Introduction: Easy Lemon Bars

These are perfect, neither too lemony nor too sweet, light, and slightly sticky lemon bars.  I was amazed at how well this recipe turned out, considering I'd never made lemon bars before!  I'm giving you my own tailored version, since even though they were great, I think there is always room for improvement (unless it comes to devilish angel food cake which is pretty much perfect in all ways).  It's a pretty straight-forward recipe, so I hope you enjoy! 

Shopping list:

  • 4 large lemons 
  • 4 eggs
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Confectioner's sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt

Make the crust:

Line a 13"x9" baking dish or jelly roll pan with a double layer of parchment, or one of foil and one of parchment (the extra strength will help you lift the bars out of the pan for cutting).  

In a food processor, pulse together: 

  • 1 3/4 cups (220g) flour
  • 2/3 cup (83g) confectioner's sugar 
  • 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (170g) cool butter  
and pulse to blend until coarse

  • 1-2 tablespoons cold vodka 
this will help hold the dough together while you pat it into the pan, but will bake off in the oven, leaving a light, flaky crust.  If you don't have vodka (which leaves no taste), you can try ice water, but it will make the dough a little more soggy.  You can also skip this ingredient all together.

Sprinkle mixture over the  parchment lined pan, and press into the bottom and up the sides .  

Chill in pan for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350oF (180C) 

Bake crust for 20 minutes, until light golden in color, turning pan half way through baking time for even browning.

While the crust is baking, make the filling:

Whisk together:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups (330g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest from 2 large lemons
  • 3/4 cups (6oz) lemon juice from 4 large lemons
  • 1 1/3 cup (11 oz) milk
  • dash salt

Pour filling into warm crust.   Bake for 20 minutes until firm set.  Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

When bars are cool, lift them from a pan and use a knife or pizza cutter to cut bars, rinsing the blade in cool water between cuts.

Dust tops with powdered sugar and serve!

This is the first in a series of recipes I will be making as a side project to support my local market, LeBeau, in San Francisco.  If you are interested in following the rest of the series (including several which will be exclusive to their page) follow them on Facebook, and let them know scoochmaroo sent you!  Or just follow them :D 


scottirobbo1985 made it! (author)2011-05-11

whats all purpose flour?

scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2011-05-11

It's basic flour without any added leaveners like "self-rising" flour. Typically, all-purpose flour has a10-12% protein content, unlike bread flour (12-14%), cake flour (6-8%), or pastry flour (8-10%).

steveastrouk made it! (author)steveastrouk2011-07-18

AKA "Plain flour"

Avocadoes made it! (author)Avocadoes2015-07-12

Scoochmaroo gives a detailed explanation and you're like 2 words, Plain Flour LOL

steveastrouk made it! (author)steveastrouk2015-07-12

"Plain flour" is the UK description of what you buy in the store.

Avocadoes made it! (author)Avocadoes2015-07-12

hows life after three years

Avocadoes made it! (author)Avocadoes2015-07-12

Hos life 3 years after that comment

RadioactiveBees made it! (author)2012-08-18

Sometimes I wish you weren't so good at this kind of thing! It's like your fattening the whole instructables community up for eating! (And if you do eat them, you will make it very delicious.)

patriots8888 made it! (author)2012-02-17

Made it.....Numnumnumnum

adrofig made it! (author)2011-11-13

Just made! Another delicious recipe from scoochmaroo!

robolion made it! (author)2011-09-21

I have a similar recipe with the addition of a layer of melted chocolate on the baked crust.

steveastrouk made it! (author)2011-07-18

Love the vodka trick - very clever.

meitate made it! (author)2011-07-12

mine turned out very squishy, but tasted great!

bettbee made it! (author)2011-05-20

Mmmmm. Am thinking of how to veganize 'em . . . have you tried with with tofu or flax goo or any of the usual suspects, and if not, have you any thoughts on how you'd do it? Would appreciate any ideas before I dive in and try to work it out, the less ingredients I abuse on trial and error the more I'll like it :-)

bryandhispup made it! (author)2011-05-13

I can't wait to try these!

NaturalCrafter made it! (author)2011-05-12

I want to try this using chocolate mint from the and Chocolate Maypo for the sub the cornstarch. The tricky part will be the mint for the lemon juice. I have never done a plant extract though I have read about it. hummm...wheels turning..Gotta try it the lemon way first though.

NaturalCrafter made it! (author)2011-05-12

I really love these. They are lemon...yum! And then lots of protein and some sugar. I could really enjoy making these.

olga_1110 made it! (author)2011-05-12

jrossetti made it! (author)2011-05-11

What size eggs did you use?

scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2011-05-11


About This Instructable




Bio: Former Living & Food editor here at Instructables, now running! Follow me @sousvidely
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