Lemon Squares

I am totally incapable of going to the grocery store to buy just one thing. Today I ran over to pick up some eggs and bread. That’s it. Just eggs and bread. I came out with bananas, fresh ginger, frozen chicken (3 pounds for 5 bucks! Who could pass that up??) Greek yogurt, milk, and, luckily, eggs and bread. How many times have you gone to the store for one thing and forgotten the one thing? Wait, that’s just me?

I’m always so confident, too. I’m only getting two things! Who needs a cart? And then I feel like an idiot when I am trying desperately not to drop everything because my arms are completely overloaded with unnecessary chicken and ginger.


Speaking of dropping things, when you make these lemon squares, try not to drop your kid’s lunch on it. I was pulling Charlotte’s lunch out of the microwave, and unfortunately the crust I had just baked was situated directly below. These squares taste a lot better when you leave out that center layer of leftovers.

I think lemon squares make it in my top five for favorite desserts. And not only because they make my face sweat. This recipe is perfect in my opinion because the crust is so thick. It balances out the tartness just right. Have fun squeezing all those lemons by the way. It is so worth it!

Lemon Squares

Source: adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of one lemon

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice*
zest of 2 lemons
powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl (or mixer), blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and zest. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8×11 inch pan.** Wet your fingers a little if the dough sticks to your hands. Bake for 24-26 minutes, or until golden around the edges.

In a bowl (or using mixer), whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour. Whisk in the eggs,  lemon juice, and zest. Pour over the baked crust.

Bake for an additional 26-28 minutes in the preheated oven. The edges should be set with the center still a little wiggly. The bars will firm up as they cool. Refrigerate for a few hours until they are cold, then dust with powdered sugar right before serving.

*If you are a wuss and don’t like your desserts extremely tart, decrease the lemon juice to 2/3 cup, and decrease the flour (in the custard layer) to 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon. Also decrease the zest, maybe do 1 1/2 lemons.

**This recipe for lemon squares needs to be baked in an 8×11 inch pan. Don’t hate me if you don’t have one, and don’t hate me if you choose to make these in a 9×13 and come up with not-thick-enough lemon bars. I can’t be held responsible for your poor baking utensil choices. Go find an 8×11 inch pan right now!!


8 thoughts on “Lemon Squares

    • It’s in the last picture, can’t you see it? Little bits of rice and chicken in between the crust and custard? Yum.
      (I’m totally lying)

  1. Pingback: Rhubarb Meringue Layers « The Food Charlatan

  2. How many lemons would you say that you used? I have so many fond memories of lemon bar eating…with my grandmother; at a bakery in Amish country in Pennsylvania; with you…oh no wait, that was lemon slurp.

    • Hmmm I think I used 3 or 4 very large lemons. Just buy a few, and if it’s not quite enough you could throw in a few squirts of refrigerated lemon juice to make up for it. Long live lemon slurp!!

  3. Pingback: Creamy Lime Bars | The Food Charlatan

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