Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

Posted by on May 6, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, lemon | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

April’s lemon theme lingers into May with this week’s luscious Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars.

Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

These things rely fully on lemons, no bottled lemon extract or flavor required. Get a lot of lemons. You need 6, maybe 7 medium or small lemons, or 4 giant lemons. Better to have leftover zest or juice rather than not enough.

Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

This dough is incredibly fun to work with, too. Thanks to the cornstarch with the flour, the result is soft and pliable like Play-Doh.

Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

Most recipes I post that include glaze require the baked good to be completely cool first. Not so here. Make the glaze as soon as the dish is baked and put it on promptly. That means the glaze melts a bit after it’s spread on top, fusing with the bars.

Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

With so much lemon infused into these bars, these things ends up smelling so summer and fresh, and the taste…! If you love lemon, these shortbread bars are totally for you.

Bready or Not: Lemony Glazed Shortbread Bars

These lovely bars are infused with lemon flavor. A lot of lemons are required. Read the ingredients list carefully, as zest is needed in the dough while juice is needed in both the dough and glaze. Make sure there is enough.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bars, cookies, lemon, shortbread
Author: Beth Cato



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded lemon zest from 4 giant lemons or about 6 large lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter 3 sticks, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract use clear extract if available, as regular will tint glaze a bit


  • Preheat oven at 300-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
  • In a bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch; set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon zest. Using fingers, break apart the zest within the sugar to distribute the threads and release the oils. The result should be more yellow in coloration and quite fragrant.
  • In a big bowl, beat together the butter, lemon juice, salt, and vanilla extract until it becomes creamy, scraping bowl as needed. Gradually mix in the sugar and zest. Slowly work the flour/cornstarch mix into the big bowl. The dough should become pliable and cling together, until it can be formed into a ball.
  • Press dough evenly into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Immediately make glaze. Stir together everything to form a thick, spreadable glaze; thicken with more sugar, if necessary, or add extra lemon juice or water to loosen it. Spread glaze over bars.
  • Cool completely, stashing dish in fridge to speed process if desired.
  • Use foil to lift contents onto a cutting board. Slice into bars. Store in a sealed container, with waxed paper between stacked layers, either at room temperature or in the fridge. Keeps for at least 2 days.