Healthy Lemon Bars are the perfect lighter dessert. Paleo, gluten free, grain free and sweetened with maple syrup – they’re delicious and easy to make! These gluten free lemon bars are made with coconut flour and have the perfect creamy filling and decadent crust- one of the best healthy lemon desserts! This post is sponsored by my friends at Bob’s Red Mill.
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Lemon Bars are one of our favorite desserts. They check off all the boxes for a yummy dessert – perfectly sweet and lemony while still being totally rich.. plus they’ve got multiple textures in one (creamy filling, crispy cookie bottom).
They’re pretty much the ultimate summer treat (but we eat them year round!)
This lemon bar recipe is based off a (not so healthy) one that I’ve been making for Tyler over the past couple of months. I wanted a grain free, and lower sugar version that we could enjoy.
I’m happy to say these taste just like the ‘real’ thing while being totally paleo, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, and being sweetened with just maple syrup.
They’re seriously a DREAM dessert. You’re going to love them!
Ingredients for Gluten Free Lemon Bars
You’ll need 4-5 large lemons for the juice. Use fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of the one that comes in the jar!
Coconut flour is perfect for baking because it’s super versatile. No matter what allergies or dietary preferences your family and friends have they can enjoy this. It is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free, sugar free, grain free and fairly low carb when compared to white flour.
How to make Healthy Lemon Bars
To make these Healthy Lemon Bars first we’ll make the crust.
Step 2: In a bowl add the coconut flour, tapioca flour and lemon zest. Stream in the liquids as you mix up the flour with a fork. At first it will seem too wet, but keep mixing, because coconut flour soaks up liquid as it sets.
Step 3: You will have something that resembles a dough when you’re finished mixing and it comes together.
Step 4: Press the dough into an 8×8 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment.
Step 5: While the crust is baking, whisk together the eggs, zest, maple syrup, lemon juice and tapioca flour until it’s perfectly smooth. If your egg whites aren’t fully mixed in make sure to really whisk them well! Otherwise you will wind up with small pieces of cooked egg whites in your bars.
Step 6: When the crust is done baking pour the filling immediately into it. Do not wait for it to cool. Carefully transfer it to the oven and turn the oven down to 325 degrees. Bake 14-16 minutes.
I over-baked this particular batch by one minute (yes.. that’s all it takes!) hence why there are a few cracks in them. The cracks don’t bother me.. and they don’t affect the taste at all. I think it makes them look a bit more rustic 😉
Serving Paleo Lemon Bars:
These Lemon Bars are best made 24 hours in advance of when you have to serve them. They only need about 90 minutes to cool, but if they can set in the refrigerator overnight they’ll be even better!
Powdered Sugar: These lemon bars are fine to serve as is totally plain, or you can dust with powdered sugar. Powdered sugar isn’t paleo, but it makes the bars pretty and hides any imperfections. If the lemon bars are at all moist/have condensation at the top of them, blot with a paper towel before adding powdered sugar. Otherwise the sugar will get absorbed
Serving Size: I divided this into. 9 servings, but you could cut in to 16 if you’d like smaller lemon bars.
Serve chilled: These paleo lemon bars should be served chilled. They’re fine to sit out at room temp for 2-3 hours, but they will get soft, and they’re meant to be eaten cold.
Substitutions for Healthy Lemon Bars
You guys know we love to provide you with substitutions for recipes, but sadly – this just isn’t one where you can make substitutions. If you make these bars as is you’ll wind up with perfect gluten free, paleo, healthier lemon bars.
Baking pan: This recipe was tested in both glass and metal baking dishes. Metal conducts heat far better than glass so it got done quicker. You’ll also notice some cracking if you bake it past the just set stage. This is fine and doesn’t affect the flavor at all.
Lemon: You can swap the lemon for lime in this recipe for key lime pie bars. We do not recommend using jarred lemon juice. Use fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Eggs: You can’t substitute eggs in this recipe. They are essential for the taste and texture of lemon bars. If you need an egg free lemon bar – check out this Vegan Lemon Bar Recipe
Ghee: Ghee was used for flavor. Coconut oil is just too oily. We don’t recommend coconut oil for a swap for two reasons -you just don’t get that cookie flavor if you use it, and it also is really greasy. Grass fed butter, regular butter (if not paleo) are all fine subs for the ghee.
Coconut Sugar: is not recommended for this recipe. It just doesn’t melt down like liquid sugars or regular sugar. We tried it.. and I promise you, it doesn’t taste good.
Doubling the recipe: I haven’t tried doubling this recipe but I’m sure it would work in a 9×13 pan.
I mean… don’t you just want to take a bite?!
How to store lemon bars:
Lemon Bars must be stored in the refrigerator. They will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Lemon bars can get a little moist on top from condensation in the refrigerator so I recommend just blotting them with a paper towel before serving.
Freezing – I haven’t tried freezing these lemon bars but I wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t think they would freeze well.
We hope you love these lemon bars just as much as we did!
Other healthy dessert recipes:
- Healthy Lemon Blueberry Bread
- Paleo Salted Almond Butter Brownies
- Healthy Baked Apples
- Healthy Strawberry Mango Popsicles
Healthy Lemon Bars
- Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
- In a large mixing cup or bowl mix together the maple syrup, vanilla, ghee, and egg. Make sure the ghee is cooled so you don’t scramble the egg.
- In a bowl add the coconut flour, tapioca flour and lemon zest. Stream in the liquids as you mix up the flour with a fork. At first it will seem too wet, but keep mixing, because coconut flour soaks up liquid as it sets.
- You will have something that resembles a dough when you’re finished mixing and it comes together.
- Press the dough into an 8x8 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment.
- Give the dough a few pricks with a fork, but DO NOT go the entire way through it. Just a couple.
- Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. It should just look set when you bake it and have maybe a little bit of a golden edge. If the dough puffed at all just give it a little prick with your fork to deflate.
- While the crust is baking, whisk together the eggs, zest, maple syrup, lemon juice and tapioca flour until it’s perfectly smooth.
- When the crust is done baking pour the filling immediately into it. Do not wait for it to cool.
- Carefully transfer it to the oven and turn the oven down to 325 degrees. Bake 14-16 minutes.
- Watch the bars closely as you want to remove them when they’re just set. Pull the bars out and allow them to cool completely before transferring to the fridge for 90 minutes. Cut and serve with whipped topping or powdered sugar (not paleo, but delicious and traditional).