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Desserts | April 26, 2021

Laurie’s Lemon Bars

Laurie’s Lemon Bars are the perfect blend of buttery, shortbread crust and a layer of lemon curd baked on top! I tried one lemon bar recipe after another for years. Many were good, but this recipe ended my search for the perfect lemon bar!

Laurie's Lemon Bars

If you love lemon bars with a substantial layer of lemon on top, you will love this recipe! There is so much lemon, you need a fork to eat this lemon bar. It’s almost impossible to eat off of a napkin.

Lemon Bars made with lemon juice

Think lemon curd, baked and set up in a perfect thick layer on top of the most amazing buttery crust. I love this lemon bar recipe Because it satisfies the lemon and pastry lover in me! Laurie’s Lemon Bars are not your run-of-the mill lemon bar. This lemon bar is the cream of the crop, just the right amount of tangy and sweet in one dessert.

I think the key to an excellent lemon bar includes: 1. substantial shortbread crust. 2. enough lemon flavor. 3. thick layer of lemon. This recipe has all three essential elements!

I used to make lemon bars with bottled lemon juice, but after trying this recipe which calls for fresh squeezed juice, I realized fresh lemon juice in lemon bars is EVERYTHING. Think about it. If a recipe is named lemon bars, it makes sense that skimping on the juice is not a good idea. Do yourself a big favor and use fresh squeezed juice for this lemon bar recipe. You will taste the difference.

Easy Lemon Bars made with lemon zest

Perfect for any wedding or baby shower, Laurie’s Lemon Bars can be cut into tiny squares or triangles and served with a raspberry on top or a little slice of lemon for your special event. We served these at a wedding shower for one of my favorite people in the world, Lauren, who is the best friend of our daughter Brookie.

To make the lemon garnish, slice a small lemon and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Bake at 325 until dried and starts to shrivel (about 30 mins). Remove from oven, sprinkle with sugar and let cool. When ready to serve, top each lemon bar or every other lemon bar with a prepared lemon slice.

Lemon Bars with shortbread crust

Make sure to keep this lemon bar refrigerated until ready to serve. The lemon layer is thick and a bit soft. It stays firm, but I think is best if served chilled!

Laurie is also the author of many other recipes of ABK! We have loved used her recipes for years. These are a few of our favorites: Amazing Chocolate Cake, Coconut Lime Bars, and Laurie’s Amazing Carrot Cake.

Laurie’s Lemon Bars originally posted in 2011, updated with new content and photos 2021

5 from 3 votes

Laurie’s Lemon Bars

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword american dessert, lemon, lemon bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
cool time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 24



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Lemon filling

  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup all purpose flour*


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set rack in middle of oven.

  2. Place 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt into a large bowl. Mix with a fork.

  3. Add the butter, and mix just until blended. Do not use a mixer.

  4. Press the dough evenly into bottom of an ungreased 9×13 pan. Chill the dough in the pan for about 30 minutes.

  5. Bake pastry crust for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.*

  6. While the crust is baking, beat the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl.

  7. Add the lemon juice, zest and flour to the egg mixture and mix with a whisk or hand mixer until all ingredients are incorporated. If this sits for a while, waiting for the crust to bake, make sure to mix the ingredients again to ensure the sugar doesn't settle to the bottom of the bowl before pouring over the crust!

  8. Pour filling over hot crust and bake 35-40 minutes or until set. The center should not jiggle! Let cool completely.

  9. Dust with powdered sugar, cut into squares or triangles.

Recipe Notes

  • It is important to brown the crust until golden on top. This will help the pastry to be able to support the thick layer of lemon filling!
  • If using salted butter, omit the salt in the pastry. 
  • Laurie’s original recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar in the filling. I cut back a little because I thought the filling was a little too sweet. 
  • I check the center of the lemon bars with a knife. If when the knife is inserted in the center of bars it comes out clean it is done. This takes between 35-40 minutes in my oven. 
  • If your flour is lumpy at all, sift the flour before adding to the filling. 

14 thoughts on “Laurie’s Lemon Bars

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Recipe Rating

  1. Thank you Si! It was a fabulous shower and I love you more than you know. Hope you don't mind if I take your Maui books to Maui. Love you so much.

  2. Mmmm… yummmy.. my mouth is watering. I can't wait to make these. I love lemon bars so much we had them at our wedding!

  3. Have you ever doubled this recipe and used a jelly roll pan? I need to make this for a farewell. Thanks.

  4. 5 stars
    Not sure if my oven is broken, but they were done after 23 minutes in the oven! They were delicious! Would you recommend refrigerating the leftovers?

  5. Can you double this recipe and put into a jelly roll pan? Also, can you make ahead of time and freeze them?

    1. Hi Megan,
      Yes, Lemon bars can be frozen. After they are baked and completely cooled, wrap them well with plastic wrap and freeze. When you are ready to serve, pull them out of the freezer and unwrap. Let them come to room temperature before sprinkling with powdered sugar. If you make a double batch in a jellyroll pan I’m worried that the crust and the filling may be too thin. You’ll have to give it a try and let us know! Perhaps make a double batch and a half? All the best. Thank you for reading ABK.

  6. 5 stars
    I agree that these are the best lemon bars. I love that the lemon layer is so thick and lemon flavor comes through more than the shortbread type layer.. Thanks!