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Lemon Shortbread Bars with Mascarpone

A light crispy cookie topped with Mascarpone cheese and lemon curd. Top with berries if desired. Gluten free option offered.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy dessert recipe, holiday recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Linda Spiker


Shortbread bars:

  • 10 tablespoons butter, room temp, plus a little more for prepping baking dish. (10 T = 1 1/4 sticks)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose or gluten free flour
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 large lemon

Mascarpone Topping:

  • Approx 3oz Mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
  • 3 T lemon curd
  • 6-8 strawberries, thinly sliced (any berry will work, and berries are optional)
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • zest of one small lemon


Shortbread prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 and place rack in center of oven.
  2. Line an 8x8 glass baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. Use a paper towel to spread a thin layer of soft butter on paper.
  4. Using a hand mixer or bowl mixer, mix butter and sugars in a large bowl until well blended.
  5. Add salt, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix till well incorporated.
  6. Add flour and mix. At first the dough will crumble and fall apart.
  7. Remove dough from bowl and set on a cutting board or counter and gently knead with hands until dough forms a ball.
  8. Place dough in prepared 8x8 baking dish and press till dough is evenly distributed in the pan from edge to edge. Dough will only be about ¼ inch thick.
  9. Sprinkle dough with granulated sugar and bake for 25- 30 minutes or until dough is cooked and slightly golden.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into bar shapes while still slightly warm. Gently remove first bar with a knife and then use a spatula to remove the rest. Place on a rack to cool.

Mascarpone prep:

  1. Use a fork to blend lemon curd and mascarpone.
  2. Very gently spread mascarpone mixture on each lemon bar.
  3. Place berries on top.
  4. Using a screen colander dust cookies with powdered sugar.
  5. Then sprinkle with lemon zest! Yum!