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lemon squares

January 20, 2010

I can’t say that I’m a big citrus dessert fan.  I’ll pass on key lime and lemon meringue pies.  I’d likely turn down a lemon sorbet.  When it comes to tart citrus fruits, I find them overwhelming in my desserts.  Except this one.  If you are looking for a dessert that’s going to make you pucker, I can tell you know that you’ll be disappointed.  This is my kind of lemon dessert.

So, while we were getting ready to see a friend who just had their first baby, I thought whipping up a batch of these to bring along as a little baked gift would be a good idea and naturally, no one would mind if I kept a few for us at home.

Lemon Squares



  • 2 sticks butter (226g)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp concentrated lemon juice*
    • *KC note: as you can see in the photo above, I opted out of the concentrated lemon juice and used fresh.   It could have been the lemons, but I actually wonder if the concentrate would have been better.  The end result in my lemon bars was subtle even for my tastes.  Alternatively, I imagine you can also make a fun variation with oranges or limes.



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C
  2. Cut butter into small pieces and mix together with flour and powdered sugar.
  3. Mix with hands until butter is fully incorporated and you have a workable dough.
  4. Line a 9″x13″ with parchment paper and roll out the dough to the edges.  Getting the dough to be even can be a little difficult to get an even dough, so try to find a short enough object to help you roll it out.  I used handy dandy mini rolling pin/muddler that I received this Christmas.  Perfect size!
  5. Bake the dough for 20 minutes at 350°F/177°C.
  6. While the dough is baking, you have time to make the topping.
  7. In a bowl, combine all the topping ingredients together (eggs, salt, baking powder, lemon juice, flour and sugar)
  8. Whisk together until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  9. Now it’s time to check on the crust!  You know the dough will be ready once it reached a nice golden brown color.
  10. Once done, remove from the oven and add your lemon topping to evenly cover the dough.
  11. Return pan to the oven (still heated to 350°F/177°C) and bake for another 25 minutes. You will know it’s done when the topping is set and has taken on an even brown color.
  12. Once your squares are down, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  13. Cut into squares and then sift powdered sugar over the squares.13.  That’s it!
8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2010 11:08 pm

    It looks great!

    • January 22, 2010 8:13 am

      Thanks, Joe. The upside is they taste even better than they look!

  2. lor permalink
    February 11, 2010 7:43 am

    Tried this, didn’t turn out well. Lemon taste was VERY mild, almost non-existent ! Won’t try this again…

    • February 22, 2010 7:42 pm

      Oh no! Sorry it didn’t do it for you.

      As I mentioned in my post, I’m not a huge citrus dessert fan, and tried to convey that this isn’t a dessert for someone looking for big delivery on the lemon flavor, but perhaps I was too subtle. For strong lemon flavor, you can easily bump up the lemon juice content without throwing off the rest of the recipe.

  3. July 15, 2010 2:19 pm

    They look great!!!
    A sure try for me…
    Can you tell me how you added text to your photos

    • July 15, 2010 2:51 pm

      Thanks. As I mentioned in the post and another comment, they’re not super lemony. So, for a stronger lemon flavor, up the lemon juice content. Re: the font. I use photoshop to get text on there, but I’ve heard great things about photo-editing sites like Picnik that would wonders and I’m sure could add text. You should check them out:

  4. February 9, 2011 10:54 pm

    I tried these tonight! My citrus trees are overflowing and am glad I found this recipe even added some Orange. Its not as citrusy as concentrate, but I like the subtle flavor.

    • February 10, 2011 4:53 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I personally love how subtle the citrus is. Overly tart lemon desserts completely turn me off. Enjoy that surplus of citrus!

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