Gingered Lemon Bars

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Like lemon bars? Try this delicious lemon bars recipe with candied ginger in the shortbread crust.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

“I can’t wait for you to get here Elise. We can cook! We can make pies and cakes and cookies and more yummy things,” exclaimed my young friend Alden as we were talking on the phone last week.

Between Easter, a Patriots Day parade and museum trips, we finally got a chance to do some baking. Reilly (8) and her sister Alden (6) helped me make scrumptious lemon bars that have candied ginger in the crust from a recipe in a 1987 issue of Gourmet magazine.

To make the bars first you make and pre-bake the shortbread crust with specks of candied ginger. Then you make the lemon filling, pour into the pre-baked crust, and bake again, until the filling has set. The original recipe called for sprinkling the whole thing with powdered sugar, which we didn’t feel was necessary.

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Gingered Lemon Bars Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 36 lemon bars



The Crust:

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

The filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt



1 Make the crust batter: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter. Add 1/3 cup of sifted powdered sugar, and beat until light and fluffy.

Beat in half a teaspoon of the lemon zest, the ground ginger, the crystallized ginger, and a pinch of salt.

Add 1 1/2 cups of flour in batches, a 1/4 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Continue to beat the crust batter until it is well combined.

2 Bake the crust: Spread the crust batter evenly over the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until browned lightly around the edges.

3 Make the lemon batter: While the crust is baking, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest, 3 Tbsp of flour, the baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until well blended.

4 Pour batter into pre-baked crust and bake: Pour the lemon batter over the pre-baked crust.

pour ginger lemon bars batter into dish

Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden.

If you want, sift a little additional powdered sugar over the top.

Let the lemon bars cool in the pan on a rack. Cut it into 36 pieces.

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Reilly showing off her lemon bars

Reilly showing off the lemon bars

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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16 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Jen

    I’ve made this recipe so many times! It’s perfect. I always think of lemon bars as a summertime dessert but today my goal was to brighten this icky, rainy November day.
    One of these days I’m going to try it with lime instead of lemon.


  2. han

    You should tell people not to make the lemon filling thick. My son and I did not have a 13×9 dish, but it was very tasty. :) ( It was so good that we had to give it a 5-star rating )


  3. Shauna

    This looks delicious and I’m going to try it! For the crust it says a pinch of salt, while the list shows 1/4 tsp salt. Is the 1/4 tsp to be added to the filling (it doesn’t mention slat in Step 3)? Thank you!

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  4. Jackie

    I loved these! I sprinkled them with blueberries before the 2nd baking and it was DELICIOUS and beautiful to have the two colors. Some of them exploded when bit (leading to some blueberry on the cabinets), but it was well worth it!


  5. Ana

    These are the best lemon bars I’ve ever had! The recipe creates a bar with a perfect texture, almost like a short- bread cookie except the top has a layer of lemon. My friends never had lemon bars because the thought of a citrus and sour ingredient in a dessert did not catch their fancy, tried these and they loved them. These truly are amazing!


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