This post may contain affiliate links which means I will get a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure for details.
Whether you follow a vegan or gluten-free diet, this recipe for vegan gluten free lemon bars is for you! With a buttery shortbread crust that’s perfectly chewy, this is one recipe you won’t want to live without!
These tart and sweet lemon bars are perfect for a summer dessert.
Sometimes, all we need is a snack or two to get through the day. And when the flavor of these delicious vegan, gluten-free lemon bars explodes in your mouth, you are bound to forget your troubles.
Best of all, you can devour this irresistible dessert without running to the weighing scale. This simple recipe makes insanely delicious vegan dairy-free lemon bars that ooze yummy goodness.
All you need is a handful of ingredients, and your gluten-free lemon bars will be done in no time.
What Are Lemon Bars?
Lemon bars, also known as lemon squares, are an American dessert. Dairy-free lemon bars are a scrumptious dessert made with a thin shortbread crust and a creamy lemon curd filling.
The yummy snack is made using dairy-free and gluten-free products.
What Do Lemon Bars Taste Like?
When you bite into the delicious healthy lemon bar, you’ll experience a burst of different flavors.
First, you’ll notice the crispiness of the buttery shortbread crust. Then you’ll taste the incredibly smooth and buttery lemon curd filling.
The filling has a balanced flavor profile, with a hint of tang and just the right amount of sweetness. The chewy texture of the entire dessert and the flavors will have you licking the remnants from your fingers.
Are Lemon Bars Supposed To Be Gooey?
Lemon bars consist of a layer of lemon curd filling. The buttery filling is somewhat gooey since it is supposed to have a curd consistency.
Your lemon bars are likely undercooked if your filling is too runny or gooey.
To make perfect vegan, gluten-free lemon bars, allow your squares to set in the oven before taking them out.
Ingredients for Vegan Gluten Free Lemon Bars
Shortbread Crust Ingredients:
- Vegan butter: Plant-based vegan butter is lower in unsaturated fats and is good for your heart!
- Erythritol: Not only is erythritol a safe sugar substitute, it is less sweet, allowing you to achieve a good balance of flavors.
- Gluten-free flour: Gluten-free flour is higher in proteins and lower in carbs. This makes for the perfect gluten-free crust of healthy lemon bars. You can use coconut flour for this simple recipe.
Lemon Filling Ingredients:
- Lemon Juice: Add lemon juice for yummy lemon zest tang.
- Erythritol: A perfect addition to balance between sweet and sour.
- Full fat coconut milk: Unsweetened coconut plant-based milk is high in fat and will give you the creamy goodness in your lemon curd.
- Corn starch: Corn starch acts as a thickener.
- Turmeric: Around half a teaspoon of turmeric will give the filling an excellent lemony color.
- Powdered sugar (optional): Powdered sugar dusting to coat the top of lemon bars for decoration and flavor.
Tools Needed to Prepare This Dairy-Free Lemon Bars
Vegan Gluten Free Lemon Bars Ingredient Additions & Substitutions
Add some of these ingredients to your dairy-free lemon bars for some extra yumminess.
1. Vanilla extract
Add a splash of vanilla extract for an aromatic sweet vanilla flavor.
Adding a pinch of salt elevates the flavor of your lemon bar dessert.
Soak a handful of raw cashews and add them to your dessert. The result is delicious nutty lemon bar squares.
4. Lemon Zest
You can add lemon zest to the lemon mixture to give it a more tangy lemon flavor.
Plenty of substitutes are available for many ingredients of the lemon bar recipe. You can use the following in case you don’t have certain items available.
1. Corn starch
In place of corn starch, you may use arrowroot starch or potato starch as a thickening agent.
3. Coconut milk
If coconut milk is unavailable, you can use any non-dairy milk beverage.
How to Make Dairy Free Lemon Bars
For The Shortbread Crust:
For The Lemon Filling:
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F – 180 C and line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper.
STEP 1: First, take a mixing bowl and add the gluten-free flour, melted vegan butter and Erythritol or any sugar substitute.
STEP 2: Mix all the ingredients until you form a dough ball.
STEP 3: Now, place the dough ball into the baking pan and flatten it until you form a bar.
STEP 4: Bake at 350F- 180 C for around 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
STEP 1: First, take a medium saucepan and add the lemon juice, coconut milk, corn starch, sweetener + tiny pinch of turmeric for color, if desired.
STEP 2: Whisk well to dissolve the cornstarch.
STEP 3: Heat over medium heat, you will need to stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens.
Baking the bars:
STEP 1: First, take the lemon filling and pour it over the crust sitting inside the baking pan.
STEP 2: Now, with the help of a spatula, even up the lemon filling and bake it at 180C or 350F for 30 minutes. You can check if it’s ready by poking the surface with a toothpick and feeling the hardness.
STEP 3: Let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place it in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.
How Many Calories Are In A Lemon Bar?
A typical lemon bar contains around 208 kcal. Since this delicious recipe is vegan and gluten and dairy-free, the calories are reduced to 203 kcal.
This mouth-watering snack is not only delicious guilt-free.
Are Lemon Bars Healthy?
Well, this one certainly is. The delectable vegan lemon bars have the following nutritional value:
One serving of this recipe contains 203kcal, carbohydrates: 32g, protein: 1g, fat: 8g, saturated fat: 5g, sodium: 85mg, potassium: 59mg, fiber: 1g, sugar: 22g, vitamin a: 270iu, vitamin c: 5mg, calcium: 5mg, iron: 1mg.
Fill up on this treat to your heart’s content.
What to Serve With Lemon Bars Recipe?
You can pair the creamy and tarty classic lemon bars with drinks, including white wine, beer, cocktails like espresso, and a glass of bourbon or rum. You can also offer this treat with a cup of salted caramel.
Pair your lemon bars with any of these recipes:
- Refreshing Fanta Chapman
- Red Wine Bourbon Summer Sangria
- Hibiscus Flower Drink
- Copycat Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte
If you’re still craving more citrus-infused goodness with a fruity twist, check out these scrumptious lemon raspberry cupcakes.
They combine the tanginess of lemon with the sweetness of raspberry for an irresistible treat that’s perfect for any occasion.
Tips About Making The Lemon Bars Recipe
Follow these pro tips to make sure you make perfect buttery lemon bars every time.
- Always use fresh lemon juice. Store-bought or bottled lemon juice may lack the flavor and freshness which makes all the difference in the world.
- Measure liquids using liquid measuring tools. This ensures accuracy and a perfect balance of flavor.
- Never scoop out dry ingredients, like flour, directly out of the container. Measure it by weight instead or use the spoon and level method. This way, you won’t have a higher flour ratio.
- Press the crust firmly in the prepared baking dish without any gaps to prevent it from rising on top.
- Do a wiggle test to know if your lemon bars are done baking.
How Long Are Lemon Bars Good For?
Lemon bars are good for about 6 hours at room temperature. They can last for one week in the fridge before they become stale and start losing their flavor.
Make sure to keep them in an air-tight container.
How Long Do Lemon Bars Last In The Fridge?
The delicious treat lasts in the fridge for an average of 7 days or one week.
How To Store Lemon bars?
Cool down the lemon bars first. Then cut them into squares and place them in an airtight container to be stored in the fridge for up seven days.
In the freezer, your leftover lemon bars can be saved for later. They can be stored for up to 3 or 4 months.
To freeze these delicious treats, cut them into squares, and freeze each bar for an hour. Then, wrap them individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap before placing them in a freezer-safe bag.
Do Lemon Bars Rise?
Lemon bars shouldn’t rise. On rare occasions when the crust base is uneven or has gaps, the filling settles in the cracks allowing the shortbread to rise on top. To prevent this, press the crust firmly into the pan.
Moreover, if air gets into your lemon custard mix, the lemon filling will rise and collapse in the oven.
How To Cut Lemon Bars
If you want a clean cut every time the knife hits the dessert, follow the following steps.
- Let the lemon bars cool before cutting them.
- Dip a sharp knife in warm water.
- Wipe the knife with a dry towel.
- Make a nice and clean cut. You can make criss-crossed pieces as well.
- Repeat the steps above for every single cut.
Do Lemon Bars Have Dairy?
Lemon bars are typically made with butter. And some recipes use sweetened condensed milk to make rich and creamy lemon bars.
Both of these ingredients are dairy products. However, our special, gluten-free lemon bar recipe has no dairy ingredients. Instead, it uses vegan butter and coconut milk, making it a healthy, gluten-free treat.
Can You Cool Lemon Bars in the Fridge?
You can cool lemon bars at room temperature for an hour and then stick the pan in the refrigerator for an additional 1-2 hours. Lemon bars are served best chilled.
Do Lemon Bars Go Bad?
Lemon bars can go bad quickly if they are not properly stored. The creamy lemon layer can curdle and go sour as well.
If left unrefrigerated, the lemon bars can invite bacterial growth. Ensure you do not leave the lemon bars beyond 6 hours at room temperature.
How to Keep Powdered Sugar From Melting on Lemon Bars
You can add a bit of cornstarch to the powdered sugar to stop it from melting on top of lemon bars.
FAQs About Dairy-Free Lemon Bars
Are all lemon bars dairy-free?
Typically, lemon bars are not dairy-free. To make dairy-free lemon bars, follow our delicious recipe that does not contain any dairy product at all.
Are lemon bars gluten-free?
No, lemon bars usually contain gluten. To make gluten-free lemon bars, use gluten-free flour to make the shortbread crust.
Why do my lemon bars have a crust on top?
If the base has gaps, the filling can settle in the free spaces, making the baked shortbread crust rise on top in the oven.
Can you freeze lemon bars?
Yes, you can freeze leftover bars for up to 3 months. You can save these tasty treats for a later time. Remember to thaw them first.
Are lemon luna bars vegan?
Yes, lemon luna bars are vegan. They contain soybeans, milled flax seeds, rice syrup, and a few other ingredients.
For The Shortbread Crust:
For The Lemon Filling:
- ¾ cup Lemon Juice
- 1½ Erythritol
- 1¼ Full fat coconut milk
- 6 tbsp Cornstarch
- A pinch of Turmeric (optional for color)
- Powdered sugar (optional for dusting the tops)
- Baking pan 8x8
- Baking paper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F - 180 C and line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper.
- First, take a mixing bowl and add the gluten-free flour, melted vegan butter and Erythritol or any sugar substitute.
- Mix all the ingredients until you form a dough ball.
- Now, place the dough ball into the baking pan and flatten it until you form a bar.
- Bake at 350F- 180 C for around 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- First, take a medium saucepan and add the lemon juice, coconut milk, corn starch, sweetener + tiny pinch of turmeric for color, if desired.
- Whisk well to dissolve the cornstarch.
- Heat over medium heat, you will need to stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens.
Baking the bars:
- First, take the lemon filling and pour it over the crust sitting inside the baking pan.
- Now, with the help of a spatula, even up the lemon filling and bake it at 180C or 350F for 30 minutes. (you can check if it's ready by poking the surface with a toothpick and feeling the hardness).
- Let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place it in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 26.3Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 1g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.
These delicious, finger-licking lemon bars are comfort food that can brighten your day.
The lively yellow color and the smooth texture of the curd that melts in your mouth are reason enough to make one more batch.
I hope you liked these vegan gluten-free lemon bars. You’ll absolutely love these related posts: