Elisabeth’s Lemon Bars Recipe

Bake these wonderful, tangy lemon bars for a perfect relief from this summer’s heat. Looking to change things up? Try adding a touch of lavender.


Elisabeth’s Lemon Bars

Sweet and gooey, with a sharp finish. An indulgent treat.

Makes: 8–10 bars
Prep Time: 30 mins 
Cook Time: 45 mins–1 hour


  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (Meyer or Amalfi, if possible)
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest (Meyer or Amalfi, if possible)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • confectioners’ sugar, to finish

Shortbread Layer:

  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, cold


  1. Preheat the oven to 340°F.
  2. First make the shortbread layer. Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and cold butter in a food processor and mix until crumbly. If you don’t have a food processor, cut the butter up with two knives, the back of a fork, or an old-fashioned pastry cutter.
  3. Be careful not to let the butter get too warm either in the appliance or in your hands, because it changes the texture. Mix just until the dough forms a ball.
  4. Press the dough into a 12 x 8-inch baking pan.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes or until golden and set, then let cool slightly while you get on with the topping.
  6. Put the eggs into a bowl with the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Spread onto the cooled shortbread crust and return to the oven for 25–30 minutes or until just set.
  7. Cool completely in the pan. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cut into bars. These will keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


  • Sprinkle with lavender flowers if you have them growing in your yard.


More from Leon Happy Baking:

Excerpted from Leon Happy Baking, by Claire Ptak and Henry Dimbleby. Published by Conran Octopus Limited © 2019 by Leon Restaurants Ltd 2011, 2019. All rights reserved.



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