Lemon Squares with European Style Butter

After a fairly disastrous attempt to make wheat free, dairy free, egg free, banana muffins, I decided to make something less frustrating.  I made the crust with European style butter and boy, was it good. In fact, I may never make lemon squares without fancy butter. The topping was a little stiff due to the flour (I guess),  but still tasty and pretty lemony. Plus, the stiffness of the filling makes the bars fairly portable…not that I’m taking them anywhere, but you may want to. The recipe doesn’t have any baking powder or baking soda so if you are allergic to chemical leavenings, you are in luck. Is there such thing as a baking powder allergy?


Lemon Squares with European Style Butter
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lemon squares on a crust made with European style butter
Recipe type: Lemon Squares
Serves: 16
  • 1 stick (4 oz /114 grams) European style salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (25 grams)
  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces/130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 170 grams
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Line an 8 inch metal pan with non-stick foil or line with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until creamy. Add flour and stir until moistened – mixture won’t be uniform, but rather raggedy and unattractive. Press into pan. I use damp hands to do this. Bake on center rack for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat eggs with a fork or spoon until yellow. Beat in the sugar and zest, then gently stir in the flour until it disappears. Stir in the lemon juice and pour the mixture over the hot baked crust.
  4. Return pan to oven and bake on center rack for another 20 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes, then dust top with powdered sugar. Lift from pan and cut into 16 squares.
If you decide to use regular unsalted butter, add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the crust mixture.

Related posts:


  1. C L says

    With a gallon of freshly squeezed lemon juice in my freezer, this looks like a “must-make-now” treat! 🙂 As soon as the dishes are done, this is my next project. Yes, I know…clean the kitchen to mess it up again. LOL 🙂 My coworkers are going to love these lemon bars.

  2. Karen says

    I wonder how these would be with this crust, but using that creamy lemon topping you used some months back? The one with half and half? Guess I’ll have to try it and let you know!

  3. says

    I bought a 1/2 pound of Plugra a month or so ago and keep waiting for just the right reason to use it. The bars look great.

  4. says

    I’m thinking my co-workers would really appreciated me if I brought these in to make their Monday a better place. I’ll have to decide now if they really deserve them 🙂 I haven’t ever baked with European butter but now I really want to try these so I can have that experience.

  5. Louise says

    Snooky doodle — Butter sold in United States markets is typically 80% to 82% butterfat whereas European style butter is 82% or higher butterfat. So it tastes richer as there’s less water.

  6. Ashley says

    Hi there. Not sure if you’ve seen or tried these cookies ever. The story and recipe were on the Today show yesterday, and I tried them today. I used 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice. They came out pretty great, but I found the dough was really frustrating to work with even after refrigerating (though I was pretty impatient in letting it chill). Thought I would pass it along for you to try if you haven’t and maybe work with it to post on your site. 🙂


  7. Chelsea says

    I love lemon bars, & these are so simple, I may be able to accomplish baking them before the new baby is up for another feeding!

  8. C L says

    The lemon bars finally got made! And they are sooo good. Thank you, Anna, you’ve done it again! Your recipe is perfection! The only thing I did differently was to omit the zest because the lemon juice I used was juiced through a Juiceman juicer so there was lots of fresh lemon oil from the peels. The lemons were a combination of Meyer and Eureka, heavy on the Meyer. The coworkers are going to love these tomorrow. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate This Recipe: