Reviews for Chef John's Lemon Bars
OMG These bars are addictive! I didn't have any salt free butter & used salted butter and they still came out beautifully. My mother is a lemon nut and everything I have made up until now she always said "not lemony enough" All she said when she tasted this was WOW I love them. Not hard to make either. Definitely a keeper. Thank Chef John!
Gluten Free Version. I simply substituted a gluten free flour mix and followed Chef John's recipe. To compensate for the lack of crust integrity, I used large, paper cupcake liners and then placed them in a silicone muffin mold. The recipe made 15 crusts. Baking time for the cookie crust was 12 minutes. I poured almost 1.5 tbs. lemon custard over the hot crusts. Then baked them for about 18-19 minutes. The lemon bars peeled out of the papers easily! We are delighted. And my wonderful husband is happy!
These are fantastic! I love how the lemon layer somehow forms a bit of a crust on top. It allows a dusting of powdered sugar to stay on top, and not soak in, as has happened with every other lemon bar I've ever made! The shortbread crust is just perfect. I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9x13 pan, because a small pan is never enough :) (**next time I will add a bit more lemon and lemon zest because I love very tart citrus flavor, but they're delicious as written)
I would definitely suggest this recipe it is super fun to make and the outcome is definitely tasty and has the greatest texture and the crust was especially good!
Made them exactly as per Chef John's recipe & they turned out perfect! My husband thought they were a bit too sweet for his taste so maybe next time I'll reduce the sugar &/or increase the lemon. But the crust was perfect, the custard developed the white glaze Chef John mentions, and the timing was just right. I topped them off with some black raspberries I'd just picked & it gave them an extra little festive touch. Definitely a keeper!
I've tried other lemon bar recipes and they end up too sweet or not lemony enough. This one is the perfect balance. Have received rave reviews from friends and coworkers when I've brought these to gatherings. You don't have to change a thing about this recipe and they come out perfect!
This is my first time to make lemon bars and it's a success! I followed the recipe and didn't change a thing. Love this recipe, thank you Chef John!
The flavor was good, but the baking time was off on both steps. The crust was crumbly and, despite excess greasing of the pan, stuck terribly.
Very addicting! I'm going to make it again but double it and distribute them to my hubs work. The only addition I made was the baking powder to the crust and filling. I kinda screwed up on the crust because I didn't read the directions thoroughly but it was still flaky.
These lemon bars were amazingly good! My family devoured these up quickly!
Doubled the recipe in a 13 x 9" dish. Substituted bottled lemon juice and they were still delicious. Made them for a church dessert supper and they went quickly!
I've never been a fan of citrusy fruits, especially lemons. I'm not very tolerant of sour foods, but in effort to recover from a terrible cold, I had a bag full of lemons in my fridge I didn't quite know what to do with the overwhelming amount, so I gave this a go. DELICIOUS! To help dissipate some of the sourness of the lemon custard layer, I doubled the shortbread cookie dough and made a thick blanket of sweeter crust. Worked like a CHARM. The tartness of the lemon layer was agreeable and complimented the thick rich crust all too perfectly. It's too bad it took a mutant flu to get me to open my taste palette to the wonderful and refreshing world of lemons.
Yum! These turned out great! I used salted butter, because it's what I had, so I didn't add the 1/4 tsp salt called for in the recipe. And I completely forgot to add the zest. They are still really good. Exactly what I think of when I think of lemon bars. And so simple to make, too! My 9 year old helped me. This recipe is a keeper!
These lemon bars are delicious! I used to use an old recipe from better Homes and gardens which we loved. But this was so much better and I'll never use the old recipe again.
I love this recipe, I did however add more lemon juice, about another 1/4 cup and another 1 TBL lemon zest. I prefer a more intense lemon flavor. I think this will be pretty much my go to recipe for lemon bars. I highly recommend this one.
25 minutes for 2nd half was too long.
LOVE these bars oh so easy to make. Made them for the superball everyone loved them. I love watching chef John cook and his recipes. Keep up the good work Chef we are learning alot from you. Rose
Outstanding and easy.
I made this exactly as directed. The cooking time was exactly correct for both portions. The crust is hard to manipulate and I just got barely enough to spread to the edges of the pan. But it seemed okay in the end. It was literally melt in your mouth good. I would like to get a really yellow lemon filling. Any suggestions to make it a deeper shade? Next time I think I will put a little more lemon zest in to make it more lemony for my preference.
Changed yield to 100 and baked in large hotel pans. Came out very delicious.
These are very good but bake time was a little off. I made them twice in the past 2 weeks, used a glass baking dish and a metal one thinking that was the problem since I know my oven temp. was accurate. I will make them again but will check them often.
Excellent! Best I have ever made, and I have made quite a few over the years.
I must have done something wrong because the lemon filling ended up on the bottom. It was a sticky mess and hard to get out of the pan.
I followed the recipe to a T. My bars tasted OK. They weren't tangy enough for me. I made a sheet pan (48 bars based on recipe) for a large gathering. My bars turned out upside down! I think the cooking time listed for the crust was too long. The crust pulled away from the sides of the pan, so when I put the custard on, I believe, it soaked in under the crust. Plus, the docking (pricking) may have also lead to the custard seeping through the holes and under the crust. They are impossible to plate and look sloppy. Depending on which bar you pick up it may just be a cookie with a hint of lemon custard on the bottom or a clump of custard with a cookie on top. I will not be making Chef John's Lemon Bars again.
Very good! I added a little baking soda to the filling. Awesome little bars.
I made this today for a cookout and it turned out so ugly that I didn't even put it out. I was curious to see what it tasted like before I threw the entire pan away so I tried a tiny piece. The sides were a little burned and the top appeared to have a crusted over look. All this being said when I tried it, the bar wasn't bad but was extremely sweet. It's hard to rate this one because it didn't turn out looking like any of the photos but for the most part wasn't bad tasting. If I made this again, I would cook it for a little less time and cut back on the sugar by 1/4-1/3. I would probably give a light sprinkle of confectioners sugar over the top to mask the "crusted over" look.
My search for a simple yet delicious lemon bar is over! I've made these twice in just 10 days! The second time, I used a 9" pie plate, and the presentation was a little fancier. I put a few slices of various berries on the plate with the lemon bar slice, just because we were having company.
Oh I'm in Lemon Heaven! Made exactly as written! Even my picky kids and seconds!
Best Lemon Bars I've eaten
The best lemon bars I've ever had! The shortbread crust is perfect
This was excellent. I goofed and added twice the lemon juice but it turned into a happy mistake as it was just the right combination of sweet and tart. The shortbread crust melds nicely with the filling. Used gluten free all purpose flour and it still turned out nicely. Will add coconut flakes next time.
Delicious! Easy and tasty. Great texture. I will make these again!
I get tons of compliments when I make this. I didn't change a thing and people tell me that this is to die for. I even made one for someone and they paid me for it , then said I should sell these. Lol. I'm a lemon fanatic and this is perfect for me. This recipe is perfect as is. In my home they only last a couple of days. My hubby and I eat hem all.
I made these with whole wheat flour and they were still amazing.
Easy and delicious. Didn't change a thing
These are wonderful. I will totally make these again. The crust is amazing and the lemon filling is a delightful combination of sweet and tart. Make sure to take the time needed to blend the crust and to let them cool before cutting. It is hard to let them cool completely but well worth the wait.
8x8" pan the shortbread crust is a lot in comparison to amount of custard. Made again with 1 1/2 the amount of custard; good ratio tho almost too sweet. And added zest into crust.
Came out perfect even when I messed up! My husband asked for a second batch the next day!
Loved this - made it gluten free but instead of using vanilla in the crust, I used a bit of almond extract which was extra yummy. The lemon filling was perfect!
I've made these heaps of times and everybody loves them! Thank you Chef John - they're absolutely delicious!
Very good I thought it would be to tart but with the crust and the powdered sugar it was perfect.
I made it just as stated and they were delicious
I love this lemon bar it has the perfect flavor !!!the crust at first was a bit dry so I would and like a tablespoon or so of water... I would so make this again. It has such a wonderful smell while baking...
I will definitely make these again and double the recipe!
Loved it! Couldn't get enough of it! So easy and simple to make. Everyone loved it and had seconds! Gone within minutes!
These are awesome!!!Loved these!! Need to make them again soon.
OMG I LOVE THIS!!!!! I thought it would be hard to make Lemon Bars but it's so easy! I could eat these every single day! And it doesn't take a ton of ingredients. I did bake my crust for 18 minutes and then 20 minutes for the remainder of the time. I used a slightly larger dish to bake them in. I tried doubling the recipe the second time (I also used a larger pan to bake it in) and it didn't set right for me. I would suggest if you are doubling the recipe, make it in 2 smaller dishes rather than one larger one.
I took these to a dinner party and everyone loved them. My husband, who loves lemon bars and anything lemon, said these were the best lemon bars he has ever had. I made them just as the recipe stated except I forgot to poke holes in the crust, but it still turned out great. I will be making these again soon.
These are dangerously good. I couldn't stop eating them.
This lemon bar recipe is the best out there! The crust would make an amazing pie crust.
I made these for my mother who loves lemon bars and she said they were the best she'd ever eaten. High praise from a woman who is a wonderful cook herself. I will definitely make these often and I wouldn't change a thing!
So, so good!!!!
My favorite recipe for lemon bars
I made these for my granddaughter's birthday per her request. She loved them...refused to share since they were her birthday gift, so I don't know what they tasted like.! Already have requests to make them again!
Really nice, I would make again. Agree with another commentary about times as my base took 10 mins and my filling 15, but I am baking this here in the UK so maybe the average oven here is slightly different to the average US one. Less time is just a perk if you ask me! Lovely, thank you for sharing your recipe.
I didn't love this recipe. I don't feel like there was enough of the lemon mixture and the lemon taste wasn't terribly strong. The cooking times are a little long as well for the amount of filling. The dough part was fine, but I'll keep looking for another filling recipe.
Pretty good. The texture was a bit off to me.
We made these Lemon Bars this morning and they were fabulous. My wife felt like the crust was a little thick for the amount of lemon sauce. I thought they were perfect, but I love that butter crust. The taste of the lemon sauce was perfect. We followed the recipe to exactness and our crust turned out a little to brown, especially after the final cooking with the sauce. The edges were a little over done. When we pulled the finished product out of the oven we had kind of a brown bubbly top rather than a white sugar top as explained in the recipe, however after we dusted with the powdered sugar they looked great and tasted even better. I would give this a strong 5 Star.
I made the recipe exactly as instructed, except I didn’t have all purpose flour so I used self rising and didn’t add any salt to the crust. It turned out great.
Perfect! Even in a 9x13 pan!
I make this several times a year and it always gets rave reviews, sometimes I sprinkle it with vanilla sugar.
Apparently everyone in my family loves lemon desserts...who knew? These were a big hit, and everyone wants the recipe. This was the first time that I used the zesting side of my box grater, and I'm glad I did. Zesting four lemons was a great arm workout! P.S. I made fresh lemonade with the extra lemon juice.
This was great! I will make it again.
Made it exactly as written, except I doubled the recipe...got rave reviews!
This are amazing! I have never made anything lemon, but pregnancy has brought me to new flavours! I made these as the recipe is, so good! My BF and my sister in law loved them as well.
These were good, although not as tart as I expected. However, that's probably because I didn't have lemon zest. If you want a bit sweeter bar, leave that out and you won't be disappointed!
Was anxious to try another of Chef John's recipes. I followed the directions closely, but both the cookie layer and the lemon layer turned out way too brown. I should have watched them more closely, but was trusting the chef's directions. I may try this again but will really have to watch them. I'm too embarrassed to take them along to the neighbor's house tonight. They don't look very good.
I like these lemon bars had a good taste!
I will make this recipe every time. I doubled the recipe to make a larger batch and it worked out perfectly. Next time I am going to quadruple the lemon layer for fun!
An excellent recipe, a usual. Thanks, Chef John! I used the method recommended using cold butter, cut into small pieces with flour and a food processor. Turned out so nice!
These brought shame upon our household. Ive never been so embarrassed to serve something. No lemon flavour tasted like egg on a bland cookie. People took one bite and left it on their plate. Recipe FAIL.
This turned out great! I doubled the lemon portion and used a little more lemon, less sugar and adjusted the flour slightly as some of the other reviewers mentioned. I served it with fresh raspberries. I served it at a bbq and everyone loved it!
I really liked this recipe. It was easy. Which is good for me because I like the easier recipe. .The thing that I wish was on the recipe was the time you needed to cool down the lemon bars. Other than that I recommend these lemon bars to anyone who likes cooking with simple ingredients and simple directions. I also think it is good to watch the video before reading the instructions. I think you should try this recipe because it really is a great recipe.
I'm a lemon bar snob. These are the very best!
Awesome recipe. Thank you for posting. The ratio and taste is spot on. I tried another recipe on here called "the best lemon bar" and boy was that a lie; I should have used this recipe in the beginning. I'll be using this recipe again for now on!
The best I've had!! The biggest issue with most lemon bars I've tasted is that they simply don't taste like lemon--they're just yellow sugar bombs. These, however, are superb-so lemony, you can actually taste the sourness. The crust is excellent as well-buttery rich, with a hint of sweet like Grandma's sugar cookies. Perfect dessert. It was a big hit with my husband
Easter Sunday 2016--made in a 7x11 Pyrex with 1/3 whole wheat flour. Think I will go back to the combined recipe I used in 2015 with the cream of tartar and possibly reduce or delete the whole wheat flour.
Simple and delicious.
This is wonderful!! Better than any lemon dessert I have made or tasted.
1/4 tsp baking powder added to both crust and filling. 1 full cup lemon juice.
I used chilled butter diced and mixed with the vanilla, sugar, flour, and 1/4 tsp baking powder in the food processor. when packing into the pan, i used the bottom of a 1 cup measuring cup to press the bottom down good. no messy fingers.
I live in the Andes Mountains, so since I'm at a higher altitude I baked the crust for 18 minutes instead of 22 so that it wouldn't burn. It came out delicious!
I think this is so not a lemon bar. Everything is sucked into the crust. You are left with a chewy lemon
So sweetly lemony - not too sweet, mind you. Per other reviewers I added 1/4 tsp baking powder to the crust as well as the filling. This will be my "go to" lemon square recipe :)
Thanks Chief John... Easy and the taste is out of this world! I cook once a month for about 40 senors at church. If I love your lemon bars so much, I know they will too,
I've been on the hunt for a great lemon bar/square recipe. I've tried many and this one by far is perfection. Delicate flaky crust and the perfect balance of tart and sweetness. If you want a homerun, this one will hit it out of the park! Thank you for sharing Chef John.
Add lemon zest to the crust I thought the crust was a little too thick. Next time use about 3/4 of the crust mixture
I always make this recipe as is (except I'll swap out limes for lemons for a lil' twist), and it always comes out perfect. A potluck favorite, for sure!
These are the best lemon bar/squares I have ever had. I will never substitute bottled lemon juice for this recipe. Real lemo n juice and zest is the only way to go. Thank you!
I love this recipe and have now made it twice. The first time I followed the directions exactly and got rave reviews. I personally wanted more custard, so the second time I doubled the custard but used the same size pan. I cooked the bars for 10 minutes at 350 and then reduced the heat to 325 for 25 more minutes. The custard turned out perfect and was exactly what I wanted. A lot of people have commented on really enjoying the ratio of cookie to custard, which is about 50/50 in the original recipe. I really enjoyed the more custard heavy version, which was more like 25/75 so if that’s something you’re looking for, it’s worth trying!
Tangy lemon curd meets very sweet crumbly crust. Very tasty.
First lemon bar recipe I have tried. Turned out great! However, I would use less flour for the crust for a 8X8 frame. My crust was thicker then I like. All in all very good. The filling was perfection.
It tasted pretty good overall, but when I baked the lemon filling, it did not get the white crispy top. Instead, it turned bubbly and brown. When I let it cool for quite a while, the filling sank to the bottom and the crust was at the top, and when I tried to cut it, it all crumbled into little pieces.
Delicious and easy to make also has a wonderful crust. Remember that when you bake, all ovens are different and you may need less or more time. Thanks for this recipe.