Lemon Bars

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Prep 20min (+1hr cooling time)Bake 1hrMakes about 16

Lemon bars are one of those ‘clever’ slices that combines a simple shortbread-like base and an intensely-tart/sweet lemon topping to create a memorable mouth puckering moment – old-fashioned yet slightly sophisticated, all at the same time.


Icing sugar, to dust

150g (1 cup) plain flour
50g (¼ cup) caster sugar
150g chilled butter, diced
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract

3 eggs, at room temperature
165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
125ml (½ cup) strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons flour


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 16cm x 26cm (base measurement) slice tin with butter and line the base and sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper, cutting into the corners to fit.

  2. To make the base, combine the flour, sugar, butter and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture is evenly combined and just starts to come together. Tip mixture into the prepared tin and use your hands to press it evenly over the base. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until it is golden around the edges.

  3. To make the topping, use a balloon whisk to whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon rind and juice until well combined. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Pour the topping over the warm base and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the topping is just set in the center.

  4. Cool the slice in the tin on a wire rack (this will take about 1 hour). Use the baking paper to lift the slice from the tin. Cut into bars and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Baker's Tips

  • These bars will keep in an airtight container in a cool spot (but not in the fridge) for up to 3 days.

This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Citrus.

CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.

Photography by Alan Benson.