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Vegan Gluten-Free Lemon Bars (refined sugar-free)

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


These vegan and gluten-free lemon pie bars have a cool silky texture atop a sweet, crumbly and buttery grain-free crust.  They skip the butter, refined sugar, condensed milk, egg yolks and heavy whipping cream for healthier vegan ingredients.  This dessert offers plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats all while staying true to the sweet, tangy taste and creamy, airy texture you would expect from lemon bars.


Units Scale

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups super-fine blanched almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in advance if possible
  • 1, 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk, chilled for 24 hours [in this recipe we are only the solid white coconut cream portion of the can]*
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large juicy lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (for color)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl stir together the almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until well combined.  Transfer this mixture to the parchment-lined baking pan.  Top with another piece of parchment paper and use the bottom of a cup to flatten the mixture so it is in one even layer covering the entire bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before adding the filling.
  3. While the pie crust bakes and cools, prepare the filling.  Add soaked cashews, the solid white portion of the refrigerated can of coconut milk (i.e. the coconut cream), maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, arrowroot starch, vanilla, salt and turmeric to a high speed blender.  Blend on the highest speed for one minute.  Scrape down the sides if needed and re-blend to make sure everything is fully incorporated.  Pour overtop the cooled pie crust and place the baking pan on a flat surface in your freezer.  Allow to freeze for four hours before slicing and enjoying.  If the bars have been in your freezer for longer than four hours you may need to allow them to soften at room temperature for a couple minutes before slicing and enjoying.  The bars will start to melt a little bit at room temperature after about 20 minutes so store them in your freezer until just before you plan to serve.
  4. You can top them off with homemade coconut whipped cream for an airy, sweet, cool and creamy finish.  You can sprinkle lemon zest on top and garnish each bar with a fresh lemon slice just to make them look extra fancy.


* Place a can of full-fat coconut milk in your refrigerator 24 hours in advance of making this recipe.  Do not use a can of coconut cream or light coconut milk.  When you open the can of refrigerated full-fat coconut milk the solid white coconut cream will naturally float to the top of the can (leaving the coconut water at the bottom of the can).  Use a spoon to carefully separate the solid white coconut cream from the coconut water below it.  This recipe only uses the white coconut solid portion.  You can save the coconut water for smoothies.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven + Freezer

Keywords: vegan gluten-free lemon bars