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 51 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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162 comments on “Gluten-Free Lemon Bars”

  1. These are delicious!

    Would I be able to use the shortbread recipe    for a millionaires shortbread recipe? I want to make some for a friend but she’s GF5 stars

  2. Are your nutritional values per single servings?

  3. These are yummy! Thanks for another great recipe, Lisa!5 stars

  4. I am not sure what type of honey you use in your recipes? or Maple syrup? I try to keep things natural, organic etc, could you share what you used? Thank you,
    Deb5 stars

  5. Hi Lisa
    These bars were a bust for me and ended up being upside down lemon bars.  I used the exact ingredients, my crust baked beautifully and looked exactly like yours, I even thought they looked like yours when they came out of the oven… nice and firm jello like.  Then after taking then out of the fridge to cut them, ALL the lemon was on the bottom 😆🤦‍♀️.  Taste great, still added the icing sugar and scooped some into a bowl… yum!🤷‍♀️4 stars

    • Hi Gail – so they baked fine with the lemon on top, but then the lemon went under the crust once they cooled? That’s so strange! But I’m glad you were able to enjoy them nonetheless!

    • My filling went under the crust also. Baking now but not sure what will happened.  For company. Yikes. 

    • Same thing happened to me. Maybe it is the oven temperature, not sure…

  6. Great recipe! A beautiful lemony treat for gluten-free and non-gf guests. It came together quickly especially with the metric units.

    Maple syrup in the base and honey in the topping (as maple syrup is expensive). It set perfectly.

    I cut it into 36 short fingers. 5 stars

  7. Very lemony and delicious !! I used 110g of honey (filling) instead of 161g, but still sweet enough !! Loved the crust recipe !! 5 stars

  8. Can i use a GF all purpose flour in place of almond flour?

    • If you’re using AP flour, I would suggest to go with a regular lemon bars recipe instead to make sure the measurements are exact!

  9. I am not a big fan of lemon bars since they are always overly sweet and tart. They’re my husbands favorite though so I tried this recipe. I did regular flour and vegetable oil in the crust and just did 2 lemons in the custard. Turned out amazing! Ive never liked lemon bars until now. Wasn’t over sweet and still had a kick of lemon without being painful. 5 stars

  10. Love these lemon bars!! So far, I’ve made them three times. (Each time, I changed the crust a little bit, because I like thinner crusts.) Thank you Lisa and they were delicious. Aside from this recipe, I refer to your other recipes as well.

    Frankly, I had hardly eaten lemon bars prior to seeing your recipe. I’d always thought they were on the sweet side, like many other desserts. But when I saw your recipe (no sugar mentioned and on other hand with other good ingredients), I jumped into ordering the ingredients. As soon I received them, I started making them. They turned great! Thank you Lisa again. Love your recipes!!5 stars

  11. I made this for the 1st time and they turned out great. Well done on the instructions and tips, thank you for sharing this!!5 stars

  12. Wow! So good!! My sister and I made these for my birthday and they are so good! Thank you!5 stars

  13. I just took the pan out of the oven to cool and can’t wait for the cutting to begin! Happy Easter, Lisa! 

  14. Hi Lisa, looks amazing and very delicious!
    Can I substitute tapioca flour with arrowroot starch?
    Thanks5 stars

  15. I substituted tapioca flour with cornstarch. The filling became like an egg custard. Fortunately for me, I love custards. I’m sure if I had tapioca flour on hand the results would have been more of a lemon bar. Taste amazing!5 stars

    • Good to know that it became more of a custard with cornstarch! But happy to hear it still tasted delicious.

  16. Does it matter if your honey is liquid or creamed? I have creamed honey that’s pretty runny. Thanks. Looking forward to trying these!

  17. they taste great. I was quite distracted by my 14 month old grandson so they took a lot longer to make. my crust was cold by the time I made the lemon curd. I also didn’t have enough honey so used maple syrup for the curd. My bars definitely did not look as lemony (yes, I used fresh) as yours but they tasted great. I will make again and follow your steps exactly to see if I can get them as lemony colored as yours. Thanks!!5 stars

    • Despite the differences, glad these lemons bars still turned out great! Hopefully they will be perfect the second time around :)

  18. Best lemon bar recipe ever! They are the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. Delicious. 5 stars

  19. Hi Lisa, I just made these and they tasted great, but the lemon layer seeped through the crust and there’s a thin rubbery layer on the bottom. I was wondering why that happened and if there’s a way to prevent that from happening next time? Other than that, I loved them!4 stars

    • Hi Taylor – did you substitute any of the ingredients? And did you pre-bake the crust until it was firm and golden?

      • I actually substituted olive oil for coconut oil. I think I read somewhere that you can substitute olive oil for coconut oil? I had to add a bit more coconut flour to make it crumbly though. And I did pre-bake the crust.

      • Oh, that’s exactly why they didn’t turn out. No, you can’t substitute olive oil for coconut oil. Coconut oil solidifies at 78 degrees so will stay firm when chilled or at room temp and bakes more similar to butter. Olive oil will always stay liquid. Give it another try with coconut oil and I’m confident they’ll turn out perfectly!

  20. Hi! My crust was never crumbly! I melted the coconut oil- is that the problem? The flavor is so good though!! 🙌🏽5 stars

  21. Can you please share more of your delicious recipes that don’t use sugar, honey, or anything but stevia or monk fruit?  Got to extremely limit sugar, like eliminate it!   Help!

  22. Hi Lisa, I couldn’t wait to make these. I had to go out and get the coconut flour and oil, which I never buy. The filling is DELICIOUS! I love lemon. I used the honey, not the maple syrup in your recipe. I will be making these again. Thank you! Christine5 stars

  23. These look soooo good.
    Have you tried replacing the eggs?
    They’re the only thing stopping me making this, otherwise it would be perfect.
    I’m allergic to dairy and gluten and (to a lesser extent) eggs 😔

  24. My comment should say ‘ The crust  dough was never crumbly.’ Perhaps there were holes in the crust and that’s how the filling went underneath.

  25. The taste is great but somehow my deal wasn’t crumbly and the custard went underneath the crust so they baked upside down. I’m wondering if the extra fine almond flour was the culprit. When I was touching the top to see if it was done I thought I was touching the custard I was really touching the crust. Yikes!!!!! 

    • Hi Diana – Wow, that’s strange. I’ve made this a bunch of times and I’ve never had the custard go underneath the crust. The only way that could happen is if there was holes in your crust or gaps along the edges. Next time make sure to press it down really firmly and tightly all across the bottom of the pan. And once the crust is pre-baked on it’s own it should be fairly firm. I’m happy the taste was good though!

      • Hello Lisa, 

        Thank you for the reply. I decided to make them again and they are just in the oven for the last 5 minutes of custard firming. I think I know what happened. When I measured and cut the parchment paper, the cut corners were not sealed so the custard liquid just made its way down under the parchment paper and under the crust. I think? Or the liquidy crust had holes like you said. 

        This time I did not cut the parchment paper and I did push down the crust hard with the parchment paper rather than a glove as suggested. So far, it looks like the custard is on top. I will report back as to how it all turned out.

    • I made this recipe twice. The first time I made the recipe it came out normal. The second time I got the issue you mentioned. The only differences were 1) that I halved the crust recipe – not sure why but it came out softer as opposed to crumbly  2) I didn’t bake it as long as the first time  – I think I slightly overbaked it the first time, so I got it out sooner the second time- and 3) that I used half fresh lemons/half bottled lemon juice (but I’m sure this last one has nothing to do with the crust being on top of the filling).

      I think it was a combination of the softer mix with the underbaking that made the difference.

  26. Oh my gosh so good! And such good instructions.5 stars

  27. Best lemon bars. Going to make another batch this weekend. 🍋 5 stars

  28. Hi. I was wondering if I could skip the honey and still get a good lemon bar. I’m follow a strick diet that doesn’t allow me to have any kind of sugar not even fruit.

    I would appreciate any feedback or direct to any sweet recipe with out sugar or sugar alternatives.

    Thanks
    Crystal5 stars

  29. Great recipe! Easy and fast! I had a Meyer lemon (don’t try this with a waxier variety), and made the curd in the Vitamix! The whole lemon, syrup and eggs and tapioca mixture atomized! I just poured it into the crust and baked! Next time I’ll add a little bit more maple syrup, and a little less tapioca, but really a brilliant recipe – especially doing it the “Lazy Mary” way! lol5 stars

  30. These were delicious and turned out just as expected! Very easy to make and super tasty. The best part: I don’t feel gross after eating 1 … or 2! 5 stars

  31. Hi, apologies in advance for yet another substitute question… Can you use xylitol or ethrycit instead of the honey/maple syrup?
    It looks delicious!!!
    Anna

    • Hi Anna – I haven’t tried that substitution, so not sure how it would turn out. If you try it, let me know!

    • Hi Lisa and Anna, I have gone virtually sugar-free for the past six months, so I experiment a lot. I have also been gluten-free for 35 years (Celiac). This afternoon I am going to try these lemon bars with ChocZero’s sugar-free Maple Syrup. It is expensive, but it is thick unlike other watery versions of sugar-free maple syrup. I’ll report back soon!

      • Sugar-free with Choc Zero maple syrup worked great!! I love my lemon bars!!! So happy. They are tart, sprinkled a little allulose (sugar substitute) on the top. So good!! Chocolate Zero is expensive, so there is that and their chocolate syrup was inedible, but the maple syrup is a good, thick sugar-free substitute and worked great in this recipe!!!5 stars

      • Happy to hear you loved this lemon bar recipe Kathryn! :)

  32. Eggs is dairy so these can’t be dairy free. Unless they can be made without eggs.

  33. Going to try making these tomorrow…They look yummy .Thank you.

  34. Just baked these, they turned out perfect and really delicious. Thanks for this wonderful recipe :-)5 stars

  35. Hello! Love your recipes.

    I recently ran out of coconut flour, can I use cassava flour instead?5 stars

  36. Great recipe, it’s delicious! Thanks Lisa5 stars

  37. I have a 9×9 square ceramic dish I use for baking. Do you think the one inch difference would be okay? I can’t wait to make these! 

  38. What’s the best way to store these, and how long will they last? Looking forward to trying these! Thanks!

    • Hi Joanne – you can always find storage instructions written in the post :) But, they can be stored in the fridge for one week, and up to 3 months in the freezer.

  39. Curious about the nutritional info. Is it 349 kcal per bar or for the entire recipe?

  40. Can gluten free flour be used instead of almond and coconut flour. what would be the amount of gf flour.

    • Hi Alison- I haven’t tried with a gf flour for the base, but it could maybe work. If you do try it, please let me know how it turns out!

      • Hi. Could a sugar alternative like monkfruit + erithrytol be used for this recipe? I couldn’t quite imagine how to actually substitute it for the honey or maple syrup. It will definitely decrease the calories from carbs in the recipe if can be done.

      • Hi Pia – I’m not sure as I haven’t tested it. But it would be swapping wet ingredients for dry, and that usually requires other tweaks to the recipe.

  41. Absolutely mouth-watering, I’m making them again next weekend :)5 stars

  42. That looks amazing and already on my next “to do” list. I wonder if I can change tapioca flour with cornstarch or shouldn’t even try such exchange… Thank you for your great work, always the state of art: the explanation and presentation!5 stars

  43. Can the eggs be substituted with something else in this recipe?

  44. These lemon bars look so good, perfect for summer!5 stars

  45. This looks SOOOOOO divine and refreshing. A couple of questions before I attempt baking – I am more of a cook than baker.
    1. Could I mix the ingredients in your order using my Vitamix?
    2. I know you can make powdered sugar in the Vitamix with plain white sugar – but I don’t really keep that in the house. Can I use something else (like Monkfruit sweetener whirled in the Vitamix to make a powder)? I could see drizzling some chocolate in a zigzag pattern on each square!? 

    Happy first Spring weekend.

    • Hi Fiona – I haven’t tried mixing the ingredients in my Vitamix. That could likely work, but if you incorporate too much air it might come out a bit frothy. For the powdered sugar, yes you could do either of those as well. The chocolate pattern sounds delicious! Hope you enjoy!

  46. Lemon bars are my weakness! Can’t wait to try your recipe!5 stars

  47. I always thought of lemon bars as a difficult recipe, but it’s sooo not. Your recipe and tips make it so easy. Thanks for sharing :)5 stars

  48. These look so yummy and scrumptious! My daughter and I love lemon anything! So excited to make these!5 stars

  49. Hi, Meyer lemons are common here in New Zealand and that is what I would use . In this case, you recommend to reduce the sweeter to ‘half a cup’ but the standard recipe says half a cup so how much should I use? thanks

    • Hi April – Thanks for catching that! I just tweaked the post, but you could reduce it down to somewhere between 1/2 cup and 1/3 cup. Depending on your preference.

  50. These lemon bars sound and look fantastic! bonus that they are gluten free!5 stars

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