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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Gluten Free Lemon Bars with Coconut Custard (Vegan)

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With a sweet, tart coconut milk lemon curd filling, and almond flour crust, these Gluten Free Lemon Bars are the perfect dessert for picnics, bake sales, and more! Naturally sweetened, these bars are vegan friendly.

vegan gluten free lemon bars stacked on a white plate

Lemon bars! They are a true classic! They remind me of bright sunny days. Maybe it’s the vibrant color, or the tangy custard filling, it just emits sunshine in every bite!

These gluten free lemon bars are the absolute best! They are decadent, with a crunchy, flaky almond flour crust, a tart custard, and a dusting of powdered sugar on top.

Latest Recipe Video!

Made with vegan friendly ingredients (no worries about getting a scrambled egg like custard here), and refined sugar free, they’re a surprisingly healthy dessert you won’t be able to pass up.

They are also suitable for all those occasions that call for baked goods! A bake sale, pot-luck, picnic, or party! The best part is that everyone can enjoy them, since they are dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, and vegan!

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Recipe Ingredients and Notes

vegan gluten free lemon bars ingredients

Almond Flour Crust: The base of these lemon bars are made with almond flour, tapioca flour, a touch of maple syrup, coconut oil, and baking powder.

Lemon Curd Filling: Coconut milk, paired with lemon juice, lemon zest, and tapioca flour creates an extra thick filling. A touch of turmeric brings out the bright yellow color of the lemon bars.

How to Make Gluten Free Lemon Bars – Step by Step

Preheat Your Oven and Prep Your Equipment: Preheat oven to 360°F and line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Make The Crust: Add almond meal and tapioca flour to a large bowl, and mix until combined. Add coconut oil and maple syrup and mix until it all comes together.

almond crust ingredients mixed in a bowl

Bake The Crust: Press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan with your hands and bake until it is just lightly browned on top.

almond crust being pressed into a pan

While The Crust Bakes, Make the Lemon Bar Filling: In medium pot, mix lemon juice with tapioca flour and whisk well to remove any lumps. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients and place the pot on medium to high heat. Stir continuously until you get a curd consistency.

custard cooked on the stove

Pour The Lemon Bar Curd Onto The Crust: Take off the heat and pour onto the crust.

custard poured on top of crust in baking pan

Refrigerate: Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. (Refrigerate up to 7 days.)

custard poured on top of crust in baking pan

Slice! Cut into 16 squares.

lemon bars cut on parchment paper

Serve! Serve cool, dusted with powdered sugar.

top view of vegan gluten free lemon bars on a white plate

Are These Gluten-Free Lemon Bars Healthy?

You wouldn’t believe it, but these vegan lemon bars are actually healthier than most other desserts! Here are a few reasons why you can enjoy them guilt-free:

  • Naturally Sweetened: These lemon bars are naturally sweetened with maple syrup. They are also lower in sugar, using a much smaller amount of total added sugar than the average lemon bar recipe.
  • Low Calorie: At only 200 calories per bar, these are a lower calorie option than most baked goods for dessert!
  • Healthy Fats: Coconut milk contains healthy medium-chain triglycerides, that are known to raise HDL levels, which is the good kind of cholesterol.

Will Kids Enjoy These Gluten-Free Lemon Bars?

These lemon bars are perfectly sweetened, and get kid approved! They’re a healthy treat you can feel good about feeding your kids. They make the perfect dessert for school bake-sales, birthday parties, and summer picnics!

vegan gluten free lemon bars on a white plate with a bite taken out of a bar

Recipe FAQS

Should You Keep Lemon Bars in the Fridge?

Yes, absolutely! Since these vegan lemon bars have a custard like filling, you should either serve them the same day or keep any leftovers in the fridge. They will be fine at room temperature for up to 8 hours (so you can leave them out as you serve them!)

Does Lemon Curd Contain Gluten?

Lemon curd does not have gluten unless it is thickened with flour. However, most recipes for lemon bars use a shortbread crust with all purpose flour – which makes them not gluten-free! This recipe uses an almond flour base for the crust, which makes it both gluten free and vegan.

Can You Make These Vegan Lemon Bars in Advance?

Absolutely! They actually taste even better the next day, because they become more firm the longer they are refrigerated.

Can I use Gluten Free Flour Instead of Almond Flour?

To be honest, I haven’t tried this recipe using gluten free flour so I can’t be sure it would work. If you do decide to test this out with gluten free flour, I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour.

How To Store and Keep

If making these in advance store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The lemon bars will keep at room temperature for a few hours while serving. However, store leftovers in the refrigerator. They will keep for 3-4 days.

Top Tips for Making Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

  • Use a glass baking pan for best flavor and results.
  • Firmly press the almond flour crust into the pan. Make sure it is packed tightly. If the crust mixture is too dry, add a touch more maple syrup.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice! It has a more distinct flavor. Fresh is always better, plus you need the zest from the lemons! Note: Each lemon has about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest. 
  • Whisk the custard continuously to avoid clumps. Be patient, and continue to whisk until a custard like consistency forms.
  • When measuring your flour, use the spoon and level method for accuracy (spoon the flour into your measuring cup, then level it with the back of a knife).
  • Turmeric is just for color and can be omitted if needed.
  • If you don’t have canned full fat coconut milk, you can try using a non-dairy milk instead. The custard just may not have as thick of a consistency with other milks.
  • Make sure the bars are completely cool before dusting them with powdered sugar to prevent condensation from forming on top.
stacked gluten free lemon barson a white plate

Check Out These Other Healthy Dessert Recipes!

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vegan gluten free lemon bars stacked on a white plate
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Gluten Free Lemon Bars with Coconut Custard

With a sweet, tart coconut milk lemon curd filling, and almond flour crust, these Gluten Free Lemon Bars are the perfect dessert for picnics, bake sales, and more! Naturally sweetened, these bars are vegan friendly.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Set in the refrigerator3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 35 mins
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Servings: 16 bars
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Almond Flour Crust

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Lemon Curd Filling

  • cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • cup rice malt syrup
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch turmeric for color

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 360°F and line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Add almond meal and tapioca flour to a large bowl, and mix until combined. Add coconut oil and maple syrup and mix until it all comes together.
  • Press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan with your hands and bake until it is just lightly browned on top.
  • In medium pot, mix lemon juice with tapioca flour and whisk well to remove any lumps. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients and place the pot on medium to high heat. Stir continuously until you get a curd consistency.
  • Take off the heat and pour onto the base. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. Cut into 16 squares. Refrigerate up to 7 days.

Video

https://youtu.be/gARAoCj-iCE

Notes

Top Tips for Making Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
  • Use a glass baking pan for best flavor and results.
  • Firmly press the almond flour crust into the pan. Make sure it is packed tightly. If the crust mixture is too dry, add a touch more maple syrup.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice! It has a more distinct flavor. Fresh is always better, plus you need the zest from the lemons! Note: Each lemon has about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest. 
  • Whisk the custard continuously to avoid clumps. Be patient, and continue to whisk until a custard like consistency forms.
  • When measuring your flour, use the spoon and level method for accuracy (spoon the flour into your measuring cup, then level it with the back of a knife).
  • Turmeric is just for color and can be omitted if needed.
  • If you don’t have canned full fat coconut milk, you can try using a non-dairy milk instead. The custard just may not have as thick of a consistency with other milks.
  • Make sure the bars are completely cool before dusting them with powdered sugar to prevent condensation from forming on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7.5g

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Indulge your sweet tooth with some of my lightened-up treats. From gluten-free brownies to fruity crumbles, there’s something for everyone.

Be sure to check out holiday favorites like my healthy pumpkin pie!

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