A bright pop of citrus makes everything taste like sunshine. No wonder these easy lemon bars have become a popular recipe that home cooks love to make. The refreshing, sweet and lightly tart lemon squares are an easy-but-classic dessert.



Expert Tips

  • Line your baking pan with heavy-duty foil for easy removal and cutting. Turn the pan over and form the foil over it, then turn the pan upright and drop the foil in, gently pressing it into the corners. Fold the foil overhang over the top edges of the pan.
  • One medium lemon should give you just enough peel and juice to make these refreshing bar cookies.
  • The bar crust is considered “short” because of the ratio of flour, butter, and sugar—making it extraordinarily tender and crumbly.
  • Grate just the lemony-yellow part of the lemon skin—the zest, which contains the essential flavor oils of the fruit. The underlying white part, called the pith, is bitter. Use a microplane grater or the small hole side of a box grater to remove just that very top layer of the lemon skin. A stiff pastry brush helps push all the zest from a box grater.
  • For a bright lemon color, add 4 to 6 drops of yellow food color with the eggs and sugar mixture.
  • This recipe yields bars with a mild lemon flavor, but if you’d like a little extra zing try doubling the amount of lemon zest and lemon juice. The editors tried it and loved this version!