These Easy Meyer Lemon Bars are made with whole eggs – that’s right, NO SEPARATING EGG YOLKS AND WHITES NEEDED! Using Meyer Lemons can enhance the sweetness of the lemon bars, but regular lemons are also fine to use. If you’re looking for a delicious lemon dessert recipe, these lemon squares are sure to be a hit!
Lemon bars can often be a bit complicated to make, involving separating egg yolks, pre-cooking the lemon curd before baking, and straining the lemon curd of any zest. Some have a firm filling, some a more pudding-like consistency.
I wanted to make lemon bars that really featured delicious Meyer lemons in all their tart, sweet glory, and make it as easy as possible. This recipe only uses one bowl and one pan, does not require that you cool the crust before filling it nor cook the lemon curd before baking, and uses whole eggs rather than just the yolks. And I didn’t strain the curd!
The result? Absolutely delicious. While the lemon curd isn’t as perfectly smooth as a strained version, and the filling not perfectly evenly cooked as it would be with pre-cooking, my verdict? Every single one of those minor sacrifices is 100% worth it for the simplicity and ease of this recipe.
I’m never making lemon bars any other way again, and I hope you think so too! These are so easy!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Meyer lemons – or regular. Other citrus may be used here, but keep in mind you will need to use less sugar for those that are more sweet, such as oranges or grapefruit.
- Baking Powder
- Flour – I haven’t tried using gluten-free flour, but since this is a simple recipe, I think using a gluten-free 1:1 substitute flour may work well here!
- Powdered sugar – this is for the crust; regular sugar can be used here as well, but it will have a crunchier texture (which is fine!).
How to make Lemon Bars
To make the crust, just mix together some butter, powdered sugar, a little bit of salt, and flour. It will be a bit of a crumbly dough that sticks together when you press it, kind of like a more doughy pie crust. Press it into a well-greased large baking pan, and bake until starting to brown.
Then, pour the topping on the crust after it’s cooled for only a few minutes- a mixture of 5 whole eggs, sugar, Meyer lemon juice and zest (from about 4 Meyer lemons), a pinch of salt, baking powder, and a little bit more flour to help firm it up. Bake until set, allow to cool, and you’re done!
Unless of course you want to get fancy and garnish the bars with more powdered sugar, lemon zest, blackberries, and mint. It makes them extra pretty to bring to holiday parties or take photos for your food blog (haha).
Meyer vs. Regular lemons for lemon bars
Meyer lemons are not your average lemon. They are sweeter than other varieties- so sweet, in fact, that you can eat the fruit by itself! This means they are a bit less acidic, and it also means you can use less sugar in the bars to sweeten it. With five whole eggs and plenty of lemon juice and zest, these scrumptious lemon dessert bars actually maintain some nutritional value!
But you can definitely use regular lemons for these lemon bars too – just add a little more sugar. You may also need a few more regular lemons. They tend to be smaller and less juicy than Meyer lemons.
Can I freeze lemon bars?
Yes! I recommend freezing them individually after baking and slicing. Start by flash freezing them. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet with some space in between each bar and freezing for 1-2 hours, until they’re frozen. Then, you can wrap them each individually in plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container or zip top bag, and take them out individually as you want them. That way, they won’t freeze together or smush onto the plastic wrap before they’re frozen.
I have 5 of these delicious Meyer lemons left. What should I make? Maybe this Iced Ginger Honey Lemon Tea?
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Easy Meyer Lemon Bars
For the Crust:
For the Topping:
- 5 eggs
- 1 ½ cups sugar (see notes)
- ¾ cup lemon juice from about 4-5 lemons, Meyer or regular (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest from about 4-5 lemons, Meyer or regular (see notes)
- pinch kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- extra powdered sugar, lemon zest, blackberries, and/or mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- Liberally grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with a little bit of the softened butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Tip: If prepping and measuring all the other ingredients before starting, be sure to zest the lemons before juicing them!
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, mix the rest of the 1 cup butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt on high until well combined.
- Add the 2 cups all-purpose flour and mix on low speed until dough begins to just stick together and clump up (you should be able to form it into a shape easily with your hands, and you shouldn't see any visible flour).
- Press the dough mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan with your hands. Be sure to press down firmly, to really pack it in, and make sure it comes up the sides of the pan a little bit. This will help with shrinking dough and also ensure the curd doesn't seep down under the crust.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until just starting to brown.
- Meanwhile, to make the topping: In the same mixing bowl, mix together the 5 eggs, 1 ½ cups sugar, ¾ cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, pinch kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon baking powder on medium-high speed until well combined and pale in color.
- Add the ¼ cup all-purpose flour and mix until smooth and not lumpy.
- After crust has baked, remove from oven and turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F.
- After the crust has cooled in the pan slightly (you should be able to touch the pan without a potholder), pour the topping in.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 25-35 minutes, or until set (it shouldn't wiggle when you shake the pan gently).
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for at least 20 minutes, preferably longer – it will be much easier to cut if it's room temperature, so I like to plan to let it sit for about an hour.
- Cut into squares and top with extra powdered sugar, lemon zest, blackberries, and/or mint leaves, if desired.
- Storage: Store these in your refrigerator to keep them cool and firm. To freeze, I recommend flash freezing them, then wrapping in plastic wrap individually.
- Use regular lemons: if you don’t have Meyer Lemons, use regular lemons. You may will need a few more to get the right amount of juice, since they are smaller and less juicy. I recommend adding 1/4 cup more sugar to the curd filling as well.
- Some readers have commented that they take longer to bake/set. The original recipe called for baking them for 15-20 minutes after adding the filling. I cooked them again and found that they did take longer, so I adjusted the timing to 25-35 minutes. It may take longer or shorter for you, so keep an eye on them.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: