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The BEST Vegan Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

A vegan and gluten-free version of lemon bars that’s shockingly close to the classic? We‘ve cracked the code on the ultimate spring dessert! Just 8 ingredients required for these incredibly delicious lemon bars!

These bars have a super lemony, perfectly set curd resting on an irresistibly buttery shortbread crust. They’re kind of EPIC. Let’s get zesting!

Cashew milk, lemons, salt, turmeric, cornstarch, gluten-free flour blend, sugar, and vegan butter

How to Make Vegan Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

We’ve done lemon bars before, but in a naturally sweetened, creamy filling kind of way. This time is different. This NEW version is also vegan + gluten-free, but it’s simultaneously CLASSIC enough to fool lemon bar connoisseurs.

It begins with a shortbread-style crust made by beating together cane sugar and vegan butter, which adds a bit of lift and fluffiness to the dough.

Using a hand mixer to beat together cane sugar and vegan butter

Just two more ingredients (gluten-free flour blend and salt), and the dough is ready to press into a pan.

Lemon bar shortbread crust pressed into a square baking pan

Then it’s on to the filling! It has BIG lemon flavor with lots of lemon juice + zest! Cane sugar balances the tartness and keeps the flavor classic, while homemade cashew milk is the dairy-free milk of choice because it’s thick and creamy, which prevents the bars from developing a rubbery texture.

Whisking together cane sugar, cashew milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, turmeric, and sea salt in a white saucepan

Cornstarch and turmeric come to the egg-free rescue! Cornstarch solidifies the filling like egg does in a classic curd, while a teeny pinch of turmeric lends a vibrant yellow color. The final filling ingredients are salt for flavor and vegan butter to add creaminess and a slight “give” that prevents gumminess.

After pouring the filling over the crust, the hardest part begins: letting the bars cool fully before digging in.

Whisking vegan butter into the vegan lemon curd

We hope you LOVE these lemon bars! They’re:

CLASSIC
Lemony
Buttery
Creamy
Undetectably vegan + gluten-free
& SO delicious!

They would be the perfect dessert to serve for Easter, Mother’s Day, or baby showers or to celebrate the beginning of spring!

More Lemony Desserts

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Sprinkling powdered sugar over homemade vegan gluten-free lemon bars

Prep Time 3 hours 16 minutes

Cook Time 24 minutes

Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes

Servings 16 (Bars)

Course Dessert

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month

Does it keep? 4-5 Days

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CRUST

  • 1/2 cup softened vegan butter (we like Miyoko’s)
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar (ensure organic for vegan-friendly)
  • 1 heaping cup MB 1:1 GF Blend (1 heaping cup = 1 cup + 2 Tbsp // or sub AP flour if not gluten-free // see notes for other GF blends)*
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

CURD

  • 1 ¼ cup cane sugar (ensure organic for vegan-friendly)
  • 1 cup cashew milk (for store-bought, we recommend Forager, Elmhurst, Malk, or another thick, additive-free milk)
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp vegan butter (we like Miyoko’s)
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • CRUST: To a medium mixing bowl, add the vegan butter and cane sugar. Using an electric mixer, cream together on medium speed for about 1 minute until light and fluffy. Next, add the gluten-free flour and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until fully incorporated.
  • Turn the dough out into the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly across the bottom. Use clean hands or the bottom of a glass to achieve an even thickness. Bake the crust for 20-24 minutes until golden.

  • Once the crust is out of the oven, set it aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

  • CURD: To a medium saucepan, add the cane sugar, cashew milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, turmeric, and salt. DO NOT add the vegan butter yet.

  • Read this step fully before proceeding as the timing is important to get the curd consistency just right! Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to boil, about 4-7 minutes. Remove the curd from the heat and whisk in the vegan butter 1 Tbsp at a time until it is completely melted and the mixture is glossy. Pour the curd over the slightly cooled crust. Place into the refrigerator to cool completely for at least 3 hours.

  • Once completely set and chilled, remove the bars from the pan by lifting up the parchment. Cut into 16 squares (or however many bars you want!). The curd may coat your knife as you cut. You can run your knife under warm water and wipe it clean between slices if you want to ensure clean edges. Optionally, add powdered sugar to a fine mesh strainer or sifter and sprinkle evenly over the top of the lemon bars. Enjoy!

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days.

*Our DIY GF Blend and similar store-bought blends such as Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour should also work well in this recipe.
*Loosely adapted from the one and only Ina Garten!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1 lemon bar Calories: 190 Carbohydrates: 29.5 g Protein: 0.6 g Fat: 8.4 g Saturated Fat: 6.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 58 mg Potassium: 39 mg Fiber: 0.4 g Sugar: 19.1 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 4.4 mg Calcium: 3.6 mg Iron: 0.4 mg

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