Before coming to Princeton, I spent a lot of time looking for easy, quick recipes with few ingredients but a large flavor profile. These lemon bars among the simplest, best tasting recipes I found. You only need five ingredients to make these lemon bars (six, if you use confectioner’s sugar), all of which are easily found on campus. I didn’t even have to buy a lemon; I just asked for one from the dining hall! Even though the only lemon flavoring requires very little juice, the tart flavor is unmistakable and a welcome change from the overly sweet desserts in the dining halls. When you’re looking for a switch up, give these sweet and simple lemon bars a try!


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 1 8″ pan of bars



1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour


2 eggs
3/4-1 cup white sugar, depending on desired sweetness
2 tablespoons of flour
1 lemon, juiced

Optional: Confectioner’s Sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the softened butter, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 cup sugar. Use a fork to mash the ingredients together until the mixture begins to stick together.


    Photo by Mark Zhang

  3. Press crust into bottom of ungreased 8″ round pan ( for a 13×9 pan, double recipe). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is beginning to brown.


    Photo by Mark Zhang

  4. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together 3/4-1 cup sugar (depending on desired sweetness), 2 tablespoons of flour, eggs, and lemon juice. Pour this mixture over the baked crust.


    Photo by Mark Zhang

  5. Bake for 20 more minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into 1-2″ squares.
  6. If desired, dust confectioner’s sugar on top of the cooled bars.