Sweet & savory country cooking from my table to yours!


Tart Lemon Bars


Okay my friends, Pucker Up!!!  I say, if you’re gonna eat lemons you should know you’re eating lemons…not some recipe with an abundance of added sugar to take away the true tart lemon flavor.  When I developed my recipe for lemon bars, I added quite a bit less sugar than most recipes call for.  You’re talking about a true lemon lover here.  I want to taste lemon not sugar.  I’m also not a fan of some shortbread crusts that are too thick and hard, therefore, I added plenty of butter and some cornstarch for an extra buttery tender shortbread crust.  The result was a perfect slightly tart creamy filling atop a tender buttery shortbread crust.  Then for a touch of sweetness, I dusted the tops with powdered sugar.  If you’re one of us true lemon lovers, I think you”re gonna love this recipe for Lemon Bars.

Okay, here’s how I made these scrumptious little bars…

For the crust:

  1. I lightly buttered the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  I did this to hold the parchment paper in place.  I lined the pan with parchment paper, allowing it to hang over the long sides of the pan, for easy removal of the lemon bars later, then I buttered the the parchment paper.
  2. I added some softened butter, flour, cornstarch, kosher salt and powdered sugar to the bowl of my stand mixer.
  3. Using my paddle attachment, I mixed the ingredients on medium speed to combine them together.
  4. I dumped the dough onto a floured countertop and lightly floured it and formed it into somewhat of a ball.
  5. I placed the ball in my prepared pan and used my hands to pat it out evenly across the bottom of the pan and about 1/2″ up the sides.
  6. I baked it for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees until the crust was just lightly browned around the edges and removed it from the oven.  I set it aside while mixing up the filling.

For the filling:

  1. I started by zesting some lemons, (zesting the yellow rind only, not the white pith).
  2. After zesting some lemons, I squeezed the juice from them.
  3. I added some eggs, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice to the bowl of my stand mixer.
  4. And mixed the ingredients on medium speed until well combined…then I added some flour and mixed for an additional 30 seconds to incorporate the flour.
  5. I poured the filling over my baked shortbread crust.
  6. And baked it for about 35 minutes until the filling was set in the center and removed it from the oven.
  7. I allowed the lemon bars to cool completely…then dusted them with powdered sugar.
  8. I cut them into 2″ x 2″ bars and stored them in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers in my refrigerator until ready to serve.  When I served them, I dusted them with additional powdered sugar.

Pucker Up & enjoy!

Cindy @ My Country Table


Tart Lemon Bars

  • Author: Cindy Gibbs @ My Country Table
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 70
  • Yield: 16 1x


A slightly tart and creamy lemon filling atop a tender buttery shortbread crust.



For the Shortbread Crust

  • 2 sticks real butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

For the Lemon Filling

  • About 8 fresh lemons, depending on size
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the Shortbread Crust

  1. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Line the pan with parchment allowing the paper to hang over the long sides of the pan by at least one inch for easy removal of bars. Butter the paper.
  2. Add butter, flour, cornstarch and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed for about a minute to thoroughly combine.
  3. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and form into somewhat of a ball or disc.
  4. Using your hands, pat the dough into the bottom and about 1/2″ up the sides of the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the edges of the crust are just slightly browned.
  6. Remove from oven and let slightly cool while you prepare the filling.

For the Lemon Filling

  1. Zest the lemons, making sure to not zest any of the white pith. Juice enough lemons to have one full cup of juice.
  2. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, egg yolks and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed for about a minute. Add the flour and mix for about 30 seconds just to incorporate the flour.
  3. Spread the filling over the shortbread crust and spread evenly. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes until the center of filling is set.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar.
  5. Cut into 2″ x 2″ squares and place in an airtight container with wax paper between layers.
  6. Lemon bars keep better if refrigerated until ready to serve and will stay fresh for up to three days if refrigerated.
  7. Dust with additional powdered sugar just before serving.


  • Bars can also be cut into squares, then cut diagonally for triangle shaped bars.

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