The Best Lemon Bars
Updated: Oct 2, 2021
Calling all lemon lovers! These luscious lemon bars are the perfect balance of sweet and tart with the ideal crust-to-filling ratio. With a crisp, buttery shortbread crust and a silky, bright lemon curd filling, these easy lemon bars are simply the best. The extra thick and creamy filling is nestled on top of an irresistibly rich crust and dusted with confectioners’ sugar for a mouthwatering and utterly delicious treat that's sure to be your new favorite.
Originally published 6/23/2017; Updated 8/20/2020
1¼ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup confectioners' sugar
⅔ cup salted butter, room temperature, cubed
Lemon Curd Filling
1 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
3 large eggs + 3 large egg yolks
2 tsp lemon zest
⅔ cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
4 Tbsp salted butter, cubed
Confectioners’ sugar (for dusting)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on the sides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender or the back of a fork, cut in the butter until it is evenly distributed and the mixture is crumbly.
Evenly press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
Lemon Curd Filling
In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour, and cream of tartar.
Whisk in the eggs and yolks until well combined. Then whisk in the lemon zest and lemon juice until incorporated.
Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly. After 5-8 minutes, once the mixture reaches 160°F, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter until melted.
Pour the hot lemon filling over the hot crust and spread evenly with a spatula.
Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the filling is set, but still jiggly. Allow the bars to cool completely. Once cooled, lift the tart out of the pan using the foil and cut into bars. Before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.