These healthy vegan lemon bars are light, citrusy, sweet, and creamy on top with a perfect shortbread crust on the bottom! They are made with whole-food ingredients and are dairy free, gluten free, and totally plant-based.
Delicious and Healthy Vegan Lemon Bars
Spring to me brings lighter, fresh, bright meals and treats (in contrast to delicious winter comfort food). These vegan lemon bars are bursting with flavour that’s light, bright, and perfect for any celebration that the spring (or summer) season brings. Think Easter, Mother’s Day, or any other special occasion.
Whether you are craving a sweet treat, or want to wow a small crowd, these vegan lemon bars are a must try!
What are lemon bars made of?
Lemon bars have been around forever.
Traditionally these tasty bars feature a buttery shortbread crust with a lemon curd layer that’s baked in the oven to make a soft, velvety texture. The bars are usually a couple inches thick and are very sweet and tangy.
Classic lemon bars contain white flour, butter, eggs, and a substantial amount of sugar making them neither plant-based or very health-conscious. I’m all for a good sweet treat and indulgence here and there, but it’s nice to have whole-food, plant-based alternatives to enjoy at any time!
Ingredients for Vegan Lemon Bars
These delicious and easy vegan lemon bars are made with just 3 main ingredients for the crust, and 7 ingredients for the tangy lemon curd layer. They are focused on whole foods and plant-based vegan friendly ingredients that will give you a perfect dose of sweetness without all the butter and refined sugar!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Gluten free all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill is great!)
- Coconut palm sugar
- Coconut oil or vegan butter
- Coconut cream (canned, (***do not use canned coconut milk***))
- Pure maple syrup
- Vanilla extract
- Turmeric (optional, to add natural colour)
The gluten free flour mixed with the coconut oil and sugar makes a sweet and light crust reminiscent of traditional shortbread, and the coconut cream blends perfectly with the lemon and maple syrup to create a creamy and perfectly sweet lemon curd layer.
How To Make Vegan Lemon Bars
Making these delicious bars is a really easy process. While they do need a few hours to set, the actual time to prepare the bars is minimal.
Here’s what you’ll do:
1. Preheat the oven and line a 9″ square pan with parchment paper.
2. Process the flour, sugar, coconut oil and water in a food processor until you get a dough.
3. Press the dough into the pan and bake (***see notes about crust thickness in the recipe!)
4. Make the lemon curd by adding the curd ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat.
5. Whisk until smooth and when the curd is thickened, pour over the baked crust layer.
6. Set in the fridge for 3 hours then cut into squares and enjoy!
Fun Add-Ins or Swaps/Substitutions:
These lemon bars can easily be altered to make something a little different . If you are a fan of extra texture or different flavours you can play around with the optional additions or swaps below!
- Lime Bars: Swap the lemon for lime to make creamy vegan lime bars.
- Berrylicious: Add in a berry twist by adding in 1/4 cup of fresh raspberries to the lemon curd mixture.
- Toasted Coconut: Add extra crunch by topping the cooked lemon bars with a hefty sprinkling of lightly toasted coconut flakes
These vegan lemon bars are seriously delicious! If you are a fan of sweet treats, you’ll absolutely love this light and fresh citrusy dessert.
Have you ever made lemon bars, traditional or vegan? Tell me about it in the comments and be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save it for later!
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Have a great weekend!
Christal // NITK