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4.25 from 4 votes


Lemon Butter Bars are simple to make, and everyone who tries them will love the three refreshing layers of bright, sweet flavor!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time43 mins
Total Time1 hr 3 mins
Servings: 20



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup cold butter cut into pieces


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 heaping TBSP lemon zest


  • 2 cups sour cream 16 oz
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest + 1 TBSP sugar optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • Scrub 2 lemons and pat dry. Zest both lemon rinds, then slice in half and juice lemon halves.
  • Combine all ingredients for the crust in a large bowl. Mix for about 5 minutes. Initially the mixture will resemble coarse crumbs, but if you continue to mix, it comes together and forms a ball. Press dough evenly into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  • While crust is baking, whisk together ingredients for the filling. Pour onto hot crust and return to the oven for 16-18 minutes, until mixture is lightly browned around the edges and is lightly set in the middle. See note below about extending baking time.
  • Stir the topping ingredients together and spread on top of lemon bars, covering the entire surface. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Stir together 1 TBSP lemon zest + 1 TBSP sugar and sprinkle on top of baked bars once they come out of the oven. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably 24 hours. Cut into squares & serve chilled. Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.


Note: You may need to extend baking time in 5 minute intervals until set. Different factors such as location, elevation, and weather, etc. can result in baking time needing a little extension. You want the filling to be lightly set (meaning not soupy, and a toothpick won't come out completely clean) before adding the topping. The bars will set more in the fridge but baking them more will help as the fridge can only do so much to help them set.