These easy Gluten-free Vegan Lemon Bars are tangy, sweet and delicious. A crispy grain and nut-free shortbread crust is topped with a rich, bright lemon filling for a perfect AIP and Paleo Spring treat.
This Gluten-free Vegan Lemon Bars recipe makes the best dairy-free, AIP/Paleo lemon treats.
Gluten-free Vegan Lemon Bars
Lemon Bars without Eggs, Dairy, Grains or Nuts
These allergy-friendly lemon squares have no nuts like almond flour and cashews. They’re also free of common allergens including eggs and gluten and are refined sugar-free!
The dairy-free, gluten-free shortbread crust is adapted from my Paleo/AIP Christmas Sugar Cookies recipe. The dough is made with cassava flour and arrowroot starch, palm shortening for a soft texture and buttery flavor without the dairy, and maple syrup to bind and sweeten.
The crust is pre-baked to ensure it doesn’t combine with the lemon curd, and results in a delicious base for this gluten-free lemon dessert.
The luscious vegan lemon curd filling is creamy without eggs or nuts. It’s thick, yet light and airy. The fresh, zingy lemon with maple sugar make a refreshing citrus custard with the perfect ratio of sweet to tart. A pinch of turmeric gives this egg-free filling a vibrant yellow hue without the flavor. And they’re topped with a dusting of arrowroot starch in lieu of powdered sugar to make them look fancy!
you’ll love these lemon bars because they’re:
- Gluten-free and nut-free with a homemade blend of grain-free flours
- AIP and vegan – both the crust and the lemon filling are egg-free, dairy-free and paleo
- Allergy-friendly – free of the top 8 allergens
- Both sweet and tart – unrefined sweeteners balance the citrusy tanginess.
- A quick and easy dessert to make ahead – and the perfect spring or summer treat for any occasion!
what you’ll need to make this gluten-free vegan lemon bar recipe
- cassava flour + arrowroot starch – I don’t recommend any substitutions to this flour blend.
- baking soda + salt
- palm shortening or coconut oil
- maple syrup
- vanilla extract
- lemon juice + lemon zest – use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best taste. You’ll need about 4 medium sized lemons for the juice.
- maple sugar – or sub with golden coconut sugar to retain a lighter yellow color. Regular coconut sugar will darken the filling.
- full fat coconut milk – from a can. If following the AIP diet, ensure ingredients are compliant.
- arrowroot starch – I have not tested tapioca starch in the filling.
- pinch of sea salt
- turmeric (optional) – gives the lemon bars their color in lieu of egg yolks.
how to make vegan lemon bars
Make egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free lemon squares in these 5 easy steps:
Step 1. Prep oven.
First, preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper.
Step 2. Make the crust.
Combine crust ingredients into a soft dough.
Next, press dough into lined baking pan in a smooth and even layer.
Pre-bake crust about 13 minutes to provide a sturdy base for the filling.
Step 3. Prepare the filling.
While the crust pre-bakes, combine filling ingredients in a saucepan and whisk until thick enough to coat a spoon.
Step 4. Assemble and bake.
Spread the lemon curd topping on the crust and bake for 15 minutes.
Step 5. Cool.
Let the lemon bars cool to room temperature before refrigerating at least 2 hours, to set completely. Only slices squares when they’re fully set.
Vegan Lemon Cookie Bars Recipe Tips
- Allow some extra parchment paper to hang over the sides of the baking pan. Use as handles to easily lift the whole baked lemon bar out of the pan.
- Soften palm shortening or melt coconut oil in the microwave if it is too hard.
- Ensure the arrowroot starch does not boil or it will lose its thickening ability.
- Keep whisking the filling at medium heat and ensure it does not fully boil at a high temperature.
- Let the lemon bars set properly.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for the filling to firm up and the flavors to set.
- For lemon bars with a traditional look, dust some arrowroot starch over the finished squares and garnish with baked lemon slices.
- Make ahead and serve these lemon squares as a spring or summer dessert. They’re great for a portable AIP snack or sweet treat at anytime, and for all celebrations.
- Refrigerate for a week or freeze up to a month until ready to serve.
- Cut squares with a sharp, damp knife, and clean the blade between cuts for neat slices.
Want more tips for egg-free, nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free baking? Learn more about ingredients and the techniques to master grain-free, allergy-friendly baking in Grain-Free Academy!
Can I substitute the cassava flour?
I haven’t tested the crust without cassava flour and don’t recommend any substitutions to this combination of nut, grain and gluten free flours.
How do I know when these lemon bars are ready?
Using oven mitts, gently shake the pan to test if these gluten-free vegan lemon squares are done baking.
- If the filling is very gooey and loose, keep baking them in increments of 1-2 minutes.
- If the filling has a slight, controlled jiggle, and the edges are mostly firm, they’re ready to cool and set.
- If the filling doesn’t move at all, it’s over-baked.
Can I make these dairy-free lemon bars in advance?
Yes, I recommend it! These lemon squares need at least 2 hours for the filling to set in the fridge, so you can make them well ahead of time. They’re even easier to cut if you allow them to set overnight.
How do I store this paleo lemon dessert?
Keep these lemon bars in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. Separate layers with plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
Can I freeze these eggless lemon squares?
These homemade vegan lemon bars freeze really well. Store them in a freezer-safe container for up to a month. Thaw in the fridge overnight, or reheat in the microwave for just 10 seconds.
you’ll love these other gluten-free, dairy-free lemon treats:
- Lemon Custard with Strawberry Compote
- Gluten-free Lemon Raspberry Bread
- Paleo Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes
- Gluten-free Lemon Blueberry Banana Bread
- Lemon Glazed AIP Blueberry Donuts
more AIP/paleo and vegan fruit desserts you’ll enjoy:
- Gluten-free Rhubarb Custard Tart
- Peach Thyme Galette
- Plum Sheet Cake
- Baked Chocolate Donuts with Raspberries
- Mixed Berry Galettes
If you loved this Gluten-free Vegan Lemon Bars recipe I would appreciate it if you would give it a rating and review. Be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedelicious and using the hashtag #healmedelicious.Print