Let's keep the summertime sweets coming! Fresh, bright & bursting with flavor is pretty much the best way to describe a good batch of lemon squares and this recipe meets those standards. I had posted this recipe 3 years ago (throwback!) but what would summer be without some lemon squares??! So, I thought I'd give this recipe a refresher.
Easy ingredients make for easy summer baking, and that's one of the things that I love about this recipe. You'll need all purpose flour, powdered sugar, butter, granulated sugar, eggs, some lemon juice and zest, baking power & salt... most of these you probably already have. These bars are easy peasy lemon squeezy 🙂
There's basically 2 parts to these squares: the crust (it's so yummy) and the lemon filling. That's it.
So let's break it down:
The Crust: all purpose flour, powdered sugar and melted butter. When you combine these 3 ingredients it makes it's bakes up into the most delicious, slightly shortbread -y type crust, perfect for the sweet yet tart lemon filling to rest upon. You bake the crust first and as it's baking your kitchen will be filled with the yummiest scent.
Lemon Filling: Just as easy as the crust. In one bowl combine the eggs, lemon juice, zest, sugar, baking powder, a little AP flour (to thicken) and some salt. Mix it all together and you get a golden, luscious lemon filling. You just pour this filling over the crust and bake a little longer and you'll be one step closer to lemon square bliss!
lemon squares questions and answers
Do I need fresh squeezed lemon juice?
It's completely up to you! You can use fresh squeezed lemon juice if you'd like but it's not required for this recipe. I typically use lemon juice from concentrate because it's more convenient. I have used fresh squeezed lemon juice and the concentrate version in the past and didn't see much difference in the taste or result of this recipe.
The filling look under-done after the recommend baking time:
The filling for these squares will be very soft or look under-done when you pull them out of the oven. This is completely fine.Do not over bake the squares or test the center with a tester to see if it comes out clean. This is why the chilling time is so important for this recipe so the lemon filling has time to firm up and set completely before you cut the bars into squares and serve.
For the Crust
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter (melted)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar plus more for sprinkling
For the Filling
- 4 large eggs
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some extra to hang over the side of the baking dish to make it easy to transfer the squares after baking. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, flour and powdered sugar and mix together until combined, mixture should be thick and sticky. Pour dough into the baking dish and use your hands (or a spatula) to press down and even cover the bottom of the baking dish, forming a crust.
- Bake for 25 minutes
- While the crust is baking, you can make the filling. In a large bowl coming eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk everything together until thoroughly combined, mixture will be bright yellow, slightly thick but still runny. Once the crust is done baking pour the lemon filling right over the crust, make sure to cover the entire crust.
- Return the pan to the oven to bake for 20 more minutes.
- When done baking the bars will have a slightly pale yellow color on top - this is fine!
- Allow the bars to cool completely and then refrigerate for at least an hour or so, so they can set. I like to refrigerate mine overnight.
- When ready to serve, lift the bars out of the baking dish using the parchment paper and lightly sift powdered sugar over the top. Cut into squares and serve!