Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

These lemon bars have a gluten-free shortbread-like crust and a bright, luscious filling that’s the perfect balance of sweet and tangy!

Gluten-free lemon bars on a wooden board.

When spring is in the air, you must make these fresh lemon bars. In fact, I’d say it’s almost a requirement to acknowledge sunnier days with these slightly sweet, slightly tangy lemon bars.

Yes, they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo friendly, but I can assure you that if you don’t mention that little detail to anyone, they’ll never know. Because these healthier lemon bars taste just as good as their classic counterpart!

Ingredients for gluten-free lemon bars on a table.

Lemon Bar Ingredients

This recipe uses my triumvirate of flours (my “go-to’s” for all baked goods), along with a little sweetener and fresh lemons.

  • Almond Flour: This makes up the bulk of the crust and creates that almond shortbread-like flavor.
  • Coconut Flour: Coconut flour keeps the crust firm and structured and prevents it from going soggy.
  • Tapioca Flour: This super-fine flour is the best for the filling as it’s not gritty and helps it firm up.
  • Honey or Maple Syrup: You can use either sweetener here, it’s up to you!
  • Lemon Juice and Zest: Fresh lemons are a requirement for this recipe. DO NOT use jarred lemon juice, it will taste blah. Trust me.
  • Eggs: Just a few large eggs help to create the lemon custard filling.
  • Vanilla Extract: Just a smidge helps to sweeten the crust.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

A wooden board with gluten-free lemon bars

How to Make Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

This recipe is really two parts, the crust and the filling. It’s quite easy to make, but there is some nuance to ensure success. So make sure to read all the tips below as well!

Make the crust. Whisk together the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla to combine those together. Then add the almond flour, coconut flour, and salt, and dig in with your hands to mix it all together until you have a crumbly dough.

Mixing crust in a bowl for gluten-free lemon bars

Press the crust into the pan. Pour the dough into the parchment-lined pan and then use your hands to press it firmly on the bottom and all the way to the edges and corners.

Pressing lemon bar crust into a pan.

Pre-bake the crust. Preheat your oven to 350F and prebake the crust for about 15 minutes, or until it’s lightly golden around the edges.

Crust in a pan for lemon bars

Make the filling. The order of mixing is really important here, to not get white bits that look like scrambled eggs on top. Start by whisking together the eggs and honey, until the eggs are completely smooth. Then add the lemon juice and zest, whisk again. And lastly add the tapioca flour and whisk again until there’s no flour clumps.

Mixing lemon bar ingredients in a bowl.

Pour the filling into the pan. Once the crust has pre-baked, remove it from the oven and while it’s hot, pour the filling on top. Then place it bake in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.

Pouring lemon bar filling into a pan with the crust.

Let them cool! Don’t be overly anxious and try to cut into the bars too soon. Once you remove them from the oven, let them cool on the counter for one hour. Then chill them in the fridge for another 2 hours.

Baking lemon bars in a pan.

Slice and garnish. Slice the bars and if you’d like, add a little dusting of powdered sugar. This is completely optional, but it really does make the lemon bars look pretty!

A board with lemon bars on top and lemons.

Must Read Lemon Bar Tips!

Truth be told, I made this recipe three times before I was happy with it. During my test batches I ran into issues with the crust being too thin and too soft, and had issues with the filling being too gritty or not firming up. Yes, you want a soft filling, but not so soft that it’s sorta mushy. I also played around with the level of sweetness and tartness. So let me share a few tips!

  • Flours: Honestly, I don’t recommend substitutions here. Each flour serves an important purpose for the best texture. I did try coconut flour in the filling and I didn’t love the texture as much as the tapioca flour.
  • Pans: Glass, metal, and ceramic pans all bake a bit differently. Glass pans take longer to heat up, but stay hotter and can burn faster. I used a metal baking pan for this recipe. If you’re using glass you may need to reduce the temperature a little and bake longer.
  • Don’t Under-Bake: You don’t want the filling too jiggly or soft when you remove it from the oven. If you see other recipes which say the filling should be jiggly, remember that they’re likely using regular flour in the filling. We’re not. So it should be cooked through to the middle, with a firm Jell-O-like texture. Otherwise, the bars will be too soft once cooled.
  • Don’t Over-Bake: Alternatively, you don’t want to over bake as you might end up with a weird texture of slightly scrambled eggs in the filling instead of a smooth lemon curd. All ovens cook slightly differently, so just keep an eye on yours. If you bake between 20-25 minutes, you should be golden! (I bake these to 25 minutes in my oven).
  • Crust Popping Up: Your crust may poof up a little as it’s pre-baking. That’s fine. Just press it down again as soon as you remove it from the oven, before pouring the filling on top. You don’t want to prick the crust with holes, otherwise your filling may seep through.
  • Sweetness Level: This is definitely a tart, zingy recipe. You can always add a couple tablespoons of more sweetener if you’d like. Alternatively, you can reduce the lemon zest if it’s just too lemony for you.
  • Lemon Varieties: I’m using regular lemons, which are quite strong, but if you can find Meyer lemons they will have a naturally softer, less tart flavor. If you use Meyer lemons, I recommend reducing the sweetener by a couple tablespoons.
  • Resting Time: When you remove the lemon bars from the oven, let them cool on the counter for an hour. Then, place them in the fridge to another 2 hours. Don’t transfer them from the oven straight to the fridge and try to speed things up. Also, some cracks may occur on top as the lemon bars cool, that’s normal. But if you slice them too early, they’ll likely be too soft.
  • Want a buttery crust? You can sub butter or ghee for the coconut oil.
A pile of lemon bars on a wooden board.

How to Store Them

If you and/or your family and friends don’t devour all these bars in one sitting (which often happens), you can store them to enjoy again in the future.

  • In the fridge: the lemon bars will stay good for up to one week in the fridge in a sealed container. If you stack them, just be sure to place parchment paper in-between.
  • In the freezer: You can freeze these for up to 3 months. Just defrost them in the fridge the day before you’d like to enjoy them.
A bite out of a lemon bar.

More Sweet Lemon Recipes

If you’ve got an abundance of lemons, give these other sweet treats a try!

Lemon Bars Recipe Video

Want to see how I make this recipe step-by-step. Give the video below a watch!

If you make these lemon bars, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Sliced lemon bars on a wooden board.

Lemon Bars (Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)

4.91 from 43 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Chill: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 9 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
These lemon bars have a gluten-free shortbread-like crust and a bright, luscious filling that's the perfect balance of sweet and tangy!

Ingredients

Crust

  • cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups almond flour
  • cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • ½ cup lemon juice, from 3-4 large lemons
  • zest from one lemon, about 1 tablespoon of zest
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca flour

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/177C. To make the crust, whisk together the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, and salt. Stir together or use your hands to mix everything together, until you have a crumbly dough.
    Making lemon bars crust in a bowl.
  • Pour the dough into an 8×8-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Use your hands to press the dough flat in the pan. Make sure it's pressed down very firmly.
    Making the lemon bar dough in a pan.
  • Bake the base crust for 13-15 minutes in the oven, or until lightly golden on top and slightly darker around the edges, then remove.
  • The order of whisking the filling is important. Whisk the eggs and honey together in a bowl until smooth. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk again. Then add the tapioca flour and whisk again, until smooth, and no flour clumps remain.
    Whisking lemon bar filling in a bowl.
  • Bake the lemon bars for 20-25 minutes, or until the center of the filling is set.
    Baking lemon bars in a pan.
  • Let the pan cool on the counter for an hour, then transfer to the fridge and let cool another 2 hours before serving, to firm up. Slice into bars and serve plain, or with a dusting of powdered sugar.
    Lemon bar slices on a board.

Lisa’s Tips

Nutrition

Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 108mg, Potassium: 60mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 106IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free lemon bars, healthy lemon bars, lemon bars
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142 comments on “Gluten-Free Lemon Bars”

  1. what do i use in place of the coconut flour? i’m allergic to coconut, the oil doesnt bother me but coconut milk, flour and sugar do.

    • Unfortunately, I don’t recommend substitutions here because each flour serves an important purpose for the best texture. But I will keep that in mind for future recipes!

  2. Can I use a vegan egg?

  3. These were delicious but I unfortunately had the same problem as a few other reviews with the liquid sinking in and baking “upside dow”. I followed the directions and video exactly. The only sub was using melted ghee instead of coconut oil. I’m wondering if it’s best to cool the crust fully before pouring the liquid on top.4 stars

  4. Made them. Used a glass pyrex dish

  5. Hi Lisa,
    I made this recipe once and they turned out almost perfect. The only issue was that the filling did not look ”bright yellow” as seen on your pictures. I used Maple Syrup instead of Honey in the recipe, could that have been the issue or potentially the type of Lemons I used?
    Thanks in advance!

  6. These are so delicious! Thank you for creating these healthy recipes! But, mine also had the same problem of seepage through the base. The taste is good though! I am wondering why it happened because I followed the recipe exactly. The only thing I can think of is that I used a 9×9 pan instead fo 8×8 would that have made the base thin? If I use 9×9, by how much should I increase the flours for the base? Also the bake of the whole thing (with lemon) came out brownish on the edges (unlike yours). I baked at 350 for 25 minus … maybe I should do 20 mins next time? Would love your feedback. Many thanks!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed them! Yes, changing the pan size could have very well contributed to the seepage with a thinner base. In terms of the browning, all ovens cook slightly differently, so I’d try 20 minutes in your oven next time. Hopefully they turn out even better in the future!

      • Thanks Lisa! If I keep using the 9×9 pan, would it help if I increased the almond flour to 2 cups and the coconut to 1/2 cup? Just wondering. Also for some reason, my base was not crumbly like yours – I used maple syrup as the sweetener along with the other wet ingredients. Thanks! 5 stars

  7. So. Good.
    I made these twice in one week. They were such a hit at game night that I’m making it for our fourth of july dinner too :D
    I sub’d tapioca flour with arrowroot and it worked just great. I did probably 2/3 cup lemon juice for more lemon flavor and zest. Also did 1/2 c gluten free flour with 1 c almond flour to make it a little lighter of a crust (instead of 1 1/2 c almond flour alone). Loved it. Thank you!!5 stars

  8. These were delicious! I was nervous about the “upside down” problem mentioned by others but mine were fine and only had a little leakage from the corner of the parchment. The crust was a little underdone so next time I’ll bake it longer. Personally, I would prefer a thinner crust but from what others say that would potentially disrupt the layers of the bars setting up correctly. The lemon filling was delicious.4 stars

  9. Hi Lisa,
    I love your recipes, specially Paleo Blueberry cake. Today I decided to make the Lemon bar. However, the filling siped under the crust, and nothing left on top. still it tasted delicious. Any thought on that.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Nahid – you have to make sure you flatten the crust as much as possible so that there’s no room for the liquid to seep through next time.

  10. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve made these now. Also tried them with lime which was lovely. Thank you for this delicious recipe. 5 stars

  11. Lovely recipe, Lisa. I used rice flour since I didn’t have tapioca and filling turned out great. I also increased the size of the filling since the crust got a bit thicker than I had anticipated. Appreciated that you didn’t use any refined sugar or butter. Super easy instructions. Thanks!5 stars

  12. Made these today; just incredible!  They are the best lemon bars that I have ever had.  You’ve really perfected this recipe.  Thank you Lisa for developing and sharing all of your recipes.  I really appreciate all that you do to make it possible for average people to be successful in the kitchen.5 stars

    • Wonderful! I’m glad your lemon bars turned out perfectly Gary. Thanks so much for your kind words as well. My goal is to help everyone make healthy cooking simple and easy :)

  13. Delicious! I’ve made the Lemon Bars twice so far and love them! The first time, I made the bars as directed and used maple syrup in the base and honey in the filling. They were excellent but I wanted a little thinner crust and more filling so then made them using the same crust but doubled the filling. I really like those proportions.

    These Lemon Bars are the best! Thanks for your wonderful reliable recipes!5 stars

  14. They were perfect! I used all maple syrup and they came out great (I was reluctant to share with my family!). I also cut them into 16 squares instead of 9 and I liked having the smaller portion sizes. It helped them last a little longer! I am not GF but the crust was just wonderful. 5 stars

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