Family Tree Lemon Bars

These treats are called Family Tree Lemon Bars because they are made with lemons that were picked from a tree that has stood in my grandparents’ backyard for generations. Countless family members have harvested fresh lemons from this tree, and some still do.

For tips and advice on freezing your own fresh lemon juice and zest, see our related post!

Family Tree Lemon Bars

Shortbread crust:

  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened (or veggie “butter” spread)

Fresh Lemon Filling:

  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbs All-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 Eggs (or vegan egg substitute – adjust measurements as needed)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting, if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together all crust ingredients and press into an ungreased 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and slightly firm.
  4. While the crust is baking, mix filling ingredients together in another bowl. Pour the filling mixture over the baked crust and return to oven.
  5. Bake for additional 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool. Lightly dust the top with powdered sugar. Cut into bars to serve. Filling will thicken once chilled. Store covered in refrigerator.


To make this recipe vegan, use an egg replacement and a vegan “butter” spread. Please note that we have not tested the vegan version of this recipe, so we cannot speak to the texture or possible measurement adjustments that might be necessary. We’d love to hear from anyone that gives this a try!

**Baking times are for use with a 9 x 13 baking pan. If using a smaller pan for thicker bars, baking time will need to be increased by 5 – 10 minutes for crust as well as for the filling.**


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