Trader Joe’s Classic Lemon Bars

Trader Joe’s Classic Lemon Bars have a crispy buttery crust with a sweet and sour lemon filling.

Trader Joe's Classic Lemon Bars have a crispy buttery crust with a sweet and sour lemon filling. Trader Joe’s Classic Lemon Bars have been a favorite of mine for years because they’re a quick bite sized treat. Plus any time you can portion a lemon bar into a small enough bite that eating 3 or 4 isn’t the end of your diet, you’ve got a real winner of a product. These Trader Joe’s Classic Lemon Bars are frozen in the store but 12 of them (this recipe makes 64!) is almost 4 dollars.

Trader Joe’s Classic Lemon Bars have all the delicious tangy flavors you love about shortbread cookies with a tart, creamy lemon filling topped with powdered sugar. You bake them in a normal 8 inch baking pan (just be sure to use one like this one with the straight edges instead of a curved glass baking pan for uniformity) but then cut them into adorable little 1 inch bites.

When freezing theseTrader Joe’s Classic Lemon Bars I find that the more powdered sugar you add to the top the better they are to freeze. The sugar makes a sort of barrier on top that prevents the top layer from drying out in the freezer. Also if you add enough you can stack these after you freeze them and they won’t stick together.

I’m sure if you’ve had theseTrader Joe’s Classic Lemon Bars you know these bites are great thawed but even better frozen! Keep them in a small tupperware container and grab one small bite from your freezer any time you need a small sweet little treat.

Looking for something other than lemon?

  1. Limes are almost a no brainer, these bars could be made with lime and they would be totally amazing.
  2. Add some coconut to the lime, toasted coconut would be even better as a topping, the bars would have a great tropical flavor.
  3. Add a ¼ cup of strawberry puree to the lemon filling as you are pouring it on top and swirl it for a beautiful design.
  4. Add sliced strawberries lightly on top of the lemon filling.
  5. Clementine juice would make a great twist to the original lemon flavor, or even meyer lemons for a hint of orange flavor.

Trader Joe's Classic Lemon Bars have a crispy buttery crust with a sweet and sour lemon filling.

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Trader Joe's Classic Lemon Bars

Trader Joe's Classic Lemon Bars have a crispy buttery crust with a sweet and sour lemon filling.
Yield 64 bites
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick butter , softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • Additional powdered sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add the flour, butter and powdered sugar together in a food processor.
  • Pulse until combined in a ball.
  • Pat down into an 8 inch square baking pan.
  • Bake for 18 minutes.
  • To a medium sized bowl add the eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, lemon juice and lemon peel.
  • Whisk until frothy with either a whisk or a hand held mixer, about 2 minutes.
  • Add to the crust and bake for 22 minutes.
  • Let cool completely, cut into 1 inch squares and dust with more powdered sugar.


Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 7mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Keyword: lemon bars, Trader Joe's Classic Lemon Bars, Trader Joe's recipes

Trader Joe's Classic Lemon Bars have a crispy buttery crust with a sweet and sour lemon filling.

Trader Joe's Classic Lemon Bars have a crispy buttery crust with a sweet and sour lemon filling.
Trader Joe's Classic Lemon Bars have a crispy buttery crust with a sweet and sour lemon filling.
Trader Joe's Classic Lemon Bars have a crispy buttery crust with a sweet and sour lemon filling.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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    1. I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.

      Yes it would, brown sugar has molasses and more moisture in it.

  1. First, these were absolutely delicious lemon bars. The shortbread crust is so crumbly and sweet, and the lemony filling very lemony. I used almond flour in the crust, which worked, but the ratio wasn’t quite right and I had to add 1/2 a cup of regular flour to get the right consistency. So I think if you use almond flour, either use less butter or more flour. I think as a result the crust came out a bit thicker than intended, but it was still yummy.

    However, if you are looking for a recipe that replicates the Trader Joe’s Classic Lemon Bars (the ones you get in the freezer section at TJ’s), these don’t quite measure up. I’ve had an addiction to those things for a couple years now and limited supplies in my area, they were fresh out the last time I went, and I usually stock up just in case. So I’m still on the lookout for a recipe that replicates the light fluffiness of them more closely. Looking at the ingredients I see they use gelatin, so I’m on the hunt for another recipe that does as well.

    Meanwhile, I will enjoy these very much as stand-ins ?

    1. I don’t see why not. I haven’t prepared them with it but it should be fine. Let me know how they turn out if you make the swap!

  2. I couldn’t wait to make these! I left them out by accident last night and am afraid they are no longer safe to eat. Is that true since there is egg in there?

    1. I’m not entirely certain if they are okay to eat if they’ve been out all night. Sorry, I can’t recommend one way or the other.

  3. Would it be possible to replace lemon curd with the lemon ingredients? How much should I use to do so?

  4. I can’t believe I’ve never even noticed the lemon bars at TJ’s! I have to make these! And I love the idea of adding toasted coconut.

    1. Aw, thanks Erin! Whatever hints I can give to Mother Nature about everyone being ready for Spring sounds like a good idea to me!