Classic Shortbread Lemon Bars

Lemon bars have been on my ‘must bake’ list for ages now. I’ve never tried one of these gloriously delicious and zingy bars before but I really wanted to taste one to see what they were really like- so I finally decided to whip up a batch of my own. And as you could probably guess, I wasn’t disappointed. With the weather being absolutely amazing and the sun shining, zesty, tart lemon bars seemed the perfect bake to try out. I’m a real lemon lover. I almost certainly always pick a lemon dessert whenever I eat out at a restaurant. These are my new favourite lemon recipe. And I know I will definitely be making these over and over again this Summer. Enjoy and have a great weekend guys! lemon bars

There’s not enough words to describe these lemon bars. They’re like bites of pure sunshine and each bar is super zingy, tart and really moorish! Perfect to pack up for a Summer picnic or for an afternoon tea party. Also, what’s great is they hardly take a moment to make, so in no time you’ll have an amazing bake without any effort or fuss. Perfect. lemon bar recipe copy

Slice up once really cool, then liberally dust with icing sugar. And I’ve got to warn you, these bars are VERY additive. I dare you to try stop at just one…


Shortbread Layer-

225g of plain flour

85g of caster sugar

100g of unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

40g of vegetable shortening

Splash of pure vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp of milk, more if needed

  Lemon filling-

Zest from 3 lemons + juice from 4

100g of caster sugar

3 free-range eggs

25g of plain flour, sifted

Sifted icing sugar, for serving 


1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan and line a 23cm square baking tin with non-stick baking paper. Set aside.

2. For the shortbread layer: Put the flour and sugar into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter and shortening into the flour mix until you have a fine breadcrumb texture. Stir in the vanilla and milk. Then tip into the lined tin, spread and press out and down evenly until firm. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.

3. For the lemon filling: Whisk together the eggs, lemon juice and zest. Then add the sugar and flour and whisk in to combine fully. Pour the mixture on top of the baked shortbread base. Then turn the oven down to 160 degrees C Fan. Gently place the shortbread back in the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the mix is set but with a slight wobble in the centre.

4. Once cooked, allow to cool in the tin, then slice up into squares and dust with icing sugar- you can cut big or small squares.

lemon bar recipe


Also, as you may have seen my blog post the other day my recipe got featured on the Laura Ashley Blog- I’d really appreciate if you helped me reach 1000 likes on Facebook by liking here

Enjoy guys and have a great weekend!


79 thoughts on “Classic Shortbread Lemon Bars

  1. Jess, these little babies look like what I am craving right this minute! I shall be making them soon. Mel

  2. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #21 | The Novice Gardener

    • Thanks Allison! I’m very much the same, lemon recipes are perfect for any occasion. The colour also is great, and it’s all natural too! Glad you like the recipe! Have a great weekend! x

    • Thanks Eva! They really are bites of sunshine! You’d definitely love this recipe, hope you get a chance to try it out! Have a great weekend too! 🙂 x

  3. Lemon squares are my favorites! You can literally bribe me to do anything with just one of these lemon squares. Anything. Beautiful job, Jess!

  4. I can hardly make a batch of lemon bars and not want to eat the whole batch myself. These look delicious! love the shortbread crust 😀

  5. Hi Jess. I know this might sound like a strange question but what is vegetable shortening? Also I can’t seem to see when you add it to the shortbread mixture. Thanks a mill.

    • Hi Roisin! Thanks so much for pointing out my typo- added the shortening to the method. Shortening is just solid veg oil, makes super light and crumbly pastry. But if you don’t have it in you can just use an extra 40g of butter. Hope that helps! 🙂

  6. Such a classic combination for a summer time treat! These lemon bars & raspberries are the perfect tea time treat! Always love a bit of sticky fingers, dipped in the icing sugar at the end too. Looks lovely Jess!

  7. Jess, I love lemon desserts, too (or lemon anything, really), especially lemon meringue. These seem like much much easier versions of lemon meringue (without the meringue of course!) I think I’ve got to give these a go!

  8. Lemon bars are my favorite and these ones look mouthwatering Jess! Love how pretty they look with the raspberries and icing sugar! They are perfect for summer 🙂

    • Thank you Alessandra! They were- really pleased you like the recipe. Just been looking at your blog- love all the recipes and your photography is amazing!

  9. I love lemon bars, these look delicious Jess. I can just imagine how zingy these must have tasted, yum!

  10. Lemon bars are quick to make, you say? Yay! I don’t know why I always thought they were difficult to prepare. Probably because they look so fabulous with their beautiful layers… Glad to know I was wrong! Your pictures are making me drool now…

    • Thanks Daniela! I always thought they were difficult to make, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Super easy to make. You’ve got to try the recipe out!

  11. These look amazing !! I’d like to make them for a summery Sunday treat but I don’t have veg shortening – would you taste it if I used an animal fat like lard – I know I could use all butter but I want that mouth watering crumble !
    Thanks for another fabulous recipe – happy Sunday !

  12. hi jessica.I live this recipie! I’ve just made a batch of these bars and they taste delicious. what’s the best way to store these? fridge or cuboard?



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