These Lemon Bars are about as close as it gets to baking sunshine into a dessert. With a soft citrus center and a dusting of powdered sugar, lemon bars are a classic spring and summer dessert. Learn how to make this easy lemon treat and bring a little cheer to your dessert table!
Reasons to Make this Recipe
- With a sink your teeth into buttery crust, they are impossible to resist.
- They’re so easy to make. Just a few simple ingredients and no fuss.
- Plenty of zesty citrus flavor from REAL lemon juice.
- These versatile bars are easy to slice and serve for any occasion.
And can we talk about that lovely bright yellow color of these Lemon Bars? So vibrant, eye catching and downright irresistible.
Homemade Classic Lemon Bars
When it comes to lemon desserts, lemon bars are the cream of the crop. I love a slice of Lemon Ice Box Pie or a crunchy Lemon Cookie too. There’s just something about an old fashioned, no-frills lemon bar that keeps me coming back for more.
A light butter crust surrounds a lemon curd filling that’s equal parts tangy and sweet. This is the Pioneer Woman lemon bars recipe, are they really are the very best version of this familiar treat.
You can sprinkle them with a bit of confectioner’s sugar for a pretty touch–or enjoy them plain. You’ll love them either way!
How To Make Lemon Bars
This Lemon Bars recipe comes together like a breeze. The results are impressive no one will suspect how easy they are to pull together.
What’s Needed For This Recipe
Ingredients at a glance, full printable recipe for Lemon Bars Pioneer Woman is found below.
- Melted butter – I recommend unsalted to avoid bars that are too salty.
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour – 1:1 gluten-free flour can be substituted. I have not tested other types of flour.
- Sea salt – Table salt can be substituted by cutting the amount in half.
- Eggs – make sure to use large sized eggs.
- Fresh lemon juice – Use fresh for best flavor.
- Confectioner’s sugar – Optional-for dusting bars.
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 9×13 inch baking dish
- Hand-held mixer or whisk
- Wooden mixing spoon
- Mixing bowls
- Parchment paper
- Sharp knife or bench scraper
Steps To Take
Steps at a glance, full printable recipe is found below.
- Combine butter, sugar, flour and salt to create the crust.
- Press crust into a baking pan, bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Prepare filling by mixing together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and flour.
- Pour filling over baked crust and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
- After baking allow to cool for at least two hours, then chill in refrigerator prior to serving.
It’s that easy to make the best Lemon Bars like Pioneer Woman!
Tips & Tricks for Best Lemon Bars
- Use room temperature eggs. Plan ahead and let the eggs sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before using. This makes them easier to incorporate for a smooth center.
- How to Cut Lemon Bars. Use a sharp knife (not serrated) for clean even cuts. Wipe the knife between each cut to remove crumbs.
- Clear Vanilla. For best color, use clear vanilla extract in this recipe. While regular vanilla can be used, it will darken the color of the bars slightly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I store these bars?
Keep these bars tightly wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Can I use store-bought lemon juice?
Freshly-squeezed lemon juice is the way to go with this recipe! Lemon is the main flavor and to get the best lemon flavor you want to use fresh lemons.
How can I get more juice from a lemon?
To get the most juice from your fresh lemon, soften it in the microwave before slicing and juicing. I put mine in the microwave for about 15 seconds. You can also roll the lemon on the counter top before squeezing to release even more juice.
Why are my Lemon Bars runny?
If your Lemon Bars have a runny center, it might be because you under baked the crust. The bars will also become runny the longer they sit out at room temperature.
Can I leave these bars at room temperature?
While ok to sit out for an hour or so, I don’t recommend keeping these bars at room temp. They lemon filling is very delicate and will become runny if left out. Keep them chilled for best texture and consistency.
Can I reduce the amount of sugar?
I do not recommend reducing the sugar. The sugar serves to help the filling set up to the proper consistency as well as to help balance out the tartness of the lemons.
Can these be frozen?
Yes. Cut the bars and add them to a large baking sheet making sure they aren’t touching. Freeze for 1 hour. Remove the bars from the freezer and wrap each bar in plastic wrap and then either wrap with aluminum foil or add to a freezer-safe container. Keep frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to eat.
More Recipes You’ll Love
Lemon lovers can’t get enough of these other delicious recipes!
For the Crust
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, melted 1 stick
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp finely ground sea salt
For the Filling
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from 6-7 lemons
- 2 tsp clear vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- confectioner's sugar optional (for dusting)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the butter to a large mixing bowl. Add in the granulated sugar and use a hand-held mixer or whisk to cream together the butter and sugar until well-combined.
- Mix in the flour and salt.
- Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until just beginning to lightly brown around the edges.While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
- Add the eggs and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Use a hand-held mixer to mix the eggs and sugar until well-combined.
- Add in the lemon juice and vanilla and mix until well-combined. Mix in the flour until combined.
- Pour the filling mixture over the cooked crust and return to the oven to bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the filling is set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature before placing in the fridge to chill for 2 hours. Dust the bars with powdered sugar if desired and remove from pan before cutting into squares.