Lemon bars

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 25 mins - 35 mins


Makes 12-15
These slices of zesty lemony goodness are hard to resist

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal278
  • fat12g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs42g
  • sugars26g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.2g
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    For the slice base

    • 175g plain flour
    • 50g ground rice



      Rice is a grain, the seed of a type of grass, which is the most widely grown and the most…

    • 85g golden caster sugar
    • 140g cold butter, diced



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 1 tbsp milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    For the lemon topping

    • zest 3 lemons, plus 200ml/7fl oz juice (about 4 lemons)



      Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

    • 3 egg



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    • 200g caster sugar
    • 25g flour



      Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

    • icing sugar, to dust


    1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line a 21 or 22cm square, shallow baking tin with baking parchment. Put the flour, ground rice and sugar in a bowl with the butter and rub in until fine crumbs form. Stir in the milk with a cutlery knife. Tip into the tin and press down evenly. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden.

    2. Remove the tin and lower oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Mix the lemon juice and eggs, then sieve into a bowl with the sugar, flour and zest. Whisk to combine, pour over the base, then bake for 10-15 mins until the top is just set. Cool in the tin, dust with icing sugar, then slice.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Comments (24)

    annmucc's picture

    Should the base be soft or crispy? Have just made these (adding the lemon topping to the base as soon as it was out of the oven). The top set after 15 minutes as the recipe says, but the base was really soft. Is this as it should be? I was expecting a more crispy base. Where did I go wrong?

    tabithatwitchit's picture

    I add zest to the base and use 50g dessicated coconut instead of rice flour. If I have vanilla extract I chuck a few drops in. I also dust with coconut as well as icing sugar. It needs more than 10 minutes to set. My family love these done with these tweaks.

    surfnirvana's picture

    Soggy, thin. Not very pleasant. Waste of good ingredients. Shame.

    la cuina de casa's picture

    Delicious! And super easy to make. We've baked it twice following the directions above and on both occasions people have enjoyed it a lot and we got plenty of nice comments. However, it's very lemony and despite the sugar, it might not be for those who're not really into that fruit.

    Georgina White's picture

    Very easy to make and lovely to eat. Just the right balance of tartness but sweetness. I couldn't find ground rice so increased the amount of flour used. I don't think I'd add the milk next time, didn't stir through very easily and not sure what it added. I added the mixture to a cold base and it was absolutely fine.

    gemski184's picture

    I really liked this - I subbed the ground rice for ground almonds and really squeezed it onto the base, and made the topping while the base was cooking. 4 lemons is a good estimate. They were nice and sharp but still sweet, I baked with the topping for a bit longer as I didn't trust the eggs would set after only 15 minutes and they were very wobbly still, I probably did it for about 25 minutes in total (although I kind of forgot about them). Will be making again and would like to mix it up with some orange and limes as suggested below.

    dgodber's picture

    It's a shame the recipe doesn't say that the filling needs to be poured onto a hot base. I ended up with a soggy mess. What a waste of time and money. :-(

    dalinosa2012's picture

    Tried these lemon bars as part of a "high tea" experiment. The flavour was great, but for some reason my topping sank to the bottom of the tin, no problem, just turned them around and nobody noticed, but I must have done something wrong. Will try again soon.

    jim-ll-fixit's picture

    Absolutely delicious but very rich.I'll try less lemon juice next time.Any idea of the calories?

    goodmanm's picture

    I have just made these with lime and they have turned out equally delicious! I too would suggest doubling the pastry recipe for the amount of topping

    goodmanm's picture

    Can these be frozen?

    cynthiareynolds's picture

    Very, very lemony! Will make it again, but use water instead of all the lemon juice.

    b00514202's picture

    Made this without the rice flour- just replace with more plain flour & they worked out well. Only problem I had was my baking tray was not deep enough for all the topping. I cooked the remaining topping in a ramekin in a Bain Marie & ended up with a lovely lemon curd. I will definitely be making these again. Great finger food to cater for big numbers.

    emamouth's picture

    Delicious recipe. A bit too sweet for my liking so I'll use less sugar next time but it's a firm favourite. I'm making it again tomorrow.

    mazzyb's picture

    I used the recipe without any rice, and it was just as good!

    saph-saph's picture

    Although these are delicious they are really rich, so I'd suggest going for small slices! Also I only used the juice of the 3 zested lemons, then topped it up to 200ml with water. After tasting them don't think they need any more juice than that.

    sparrowfield's picture

    I also found it difficult to buy ground rice but eventually got it in a little local shop, but I am afraid we found the lemon topping a little too intense for me, I think a little less lemon juice would have been sufficient. This amount was very strong.

    jasmink's picture

    Ground Rice can be found in Asian shops, Usually found next to the flour. The best brand is 'East End'. It looks just like normal white flour, and it is basicly Rice that has been made into a powder.

    bonnebouffe's picture

    The lemon topping is delicious, but very intense - 200 ml. is a lot of lemon juice! I might try using a little less lemon juice, making up the rest of the liquid with water. To make a 9 x 13" tray bake, I think I would double the pastry base (or a least increase by 50%). The lemon mixture is enough to cover a 9 x 13" baking pan. By the way - Wendy, you can use rice flour instead of ground rice.

    colec1's picture

    I've just taken these out of the oven to cool, and am fearing the worst as I've evidently done something wrong. My base was like a dough - I think I must have used to much butter. The topping looks and smells nice so may just eat that on it's own!


    Questions (2)

    ana.todica's picture

    I don't have a way to grind the rice. Can I replace it with regular flour? If yes, do I add 50g or more? Thank you!!!

    goodfoodteam's picture

    Hi Ana,

    Ground rice is a type of flour, it's called rice flour. Plain flour will work but may change the texture, use the same amount. 

    Best wishes.

    Tips (1)

    tobyjug3's picture

    to reduce the calories could use sorbitol to replace the sugar- spoon for spoon