Something Swanky

Ina Garten’s Lemon Bars

Ina Garten's Lemon Bars |

These lemon bars are the last recipe in my Mother’s day Week of Recipes. I’ve been making the favorite desserts of all the mothers in my life this week. Be sure to check out Coconut Cake and Golden Vanilla Pound Cake (for my grandmothers) and Pumpkin Pie (for my mother in law).

Today’s recipe is in honor of my mom. She says that Lemon Meringue Pie is her favorite dessert, but since I’ve already posted that on the blog, she said lemon bars would be okay instead.

My mom is awesome. And just like these lemon bars, everything about her is sunny and bright! (#justcomparedmymomtolemonbars #thatjusthappened) Seriously, she’s truly the happiest, cheeriest, most vivacious person I know. I’m pretty sure she’ll read this and think I’m being too cheesy, but it’s all true. My mom instantly brightens a room, and she has a talent for making people smile.

Beautiful, bright yellow lemons are probably the most perfect fruit to represent my mom.

Ina Garten's Lemon Bars |

Ina has never done me wrong with a recipe, and these Lemon Bars are no exception. 3 things I LOVE about this recipe:

  1. The crust is incredibly buttery in the most delicious way, and it pairs perfectly with the lemon.
  2. The gooey lemon filling is very creamy, almost custard-like,  which I think is unusual in lemon bars. And after trying these, I think a creamy-gooey lemon filling should be standard!
  3. The top of they bars has a terrific, sugary crisp to it which rounds off a bite in just the right way.

So in a nutshell: buttery crust, creamy-gooey filling, and crispy sugar top. PERFECT!

Ina Garten’s Lemon Bars

Yield: 20 squares


    For the crust:
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • Powdered Sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line a 9x13 pan with foil or parchment, and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the flour and salt until dough forms.
  4. Press the dough into the pan, building up 1/2 inch crust on all sides.
  5. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Chill.
  6. Whisk together all of the remaining ingredients (except the powdered sugar), and pour into the cooled crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes until filling is set. Let cool to room temperature or chill overnight.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar before cutting and serving.


Recipe source:

Follw me!


Ashton is the owner and author ofSomething Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador.Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.
Follw me!

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21 Responses to “Ina Garten’s Lemon Bars”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on May 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm (#)

    Oh that filling!! You captured it perfectly and it looks so custardy and thick and rich and just perfection! Ina…cannot go wrong with anything she makes and these are gorg! pinned

  2. Joanna @ the knitlit twit posted on May 9, 2014 at 11:53 pm (#)

    Yum, lemon-flavored things are my mom’s favorite as well. And trust Ina, always!

  3. Charlotte Moore posted on May 10, 2014 at 7:36 am (#)

    I LOVE lemon and these look wonderful. I could eat one now at 7:30 in the morning. HA!!! I don’t make many lemon things because I can’t leave it alone and my hubby isn’t much for it.

  4. sally @ sallys baking addiction posted on May 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm (#)

    Beautiful lemon bars, Ashton! lemon bars are my ultimate weakness. Love the custard-like filling!

  5. Mir posted on May 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm (#)

    Wow, these are gorgeous. Love the filling! I’ve never met a lemon bar that I didn’t inhale in two seconds flat, and I’m sure that these would take even less time to take care of!
    Happy Mother’s Day!

  6. Ala posted on May 11, 2014 at 3:27 am (#)

    I am such a fan of Ina’s recipes and have had major success with this lemon bar recipe as well. So glad you’re sharing this as well!

  7. Mercedes posted on May 11, 2014 at 9:00 am (#)

    Wow, these look like the perfect lemon bar! I love how thick and gooey the filling is and that perfect sugary crust!

  8. sue/the view from great island posted on May 11, 2014 at 6:18 pm (#)

    This may be the perfect lemon bar, I love that the filling is creamy and not gelatinous like some, and the fact that it comes from Ina just makes it all the more perfect <3

  9. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking posted on May 11, 2014 at 11:08 pm (#)

    Aww what a sweet post! I love that you compared your mom to lemon bars! They are fabulous and I bet your mom is too!

    Isn’t Ina amazing?! I absolutely must try these bars! Love the thick lemon layer! No thin bars here! Pinned!

  10. Vicky McAdoo posted on June 30, 2014 at 11:07 pm (#)

    I do have one question you said there’s a sugary crunchNess on top but you don’t put any sugar before you bake it I don’t understand

    • Ashton posted on July 2, 2014 at 10:09 am (#)

      It’s just the way they bake up :) Some of the sugar from the filling separates and creates the crunch up top. It’s yummy!

  11. jan posted on November 23, 2014 at 4:35 pm (#)

    can these be frozen for a few days?

    • Ashton posted on November 26, 2014 at 11:30 am (#)

      I’ve never tried, but I don’t think they would thaw well :/

  12. Rita posted on November 26, 2014 at 4:57 am (#)

    Hi Ashton
    It looks really yummy. When you say two stick of butter how many gram you mean? 
    Many thanks

    • Ashton posted on November 26, 2014 at 11:20 am (#)

      I mean 1 cup, which should be approximately 227 grams (according to google)

  13. Annie posted on December 31, 2014 at 10:42 pm (#)

    I made these and while I love the texture and the lemony goodness, they were way too sweet. Next time I make them, I will reduce the sugar by half.

  14. Michelle Moodley posted on February 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm (#)

    Looks sublime;) I do, however, have a jar of lemon curd in my pantry that I haven’t been able to use as yet. Could I use the curd for the filling instead?

    • Ashton posted on February 16, 2015 at 4:43 pm (#)

      Hi Michelle! Actually, you cannot use curd as the filling. It won’t bake up the same way :( But you can use that lemon curd in all sorts of delicious things! For one, my fave Lemon Poke Cake! You can find that recipe here:

  15. Lilli Abild posted on February 19, 2015 at 8:15 pm (#)

    Ina, thank you for sharing this great looking recipe. I can’t wait to try it, lemon is my favorite I can taste it already.

  16. Heather posted on February 26, 2015 at 8:05 pm (#)

    It says 6 extra large eggs… I use large eggs by the case, so how many large eggs would that be.

  17. Shirlette posted on March 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm (#)

    my batch is in the oven right now as I type. On the last ten mins. The smell in my house is SPRING!!  I made a vanilla wafer crust. I hope it turns out ok. I was pressed for time but it’s baking up beautifully.