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Lemon Squares

If you don't have a food processor, you can make the crust by mixing together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and then rubbing in the butter with your fingers.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 16
Lemon Squares

Source: Everyday Food, April 2004

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 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

For the Lemon Filling

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

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

Reviews (27)

  • MirToniR 9 Sep, 2014

    Followed the directions exactly but had the same problem as another reviewer. The lemon filling went under the crust during baking. Have made other lemon bar recipes without this problem. Will not make this again.

  • Marguerite7 12 Aug, 2014

    I made the lemon squares yesterday for our weekly family dinner. One of my family members celebrated her birthday yesterday, and she loves lemon pie. The squares were delicious and easy to make, but the 1/2 t salt printed in the recipe was a little too much. According to Sarah's video recipe, she used 1/4 t salt. Also, the next time I make them (later this week) I will bake the crust a little longer for a crunchier base and add the zest of a lemon to the filling for a stronger lemon flavor.

  • bethofspring 8 Aug, 2014

    the baking time is affected by the size pan. Compare the two pictures. One bar is taller than the other, since it was baked in a smaller pan.
    The flatter square was baked in a larger pan and would have baked more quickly.
    I suggest cutting them smaller so when you crave another, like NOW, there might be one left.

  • Jennifer Carr-Toms 19 May, 2014

    The lemon squares were delicious and easy to make. They took much longer to bake (almost 15 minutes more) because the center was still very liquid so I just kept watch until they were finished, which was easy because the baked areas were very distinctive visually . Everyone enjoyed them so I'll be making them again! And yes, the cornstarch goes in the crust mixture, just like many cookie recipes.

  • faithina 3 Mar, 2014

    There is no typo in the recipe. Do follow it as written. The corn starch does, indeed, go in the crust, and the filling will absolutely set just the way it should if you follow the recipe as it is written. Corn starch is often used in many crust recipes. This is not uncommon. This is, without a doubt, the best lemon squares recipe. I have tried many (far too many) and found several others that were ok, but this one blows them all away. The crust is perfect, the filling is heavenly. To die for!

  • Elizabeth Anderson 18 Jan, 2014

    I have made these time and time again ,love them the lady who said there was a typo on the cornstarch -recipe is correct cornstarch in the crust makes for a tender crust that's why it is used in shortbread cookies , they come out perfect for me , as for being gooey make sure you're adding your flour to your filling and do sift it into the wet so it does not clump up

  • elliepetersshedd 27 Nov, 2013

    ATTENTION ALL! THERE IS A TYPO IN THE RECIPE! THE CORNSTARCH SHOULD NOT GO IN THE CRUST, IT SHOULD GO IN THE FILLING!! IF YOU PUT THE CORNSTARCH IN THE CRUST INSTEAD OF THE FILLING IT MAKES THE FILLING FAR TOO LIQUID-Y.

  • J3ANA 5 Jul, 2012

    The flavor of these lemon squares was on par with what I had in mind, however, the consistency was a bit less set than other recipes and left the squares a bit extra "gooey." Maybe I'm just too picky, though.

  • J3ANA 5 Jul, 2012

    The flavor of these lemon squares was on par with what I had in mind, however, the consistency was a bit less set than other recipes and left the squares a bit extra "gooey." Maybe I'm just too picky, though.

  • Kat3719 29 Jun, 2012

    These are in the oven right now. The recipe is very similar, if not the same to one I used to make years ago. I think this one calls for more lemon juice than the old one and I added the zest of a lemon because I like lots of flavor.

    I didn't have any parchment so greased the pan instead. I'm taking them to a luncheon tomorrow and as long as I don't burn them, I think they'll be a hit.

  • prairiegirl7 15 Aug, 2011

    Delicious!!
    The lemon flavor is perfect - tart and not too sweet. The crust is also excellent. I will make these again and again!

  • mommytoboys 22 Jan, 2011

    Never made lemon squares before, but these were great! They were easy to make and were very good! I will be making these again.

  • Petraits 13 Jan, 2011

    These were unfortunately the worst lemon squares I have ever made. I left them in the oven for five more minutes and they really never set ... they were gooey, too tart, and just kind of gross.

  • roni7070 27 May, 2009

    Used this recipe for my first time baking lemon bars for a family get-together and got several complements on them! These bars taste so much better and fresher than store-bought ones, and are easy to make. I will definitely be using this recipe again!

  • TFriendly 24 Mar, 2009

    This is a favorite, and a great desert in a pinch pretty much any meal. We sold them in the bakery by the tray full. My favorite treat as a child and still carrying 40 pounds from eating them.

  • poolpit2001 6 Feb, 2009

    02-06-09 at 9:30 p.m.
    I have made these for woman at the office. They could"nt get enough of them . they raved about the lemon bars...

  • gardenady 11 Sep, 2008

    I tripled the recipe and baked it in a 1/2 sheet pan for my friends at my Home Depot. They loved it!
    gardenlady

  • gardenady 11 Sep, 2008

    I tripled the recipe and baked it in a 1/2 sheet pan for my friends at my Home Depot. They loved it!
    gardenlady

  • kellyganda 1 Sep, 2008

    Fantastico! I tried this twice, and it's both perfect... My family and friends love it! Thanks a lot!!!

  • Zookeeper 10 Aug, 2008

    We LOVE this recipe. Second time I made it for a dinner party I thought I ruined it because after chilling the crust I forgot to bake first and then add fillilng. I chilled and filled and stuck in the oven then realized my mistake. Unsure what to do but decided to go with the flow. Left in the oven for about 35 minutes at 350. Looked okay when I pulled out of oven. Served a few hours later to guests and no one, including me, would have guessed the boo-boo I had made. Still really yummy.

  • livelovedream2008 21 May, 2008

    Is this the same recipe from the new Cookie Book? I gave my sister a copy of the book a few weeks ago and she made the lemon bar recipe. It was out of this world delicious!!!!

  • livelovedream2008 21 May, 2008

    Is this the same recipe from the new Cookie Book? I gave my sister a copy of the book a few weeks ago and she made the lemon bar recipe. It was out of this world delicious!!!!

  • TDM 11 May, 2008

    I first made these squares about a year ago, and they were a hit with my family. Since then they've been made for potlucks at work and whenever we were in the mood for a lemony treat.

    My wife loves them, and I enjoy making them for her.

  • npekrul 26 Mar, 2008

    Here is my Mom's lemon squares, not had any problems....start with the base -
    1 cup flour,1/2 cup butter,1/4 cup granulated sugar,mix together and press firmly into greased 9 X 9 pan - Bake 15 min. at 350 degrees.
    2 eggs, 2 tblsp.lemon juice,1cup granulated sugar, 2 tblsp.flour, 1/2 tsp.baking powder. Beat eggs with fork, mix in remaining ingredients

  • LemonMeringue 3 Feb, 2008

    I just made this recipe and they turned out beautifully! I added a little lemon zest to the juice because I like lemon desserts with a lot of zing, but otherwise I followed the recipe verbatim. Sorry some had trouble, but I would recommend it.

  • smoothness 29 Dec, 2007

    kristina, i made lemon bars with a very similar recipe today and got the same weird inverted crust over filling. this was, however, due to my intentional undermixing the filling. the first two times i made it i really whipped up the eggs until they doubled in volumn. the result was too fluffy and flakey and got messy when i tried to cut it. today i just gently stirred the eggs with rest of ingredients without whipping them, to try and get a creamier topping. so that's what went wrong here...

  • KristinaMF 21 Nov, 2007

    I did not like this recipe... after baking and following directions exactly, the crust melted away and seemed to end up on top. The middle was too gooey, and way to tart. I tried it a second time just in case i did something wrong... and same thing. I would not recommend this recipe!

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