Our 10 Best Lemon Bar Recipes—Including Classic and With-a-Twist Varieties

Citrus Bars

It's a truth universally acknowledged that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemon bars. One of Martha's favorite desserts, lemon bars are a great make-ahead dish suited to just about any occasion.

Just what is a classic lemon bar? Most of the bar cookies that have this name sport a buttery shortbread crust that mellows the tart citrus top.

Martha has developed a number of dreamy and decadent lemon bar recipes over the years. However you like them—creamy, tangy, topped with meringue—find recipes here for lemon bars you're sure to love.

01 of 10

Creamy Lemon Squares


These creamy lemon squares only require 15 minutes of prep and rely on a secret weapon in your pantry for their satiny smooth filling: sweetened condensed milk.

02 of 10

Tangy Lemon Squares


Usher in spring with classic tangy lemon squares. With a crisp crust and silky filling, they're lovely with a glass of milk or cup of tea.

03 of 10

Lemon Meringue Bars


This recipe teams up a tender, lemon zest-inflected crust with the fluffiest meringue topping to create a lemon bar you'll want to eat all night long. These are easier to make and serve than pie, but just as delectable.

04 of 10

Shaker Lemon Bars


Shaker lemon bars are sweet and pleasantly bitter at the same time thanks to use of the whole lemon, peel included. Paper-thin lemon slices are macerated in sugar overnight for the filling, a technique that comes courtesy of the Shakers, an early 19th-century New England religious group.

05 of 10

Lemon-Date Bars

Marcus Nilsson

These sophisticated lemon bars combine tangy lemon with gooey medjool dates and a rich shortbread crust for a flawless balance of flavors.

06 of 10

Citrus Bars

Citrus Bars

Lemon gets a boost from orange and grapefruit for triple the citrus in this bar recipe. The bright, refreshing flavor makes these the perfect sweet to end any meal.

07 of 10

Lemon-Coconut Tofu Squares


Seeking the perfect vegan dessert? Your search stops here. You'd never guess that these airy, ethereal lemon squares were made with tofu and coconut oil instead of eggs and butter.

08 of 10

Lemon Cheesecake Squares


Lemon bars and cheesecake are two of our favorite desserts. This recipe pairs a creamy lemony filling with a buttery graham cracker crust so we no longer have to choose.

09 of 10

Cranberry-Lemon Squares


Adding cranberries transforms the look and taste of these lemon bars. The recipe calls for dried cranberries, not fresh, so you can make the sweet treats any time you please.

10 of 10

Lemon-Lime Bars

Lemon bars

Tart lime juice and zest in the filling takes these citrus bars to the next level; the crunchy wheat germ in the crust takes them over the top.

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