Patti LaBelle's very best lemon bar recipe

A buttery and tangy sweet treat

PHOTO: Lemon Bar recipe from Patti LaBelles new cookbook, Desserts LaBelle: Soulful Sweets to Sing About.
Servings:Over 8
Difficulty: Moderate
Cook Time: min

Music icon and bestselling cookbook author Patti LaBelle is back with a book devoted to sweet treats, "Desserts LaBelle: Soulful Sweets to Sing About." She shared her lemon bar recipe on "Good Morning America."

"This wonderful recipe shows that you can take a so-called familiar recipe and keep tweaking and tweaking it to make it even better than when you started. These bars have a tender and buttery crust topped with a thicker-than-usual layer of tangier-than-usual lemon topping. It took me a few tries to get them just right, but now they are truly perfect and I am sharing the fruits of my labor (pun intended) with you. Because the lemon topping is extra-sticky, line the entire pan with parchment paper so the pastry comes out easily," she writes in the book.

Makes 9 bars.


  • Softened butter and flour, for the pan
  • Crust:
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, thinly sliced, at room temperature
  • Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for sifting
  • Cooking Directions

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Lightly butter an 8-inch square nonstick baking pan.

    Fold a 14-inch-long strip of aluminum foil (preferably nonstick) or parchment paper lengthwise to fit into the bottom and up two sides of the pan.

    Repeat on the opposite sides of the pan. Let the excess foil hang over the sides as “handles.”

    Butter the foil in the pan, too. Coat the inside of the pan with flour and tap out the excess flour.

    To make the crust:

    Whisk the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and stir to coat with the flour mixture. Using your knuckles, knead and work the ingredients in the bowl until they make a smooth dough. Crumble the dough into the prepared pan and press it into an even layer with your fingertips. Freeze for 15 minutes. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.

    To make the filling:

    Whisk the granulated sugar, eggs, lemon zest and juice, and flour together until smooth in a medium bowl. Pour over the hot crust. Return to the oven.

    Bake until the filling is lightly browned and moves as a unit when the pan is gently shaken, 20 to 25 minutes.

    Run a small sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the pastry from the pan. Let the pastry cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Lift up on the foil handles to remove the pastry in one piece. Return to the rack. Let cool completely. Using a long, sharp knife, cut the pastry into nine equal bars, peeling away and discarding the foil. Just before serving, sift confectioners’ sugar over the bars.

    Excerpted from the DESSERTS LABELLE by Patti LaBelle. Copyright © 2017 by Pattonium Inc. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: lemon, sugar, butter, flour

    Course: Dessert

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