Lemon Bars


It is about time I’ve posted a lemon bar recipe, wouldn’t you say? Everyone needs a really good lemon bar recipe in their recipe collection, and this one should definitely make the cut.

Lemon Bars | Cooking Classy

These bars are deliciously tart with just the right amount of sweet to compliment the sour. Their bold, fresh lemon flavor is paired with a more mellow hint of orange to tone things down without distracting from the star of the show. Both whole eggs and egg yolks are added to not only give structure but to offer a creamy and smooth texture. I mixed in cream to rid any harsh bitter lemon flavor, and the brown sugar replaces some of the traditional powdered sugar to offer the crust more depth of flavor.

These bars are anything but bland, so if you are looking for a fresh, exciting dessert recipe, don’t pass this one by. Give yourself a hint of summer to brighten these cloudy winter days by making some of these refreshing and decadent lemon bars. You’ll be glad you did once they are melting away in your mouth. Enjoy!

Lemon Bars | Cooking Classy


Lemon Bars

5 from 1 vote



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar , plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter , partially soft and diced into 3/4-inch cubes*


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh navel orange juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish, set aside. In a food processor (you can also just use a bowl and a whisk then a fork or your fingertips to cut in butter), pulse together flour, powdered sugar, brown sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Add diced butter and pulse until mixture begins to come together in crumbles. Press mixture into an even layer on bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of the prepared baking dish (be sure to press together any cracks). Bake in preheated oven until lightly golden, about 20 minutes (zest lemons then juice lemons and oranges while crust is baking and begin to prepare filling because you want to pour filling over a hot crust).
  2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, flour and 1/8 tsp salt. Several minutes before crust is done baking, mix in lemon juice, orange juice and lemon zest, then add eggs, egg yolks and heavy cream and whisk vigorously to blend well. Pour mixture over hot crust, then reduce oven temperature to 325 and return to oven and bake until filling is just set, about 20 - 25 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature 1 hour, then cover and chill in refrigerator about 1 1/2 - 2 hours or overnight (if resting overnight I'd recommend letting them rest at room temperature a bit before serving). Cut into squares and dust tops with powdered sugar just before serving. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
  3. *Let rest at room temperature about 30 minutes unless you are in a warmer environment, then I'd let rest about 20 minutes. It should be slightly firm and just beginning to soften.
  4. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • sally @ sallys baking addiction: I haven’t made a lemon dessert in months, but nothing would cheer me up on this gloomy day more than a sunshine sweet lemon bar. You are right, everyone needs a stand-out lemon bar recipe in their repertoire Jaclyn. A true classic! January 14, 2014 at 11:55am Reply

  • Maryea {happy healthy mama}: Lemon is one of my favorite flavors, so I can’t believe I’ve never made lemon bars. These are going on my list of things to try. Pinned for later. :) January 14, 2014 at 12:09pm Reply

  • Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen: I can never resist lemon bars!! Perfect burst of sunshine on a dreary January day. Pinned! January 14, 2014 at 12:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for sharing Kelli! January 14, 2014 at 7:37pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: What gorgeous lemon bars! You have so many pretty lemon recipes and these fit right in! I love a good old fashioned lemon bar and these are perfect! pinned January 14, 2014 at 1:46pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Averie! You’re the best :)! January 14, 2014 at 7:36pm Reply

  • pat simon: Any substitute for the heavy cream, or can it be left out without damage? I’m lactose intolerant… January 14, 2014 at 2:44pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would probably use almond milk if you have it. Or omit it and reduce the flour to 1/3 cup and you should be fine. January 24, 2014 at 10:30pm Reply

  • Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness: Lemon bars are my absolute favorite! I love how fresh they are and yours look perfect! And such gorgeous photos as always! January 14, 2014 at 2:45pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Taylor! January 14, 2014 at 7:34pm Reply

  • Liz@Virtually Homemade: Everyone does need a good lemon bar recipe! These look so beautiful :) January 14, 2014 at 3:04pm Reply

  • Mimi @ Culinary Couture: These are gorgeous Jaclyn! I can’t wait to try these with some Meyer lemons! January 14, 2014 at 3:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Mimi! January 14, 2014 at 7:34pm Reply

  • Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe: Oh, how I love lemon bars. Well, actually I love anything that involves lemons, not to mention whole lemon-based dessert!
    Can’t wait to try these out :)

    xo, Elisa January 15, 2014 at 5:26am Reply

    • Emily Galloway: My neighbor lady has ripe pomegranites, and someone told me that they were delishous on lemon bars. These look really good, I am going to try them! Thanks for the recipe! September 12, 2017 at 12:18am Reply

  • Kristine @ Kristine’s Kitchen: I haven’t made lemon bars in forever and looking at yours I think that will soon change! The lemon layer looks like it’s just bursting with flavor and I love how you partially dusted them with powdered sugar. Beautiful! January 15, 2014 at 6:33am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Kristine! January 15, 2014 at 11:36pm Reply

  • Gintare @Gourmantine: The color of these is fabulous, a spark of sunshine during these dreary months. Just beautiful! January 15, 2014 at 6:50am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Gintare! January 15, 2014 at 11:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Gintare! You have a wonderful blog! January 15, 2014 at 11:36pm Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: A delicious lemon bar is a must in every bakers repitoire! For some reason, I’ve never succeeded in making lemon bars. Thankfully, it’s one of the few things my mom actually likes to make, but I still need to perfect them! Definitely trying this out to see if this is finally a recipe that works for me! Pinned :) January 15, 2014 at 8:16am Reply

  • Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction: I love a good lemon bar! These are so cheery in the middle of winter! January 15, 2014 at 12:44pm Reply

  • Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks: Gorgeous, Jaclyn! Love lemon bars! January 15, 2014 at 1:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Jessica! January 15, 2014 at 11:35pm Reply

  • Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche: These look incredible!! I love how moist they are. Nothing better than sharp lemon topped with icing sugar :) January 15, 2014 at 1:19pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: Lemon bars are my ultimate weakness and I think I’ve just found the PERFECT recipe for it! January 16, 2014 at 10:41am Reply

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen: Luscious! Your lemon bars look absolutely divine, Jaclyn. Have a lovely weekend, my dear. Pinned! January 17, 2014 at 6:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks! I hope you have a great weekend Stacy! January 17, 2014 at 8:06pm Reply

  • Mindy: Way to go! Love how they delicious lemon bars turned out today! I’m going to cut up a bunch tomorrow for a St. Vincent de Paul meeting and I’m sure it will fill a void! These are keeper.
    Keep up the good work, as I’m a dedicated lurker who loves to try out new recipes all the time! Luv the blog. January 20, 2014 at 2:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked these lemon bars Mindy! Thanks for the compliment too :)! January 27, 2014 at 9:18pm Reply

  • Nancy: These lemon bars are absolutely delicious! My husband says they are the best ever, he can’t stop eating them! Thanks for the recipe! February 3, 2014 at 8:57am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Just what I love to hear Nancy :)! I’m so glad you both enjoyed them! Thanks for your comment. February 3, 2014 at 10:28am Reply

  • Aspen: Turned out great. I did a little less sugar in the filling since I like really tart lemon bars, so I had to bake an extra 5 mins. The juice of the orange is a great addition I wouldn’t have thought of. Thanks for the recipe! March 10, 2014 at 1:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome Aspen! I’m so glad you liked these! March 23, 2014 at 5:03pm Reply

  • Cheryl: Hi is there anything to substitute the heavy cream with?? :-) March 28, 2014 at 8:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Half and half or milk should be fine since it’s a small amount. March 31, 2014 at 9:01pm Reply

  • Kathy @ Melding Magic: Your lemon bars are so wonderful I just had to share on my blog. I used my own photos but made sure to give you all the credit for the recipe. Thank you so much for sharing. Actually, your recipe saved the day for me (which you can read about on my post). Thanks again…..picture perfect, outstanding, recipe! May 20, 2014 at 3:59pm Reply

  • Jessica: Hi Jaclyn, these look wonderful! But I was wondering if you had any Lemon Meringue Pie recipe without condensed milk? I really am in the search for the best ones and your recipes never seem to fail! June 29, 2014 at 4:20pm Reply

  • Beckie: Hi,I never made lemon bars before,but we’re having a party and really want to make these because they look amazing!!Any way I can make them in advance or freeze them?Any tips would be great!Thanks! July 29, 2014 at 1:34pm Reply

  • Elehanna: I was wondering if there is something I could switch the orange juice with? I have a neurological problem that does not allow me to eat the color orange, and these bars look delicious…… perhaps lime juice instead? November 15, 2014 at 2:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think the lime juice would be a good substitute. I hope you love them! November 15, 2014 at 11:27pm Reply

  • Lyn: I made these today with boyfriend. We both couldn’t resist waiting for them to cool. Love the lemon flavor in these! I didn’t have lemon zest though and substitute it with 1/4 lemon extract. I think they turned out great!! Thanks for the recipe (: 💕 November 1, 2015 at 10:20pm Reply

  • jeanne: Finally tried this recipe. So good! The flavor was fantastic. Just edgy enough. The texture of the lemon layer was perfect. My bottom layer was a little dry. Maybe i didn’t measure the butter correctly or maybe my brown sugar was a little too dry. I’ll try this again because i believe it was my error. Thank you for another wonderful recipe.
    Jeanne January 22, 2016 at 6:12pm Reply

  • Jenn: For my sister’s birthday (today!), we celebrated last weekend and I made these for her, the lemon-crazed dessert person that she is! I’ve got to tell you… these are so beyond delicious! She LOVED THEM!!!! So did everyone else. Even my husband, who typically doesn’t like lemon-flavored desserts enjoyed a couple bites. But for those of us who do love lemon, we were all fighting for the next one.

    Truthfully, your recipes are my go-to recipes for any occasion. I love to bake and I’m constantly going to your blog for ideas. I’ve made your lemon bars, pecan pie bars, streusel pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, carrot cake cookies, and more. Each time the recipe is a HIT! I tell everyone that likes the stuff I make that it’s your recipe and they should go to your blog. I have so much confidence making your recipes that I don’t have to do a test batch of anything before an event… I know it will be amazing! Thank you for having this blog and these yummy recipes. I’m planning on making the raspberry crumb bars soon! :) June 30, 2016 at 9:23am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I am SO glad they were enjoyed Jenn! Thanks for the kind words! July 6, 2016 at 10:23am Reply

  • Aubrie: I’m so excited to try these, and want to make sure I do everything correctly. For the crust, is it salted or unsalted butter? Thank you! September 3, 2016 at 11:07am Reply

  • Devy: I have a pan baking in the oven as I write this. I can’t wait to try them once they are done. January 29, 2017 at 8:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love them Devy! January 30, 2017 at 2:52pm Reply

  • Jessica: Oh my gosh… These were AMAZING!!! I had made these for my hubby to take to work, but I found myself trimming slivers off of the sides of the squares to eat.

    There are so many different lemon bars recipes to choose from online… But I remembered that I had been obsessed with your lemon cheesecake bars… So I searched your site and found these. I’m so glad I choose this recipe over the others!!

    THANK YOU!!! April 11, 2017 at 6:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Jessica! So glad you loved them! April 18, 2017 at 12:40pm Reply

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