The Ultimate Lemon and Lime Bars Recipe

A really good and easy lemon bar recipe is hard to come by. Most are cloyingly sweet and have no connection to lemon other than their color.

This lemon square recipe has such a lovely balance between sweet and tart and is so different from the sugar bombs that masquerade as lemon bars that your guests may wonder if you’ve engaged in some kind of citrus dessert wizardry. Jump to Recipe

The ultimate lemon and lime bars

The recipe can be made interchangeably with lemon or limes. I made a batch of each and cut up squares that I laid out in a checkerboard pattern on a white plate. It creates a fun, striking look that will definitely get your guests’ attention.

It can also be an elegant addition to a lemonade stand to help your kiddos make some extra money.

yellow lemon and green lime squares in checkerboard fashion

These lemon bars are not overly sweet and will definitely make you pucker up a bit.

Lemon bar close up with lemon wedge

one square of lime bar with lime wedge

But it’s easy to control the sweetness of the dessert by the amount of powdered sugar on top.

Lemon and Lime square bars close up

The lemon bars get their bright color from the lemon itself but the lime bars’ color was just a little dull. So I brightened it up with a couple drops of food coloring.

Lemon and lime squares close up
5 from 2 votes

The Ultimate Lemon and Lime Bars

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dessert, lemon, recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Cooling time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16
Author Nathalie Brown



  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups White All Purpose Flour


  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 cup White All Purpose Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 Lemons or 5 Limes, juiced
  • 2 drops green food coloring for lime bars (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°

Prepare the Crust

  1. Blend the softened butter, the 2 cups of flour and the 1/2 cup of sugar in a medium bowl.

  2. Press evenly in the bottom of an ungreased 9" x 13" pan

  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. When done it should be firm and golden.

Make the filling

  1. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and sugar

  2. Whisk in the eggs and the lemon or lime juice. Add the food coloring if desired.

  3. Pour the filling over the baked crust.

  4. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.

  5. Let the bars cool out of the oven before cutting. They will firm up as they cool.

Recipe Notes

Prepare one batch each of the lemon and the lime bars. Cut them all into squares and arrange them in a checkerboard pattern for an impressive dessert.

And go ahead and get creative. Try orange or grapefruit bars. Cut the bars into rectangles and make a brickwork pattern, or an arch, or a rainbow.

Share the yummyness, pin it:

The ultimate lemon and lime bars

The ultimate lemon and lime bars

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