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Side shot of a plate full of the best lemon squares recipe.
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5 from 2 votes

Old Fashioned Lemon Squares

These sweet and tangy old-fashioned lemon squares are easy to make from scratch with just 10 minutes of prep!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword classic lemon bars, lemon bars, lemon squares, lemon squares recipe, old fashioned lemon squares
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings 24 squares
Calories 196kcal
Author Blair Lonergan



  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, melted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar, plus extra for dusting at the end



  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish or line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides.

Prepare Crust:

  • In a large bowl, stir together melted butter, flour and confectioners sugar until completely combined.
    Process shot showing how to make the crust for an old fashioned lemon squares recipe.
  • Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish. I like to use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to gently press the crust into an even layer. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
    Shortbread crust for homemade lemon bars.

Prepare Filling:

  • While the crust is in the oven, make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and baking powder. Add the eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest; whisk until completely combined.
    Process shot showing how to make old fashioned lemon squares recipe.
  • Pour the filling over the hot crust. Return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
    Overhead shot of easy lemon squares recipe before baking.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with additional powdered sugar.
    Pan of old fashioned lemon squares dusted with powdered sugar in a glass baking dish.
  • Slice into squares and serve.
    Hands picking up a bar from a stack of old fashioned lemon squares.


  • Use a glass baking dish if possible, or a ceramic dish as an alternative. Metal pans can sometimes give the bars a metallic aftertaste.
  • Use freshly-squeezed lemon juice (not bottled juice) for the best flavor.
  • When zesting the lemon, be sure that you’re only scraping off the outer layer of the peel (this is where the essential oils and delicious flavor can be found). Be careful not to grate any of the bitter white pith from the fruit.
  • Allow the bars to cool completely before dusting with sugar and slicing. I like to cool the bars at room temperature for about 1 hour, and then refrigerate the pan for at least 2 more hours before cutting.
  • If you notice little white bubbles on the top of your bars after baking, that's totally normal. These little air bubbles rise to the top as the eggs cook. Just dust the cool bars with powdered sugar and the bubbles will be undetectable.


Serving: 1square | Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 276IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg