Grandma Nancy's Cookbook

The Best Lemon Bars


9x13 pan


20 mins

active time

1 hour

total time



1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar,

2 cups white flour,

1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon salt


2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ~4-5 small lemons


2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 1/2 cups sugar


3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons flour


4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract,

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream


1/4 cup powdered sugar


PREHEAT: Bake 350 degrees F.

Line a GLASS or CERAMIC 9 x 13 pan (metal pans tend to make the bars taste metallic). **_Line with parchment and lightly spray just the bottom with non stick spray. *_*

1. In a bowl, beat together the softened butter, 1/2 cup white sugar, 2 cups of flour, almond extract, vanilla extract, and 3/4 teaspoon salt until well combined.

2. Press down evenly on the bottom of the pan and up the sides 1/2 inch and then place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove and bake for 15 minutes **CHECK**or until lightly golden brown at the edges.

3. Meanwhile, place your lemons in the microwave for 15 seconds. Remove, and knead against the counter with your hand. (These two steps help to get your lemons super juicy.)

4. Very finely zest a lemon to get 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Be careful to avoid the white pith of the lemons as that will make your bars bitter. Juice the lemons until you have 2/3 rds cup of lemon juice.

5. Mix 1/1/2 cups white sugar with the 2 teaspoons lemon zest to get it incorporated with the sugar.

6. Juice the lemons. Remove 3 tablespoons lemon juice and whisk it in a small separate bowl with the flour until smooth (this will make sure you don't have flour lumps in the mixture!).

7. In another large bowl, lightly beat the 4 large eggs together. Add in the lemon juice along with the lemon juice + flour slurry. Add the sugar and zest mixture, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, lemon extract, and heavy whipping cream. Whisk until well combined.

8. Pour evenly over the HOT crust through a fine mesh sieve (right out of the oven) and bake for another 15 minutes** CHECK.** Allow to cool and then chill in the fridge until the lemon layer is firm.

In my opinion these are best made the night before, stored in the fridge overnight, and enjoyed the next day!

Before enjoying, sprinkle the top of the bars with powdered sugar (through a fine mesh sieve). Slice and enjoy!

9x13 pan


20 mins

active time

1 hour

total time
Start Cooking