan. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 15 - 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and spread with jam.

Beat eggs until light and creamy. Beat in pie filling powder and ground almonds. Pour over jam layer. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until set and firm to touch. Cool. Cut into squares.

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5 Responses to Lemon Squares Recipe Card – Handwritten

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