These easy lemon squares can be made in one bowl and come together super fast. When citrus is in season, grab some lemons and make these easy lemon squares now!
Now they say your tastebuds change as you get older. That can only explain why I now crave lemon desserts. Because as a child if it was dipped, dunked, covered, drowning in chocolate I wanted it. But lemon? Nah, pass.
Now that I’m older? Ok, now I still want it if it’s dipped, dunked, covered, drowning in chocolate. But for whatever reason, I also can’t seem to pass up a tart, tangy zippy lemon dessert. Like these easy lemon squares.
Lemon squares. Lemon bars? Oh who cares, they are so good. So let’s not waste any more time and let’s get into it.
How To Make These Easy Lemon Squares
To make these lemon bars, first start by making the shortbread crust. You want to combine in your metal mixing bowl, your correctly measured flour, granulated white sugar, and softened butter. If you forgot to take your butter out ahead of time, then here are 3 ways to soften your butter. I used my pastry blender to work the butter into the flour and sugar. You could also just use your hands. Don’t be afraid. Get in there.
Then go ahead and press the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan. I made one batch in a 8×11 pan, which you can do if you want a thicker bar. I preferred the 9×13. But hey, you want thick. Go thick. You want thinner. Go 9×13. You’re the boss in your own kitchen.
Pro Tip: Use the bottom of your dry measuring cup to press the mixture into your pan.
Now while these bake for about 20 minutes, go ahead and use the SAME bowl to make the lemon part. I seriously love one bowl desserts. They might be my new favorite thing. Like this S’mores Chocolate cake, or this apple sheet cake. Or my favorite…this peach rasbperry tart. In fact, my new favorite cookbook is One Bowl Baking. I mean the title says it all doesn’t it?
Ok let’s not get sidetracked. I could talk cookbooks all day. But today we’re talking lemon bars.
In the same bowl, you need to add some white sugar, flour, 4 room temperature eggs, and of course your lemon juice.
Now here is what I don’t like about most lemon bar recipes out there. They say vague things like “juice of 3 lemons”. Um, I don’t know about you but I don’t always get the same amount of juice from my lemons every time. So frustrating. So when I tested this recipe I used a glass measuring cup to make sure that I give you an exact amount. I wanted mine nice and tangy so I used 2/3 cup of fresh lemon juice. Which, was usually about 3 lemons (sometimes 2 1/2, sometimes 4). See what I mean? Not always the same.
I also threw in some lemon zest for a real lemon punch. If you want a less tangy lemon bar, you can leave out the zest. Not me. And that’s it. Give it a whisk (have I told you about my new favorite kitchen tool, this whisk?). And you’re all set. Once your crust has baked, time to pour the lemon filling over it. Be sure to pour the lemon mixture over your crust while it’s still hot. And then bake for another 20 minutes. That’s it!
Oh wait. You need some powdered sugar on top of course. I used a sifter to sprinkle some powdered sugar right on top. Be sure to do this while the bars are warm, so the sugar sticks. And here comes the hard part. Letting the bars rest and set up in the fridge for about 2 hours. I told you it was the hard part. But then it’s time to cut, eat, enjoy, repeat.
Learn how to make these easy lemon squares in the video below!
Now I don’t know who “they” is that says my tastebuds have changed as I have gotten older. Maybe I just didn’t get to have the best lemon bars in the world as a kid. Because if I did, I know I wouldn’t have passed them up.
To Make These Easy Lemon Squares You Will Need:
- Metal Mixing Bowl
- Whisk (this is my favorite whisk...comes with a bowl scraper!)
- Microplane to easily grate the zest for your lemons
- Glass measuring cup
- Dry measuring cups
- 9×13 baking pan
One Bowl Easy Lemon Squares
For the shortbread crust:
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
For the filling:
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- zest of 2 lemons
- `1. Pre-heat oven to 350oF. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- 2. Make the shortbread crust: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. Then using a pastry blender or your hands, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Then press into the bottom of the your 9x13 pan. You can use the bottom of a dry measuring cup to press the mixture into the pan or just use your fingertips.
- 3. Bake the crust for about 20 minutes.
- 4. Meanwhile, while the crust is baking prepare the filling. In the same bowl, whisk together all the filling ingredients.
- 5. When the crust is done, remove from the oven. Immediately pour the lemon filling over the hot crust. Then return to the oven again for another 20 minutes or until the filling is set.
- 6. Immediately dust the top of the lemon bars with powdered sugar. Allow the bars to cool completely and set up in your refrigerator (usually about 2 hours). Then cut into bars and serve.
- If you want thicker bars, use a smaller pan - 8x11 pan. You will need to bake the crust and filling for a few extra minutes.
- If you want less zesty of a bar, omit the lemon zest.
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