Easy Lemon Squares, these tangy squares are quick, easy and so delicious, made with a buttery shortbread base and a fresh lemon filling. Easy and tasty bars. They are a definite must bake this Holiday Season!
This recipe for Lemon Squares was given to me by my amazing cousin, who I can’t wait to see again (soon!!) and I think they would be great to make for all the lemon-loving dessert people out there.
Funny thing is, my husband and I plant and plant lemon trees and the trees look beautiful, but no lemons. Very strange. But that doesn’t keep us from trying.
When we first arrived in Italy, one week after our wedding, we lived in a beautiful house that belonged to my brother-in-law. And we planted, yup you guessed it, our first lemon tree, and of course we never saw not even one lemon.
Eight years later we moved into our own home, and that lovely lemon tree started to produce and I mean produce tons of lemons! Lucky for them!
So here we are, 9 years later with a few nice green trees and unfortunately still no lemons. Maybe it is time to think about moving again… Thank goodness everyone we know has lemon producing trees.
Ingredients for the Recipe
- Butter – softened butter
- Sugar – powdered/icing sugar
- Flour – all purpose flour
- Salt – if you use unsalted butter then add a bit more salt
For the Filling
- Sugar – granulated sugar
- Baking Powder
- Lemon Juice – be sure to use fresh lemons and not bottled
- Lemon Zest
How to make Lemon Squares
In a medium bowl, beat on medium speed the butter and powdered sugar until combined. Add the flour and beat again until a soft dough forms.
Pat evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
Bake for about 20 minutes, remove from the oven.
In a medium bowl, beat together, the eggs, granulated sugar, baking powder, fresh lemon juice and pinch of salt. Pour over the baked crust and return to the oven and bake until the centre is set. Cool in the pan.
Cut when the bars are completely cooled.
How to know when Lemon Bars are done
You know when Lemon Bars are done when you gently shake the pan and the filling is set and no longer jiggles. Be sure to let the squares completely cool before cutting. They need to set up, so don’t rush this step.
I like to let them cool at room temperature for about an hour then refrigerate for about 1-2 hours before cutting.
Tips for making the Best Lemon Bars
- Be sure to use fresh lemons, you want the best tasting bars since it’s all about the lemons!
- For easier removal line your baking pan with parchment paper.
- Be sure to bake the crust before adding the filling.
- You may want to refrigerate them before cutting, it makes it easier to cut into clean even squares.
- Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
They should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, although they can be left out for a few hours while they are being served. They will last up to 4 days in the fridge.
Lemon Squares can also be frozen, place the completely cooled cookies, on a cookie sheet, freeze for 1 hour then transfer to a freezer safe container, place parchment paper between the layers, they will keep for up to 3-4 months in the freezer. Be sure to thaw the frozen cookies in the fridge before serving. If you do freeze them, don’t dust with powdered sugar, that can be added before serving.
If they are too runny or jiggle too much, it’s because they have not been baked for enough time. Be sure to bake the bottom crust for the time stated that will help too.
These Lemon Bars are perfect as a dessert or even an afternoon snack, amazing with a cup of tea or serve to family or guests. Enjoy!
More delicious Lemon Recipes
Easy Lemon Squares
- ½ cup butter* (softened)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 pinch salt
* I always use salted butter, if you use unsalted then increase the salt to 1/4 teaspoon.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- zest of 1/2-1 lemon (1/2 – 1 tablespoon)
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease and flour an 8×8 inch (20x20cm) square cake pan or line with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, beat on medium speed the butter and powdered sugar until combined then add the flour and beat again until a soft dough forms (approximately 1 1/2 minutes). Pat evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven, but leave oven on.
- Meanwhile in a medium bowl, beat together, the eggs, granulated sugar, baking powder, fresh lemon juice, pinch of salt and zest. Pour over warm baked base and return to the oven for 20-25 minutes (until the centre is set, I baked mine for 25 minutes, may need to go a bit longer), Cool in the pan, I recommend that you also chill in the fridge for 1 hour for easier cutting, cut into squares, remove from pan, dust with powdered sugar and serve. Enjoy!
Updated from May 9, 2014.