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Tart and rich, lemon bars are the quintessential summer treat. There is nothing better than sinking your teeth into a lemon bar with a creamy, custard lemon filling and a crunchy crust. Gluten-free lemon bars are a great summer treat to bring along to any potluck – they really just make the perfect dessert to end any meal!
Creating a gluten-free lemon bar recipe that was also simple to prepare was somewhat challenging. After a few rounds of lemon bar flops, the results are in, and they are delicious!
Gluten-Free Lemon Bars Recipe
The base of this lemon bar is reminiscent of a delicious shortbread cookie, sprinkled with pecans. Crunchy and full of texture. The lemon layer is tangy with a touch of sweetness. Exactly what you want in a classic lemon bar recipe!
Even though there’s only 1/4 cup of pecans in this recipe, they bring a lot of extra flavor to the cookie crust. Nuts are great for using in shortbread and tart dough recipes because they add flavor, nutrition and texture. Just substitute some of the flour for ground nuts in your next shortbread or tart recipe, such as in You can even use nuts as the main ingredient of a tart dough, such as in this paleo pumpkin tart! Here we use the pecans in conjunction with gluten-free flour to get that perfect lemon bart shortbread taste!
Tips and Tricks for Making Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
I used a pre-made gluten-free flour mix in order to keep the crust quick and easy to make. And when I say, quick and easy, I meant it! It only takes a few minutes to pulse the crust ingredients in a food processor and get it in the oven.
One important note when making lemon bars: you must have patience. It takes a long time for the bars to cool enough to slice. If you cut into them too soon, they will fall apart. So, be sure to wait until they have cooled completely and chill for a couple of hours in the fridge.
Another important note when making lemon bars: use fresh lemon juice!
It’s tempting to use the bottled stuff because it saves so much time, but the flavor will just not be right! It’s worth the extra few minutes to squeeze it fresh.
You only need a half cup of lemon juice, which is about 3 or 4 lemons. Trust me, it’s definitely worth it!
Many traditional lemon bar recipes use flour to thicken the lemon layer, but since this is a gluten-free recipe we need another option. I first made these with an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix but preferred the texture when thickening with coconut flour. This helps give the lemon layer a firm texture.
In the recipe, I give the option of using coconut syrup or honey to create the lemon layer. I personally love the flavor of coconut syrup and prefer it, but should mention that its dark color will make the gluten-free lemon bars less “yellow.”
More Citrus Recipes to Try This Season
- All-Natural Raspberry Lemonade (without fresh raspberries!)
- Lemon-Vanilla Cashew Butter
- Sugar-Free & Low-Carb Coconut Lime Kefir Pops
- Garlic-Ginger-Lime Chicken & Sweet Potato Sheet Pan Dinner