Classic Lemon Bars

January is not only the month of healthy eating but also the month for baking lemon bars and the month that decides which teams go to the Super Bowl.  Much like my classic lemon bars, the SF 49ers played and won what will become a classic game against Atlanta that earned them a spot in the Super Bowl.  Nothing wrong with the classics when it comes to lemon bars and football.   Those of you who follow my blog know that my son, Taylor is the Digital Media Coordinator for the SF 49ers and that he will also be Super Bowl bound.  All in all, I would say that Sunday was a pretty good day.

I baked and photographed lemon bars during the game because I’m one of those people who can’t sit still and just watch a game.  I have to keep moving because I have a tendency to get nervous during important games.

For those of you, myself included, who are tired of seeing my dining room table as the background for almost every picture I take for my blog- I went on the hunt for a different wood background for my photos.  This piece of wood is in fact not new at all, it’s a floor sample made from refinished salvaged wood.  Thanks to my new old piece of wood, which can now be easily moved around the room, I can find natural light in the afternoon for my photos.  Will wonders never cease?  This proverb was first recorded in print in 1775 and makes me wonder about the age of my wood floor sample?  A nice young woman was kind enough to sell me a few of the floor samples from her showroom which are a perfect size for my backgrounds and were reasonably priced.

The sweet flowers and Meyer lemons are from my garden which still looks pretty good considering it’s the middle of  January, which brings me back to January being the month of the lemon bar.  Due to a surplus of Meyer lemons, if that’s ever possible!- it’s lemon bar baking time in my neck of the woods.  And guess what I’ll be baking, for luck-of course, during the Super Bowl?

I’m going to share a fairly simple classic recipe for lemon bars, if you have access to limes they would make a zippy substitution for the lemons.

Classic Lemon Bars

Yield: 16 bars

Adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet.


  • For the Vanilla Shortcrust Dough
  • 1 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-3 teaspoons water
  • For the Lemon Filling
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup strained fresh squeezed lemon juice, I used Meyer lemons and Eureka lemons
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. To Make the Vanilla Shortcrust Dough
  2. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse 5 times to blend.
  3. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse 8-10 times, until the butter is the size of small peas.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla and 1 teaspoon of water, add to the butter mixture.
  5. Process the mixture just until the dough begins to clump together.
  6. Test the dough by squeezing together a clump of dough, it should hold together.
  7. If the dough is too dry and doesn't hold together, sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of water and try again, repeat-if necessary.
  8. Turn the dough out, knead it a few times and shape into a disk.
  9. Chill for 10 minutes.
  10. To Make the Classic Lemon Bars
  11. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  12. Line a 9" square pan with foil across the bottom and up all 4 sides adding extra to make handles to lift the finished lemon bars out of the pan before cutting.
  13. Coat the foil with baking spray.
  14. Press the vanilla shortcrust dough into the prepared pan.
  15. Chill for 30 minutes.
  16. Bake the chilled crust for 35 minutes, until golden brown on the edges.
  17. Transfer to a rack to cool for about 15-20 minutes.
  18. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.
  19. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl.
  20. Slowly whisk in the flour.
  21. Whisk in the lemon juice and pour the filling over the cooled crust.
  22. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the filling is set.
  23. Place on metal rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.
  24. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
  25. If storing for longer than 1 day place in the fridge (store in fridge up to 3 days).

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  1. Oh Patty, your lemon bars look awesome…I just dinner and I wish I could have one of this bars for dessert…
    Love the pictures as well.
    Have a wonderful week!

  2. Your photos are lovely, as always. (Although how could a photo of a lemon bar come out anything but wonderful?) Congratulations to Taylor – you must be so proud of him. And what an amazing opportunity to attend the Super Bowl!

  3. Tea time over here and I wish I could have a couple of slices for my tea ;-)

  4. Incredible photos….as usual. I am always impressed with your pics. I am new to blogging and aspire to be able to produce such lovely pictures. And I totally need to make these lemon bars!! Would love to have an over abundance of meyer lemons. (and in the backyard)

    • pattysfood says:

      Thank you Sandra! I appreciate your sweet comment and hope you are having as much fun with your blog as I have with mine;-)

  5. So very pretty and delicious looking Patty! And I’m with you, it’s hard to sit still and fun to accomplish two things at once. You had a wonderful accomplishment while the game rolled on! Love you photos!

  6. I can’t just sit there either and watch, he he. Love how you made some of my favorites, lemon bars. Wish I had a surplus, I’m down to two, sniff, sniff. I’m sure these bars were the deciding factor on the win this weekend. Bet you are busy planning for the next one. One of my plans is to buy a table I can put in another room for light, it’s just way down there on the list at the moment. Hope you are off to a great start this week.

  7. These bars are SO lovely, Patty, and your photos are as well! Thank you for sharing this classic recipe. I’ve never made them, but I think they’re so delicious.

  8. Such gorgeous pictures Patty! LOVE lemon bars though I have never made my own. I would LOVE to join you and Gina on that quest! Have been looking at buying or painting some wood boards since I am so bored of always using my dining table as well :/ You have inspired me!
    Why don’t you’ll come home for tea? Would so love to get together with you ladies again :) Do let’s plan!

  9. These lemon bars look so gorgeous bedecked by your lovely flowers. I could almost hug them!

  10. Wow Patty these are gorgeous! I love the flower from your garden. I know nothing about American Football but congratulations?:) Glad you treated yourself to new props and are not limited to one shooting area anymore. xx

  11. I’ll be rooting for your 49er’s!!!! (while wishing I lived in California). Our garden is covered by snow and I am still wearing my Uggs and a double layer of fleece to keep warm in the house. Might be a good day to turn on the oven!

  12. What beautiful photos, Patty! They make me want to dive right into your delicious looking lemon bars! And thank goodness Meyer lemons are in season in January. I find they help get me through these dreary and cold days of winter. I better get baking with the ones I have sitting on my counter! – Lisa

  13. Hi Patty,
    I’d found your blog some time back through the Brown Eyed Baker and had put a bookmark to visit, and promptly forgotten. I finally revisited yesterday and am blown away! I love your pictures! And am going to spend many (unproductive) hours just drooling here!

  14. These bars look divine! I bet your household was estatic about the big win on Sunday! Woo Hoo! I was not tired of your dining room table but it always fun to mix it up! The blog props can get to be addictive! Wish I had one of these right now.

  15. Wood flooring samples are perfect for us bloggers–I got a few a year ago but I haven’t been lucky enough to get one with old wood. Lucky you! I follow the light around my house, too, so it’s nice to be able to move the piece around.

    You just shared my all-time favorite treat. These look perfect, Patty and go Niners!!!

  16. Oh, what a breath of fresh air! I LOVE lemon bars and I can imagine how wonderful they must have tasted with the combination of meyer lemon and Eureka lemons. Beautiful photos, Patty! They make me feel like spring really is just around the corner. I love your new background and how wonderful that you will be able to move it around with the light.

    Yay, 49ers!! :)

  17. Congrats to your 49ers!!! And…I want to see more of your new old wood! I love backgrounds and notice them all the time. Yes, indeed these photos here seem a bit brighter and sunnier…but that may just be the beautiful yellow glow of your lemon bars! I love, love, love Meyer lemons!!! I’m so jealous you have a lemon tree!

  18. I have never made lemon bars before, I really need to change that soon!

  19. I adore anything lemon but seriously lemon bars are one of my most favorite desserts, well lemon meringue pie is pretty high up there too. Beautiful photos, have a great weekend!

  20. Great idea -I’ll have to visit some flooring shops and hit them up! Your photos and styling of the lemon bars is gorgeous – so bright and sunny and the fuschia colored flowers (are those astors?) really make them pop. Send some of those Meyer lemons my way ;) I’ll be rooting for the 49ers in the Super Bowl!

  21. These lemon bars are beautiful, Patty…they look so bright and sunny! I really like your new table backdrop for the photos. Good luck in the SB!!!

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