Lemon Squares

This easy lemon squares recipe makes for perfect little tangy treats anytime you fancy!

Lemon squares have been something I’ve baked for a long time. Over time, I’ve tweaked and simplified the recipe to keep it simple

Honestly, the buttery shortbread base with the creamy smooth lemony curd is just too hard to resist!

Lemon Squares

As you know, I’m most definitely a sweet-toothed person. My husband, however, is more a lover of savoury foods and tart/tangy desserts, if he has one. Personally, I see this as us complimenting each other perfectly (plus more dessert for me, right?!) These lemon squares are perfect to keep us both happy and going back for more!

Lemon Squares
My lemon bars couldn’t be easier to make!

What makes it even better, is they’re just a doddle to make! The shortbread base uses 2:1:3 proportions of butter, sugar and flour. This is the simplest recipe for shortbread, and you can add in a multitude of flavours if you wish! Here I’m keeping it super simple and just adding a hint of vanilla.

Then, whilst the base is baking, you prepare your curd. You literally put all your ingredients together in your bowl and whisk to combine, then pour over the shortbread and bake again. Super simples!

Lemon Squares

In all honesty, the hardest part about making these lemon squares is in the time it takes to zest the lemons! The rest is… well, easy peasy lemon squeezy! (see what I did there?! 😆)

Don’t forget, if you’re a lover of lemon as my whole family are, do check out my lemon cupcakes too. And my lemon curd. And even my lemon drizzle cookies. None of these ever last long in our home, they’re too deliciously (and dangerously!) zingy!

Happy baking, my lovely friends! 😊

Recommended equipment and ingredients I used *
Mixing bowlElectric hand mixer
Weighing scaleZester
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Lemon Squares

4.5 from 2 votes
Recipe by movers and bakers Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Baking time


Total time



Soft buttery shortbread topped with smooth tangy lemon curd. Perfection!

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  • For the shortbread base
  • 100 g (¼ cup + 3 tbsp) unsalted butter

  • 50 g (¼ cup) caster sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 150 g (¾ cup + 3 tbsp) plain (all purpose) flour

  • For the lemon curd topping
  • 3 lemons, zest and juice

  • 120 g (½ cup + 2 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 75 g (¼ cup + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

  • 50 g (¼ cup + 1 tbsp) plain (all purpose) flour

  • 3-4 tbsp icing (powdered) sugar, for dusting (optional)


  • Line an 8″ square pan with baking parchment and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, tip in your butter and beat to soften slightly if needed. Add in sugar and beat until well combined and starting to turn pale. Tip in vanilla and sift in flour, then beat until it starts to clump together. If it’s too dry, add a VERY little milk to bring it all together.
  • Tip your shortbread mixture into your prepared tin and press down into an even layer using your fingers, the bottom of a glass, a spoon. Anything that makes it easier for you! Once done, pop your tin in the fridge to chill and preheat your oven to 180C/350F.
  • When your oven has heated up, bake your shortbread for 15-20 minutes until firm to touch and beginning to golden on the edges.
  • While your shortbread is baking, let’s make the curd! Zest your lemons directly into your mixing bowl, then squeeze the juice into the same bowl. Add in the rest of your ingredients, making sure to sift in the flour so it doesn’t clump, then beat just to combine until smooth.
  • As soon as your shortbread is done, pour your lemon mixture over the shortbread and pop it back into the oven. Continue to bake for 10-13 minutes until the edges of the curd are set but the middle is still a little wobbly. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool completely.
  • Once it’s cool, dust the top of the lemon curd with some icing sugar, then cut into squares. Enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • My timings here are absolutely a guide. It’s really important you watch your bake at the shortest amount of time and bake as long as it needs. All ovens are different, so you may need more/less time than I do!
  • If the top of your lemon curd is a little uneven, don’t worry! It’s just the bubbles from your mixture rising up as it bakes. The dusting with icing sugar helps cover it up, but I actually think it looks rather rustic too!
  • The curd can bake pretty quick, so towards the end of baking time, keep an eye on it a minute or so before my timing guide. I promise it’s worth the careful watching to get it right!
  • Don’t be alarmed, when you cut into it, if your shortbread looks underbaked! It will have baked through but then absorbed some of the delicious lemony goodness from the curd, so looks moister than plain shortbread.
  • If you fancy something a little different, try this recipe out using other citrus fruit too! Oranges, blood oranges and lime all work beautifully here as a variety of flavour options 😊

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  1. Dhwani Thaker

    Is their any substitute for eggs in lemon curd topping? if yes then please recommend and it’s measuring too.

    • I’m afraid in this recipe there is no substitute for eggs in making a curd. I am looking at sharing more eggless recipes, I will add lemon squares to my list! 😊

  2. It tasted great but it did not hold it’s shape as much as I would like even though I baked it for more than 20 minutes.

    • Hi Amanda, thanks for baking and coming back to comment. Did you bake the shortbread first, then the curd on top of the shortbread as an extra to the shortbread baking? Effectively you bake the shortbread twice. Another consideration is that it needs to be left to cool completely before cutting as it will set further during this time. Did you follow all these steps? 😊

  3. Can these be frozen?

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