Overhead view of lemon squares on parchment on a light surface.

Lemon Squares

  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars 1x


The bright and tangy lemon filling is the perfect contrast to the buttery shortbread crust. These classic lemon squares are a refreshing dessert for the warmer months.




  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp kosher salt (¼ tsp table salt)
  • 1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes


  • 2 large eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/cup lemon juice (3-5 lemons)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt (pinch of table salt)


  1. Prep pan and oven: Grease an 8-inch square pan, line with parchment paper overlapping the edges of the pan. Grease parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Make crust: Whisk together flour, sugars, zest and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and cut in using 2 knives or a pastry cutter until coarse crumbs form. You can also add dry ingredients and butter to a food processor, a pulse the mixture until you form coarse crumbs. The dough should stick together when pinched.
  3. Chill and prebake dough: Transfer crust mixture into prepared pan. The mixture might look dry and loose at first. Press down into pan in an even layer. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Bake crust: Place pan in the center of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool slightly and reduce oven to 325°F.
  5. Make filling: Beat together eggs, yolks and sugar until pale and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. This can be done with a whisk by hand, or in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed. Whisk in lemon juice. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt, and mix until just combined. Bake in center of oven for approximately 20-34 minutes or until filling is just set with a very slight jiggle.*
  6. Chill & serve: Allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Chill completely in refrigerator. Lift parchment to remove from pan. Peel away parchment and cut into 16 squares. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy.


I noticed a large difference in cooking times over the years using different stoves, so I included a large range in the directions. An older oven of mine took 20 minutes, while my current oven took 32 minutes. 

You can store the lemon squares in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week

You can also freeze the lemon squares for up to 3 months. Defrost them in the fridge the night before you plan to eat them.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 165
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Sodium: 60mg
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 2g

Keywords: lemon squares, lemon bars, lemon dessert