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Lemon Squares

These lemon squares are easy to make, sour and tart with a buttery shortbread crust. They will feed a crowd and freeze well too.

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* Make sure to read the entire blog post. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Lemon Squares

A Family Story About My Mom and Grandma

Ever since I can remember I grew up with home cooked meals lovingly made by mom and dad.  Always the whole family was together at the dinner table. I never knew just how important those moments were until later in life. On a weekly basis my mom would bake in the kitchen and I got to be her helping hand, sifting the flour or licking the beaters! The influence of food and being together as a family was something that my mom has always showed me (and my brothers), even as a little girl.

Perhaps it’s been passed down through generations, as my grandmother also found great joy in cooking and baking for the family. When I was a teenager my grandparents moved into our home because my grandfather had a massive stroke (growing up with a family of mostly men it was nice to add another female figure to the mix). The smell of home cooked dishes and fresh baking constantly drifted up from the floors below. We sometimes ate together too, getting to indulge in grandma’s meals and her to die for baking. She loved – loved making my grandfather and her kids happy with their favourite dishes and baking. Just as I see my mother does for us kids and especially my father.

Baker Alie Romano and her Mom

As a kid, my mom had on rotation certain desserts that we got to have after dinner or in our lunch boxes. This was mostly because of dad and his sweet tooth and my mom enjoying making him happy with his favourite treats. Then there were special treats at holidays or our favourite summer vacation at the cottage. On that list has always been my mom’s lemon squares (I think mostly because she loves lemon and rarely got to enjoy what she loves, since she’s always baking for everyone else). I’m not actually sure who ate the lemon squares as kids, we were too busy fighting over anything chocolate but as I’ve gotten older they have become one of my favourites.

I can always count on this recipe and absolutely love sharing these lemon squares with friends and family over the summer for backyard bbqs or cottage weekends (just like when I was a kid).

What’s Special about These Lemon Squares

They are easy to make, sour and tart with a buttery shortbread crust, will feed a crowd and freeze well. My mom has always taught me the importance of baking ahead and freezing recipes! And these lemon squares are perfect for just that.

They even became so popular that these exact lemon squares were on the menu for my dessert company and sold all over the Kawarthas at special events. Sharing these squares means more to me than just enjoying a sweet; I’m sharing a piece of my story told by my grandmother and mother to you.

There is no greater gift than passing down traditions and spending time with family. I’ve had and have such strong beautiful women as role models who’ve passed this down to me. They’ve helped shape me into the little baker that I am and instilled my love for food and my desire to share with all of you – baking for friends!

Happy Mother’s Day to my loving mom and to all those wonderful moms out there!

Lemon Squares
Lemon Squares


  • All-purpose flour
  • Icing sugar & granulated
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs
  • Lemon juice & lemon rind
  • Baking powder
Lemon Squares

How To Make Lemon Squares

Step One: Make your shortbread base first by adding flour and icing sugar to a food processor, pulse to combine. Then add butter and pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to your baking dish and using your fingers gently press down to create a flat base. Bake for 10 minutes.

Step Two: Make your filling. Blend eggs and sugar together in your food processor until pale and creamy. Add lemon juice and rind and blend together. Then add flour and baking powder and pulse. Pour the lemon filling over the hot shortbread crust and continue to bake until the middle is set. Once cooled, top with sifted icing sugar and cut into squares.

Lemon Squares
Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares

These lemon squares are easy to make, sour and tart with a buttery shortbread crust. They will feed a crowd and freeze well too.

  • Author: Susan/Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 32 squares 1x
  • Category: Squares
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes


  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • lemon rind from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Icing sugar for dusting on top


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a glass baking dish (9″x13″) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to easily pull out squares later.
  2. In a food processor add flour and icing sugar, pulse to combine. Add cubed butter and pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to your baking dish and using your fingers gently press down to create a flat base. Note: the base will seem very dry, do not add more butter.
  3. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile make your filling.
  5. Clean out your processor and reuse to make your filling. Blend eggs and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add lemon juice and rind, blend together. Add flour and baking powder and pulse for 5 seconds. Pour filling over hot shortbread crust and continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes until the middle is set.
  6. Once cooled, top squares with sifted icing sugar.


Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze squares for up to two months.


  • Serving Size: 1 of 32
  • Calories: 147
  • Sugar: 14.5g
  • Sodium: 50mg
  • Fat: 6.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 21.2g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 1.8g
  • Cholesterol: 38mg

Keywords: Lemon, Squares, Bars, Dessert, Treat, Summer, Shortbread

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

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I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie


Are lemon squares supposed to be gooey?

Lemon squares can be baked longer to achieve a thicker filling. But they are best when they are a little gooey. You want the filling to be set but still soft in the middle. This is achieved by the bake time. When checking to see if the lemon squares are done, jiggle the pan, if the middle is still wobbly they are not done. Continue to bake until the middle (jiggle) is soft and set.

Can I freeze lemon squares?

Yes, lemon squares freeze well. Store pre-cut squares in an airtight container for up to two months. Let squares come down to room temperature and dust with icing sugar before serving.

How do I cut lemon squares neatly?

Always cut lemon squares once they are cooled and are at room temperature (or cold). Using a cloth, wet a large sharp knife with warm water, slice the lemon squares and wipe the knife clean. Re-wet the knife and continue to cut and clean the knife until all the squares are cut.

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Marnie Strauch
Marnie Strauch
4 years ago
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What a nice tribute to your Mom and Grandmother, Alex! My Mom made these too. Always delicious! 🙂

3 years ago
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Yours are GORGEOUS!! How did you achieve that cracked top?

Diana Boatman
Diana Boatman
2 years ago
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Made these delectable lemon squares with my daughter to take to a family gathering. They were a big hit among everyone. Only crumbs to take home . . .
The recipe was easy to follow and so tasty!

2 years ago
Rating :

I made these lemon squares last Christmas to put on our platters of Christmas cookies and gave them away as gifts as well. They will definitely be part of this Christmas baking plans too. The lemon adds another fresh flavour to the family favourites of shortbread and other squares. Bonus, they are so easy to make!

1 year ago
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I just made these lemon squares this morning to add to a dessert tray that needed more punch. I had everything I needed in the house and they were really quick to make. They look beautiful!

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I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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