Lemon Poppy Seed Bars (GF, DF)

lemon poppy seed bars

Tangy, gooey, and extra-lemony! These lemon bars are a must try.

lemon

Lemon bars are a perfect spring and summer time dessert. I love using lemons in recipes, especially in desserts, because they add such a nice bright and tangy flavor! They are great to bring to Easter get together’s, Fourth of July parties, or just because! Guests will be amazed when you tell them that these contain no egg, white flour, dairy, or gluten.

I’ve been on a mission to make lemon bars that are extremely allergy friendly. It’s hard to find recipes out there that check all the boxes or that can be easily modified. I tried a few different versions before I finally landed on this recipe and had my family taste test it for approval.

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s very hard to mess it up. Since it uses non-traditional ingredients such as coconut milk, coconut flour, almond flour, and coconut oil, you don’t have to be an expert baker for it to come out. The crust is my favorite part. I use it as bases for other bars I make such as magic bars. It’s a really thick and sturdy crust that can hold any filling or topping that goes on it. No worrying about making a shortbread or cutting in butter!

As for the filling, it does not contain eggs like most other lemon bars do. The base of the filling is the thick white part from canned coconut milk and the addition of tapioca flour (starch) helps it really thicken up. Feel free to experiment with less sugar (monk fruit or honey) if it tastes too sweet to you. Also, if you don’t like them extra-lemony (like me) then you can definitely lessen the amount of zest! I would try 2.5 tsp instead of 3.5 tsp if you are looking for less tang and zip. Make sure you are zesting correctly – if you are new to zesting then I recommend checking out a tutorial like this one from Taste of Home, to ensure you are getting the best taste in your recipe!

How can I make these bars vegan-friendly?

This recipe is entirely vegan except for the honey. If you are vegan, you can simply swap the honey for pure maple syrup!


Lemon Poppy Seed Bars (GF, DF, Egg-Free)

These lemon poppy seed bars are tangy, gooey, and extra lemony! They are a delicious and light dessert for springtime or summer. They are made with no eggs, dairy, or gluten and can easily be made vegan with substitutions.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dairyfree, easy, eggfree, glutenfree, lemon, lemonbars, plantbased
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 squares
Author Alexa Sagon, CHN

Equipment

  • Oven
  • 8 x 8 baking dish (glass preferably)
  • Stand Mixer (I use my KitchenAid)
  • Saucepan
  • Stove top or heating element
  • Zester

Ingredients

Crust Base

  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp rolled oats, gluten free
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

Lemon Filling

  • 1.5 cups canned coconut milk, thick white part only
  • 1/4 cup raw unfiltered honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 cup monk fruit sugar
  • 3.5 tsp lemon zest
  • 7 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric, ground

Topping

  • Powdered Sugar (Confectioners Sugar)

Instructions

To make the crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment. *Tip: Use bag clips to hold the parchment in place! This is my favorite hack – it drives me nuts when the parchment moves all over the place. Just make sure to remove them before placing the dish in the oven.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine all of the crust ingredients (in no particular order). Mix until well combined (less than 1 minute). It combines easily and quickly.
  • Dump the crust mix into your 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment. Spread evenly and flatten using your hand or the back of a spatula.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are just slightly browned. You will be baking again so you don't want to over bake. Once done, remove and set aside but leave oven on.

To make the lemon filling:

  • While the crust is baking, add all of the lemon filling ingredients to a 3 qt saucepan and heat on medium. Whisk well to combine and continue whisking often until thickened. Be patient during this part, it can take 10-20 minutes until it thickens up!
  • Once mixture has thickened, slowly pour the filling over the crust and ensure it is spread evenly.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until filling has set and no longer jiggles (some jiggle is perfectly okay).
  • Once done, remove from oven and let cool on the counter for 30-45 minutes.
  • Move to refrigerator to cool overnight. I recommend overnight rather than a few hours for best results.
  • Once cooled overnight, remove from the baking dish and slice into 16 squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (to taste). Garnish with lemon slices (optional) and serve!
    lemon bars

Notes

Storage tips: keep the lemon bars in the refrigerator for optimum freshness and firmness. 

Did you make this recipe? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below! I love to see and hear about your experiences with my recipes!

For more delicious and healthy recipes, visit my blog!

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