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These old-fashioned lemon squares are made homemade with a shortbread crust and with real lemon juice. Powdered sugar is added to the top after baking. Perfect for a light dessert.

(Last Updated On: July 9, 2022)

This old fashioned lemon squares recipe is so delicious and quick to make. It only takes 27 minutes total to bake in the oven. Then, the final step is to sprinkle powdered sugar on top. The recipe is so simple to make. The taste is incredible. If you love lemon meringue pie but don’t want to go through all of the hassles of making it, these lemon bars will satisfy your lemon craving with the spectacular lemon flavor pouring out of these bars.

Old-fashioned lemon bar on a plate.

🍋 Key Ingredients for These Old-Fashioned Lemon Squares

Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Lemon Filling

  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

Topping

  • 1/2 cup Confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
Ingredients for old fashioned lemon squares.
Ingredients for lemon bars.

👩‍🍳 How to Make Old-Fashioned Lemon Squares Recipe (Step-By-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)

Making the Shortbread Crust for Lemon Squares

In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup of softened butter all together with 1/4 cup of sugar.

Softened butter and sugar blended together.
Mix the softened butter all together with the sugar.

Gradually add the flour together with the butter and sugar. This will form a kind of crumbly mixture.

Flour added to the butter sugar mixture.
Gradually add the flour to the butter and sugar mixture.

Then, overlap a piece of parchment paper into an 8×8-inch baking pan. After that, press the crust mixture into the parchment paper in the baking pan. However, if you don’t have parchment paper, go ahead and use some cooking spray all around the baking pan.

Parchment paper placed in baking pan with lemon bars crust.
Place parchment paper into the baking pan. Press the crust mixture over the top of the parchment paper.

Place the baking pan with the crust mixture into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the edges of the shortbread crust are lightly browned. After the 15 minutes are up, take the baking pan out of the oven and set it aside.

Lemon bars crust is done baking in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

Making the Lemon Filling for Lemon Bars

In a small bowl, put 3/4 cup of sugar together with 2 eggs, 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice (or use this lemon juice), 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder. Mix thoroughly together.

Note: You can squeeze the juice from real lemons, or you can use 100% real lemon juice from a bottle. It’s much quicker to use lemon juice from the bottle, but you can’t beat freshly squeezed lemon juice either.

Sugar, eggs, lemon juice, flour, and baking powder in a bowl.
Mix the sugar all together with the eggs, lemon juice, flour, and baking powder.

Pour the lemon filling over the top of the baked crust.

Lemon bar filling in baking pan.
Pour lemon filling over the top of the baked crust.

Bake for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes of baking time, the lemon filling will be lightly browned on the top and the inside will be slightly set but still a bit gooey. Let the baked lemon squares cool completely before going on to the next step.

Lemon filling baked in the oven for 12 minutes.
Bake lemon bars for 12 minutes.

Topping For Lemon Bars

Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar over the top of the lemon filling, then chill it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. The firmness of the lemon filling will be set as it cools in the refrigerator.

Powdered sugar sprinkled over the top of the lemon filling for this old fashioned lemon squares recipe.
Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over the top of the lemon bars.

After the lemon bars are chilled, they are cut into 9 squares. They are now ready to serve.

Old fashioned lemon squares cut into 9 pieces.
Lemon bars are done baking and have been chilled, then cut into 9 squares.

✍️ Final Thoughts for This Lemon Bar Recipe

I hope you like this recipe for old-fashioned lemon bars as much as our family does. They are so easy to make and taste so much better than the ones you can make out of a box. Enjoy!

Old fashioned lemon squares recipe complete.

❓ FAQs for Old Fashioned Lemon Squares Recipe

Can lemon bars be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze and store these classic lemon bars to make them last and stay fresh longer. It is easy to thaw them when you are ready to eat by simply setting them out for a few minutes. When stored properly in an airtight container, lemon squares can be stored for 2-3 months.

Old Fashioned Lemon Bars

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Old Fashioned Lemon Squares Recipe

Old Fashioned Lemon Squares Recipe

Flo
These old-fashioned lemon squares are made homemade with a shortbread crust and with real lemon juice. Powdered sugar is added to the top after baking. Perfect for a light dessert.
5 from 2 votes
Cost $4
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 27 mins
Total Time 37 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings 9

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Crust

Lemon Filling

Topping

  • 1/2 cup Confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)

Instructions
 

Crust

  • In a small bowl mix together the butter and sugar.
  • Gradually add the flour to the bowl with the butter and sugar.
  • Overlap a piece of parchment paper into an 8×8-inch baking pan.
  • Press the crust mixture into the baking pan.
  • Bake at 350-degrees for 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Take out of the oven and set aside.

Lemon Filling

  • In a small bowl mix together the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, flour, and baking powder.
  • Pour the lemon filling over the top of the crust.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.

Topping

  • After 12 minutes, take them out of the oven. The lemon filling will be slightly set but not completely firm and will be lightly browned on the top. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar over the top.
  • Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before serving so the lemon filling can thicken as it cools.

Recipe Notes

  • If you have leftover lemon bars, they can be put into the freezer so they will last longer and you can eat them at a later date.
  • This recipe cuts the lemon bars into 9 squares, but you can cut them smaller than that.
  • If you have the time, squeezing your own fresh lemons brings out the best lemon flavor in lemon bars. Using 100% lemon juice from the bottle is definitely more convenient and works great too.
Keyword confectioners’ sugar, lemon, lemon bars, lemon juice, powdered sugar
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