Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

Look no further for delicious lemon bars with shortbread crust! This recipe for lemon shortbread squares is absolute perfection and will be a hit for any occasion.

Lemon Shortbread Squares Recipe

I love lemons so much so this recipe for these lemon bars with shortbread crust is so perfect for when spring is just around the corner!

Speaking of spring, is it warm where you are yet? It’s pretty warm here in Texas already, so we have been taking advantage of pool time!

But it isn’t always sunshine over here, we have also had a lot of rain, which means we have been referencing this rainy day boredom buster list a lot lately!

And on that list is, of course, baking.

If you know me, I have a huge sweet tooth! So desserts are always a must at our house. I really enjoy being in the kitchen and baking with my kids as well. There is always an excuse to make something yummy, right? And these lemon shortbread squares are always a hit!

 

Lemon Shortbread Squares Recipe

Serves: 9

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Chill time: 60 minutes

Total time: About 2 hours 

 

Ingredients for Lemon Shortbread Squares

For the crust: 

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup butter

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt 

 

For the topping: 

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

3 teaspoons grated lemon peel

½ cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

 

Optional: powdered sugar for dusting

 

How to Make this Lemon Shortbread Bars Recipe

The first thing you want to do to make these lemon bars with shortbread crust is preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 

 

Then it’s time to make your crust! Grab a medium mixing bowl and use a fork or your hands to combine the flour, salt, butter, and sugar. Mix until it you have a consistent mixture that resembles coarse crumbs.

When it’s ready, press the crust mixture into an 8×8 baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. 

 

While the shortbread crust bakes, you can start working on the topping. 

Whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Once completely mixed, add the eggs lemon peel and lemon juice. Beat until smooth. 

When the shortbread comes out of the oven, pour the topping mixture right over the hot crust. Bake for an additional 25 minutes until the topping is nearly set. 

 

Let the bars cool in the pan, then transfer them into the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. 

Cut into 9 squares and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Then all you need to do is enjoy these amazing lemon bars with shortbread crust!

Tips and Tricks for Lemon Shortbread Bars

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  1. Make sure that you let your pan cool on the countertop until it’s cool enough to touch before you put it into the fridge. Pans, especially if they are glass, risk cracking when they go through intense temperature changes so you have to be careful! You also don’t want the heat of the bars to warm up the things around it in the fridge. Be patient and give it some time!
  2. Ditch the plastic wrap and make storage easier when you bake with glass pans. Grab a set that comes with matching lids like these. They will be a lifesaver when you want to store leftovers like these, chill foods, or travel with dishes safely!
  3. Though bottled lemon juice can be a great alternative to squeezing your own lemons, you are going to want to use fresh for this recipe. You’ll need to use some zest from a lemon anyway, so stick to fresh lemons!

How to store Lemon Shortbread Bars?

For these lemon bars with shortbread crust, storage is pretty simple! 

 

If you have any leftovers or want to make these bars in advance, just store them covered in the fridge. If kept refrigerated they should last up to five days. 

 

If you are making them in advance and want your presentation to be perfect, wait to dust them with powdered sugar until you serve. If you are storing leftovers, just pull them out and enjoy!

 

How do I know if my lemon bars are set? 

Knowing if your bars are set may feel like the trickiest part of this recipe but I promise it’s not as hard as you think!

 

What you want to look for is a lightly golden edge and a center that doesn’t have much wobble. Your bars should be soft but not liquidy. If you see the golden edge, just give your pan a little shake to check the center!

 

How do you cut lemon bars cleanly?

The sweet gooey topping of these lemon bars with shortbread topping may be delicious but they can make for some pretty messy slices!

 

If you are just enjoying these at home, don’t worry about the messy edges. However, if you want to serve these for an event where presentation is important to you… try this tip!

 

For the cleanest bars, use a warm and even slightly damp knife to make perfect cuts. In between each slice, wipe off the knife so that it is clean and ready to use. 

Can lemon bars be made a day ahead?

They sure can! These Lemon Shortbread Bars are a great dessert to make ahead of time. 

 

You can easily make these bars in advance, but make sure that you store them correctly. Cover them with a lid or plastic wrap once finished and place them in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. 

 

Hold off on the powdered sugar dusting until you are ready to serve to avoid it melting into your bars!

Share with us in the comments how your Lemon Shortbread Bars turn out! And tag us on Instagram with a picture of your recipe! We would love to see it!

Check out these other great dessert recipes:

Funfetti Cheesecake

Copycat Swig Cookies

Oreo Rice Krispies

Creme Brulee

Yield: 9 squares

Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Optional – powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

Crust:

1. In a medium mixing bowl use a fork or your
hands to combine the flour, salt, butter and sugar until it resembles coarse
crumbs.

2. Press the mixture into an 8x8 inch baking
pan.

3. Bake for 20 minutes, until crust is lightly
browned.

Topping:

1. While the crust is baking mix together the
sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

2. Add in the eggs, lemon peel and lemon
juice. Beat well.

3. Spread the topping over the hot shortbread
crust.

3. Bake for 25 minutes, until nearly set.

4. Cool in the pan, then refrigerate for 1
hour.

5. Cut into squares.

6. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

7. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.



Notes

  1. Make sure that you let your pan cool on the countertop until it’s cool enough to touch before you put it into the fridge. Pans, especially if they are glass, risk cracking when they go through intense temperature changes so you have to be careful! You also don’t want the heat of the bars to warm up the things around it in the fridge. Be patient and give it some time!
  2. Ditch the plastic wrap and make storage easier when you bake with glass pans. Grab a set that comes with matching lids. They will be a lifesaver when you want to store leftovers like these, chill foods, or travel with dishes safely!
  3. Though bottled lemon juice can be a great alternative to squeezing your own lemons, you are going to want to use fresh for this recipe. You’ll need to use some zest from a lemon anyway, so stick to fresh lemons!

Don’t forget to save this Lemon Shortbread Square Recipe on Pinterest so you can find it next time you need a gooey delicious dessert that is sure to impress!  

4

2 Comments

  • Flowers On The Dashboard

    I LOVE lemon bars!!

    March 19, 2020 at 5:47 pm Reply
    • Michele

      Lemon bars are the best! Thanks for stopping by!

      March 22, 2020 at 9:44 am Reply

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