Lemon Bars with Sea Salt

lemon sea salt bars tastefood

Whether you are knee deep in snow or lucky enough to live where lemons grow on trees, these lemon bars will bring a ray of sunshine to your plate. Picture a zingy sweet-tart filling rippling with lemon zest, anchored to a buttery shortbread crust. A smidge of sea salt adorning the top keeps all sweetness in check, allowing the puckery citrus to shine through. These bars are thoroughly addictive and guaranteed to brighten your day. One bar will never be enough.

Lemon Bars with Sea Salt

This recipe is adapted from and inspired by many sources, including Ina Garten, Food52,  and my personal weakness for sea salt. Makes 32 (2-inch) square bars.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened but still cool, cut into cubes

4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Confectioners sugar
Sea salt flakes, such as Maldon

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking pan, then line the pan with parchment and butter the parchment.
2. Combine the shortbread ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until the dough resembles coarse lumps and just begins to come together. Dump the dough into the prepared pan and, with your fingers, evenly press the dough to cover the bottom of the pan.
3. Bake the crust until it just begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, but do not turn off the oven heat.
4. Whisk the filling ingredients together in a large bowl until blended, then evenly pour over the crust. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is set but not coloring, about 25 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a rack.
5. Cut into bars. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and lightly sprinkle with sea salt flakes before serving.

16 responses to “Lemon Bars with Sea Salt

  1. absolutely lovely! I made lemon bars only once a few years ago while living in Los Angeles, not sure why I never made it again, because everyone in the lab loved them

    I think your addition of flaky sea salt is a touch of genius!

  2. Genius touch here, Lynda – sea salt. I prefer lemon to chocolate and am adding sea salt to my lemon bar recipe.

  3. One bar IS never enough! I am intrigued by your use of sea salt here; I never would have thought that that salty kick could complement lemon, of all things!
    But then, the power of salt should never be underestimated. I wish I could find sea salt easily where I live.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow! What a lovely and beautiful color! Bars look so tender, sweet and tasty! 🙂

  5. Surely divine! This is my favorite combination.



  6. isn’t this really similar to the post from the New York Times last week?

  7. These lemon ars have me drooling! I love the bright yellow. Citrus is delicious this time of year when we don’t have a lot of other options for fresh fruit.

  8. I’ve never really seen these before but they look incredible! Can’t wait to try these!

  9. Lynda, your timing is impeccable! Just was going to look for your recipe as I got some beautiful lemons at the farmer’s market Thursday with Jenny! 🙂

  10. looks amazing, gonna try it for sure!

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  13. I AM knee deep in snow. Thanks for thinking of me, Lynda!

  14. I think these would also be great with lime juice. I have a whole bunch of beautiful limes that need a recipe!

  15. I have the same personal weakness – I love salt. And love it on sweet/tart desserts. LOVE!