My Mama’s Shortbread Bottom Lemon Squares

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Growing up, these were a common dessert, whether it be a potluck or a baby shower, my Mom made these often and I always enjoyed them. Somehow, I never made them myself, but when my oldest was 10, he became disgruntled with only having them when Minnie (my Mom) came to visit, asked her for the recipe and made them himself.

With our recent gluten free forays, I can tell you that shortbread lends itself well to being gluten free. While I havent made these gluten free, I can give fairly confident gluten free swap suggestions. For the 2 cups of flour in the base, I would swap for 1 1/2 cups rice flour and 1/2 cup tapioca starch and the 1/4 cup of flour in the filling for 2-3 tbsp tapioca starch.

This makes a big pan, but I dont feel you’ll have trouble eating them. You could freeze them if you really needed, or you were wanting to get baking for a holiday done ahead of time.

Print Recipe
5 from 15 votes

Shortbread Bottom Lemon Squares

This nostalgic from my childhood recipe hits it out of the park anytime we bake it!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 bars
Calories: 196kcal


Shortbread Bottom

  • 2 cups flour all purpose, whole wheat or pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter, grated


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

To Top

  • icing sugar


Shortbread Bottom

  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Mix flour and icing sugar together.
  • Stir in grated butter and mix well. Press into a 9×13 ungreased pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.


  • While the bottom bakes, stir together all of the filing ingredients together in a bowl.
  • When the bottom is done, pull it out of the oven and pour the filling overtop right away.
  • Return to oven for 25 min.
  • The filling will still be a little jiggly but it shouldnt be runny.

To Top

  • Once its cooled for 15-20 minutes, sprinkle or dust with icing sugar to taste.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 276IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

16 thoughts on “My Mama’s Shortbread Bottom Lemon Squares

  1. These look great, but 1 question: is the lemon filling more on the sweet side or the sour side? Neighbor used to make these, but the filling was on the sour side (my preference), but she passed and I don’t have the recipe ?????

  2. Made this recipe for a baby shower!! Was a huge hit. They have a become a favourite. My sister made then with 1:1 G/F flour, they turned out great also.

  3. This recipe has now become a staple in our house. I always have the ingredients and it’s so fast to whip up. So yummy and a perfect balance of sour and sweet!

  4. This is a nice refreshing dessert. The crust is so buttery and delicious. Definitely going to have to make this again.

  5. Next time I make these, I think it’ll try out with fresh lemon juice and add zest to give it more zing, but the base is great and the consistency of the lemon layer is perfect. I just want more zing ?

  6. I love how simple these are to make. My family ate them all before I got one so I made another pan the next day.

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