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Browned Butter Lemon Bars

  • Author:
  • Total Time: 20 minutes


Units Scale


  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice (you can use only 2 tablespoons if you prefer)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Lemon Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 45 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, whisking occasionally. When the butter starts to foam, whisk constantly until it turns brown and fragrant. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Allow the butter to cool, then whisk in 3 tablespoons lemon juice.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt to the butter and beat with a mixer on low speed until just combined. Don’t overmix. Press into the bottom of prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes (*See Note) until the edges just barely start to turn golden. The middle will still look under baked, but take them out at this point. Allow to cool completely.

Lemon Glaze:

  1. While bars are baking, make the lemon glaze by whisking melted butter powdered sugar, lemon zest and just enough lemon juice to make a thick glaze. Whisk until smooth and combined.
  2. Pour glaze over shortbread and allow to set before cutting into bars.


  • Watch these bars closely because everyone’s ovens are different. The first time I made these I baked them for the 30 minutes like suggested in the original recipe. They were good, but definitely over baked. The second time I made them I cooked them only 20 and they were much better, but I still wanted them more soft and gooey. The next couple times I made them I adjusted the cook time to 16 minutes and they were just right. So just watch them. If you prefer a crunchier bar, then by all means, bake them longer.
  • I’m a frosting girl, so I doubled the glaze recipe which I totally recommend doing. The amounts listed for the glaze are the doubled amounts, if you don’t want as much glaze, just half the amounts that I posted.
  • If you don’t want the glaze to have too strong of a lemon flavor, you can use hot water or even milk in place of some of the lemon juice to get it to the consistency you like.
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Brownies & Bars