Vegan Lemon Bars (Gluten Free + 9 Ingredients!)

GFGluten Free

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 These Vegan Lemon Bars are a refreshingly tart & sweet dessert! A healthier take on the classic, they’re made with only 9 healthy ingredients + Sugar-Free.

Is it just me, or is it that time of year again where we’re all just wishing (and semi-impatiently waiting) for it to be Spring? I’m still enjoying my cozy winter meals, but my body is also ready for some fun, light, and fresh flavors.

Enter: the Vegan Lemon Bar. Regardless of the season, this classic dessert strikes a refreshing balance between tart and sweet, all while providing a creamy filling, chewy base, and satisfying bite. Not only is this version Vegan Gluten-Free, but it’s also only made with 9 healthy ingredients!

vegan lemon bars topped with powdered sugar on white serving platter with dark blue linen towel

That’s right, friends. All you really need is some fresh LemonsCashews, Vanilla Extract, Arrowroot Powder, and Maple Syrup to make this plant-based dessert. I noticed that a lot of recipes use a combination of Coconut Cream and Cashews, but I found that this left too strong of a Coconut taste for my liking. I wanted these bars to taste like the real deal, and Cashews do just that! 

overhead shot of vegan lemon bars on round speckled white serving tray

We’ll also make a super-simple “crust” for these Bars using some Rolled Oats, Almonds, Flax “Egg”, and another touch of Maple Syrup. I opted to use Almonds for my base because of their firm texture and flavor, but another “buttery” nut will also work. I’d recommend Pecans, Macadamia Nuts, or even Brazil Nuts as well!

vegan lemon bar topped with powdered sugar and lemon slice on round white plate with silver fork

This recipe is pretty dang simple – and that’s just the way I like it 😉 Simply blend up your base ingredients, pop them in a tin, blend the filling, then spread this over the base layer and cook again for a few minutes. The hardest part is waiting for these Vegan Lemon Bars to cool before slicing! That, and not eating all of the yummy filling before it goes into the oven…

Your patience will be rewarded, though – so don’t worry! Soon you’ll have some creamy, dreamylemon-y squares of goodness at the ready. These Vegan Lemon Bars are perfect for parties, potlucks, or smaller get-togethers! They keep well at room temperature, and are great during any time of year. Especially because Lemons are always available at the grocery store 🙂

close up shot of lemon bars topped with powdered sugar and lemon slices on white background

A Few Final Thoughts:

  • This recipe required quite a few rounds of recipe testing – I would not suggest altering the ingredients. If you must, please read the recipe notes for my recommended substitutions.
  • The cooked bars may look a little “runny” when they first come out of the oven, but keep in mind that the mixture will continue to thicken as it cools! 
  • I like to top my Vegan Lemon Bars with Powdered Sugar and thin slices of Lemon, but both are totally optional. Not all Powdered Sugar is Vegan, but you can easily make your own by blending White Sugar at a high speed for 10-20 seconds until a fine powder forms.

overhead shot of lemon bar topped with powdered sugar on white speckled plate

If you’re looking for more yummy Vegan Dessert recipes, you’ll also love these Blueberry Crumble BarsNo-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Tartand this Vegan Key Lime Pie!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

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Vegan Lemon Bars

close up shot of lemon bars topped with powdered sugar and lemon slices on white background

These Vegan Lemon Bars are a refreshingly tart & sweet dessert! A healthier take on the classic, they’re made with only 9 healthy ingredients + Sugar-Free. 

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 28 Minutes
  • Total Time: 43 minutes
  • Yield: 9 bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup Almonds
  • 1 cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 tbsp Ground Flax + 5 tbsp Filtered Water
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups Cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours*
  • ½ cup Lemon Juice (about 3 lemons)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup + 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Arrowroot Powder
  • ⅛ tsp Turmeric (Optional, for color only)
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • Optional: Vegan Powdered Sugar, for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the Ground Flax, Water, and Maple Syrup together in a small bowl; whisk well, then set aside to let thicken for 5 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, add the remaining crust ingredients to a high-speed blender and process over a low speed until finely ground. Add the thickened Flax “Egg”, then pulse until a thick dough forms.
  3. Line a 9×9” pan with Parchment Paper, then use your fingers to firmly and evenly press the Crust into the base of the pan. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the Lemon Bar filling by blending all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Use a spatula to evenly spread this mixture over the Base, then return the Lemon Bars to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. The edges of the bar will be slightly firm and pull away from the tin; the bars may look slightly runny in the center, but keep in mind that the mixture will thicken as it cools.
  5. Let the bars cool completely in the baking tin, then use the parchment paper to cleanly remove them and transfer to a flat surface to slice into squares. Top with Powdered Sugar if desired, then serve and enjoy. Leftovers will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to one week.

Notes

  • Ground Flax may be substituted with ground Chia Seeds.
  • Maple Syrup can be replaced with another liquid sweetener of choice.
  • I would not suggest replacing the Arrowroot Powder in this recipe; Cornstarch will make the bars too firm, and Tapioca Flour will make them too gummy.
  • If you forget to soak your Cashews ahead of time, you can either boil them for a few minutes until tender, or pop them in the good ol’ microwave with some water for 2-3 minutes.
  • Not all Powdered Sugar is Vegan, but you can easily make your own by blending White Sugar at a high speed for 10-20 seconds until a fine powder forms.

Keywords: healthy lemon bars, egg free lemon bars, sugar free, quick, plant based, healthy dessert, lemon dessert

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 These Vegan Lemon Bars are a refreshingly tart & sweet dessert! A healthier take on the classic, they're made with only 9 healthy ingredients + Sugar-Free. #vegan #glutenfree #lemonbars #dessert #lemon | frommybowl.com

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. Love the page! It is just perfect for me, who is 1. new vegan, 2. can not stand to use complicated recipes, and 3. to be in a kitchen for more than 0.5 a day:) Thanks Caitlin!
    I used Molasses instead of maple syrup, so they did not come out as sweet, and more brownish colour, but perfect anyways!

      1. Almond flour is made from ground almonds. The main difference is that almond flour is made from blanched almonds, which leads to variations in color, texture, and flavor

  2. My food processor is not very powerful, and I used corn starch instead of arrowroot powder, but the finished product is not bad. ????

  3. It was great. We added a bit more of lemon juice, and tiny bit more of maple syrup and half a package of stevia. Excellent recipe,

    1. That should work fine! The parchment paper underneath should also make it easy to lift it out once it has set!

  4. Oh my these are TOO GOOD! We have a saying in our house “Caitlin never fails” because it’s true. These lemon bars hit the spot ???? we added sliced limequat to the top for a sour kick and they were perfect. Thanks Caitlin!

  5. My slice is in the oven as we speak,
    I found the consistency to be that of an almost dough.
    Should the filling be runny? I used the 1/2 cup lemon juice as stated,
    regards Dione.

    1. That should do the trick. They may just need slightly longer in the oven since it’ll be a little more condensed, maybe just another 2 minutes.

  6. Would it be possible to substitute the cashews? I’m on a LowFODMAP regime and can’t have cashews or pistachios. I’m allowed to have pecans and walnuts and seeds though, can I use tahini/sunflower seeds instead?

    1. Hi Priscilla! Unfortunately I do not think the cashews can be substituted in this recipe. You may want to look online for other lemon bar recipes – I believe other bloggers may have a nut-free version using tofu!

  7. A couple of questions, please. First I bought unsalted cashews, but didn’t notice that they were roasted. Is this OK, or should they be raw? (I still have time to pick up raw, if those are the preferred choice). Also, I am using a glass baking dish, not tin, does this change the baking time/temperature?

    1. Raw would be better, but you can also use roasted – they will have a much stronger flavor and darker color though. Cooking time should be fine in a glass baking dish, but if it looks *too* jiggly, I would cook them for another 2-3 minutes.

  8. Do you think it would make much of a difference to use quick oats rather than rolled oats?? What do you suggest? 🙂

  9. These look absolutely amazing!! I don’t have whole almonds on hand, would I be able to substitute them for almond flour? And out of curiosity do you you use raw or roasted almonds? Thanks!

  10. Thanks for fabulous recipe. Are the almonds brown with skin on or blanched? Wonder which to use…. thanks again

  11. I feel you so much on the seasonal blues! Here in California, it’s still raining in March and I wish that the sun will return as soon as possible! These lemon bars will bring my taste-buds back to wishfully believing that the spring weather will gloss over the Earth and the flowers will bloom everywhere. I bet these were so easy to gobble up quickly!

  12. My sister is allergic to arrowroot powder 🙁

    Would it be at all possible to substitute it with something else? I know you suggested against it, but I’d love to try this recipe!

    1. Hi Shanna! You can use Cornstarch instead, but the bars will be much thicker and not as realistic